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The Cold War’s Arab Spring: How the Soviets Created Today’s Middle East

Stolen Kremlin records show how the Soviets, including Gorbachev, created many of today’s Middle East conflicts

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(Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photo Vitaly Armand/AFP/Getty Images and map University of Texas Libraries.)
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The dominant narrative of modern Middle East history emphasizes the depredations visited upon the region by European colonization and accepts as a truism that the former colonial powers prioritized the protection of their material interests—in oil, above all—above the dignity and self-determination of the region’s inhabitants. Thus did botched decolonization result in endless instability. The most intractable of the regional conflicts to which this gave rise, that between the Arabs and Israelis, is attributed in this narrative to Israel’s unwillingness to accede to Palestinian national aspirations. Thus did the region become a breeding ground for radicalism, intensified by Cold War rivalry between the superpowers, who replaced the European colonizers as the region’s meddling overlords. Then came Mikhail Gorbachev—a Westernizing reformer. At last, the Cold War was over. A new world order was at hand.

What if this conventional wisdom is nonsense? Russian exile Pavel Stroilov argues just this in his forthcoming book, Behind the Desert Storm. “Not a word of it is true,” he writes. “It was the Soviet Empire—not the British Empire—that was responsible for the instability in the Middle East.”

Stroilov, a historian now living in London, fled Russia in 2003 after stealing 50,000 top-secret Kremlin documents from the Gorbachev Foundation archives, where he was working as a researcher. He was given access to the archive in 1999, but Gorbachev refused him permission to copy its most significant documents. Having observed the network administrator entering the password into the system, Stroilov reproduced the archive and sent it to secure locations around the world.

Stroilov’s cache includes hundreds of transcripts of discussions between Gorbachev and foreign leaders, politicians, and diplomats. (The originals are still sealed under Kremlin pressure.) There are notes from Politburo and other top decision-making meetings, notes written by Gorbachev’s aides Anatoly Chernyaev and Georgy Shakhnazarov and by Politburo member Vadim Medvedev. None were ever available to independent researchers, although some were published by the Gorbachev Foundation in a heavily censored version. Stroilov also stole the 1972-1986 diary of Anatoly Chernyaev, deputy chief of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union International Department and Gorbachev’s principal aide on international affairs from 1986 to 1991. He stole reports dating from the 1960s by Vadim Zagladin, who was deputy chief of the International Department until 1987 and Gorbachev’s adviser from 1987 to 1991. (Stroilov also draws upon Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky’s vast, stolen collection of documents, as well as the Mitrokhin Archive, a collection of notes taken secretly by the defector Vasili Mitrokhin during his 30 years as a KGB archivist in the foreign intelligence service and the First Chief Directorate.)

Stroilov’s book about these documents, many only now translated into English, challenges the conventional wisdom that Western colonialists are to blame for the chaos in the region. All of its major conflicts, he argues, were caused by Soviet expansionism. Terrorism and the rabid anti-Israeli animus of the Arab world were Soviet inspirations. And the revolutions we are seeing now were inevitable, for the Soviet client states were socialist regimes, and sooner or later socialism exhausts economies and thus the patience of the people who live in them.

Stroilov focuses upon Gorbachev’s intrigues in the Middle East, explaining the Arab Spring as the “final act of the Cold War.” This thesis is overstated—Stroilov is a bit too enamored of his own collection to admit the complexity of these events—but there is nonetheless much in his archives to support this description. The documents clearly suggest that many contemporary conflicts in the Middle East were fomented by the Soviet empire, particularly in the final years before its break-up. And the events he describes have had a significant impact upon the current state of the region—from the conflict in Iraq to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, to the development of a de facto alliance between the European Union and the Arab states. Perhaps most significantly, there is much here to suggest that it is past time to reexamine Gorbachev’s reputation as a reformer and liberalizer. Stroilov’s book suggests that in the Middle East, Gorbachev’s policy was old-school Kremlin imperialism, all the way to the end.

