• Big Media confirms what AFP said more than two years ago
By Michael Collins Piper
The current crisis in Egypt recalls a warning put forth by AMERICAN FREE PRESS more than two years ago. On February 14, 2011, AFP suggested that Israel benefited from (and was most likely instigating) the chaos raging as a consequence of the so-called Arab spring tearing apart its neighbors—including,most particularly, the uprising in Egypt, which led to the rise of the new government that was just recently toppled by the military. At the time, critics accused AFP of promulgating outlandish “conspiracy theories.”
However, no less than David Ignatius—the influential veteran foreign affairs correspondent for The Washington Post—has now confirmed the critical essence of what AFP reported.
For the record, here is what AFP told its readers more than two years ago, in reviewing the events in Egypt and describing the little-known Israeli strategic policy known as “catastrophic Zionism”:
While most rational people would assume Israel would prefer to have neighboring states that are stable, successful participants in the region, this is not necessarily the case.
In fact, a carefully crafted “think piece” entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,” featured in the February 1982 edition of the World Zionist Organization’s Jerusalem-based publication Kivunim: A Journal for Judaism and Zionism, candidly put forth an Israeli strategy to wreak havoc in the Arab world, dividing the Arab states from within.
The program—which amounted to “balkanizing” the various Arab republics, splitting them into religious enclaves in which, for example, Shiite Muslims or otherwise Sunni Muslims would predominate—was an agenda that Israeli dissident Israel Shahak said, quite simply, was designed “to make an imperial Israel into a world power,” by disrupting the Arab states and thereby setting the stage for Israeli dominance in the Mideast.
The formula was founded on the idea of creating chaos among Israel’s Arab neighbors, hardly a policy any decent, well-meaning neighbor could be credited for fostering.
In fact, the current-day political and religious divisions and devastation in Iraq—the consequence of the American invasion of Iraq demanded by the pro-Israel lobby in Washington—mirrors precisely what the Zionist position paper laid forth as the ideal state of affairs for Iraq, from an Israeli point of view, that is.
But where does Egypt fit into all of this? Reflecting on the Zionist strategy paper, Ralph Schoenman—an eminent American Jewish critic of Zionism—writing in 1988 in his book, The Hidden History of Zionism, pointedly noted the paper’s intent of “double-crossing Mubarak” and emphasized that the Yinon paper hoped for “the downfall and dissolution of Egypt,” despite the 1979 Camp David peace agreement.
This is geopolitics at its best—or worst—and demonstrates the kind of gambles Israel has historically been willing to take.
Such gamesmanship by Israel is part of a philosophy known as “catastrophic Zionism,” a termused almost exclusively by Israeli and Jewish writers.
The theme of “catastrophic Zionism,” sometimes called “war Zionism,” suggests that Israel—as a state—relies on crisis and the potential of war with its neighbors as a foundation of its very existence. This has actually been the belief of many hard-line “right wing” elements going back to the earliest days of Israel.
In short, there are many Zionists who believe such crisis is vital—fundamental—to Israel’s survival.
And for this reason, the believers in “catastrophic Zionism” will never lend their support to any policy, domestic or international, that could lead to a final solution of the conflict between Israel and its Arab and Muslim neighbors.
In actual fact, this notion—that peace could be dangerous to the survival of Israel—is a governing concept in the minds of many Israelis and their supporters worldwide.
Now Ignatius has underscored AFP’s controversial assertions. Writing in the Post on April 26, Ignatius described what he called the “upbeat and introspective mood” in Israel—despite the fact the Middle East is in turmoil—and explained the reason for this positive worldview:
Israelis are realizing that, however much the upheaval threatens the established Arab order, it doesn’t necessarily hurt them. Israelis have been predicting for decades that the arbitrary borders set by the 1916 Sykes-Picot accord would ultimately dissolve and the Ottoman ethnic “vilayets” (or provinces) would return. Now, to some Israeli analysts, this Arab crackup seems to be happening, and what’s not to like?
The paradox of the Arab revolutions is that, though they have created instability on Israel’s borders, they have also reduced the conventional military threat. Israel’s enemies are tearing each other apart: Egyptians are squabbling internally as the economy sinks; Syrians are battling each other in a bloody civil war; Sunni and Shiite extremists are waging a war of attrition across the region.
On top of this, Ignatius noted, all of this turmoil positions Israel even more strategically if and when it finally decides to launch a military strike against Iran.
And although the Post’s foreign policy guru didn’t mention it, Ignatius has known for at least 30 years of this unusual and little-noted Israeli agenda for wrecking its neighbors from within.
As far back as December 8, 1982, when Ignatius was a young staff writer for The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Ignatius wrote an article for the WSJ describing the Israeli plan for balkanizing the Arab world (referenced in AFP’s report).
Describing the scheme as “a recipe for chaos,” Ignatius’s article acknowledged that the Israeli writer Oded Yinon argued that “Israel should encourage the dissolution of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf nations into a series of weak, ethnic ministates, noting that Yinon said the Arab world was like “a temporary house of cards, put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the 1920s),” and that because of the dissent within those nations, this gave Israel “far-reaching opportunities” to undermine its Arab neighbors.
Although Ignatius asserted, at the time, that the article was not politically significant, other than for the outrage that it sparked in the Arab world, virtually everything theWorld Zionist Organization journal Kivunim advocated as an Israeli strategy toward the Arab world has since come to pass.
The fact that Israel—in collaboration with the United States, Britain and other NATO powers—has played a part in stirring up and financing the assorted “rebel forces” throughout the Arab world may thus be no coincidence.
Michael Collins Piper is an author, journalist, lecturer and radio show host. He has spoken in Russia, Malaysia, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Japan, Canada and the U.S.