My Turn: The root causes of Middle East war




Published: 02-21-2024 9:35 PM


No one has explained why young GIs were sleeping in a Jordan desert when harm came to them. Those generals who appear on TV are only up to speed about attacks, counterattacks, counter-counterattacks and so on. The military has to justify its consumption of a major portion of our budget, spending more annually than 10 other countries like Russia and China combined.

Remember Eisenhower’s Farewell Address, his warning that our military, intelligence, and industry had taken control of the country. John Kennedy tried to stop it, and with Khrushchev disarm and end the risk of war. The war-makers conspired to kill him in Chicago on Nov. 2, 1963, failed, but succeeded three weeks later in Dallas.

World War II made the U.S. the major power in the Pacific. President Harry Truman had violated the Atlantic Charter by supporting French resumption of colonial rule in Southeast Asia, leading to Johnson’s Vietnam war. That war was much about our military wanting to aid Taiwan dictator Chiang Kai-shek defeat Mao Tse Tung and reverse the communist revolution in China.

In 1953, for access to oil, the U.S. took a giant step toward making a permanent enemy of Iran by instigating a coup and installing a brutal monarch. The U.S. has never apologized for this crime.

Stepping back further in time, we have the Nazis labeling German Jews politically unreliable and barring them from civil service jobs. A Nazi campaign ostracized Jewish places of business. The bank accounts of Jews were frozen.

Jewish organizations in the U.S., contemplating how they might collectively respond, focused on the fragility of the German economy. Their plan for a boycott immediately became an international cause.

March 27, 1933, saw launch of the effort to cripple Hitler through boycott. Effects of war and depression still gripped Germany, and the Nazi regime could not have survived loss of revenue.

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At New York’s Madison Square Garden, in jammed local streets, and venues in cities across this country, those gathered heard Gov. Alf Landon, a Catholic, promote the boycott.

But just a few weeks later, the German Zionist Federation concluded with the German Economics Ministry a secret agreement, described as “of mutual benefit,” that would prevent the success of the boycott. Their “Transfer Agreement” allowed wealthier Jews to have their assets unfrozen to purchase German products for Palestine. They could then emigrate. Purchases included tools, concrete, steel, and other building materials.

In October 2019, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz shocked many Israeli readers with a story headlined “Tel Aviv was Built with Raw Materials From Nazi Germany.”

While controversially creating infrastructure of a future Israeli state, Zionists were saving the Reich and enriching it by $35 million. Sixty thousand Jews participated. Transfers continued for six years, ending only with the German invasion of Poland. Israeli children do not learn about this in school. It is not a part of Israel’s recorded history.

Historian Edwin Black suggests that as transferred Jews came with part of their assets, this Zionist scheme financed the eventual prosperity of Israel. It did nothing to spare the remaining millions who would soon perish in the Holocaust. He wrote, “Zionist leaders understood that the success of the future Jewish Palestinian economy would be inextricably bound up with the survival of the Nazi economy.”

It can be forcefully argued that by securing the Nazi economy in 1934, Zionists allowed the Holocaust to happen.

By 1948, armed Zionist groups had driven Arab fighters and the British mandatory force out of Palestine. They now violently drove Palestinians from their homes and farms in an ethnic cleansing. Five hundred and thirty-one villages were destroyed. At 70 massacre sites, 15,000 Palestinians were killed. In what Palestinians call the Nakba, Zionists drove nearly a million Palestinians from their homes.

Netiva Ben-Yehuda, a Zionist commander, likened the assault to anti-Jewish pogroms in Europe. Jews were doing to Palestinians what had been done to them. The Israeli government systemically destroyed records of what happened.

Ignoring the manner in which statehood was achieved, Truman provided immediate recognition to Israel in 1948. All 14 Israeli prime ministers supported Zionist political philosophy, the establishment of Greater Israel. Palestinians fled to the West Bank, that land claimed for a Palestinian state. Jews were deliberately settled there. Conniving Benjamin Netanyahu has been the worst of prime ministers. He allowed the Oct. 7 Hamas attack to happen in order to devastate Gaza.

Zionism is both undemocratic and locked, very like MAGA Republicanism in the U.S., in a fantasy of the past. Like a magnet this has dawn the U.S. into each of its conflicts in the Middle East. It also caused the death of our three soldiers.

Charlemont resident Carl Doerner is an author and historian, currently editing his new work, “Breaking the Silence: Revisioning the American Narrative.”