***

From the close of World War I, the great prize of the Middle East has been the Persian Gulf. During the Cold War, America and its allies in Europe and Asia depended upon its oil for 90 percent of their energy needs; developing countries would be instantly crippled by a sharp hike in oil prices. But for the Soviets, attaining control of the Gulf could be achieved only by direct military aggression. Following the return of British forces to Kuwait in 1961 to defend the Emirate from Iraq’s Abd al-Karim Qasim—whose ambitions for Kuwait were subsequently, if temporarily, realized by Saddam Hussein—it became clear to the Soviets that the West would go to any length to defend the oil. “And so the comrades postponed the conquest of the Gulf,” writes Stroilov, “although some of them were sorely disappointed with that decision.”

What, then, was Plan B? It was “the subversion and eventual destruction of Israel.”

Though not as good as the Gulf oil fields, Israel would also be a big prize. It was the only democracy in the region, the strongest military power in the pro-Western camp and, indeed, the bridgehead of the Western world. Even more importantly, the very process of crusading (or jihadding) against Israel offered fantastic political opportunities. A besieged Israel effectively meant millions of Jewish hostages in the hands of the comrades, and the threat of genocide could intimidate the West into making great concessions in the Gulf or elsewhere. On the other hand, by making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the central problem of the Middle East, the Soviets could exploit Arab nationalism, anti-Semitism, and even Islamic religious feelings to mobilize support for their policies. Indeed, under the banner of Arab solidarity, the socialist influence in the region grew far beyond the socialist regimes and parties.

The code-name for this operation against Israel, according to Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking defector from the Soviet Bloc, was “SIG”—Sionistskiye Gosudarstva, or “Zionist Governments.” In a National Review article, Pacepa recalls a conversation he had with KGB chairman Yuri Andropov, who envisioned fomenting “a Nazi-style hatred for the Jews throughout the Islamic world. … We had only to keep repeating our themes—that the United States and Israel were ‘fascist, imperial-Zionist countries’ bankrolled by rich Jews.”

In the mid-1970s, Pacepa recalls, the KGB ordered its Eastern European sister agencies to scour the Middle East for trusted agents, train them in disinformation and terrorism, and export a “rabid, demented hatred for American Zionism.” They showered the region with an Arabic translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and KGB-fabricated documents alleging that Israel and the United States were dedicated to converting the Islamic world into a Jewish colony.

Following the defeat of the Egyptians in the Six Day War, the Soviets came to a second realization: A conventional military confrontation with Israel, and by extension the West, carried too great a risk of escalating into nuclear war. A change of tactics was required. Gen. Alexander Sakharovsky, then head of the KGB’s intelligence arm, explained this to his East European colleagues: “[T]errorism should become our main weapon.” Sakharovsky boasted that airplane hijackings were his own invention; he decorated his office with a world map, covered in flags, each marking a successful hijacking. Though the PLO managed to unite various terrorist organizations, “the supreme headquarters of the whole network was, of course, the Kremlin,” Stroilov writes, and “the evidence accumulated at this point leaves no doubt that the whole system was invented by Moscow as a weapon against the West, and the PLO was a jewel in their crown.”

Pacepa lists examples of KGB-sponsored acts of terrorism:

November 1969, armed attack on the El Al office in Athens, leaving 1 dead and 14 wounded; May 30, 1972, Ben Gurion Airport attack, leaving 22 dead and 76 wounded; December 1974, Tel Aviv movie theater bomb, leaving 2 dead and 66 wounded; March 1975, attack on a Tel Aviv hotel, leaving 25 dead and 6 wounded; May 1975, Jerusalem bomb, leaving 1 dead and 3 wounded; July 4, 1975, bomb in Zion Square, Jerusalem, leaving 15 dead and 62 wounded; April 1978, Brussels airport attack, leaving 12 wounded; May 1978, attack on an El Al plane in Paris, leaving 12 wounded.

Stroilov’s documents indicate that the Soviets and Syrians also took credit for blowing up the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

Two of Bukovsky’s documents appear in English for the first time in Behind the Desert Storm. The first is Yuri Andropov’s memo to Leonid Brezhnev in 1974 detailing a KGB meeting with Palestinian terrorist Wadie Haddad. It recommends that the Soviet government provide material support to Haddad’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The second is the transcript of a 1984 Politburo meeting approving the shipment of 15 million rubles’ worth of weapons and ammunition to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine in exchange for a collection of ancient art. The invention of modern terrorism: All credit is due to the Kremlin.

Then there was the 1979 Iranian revolution. Again, Stroilov suggests, the conventional narrative is wrong. This was not a spontaneous Islamist uprising but a well-organized communist revolution gone awry. It had been planned since the end of World War II, when Soviet forces withdrew from Iran under Western pressure but left behind a massive spy network. The standard ratio of KGB residencies was one per country; in Iran, the Soviets had nearly 40. They worked for the next 33 years to foment the revolution, training illegals from the Soviet republics to pass as members of Iran’s ethnic groups. Unfortunately for them, they did not know that Vladimir Kuzichkin, their key spymaster in Tehran, had been recruited by MI6. The British shared the information about the upcoming revolution with SAVAK—but too late. By then the revolution was in full force. The mullahs captured SAVAK’s records, and with this knowledge they rounded up every last Soviet agent.

An odd anecdote appears in Stroilov’s account of the final days of the Iran-Iraq war. Khomenei had learned from the Western press that Gorbachev was a man with whom one could do business—a great reformer. Obviously confused, he dispatched an ayatollah to deliver a handwritten letter to Gorbachev. “The text, alas, is still unknown to historians,” writes Stroilov, “but the whole Politburo is on record laughing their heads off when reading it.” The contents may be deduced, he says, from the transcripts of the subsequent Politburo. Khomenei had proposed that Gorbachev should abandon Marxism and convert to Islam.

This, Stroilov remarks, “was hardly much sillier than the attitude of most Western opinion-makers, who hoped that Gorbachev would miraculously transform from a communist to a democrat.”

The envoy was politely disabused of the idea but reassured that the Kremlin and the ayatollahs would still find common ground in their shared goal of destroying the Great Satan:

“Without diplomatic niceties,” as Gorbachev said, he told the Ayatollah how Americans and Pakistanis were undermining the well-known Soviet efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan, and hinted that, détente and disarmament notwithstanding, he disbelieved all the US assurances of friendship. This he contrasted with the sincerity of the Soviet-Iranian relations. Soon, Comrades and Ayatollahs would note they were in complete agreement, not only about the situation in the Middle East, but also about South Africa, Latin America, East-West disarmament, and especially about “turning the Indian Ocean into a peace zone,” which meant ousting the Americans. Soviet-Iranian joint committees working on these issues mushroomed in 1989, while Foreign Ministers Shevardnadze and Velayati had four meetings in six months.

Nuclear energy was listed as one of the key areas of cooperation.

The Red Arabs, as Stroilov calls them—Egypt, Libya, Syria—were socialist regimes and Soviet clients; even deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he argues, never fully repudiated his connections to the Soviet Union and should more properly be understood as Nasser’s successor than a Westernizing reformer. For example, in pridefully describing the fruits of one of his five-year plans to Gorbachev, Mubarak described both his real attitude toward the United States and his surprisingly modern outlook on debt-repayment:

GORBACHEV. But where did you get money from? Is it flowing in the Nile?

MUBARAK. We had to borrow a lot. […] Everyone has debts in today’s world. […] Americans owe money to the Japanese, but Bush does not pay. So what, will Japan declare war to the US? […] I told Reagan that the Soviet Union had never charged any interest for its loans to us. We no longer borrow money from the US. We only accept non-repayable aid, when they are prepared to give it. […]

GORBACHEV. How much is your total debt?

MUBARAK. 50 billion dollars. […] But we can always negotiate on the debts and get postponement of payments again and again. Nowadays, almost nobody repays debts. I’m talking to you absolutely frankly.

Subsequently, Mubarak said:

I would like to tell you that we continue military cooperation with the USA. They give us $1,3 bn. aid. We still cannot do without it: we need spare parts for military equipment, and so on. But time will come when things turn in different direction. I am telling this to you absolutely frankly.

Pleased by this, Gorbachev thereafter kept it in mind that turning Egypt away from the United States might be feasible. Meanwhile, he worked strenuously to unite the Red Arabs with the aim of expelling the United States completely from the region. In page upon page of these transcripts, we see him striving toward this goal, particularly in his meetings with Hafez Assad:

GORBACHEV. […] The Soviet Union, given the capabilities it has, is also prepared to contribute to the unification of the Arab ranks. Of course, our enemies won’t miss the opportunity to present our honest efforts as “Moscow’s conspiracy,” so we should act accurately and carefully. In any case, you can count on our support. [...] A success of this cause would be a great historic victory with tremendous consequences.

In 1986, as the series of Politburo memos shows, the Syrians proudly reported that they had destroyed the prospect of peace between Israel and Jordan, “wrecked” cooperation between Jordan and the Palestinians, and “effectively blocked” President Ronald Reagan’s peace plan. Gorbachev encouraged them to continue their efforts, lauding Syria’s defense of the “progressive” forces of the Middle East. Gorbachev could rightly claim credit for undermining any prospects for regional peace in the 1980s.

The Soviets’ proudest accomplishment of the epoch, however, was the First Intifada. In April 1988, Yasser Arafat went to Moscow to explain his plan and seek approval. “Gorbachev acknowledged that he fully understood the PLO’s ‘tactics of using different forms of struggle.’ ” Arafat was quite clear what he meant by this:

ARAFAT. We also continue the struggle in other forms, on other fronts. The armed struggle does not stop in the South of Lebanon. Artillery fire, air raids, other actions take place on daily basis.

Moscow approved.

But the ultimate, golden goal remained the same: the Gulf—the West’s lifeline. In the “official narrative,” as Stroilov terms it, Soviet-American cooperation in ousting Saddam from Kuwait marked the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the New World Order. In reality, Stroilov argues, Gorbachev’s plan “was to take the Western side, ensuring it would have a say in solving the crisis. Then it would use this position to minimize the damage Saddam caused, and to advance its own agenda in Middle East.” Among the goals of that agenda: To replace Washington’s power with a “world government” sympathetic to communist aspirations. The leaders of the Italian Communist Party were particularly inspired by this idea:

OKKETTO. The UN shall become an instrument of the world government.

RUBBI. Berlinguer spoke about the world government as early as at the 15th Congress of the ICP.

OKKETTO. At that time, many in the audience smiled at this.

GORBACHEV. We also have many people smiling at this. Maybe, indeed, it is worth thinking about arranging for the communists, social democrats and someone else to work out an agreed constructive proposal. It should be not propaganda, but a real policy.

OKKETTO. [The leader of West German Social Democrats, Willie] Brandt wants to involve representatives of parties, statesmen and other major figures in this work, to discuss the problems during seminars and conferences.

GORBACHEV. Let us arrange all this, and also consult Brandt and others.

Stroilov’s archives closely detail the Soviet mediation of secret negotiations between Washington and Baghdad during the fall of 1990. The superpowers apparently came near to agreement on rather extraordinary terms: Saddam would withdraw from Kuwait in exchange for a scheme, proposed by the Soviets, to hold a U.N.-sponsored international conference designed to result in the disarmament and dismemberment of Israel.

The documents show that George H.W. Bush agreed to that deal in principle—so long as the linkage was kept secret.

G. BUSH. I agree with everything you’ve said. We do not seek laurels of individual or collective victors in the fight against Saddam Hussein. But both you and I want the new order to prevail in the future world. For this, we need to find such a response which provides guarantees against an aggression in the future. As far as I see, that is exactly what many provisions of your plan are designed for.

He wanted Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait as if unconditionally; the United States would then pressure Israel to join an ostensibly unrelated “peace process.” Bush asked Gorbachev to see what Saddam thought about this. Saddam demurred: He would only agree if the deal was made openly. It is fascinating to compare Stroilov’s transcripts with the memoirs written by Bush, Brent Scowcroft, and James Baker. The latter memoirs suggest that Gorbachev wanted to mention Israel and the Palestinians in a joint public statement but then conceded the point. In fact, the argument was about a secret deal, not a public statement.

***

Sooner or later, as Stroilov correctly notes, all socialist regimes collapse. He argues that what we are witnessing today is the collapse of the Soviet empire in the Middle East—a process similar to that seen in Europe in 1989-1991. But unlike the despots of Eastern Europe, the Red Arabs were allowed to survive. Rather than ousting Saddam and pressuring the Soviet Union—which now had only a few months left to live—to withdraw its influence from the Middle East, Bush prioritized placating Gorbachev over aggressively pressing the United States’ advantage. In Stroilov’s view, these regimes could and should have been overthrown 20 years ago. That they were not, he argues, was because the Middle East was the domain Gorbachev was determined to retain and because Americans, naively enchanted by his charisma, allowed themselves to be hoodwinked.

Had Desert Storm reached Baghdad, the region would be an entirely different place now. “The greatest (though open) secret of the Operation Desert Storm is that it failed to achieve its objectives,” Stroilov writes. According to National Security Directive 54, which authorized the military action, were Iraq to resort to destroying Kuwait’s oil fields, “it shall become an explicit objective of the United States to replace the current leadership of Iraq.” On Feb. 22, 1991, Saddam set Kuwait’s oil wells alight. So, why did it take 12 more years to get rid of him? Because Gorbachev and Mitterrand feared that the overthrow of his regime would leave the United States with too much influence in the region and thus defected from the coalition. “Without hesitation,” Stroilov writes, “Bush placed the new world order above everything else. The rebels were massacred, Saddam’s regime survived, U.S. forces withdrew.”

When 12 years later they returned,

Experts in the State Department concluded: what a surprise, Saddam’s regime was rather popular after all. Other experts blamed the invisible hand of Al Qaeda. Yet another school emphasized the lack of democratic traditions in the history of the Islamic World in general and Iraq in particular.

But if you repeat this experiment in any other country, the result will be exactly the same. Tell citizens to rise against tyranny, promise them support from the US forces, and when the massacre begins, withdraw quietly. Come back 12 years later and see for yourself, whether the locals would be in a pro-American or anti-American mood.

It is impossible to say whether he is right—but it is certainly a thesis worth considering.

A final note: While not discussed at length in this book, the Bukovsky archives show clearly that nuclear disarmament campaigns across Europe were largely funded by the Soviet bloc. The money was channeled through communist parties or other pro-Soviet organizations.

Baroness Catherine Ashton was the treasurer for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament from 1980 to 1982. The CND was notoriously secretive about its sources of funding and refused to submit its accounts to independent audit; when it was finally forced to do so under immense pressure, the auditors discovered that 38 percent of their annual income could not be traced back to the original donors. Will Howard, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, was responsible for this part of the fund-raising.

Baroness Ashton is now the E.U. foreign policy chief, leading negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran.

Whatever the outcome, we may surely thank the Kremlin for that, too.

***

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julis123 says:

Interesting. You might want to add that Ashton also makes no secret of her anti-Israel views.

yevka says:

An excellent chronicle of the Russian army in Afghanistan and the politburo politics behind the scenes by Russian journalist Artyom Borovik.  Well worth reading

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hidden-War-Journalists-Afghanistan/dp/080213775X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340204066&sr=8-1&keywords=the+hidden+war+artyom+borovik

Claire, thank you for this. As a Desert Storm veteran, I will be reading the book, and your article, with great interest.

Jacob Arnon says:

I’ll be reading Pavel Stroilov;s book when it comes out. They are Russia’s Pentagon Papers.

Jacob Arnon says:

I am not surprised that Stalinist Yevka would quote Stalinist mondodumb.

We should compare these Soviet era papers to Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers.

Jacob Arnon says:

This might be an interesting book, it probably is, but it has little to do with the thread topic.

And; I thought Gorby was a “Hero.” Perhaps the Russian “quota” for Jewish Massacres had not yet been fulfilled.

dansblog says:

The thesis of this article is, to put it bluntly, ludicrous. There’s no doubt that the Soviets–including Gorbachev, who’d always intended glasnost and perestroika as means to preserve the Communist party’s hold on power, not end it–had always had grand ambitions in the Middle East, and were willing to buy allies with cash and weapons. But the various kings, generals, presidents-for-life and supreme leaders who were the Soviets’ clients were hardly puppets being manipulated by Moscow to sow chaos. They understood the game perfectly, and had their own goals and motives. They took Soviet largesse when it suited them, and were also happy to betray the Kremlin when it suited them–as Sadat did when he turned Egypt into a US ally, and Ayatollah Khomeini did when he crushed the Iranian communists following his seizure of power.
As for the idea that the Soviets were the prime instigators of Arab war and terrorism against Israel and Arab anti-Semitism–well, given that all of these began well before 1948, when the Soviet Union actually openly supported Israel’s creation (to help undermine British colonialism), any such instigation would have required a time machine.
The Soviet Union was a great power during the Cold War, and it competed with its rival, the US, for influence in the Middle East, as elsewhere. In the Middle East (as in other dictator-ravaged regions of the world, such as Africa), the currency of influence has always been violence, along with weaponry (the implicit threat of violence), hatred (the motivation for violence) and cash (the ability to purchase violence)–so that’s the currency the Soviets used. The US did no less, arming its allies (including Israel, but also Egypt and Saudi Arabia) to the teeth. But neither Gorbachev nor anybody else ever had to tell any Middle Eastern tinpot potentate how, why or when to get violent with his enemies–or that Israel was his enemy.

Why would you call it ludicrous, and then give examples of Soviet involvement and intervention. There has never been any doubt, that without the Soviets very heavy involvement in the ME, there would have been more chances at peace. Syria today, is an excellent current example.

The point is it’s not either/or. The USSR correctly saw the Arab and Islamic world as fertile ground for its program. (See summary of Andropov’s comments on pp. 35-36, for example.)

Jacob Arnon says:

dansblog •

“The thesis of this article is, to put it bluntly, ludicrous.”

Is it? And are the documents fake too?

I was wondering how the pro Soviet left will respond. I can’t wait till July when the book will be officially published.

I suspect that die heard leftists will find excuses for Soviet uses of antisemitism and for their trying to perpetrate another genocide against Jews.

Dansblog is one of those diehards.

Stroilov,…, fled Russia in 2003 after stealing 50,000 top-secret Kremlin documents.”
Errrr, I haven’t read all of this but how do we know these documents are genuine?? Litvinenko was allegedly bumped off by Russia, (don’t believe it myself) but surely this guy would’ve been a more worthy target for the KGB??

David Govett says:

China has its North Korea to occupy its East Asian neighbors (and the Americans).
Russia has its Middle East to occupy its European neighbors (and the Americans). This has the advantage of driving up the price of Russian oil and increasing demand for Russian weapons (such as they are).
The West’s soi-disant analysts seem ever surprised by these two well-worn dynamics.

LS Meron says:

Stroilov’s book came out last year – 08/01/2011 to be exact. http://priceworldpublishing.com/title_details.php?title_id=47

dansblog says:

You’ve got to be joking. Nowhere did I even hint at a defense of the Soviet Union, and my allegiance is certainly not leftist. My point was simply that to attribute the chaos and cruelty that has pervaded the modern Middle East for decades (nay, centuries) to Soviet mischief-making is both to overestimate Soviet influence and to underestimate the locals’ talents, so to speak. One can despise the Soviet Union, and recognize its ugly role in arming, funding and supporting brutal, anti-Semitic autocrats, without pretending that the latter were somehow a Soviet invention. I suspect that if you’d reflected for a moment instead of rushing to pigeonhole me along partisan lines, you’d concede that what I’m saying is nothing but simple, plain common sense.

dansblog says:

Syria today is an excellent current example of what, exactly? An idyllic land of peace and brotherhood, but for Soviet troublemaking? Are you serious? The Soviets have certainly been longtime supporters of the Assad regime, but the Syrian Ba’athists hardly needed Soviet prodding to establish their dictatorship, oppress the Sunni majority and non-Alawi minorities, make war against Israel, intervene in Lebanon, support terrorist groups, and ally with Iran. These actions reflect the core interests of the Syrian regime, and the Soviet Union backed them primarily because they also happened to align nicely with one of the Soviet Union’s primary interests: opposing American interests in the Middle East. One could certainly accuse the Soviet Union of being complicit in Ba’athist crimes, but to call them the root cause of those crimes is absurd–the vast majority of what they supported and abetted would have happened regardless.

Jacob Arnon says:

“My point was simply that to attribute the chaos and cruelty that has pervaded the modern Middle East for decades (nay, centuries) to Soviet mischief-making is both to overestimate Soviet influence and to underestimate the locals’ talents, so to speak.”

You misread the article, Dan.

The documents (and their credibility will have to be confirmed, though I trust they arfe genuine) show that Soviets had a master plan for influencing events in the Mid East. They seem to have correctly surmised that by relaying the old Nazi antisemitic propaganda in the region they could sway these countries if not to follow them to keep the region from making any accomodation with the Jewish State.

The reason this scenario seems genuine to me is that I read a number of studies that showed how the Nazis introduced a new kind of Jew hatred into the area. (You may want to read some of them.) Also the soviet antisemitism also ran very deep and it overlapped with that of the Nazis. (In the Soviet nazi pact the Stalin promised Hitler that he too would replace all Jews in the Soviet Union who had important positions with Russian non-Jews.

After the second world war Stalin wanted to move all Jews from Europe to Siberia in the so called “Jewish Republic he set up there. Only his death brought this evil plan to an end.

There is more but it would be best that you do some research on the topic yourself. There is a lot of library material out there.

Hi, thanks for the comments. If you follow the links, you’ll find other articles in which I explain why I (and the British Home Office) are persuaded the documents are genuine, not least that they have been confirmed to be by the Gorbachev Foundation.

Jacob Arnon says:

Thanks for that, Prof. Berlinsky.

dansblog says:

Jacob, I don’t doubt for a second that the Soviet Union had a “master plan” for gaining control over the Middle East. (They also had a “master plan” for developing their own domestic economy, for what it’s worth.) I’m also well aware–in fact, anybody who knows anything about the history of the Soviet Union in the Middle East has long been well aware–that in addition to supporting and encouraging totalitarianism, socialism and terrorism, the Soviets spread anti-Semitic propaganda all over the world, including the Middle East. All of this is common knowledge, known long before the Soviet Union fell, and nobody needs any newly discovered archival material to confirm it. (Does anybody really imagine that Stalin’s anti-Semitic campaigns, for example, or the “anti-cosmopolitan” campaign against the Jewish remnant in Soviet-controlled Poland during the 1960s, require any new evidence to establish?) If that were all that this article is claiming, then I doubt that anybody would have bothered to publish it.
Where the article goes completely off the rails is in its only really novel claim: that the Soviet Union didn’t just *support* and *encourage* totalitarianism, terrorism, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in the Middle East, but is actually responsible for *introducing* these things into the region. To put it bluntly, this thesis is absurd. In fact, military coups began almost immediately following postwar decolonization, bringing totalitarian movements like Ba’ath and tyrants like Nasser to power without any Soviet help whatsoever; anti-Zionist violence dates back at least as far as the early 1920s, when the Soviet Union was too busy consolidating power to worry about the Middle East; and virulent anti-Semitism was rampant there well before the Nazis–let alone the Soviets–began disseminating their propaganda in the region.
The Soviet Union”s rulers certainly tried to exploit these existing pathologies for its own strategic gain, and given the anti-Semitic, totalitarian character of their state, they no doubt felt very comfortable doing so. But the claim that the Middle East would be any less violent, tyrannical, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic today, had it not been for Cold War-era Soviet arms and cash, isn’t just unfounded–it’s utterly implausible.

tzur says:

This book and its information has the potential to be a game-changer in our understanding of the modern history of the entire Middle East and the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict. If it is as described, it is far more important, in terms of the secret documents it discloses, than the Wikileaks that the leftist media has made so much of, for those previously confidential documents have changed nothing in our basic understanding of events and despite the best efforts of Julian Assange do not even discredit the Americans whose documents they are. The Soviet archival materials however that Pavel Stroilov presents to us uncover a major factor in the history of the past century that until now has been studiously ignored and denied: the dominant and sinister role of the Soviet Union in the Arab world generally and in the Arab-Israel conflict in particular, creating and supporting the worst sort of tyrants, the most repressive and bestial regimes (the national socialist Baathists of both Syria and Iraq, tightly allied to the Soviets and since then to the Russians, are prime examples), and even in helping to create a phoney “Palestinian nationalism” which identifies itself solely through raw antisemitism, making the Arab-Israeli conflict intractable. In this way there is a smooth continuity from the role of the Nazis to the role of the Soviet Communists. Both saw their goals in terms of fighting liberal democracies everywhere and extending their own colonialist, racist and brutal domination of the world.

It is not however the case that nobody suspected this underground reality over the past few decades, nor its negative influence on the Arab-Israeli conflict. After all, “anti-Zionism” played a central role in Soviet identity politics from the beginnings of the Communist state. It was a needed ideological prop for Communist ideology, providing a demonic “negative other” or “bad example” against which Communism itself could be justified. Just as with the Nazis “Zionism” implied that all liberal democratic as well as ethnic secessionist movements in the Soviet Union were secretly betraying the people and serving “Zionist” imperialist interests; the same terminology also served in Soviet efforts in the Third World and on the global stage to tar the hated Western democracies with the antisemitic brush and to call into question their democratic nature as such — they were all secretly Jewish-controlled empires manipulated to advance solely “Zionist” interests. And the rise and power of the Jewish State of Israel was used in the furtherance of these demonizations of the entire Western liberal legacy. The Palestinian war against Israel thus became the paradigmatic righteous national liberation movement against the “colonializing” West. See, on this, Robert Wistrich, Hitler’s Apocalypse: Jews and the Nazi Legacy (1985), particularly from Chapter 10 (“The Soviet Protocols”) onwards, and his recent fuller exposition in A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (2010).

Wistrich mentions in the latter book (p. 724) the revelations relating to the PLO of Ion Mihai Pacepa, a defector from the Romanian branch of the KGB intelligence services. But more can be said. Pacepa brought with him in his defection many KGB documents of his own. The Soviet Union ran the PLO over the years through their Romanian branch (to help insure deniability should anything come to light), and Pecepa’s documents shine a bright light on this. They showed that the PLO and even its founding Charter was created in Moscow in 1965, under KGB tutelage. Arafat was their puppet. All of the 422 members of the Palestine National Council were hand-picked at that time in Moscow by the KGB. This was the birth of the Palestinian nation (i.e., it was a truly colonialist creation by the USSR). Its chief identity and purpose was a negative one: it was defined by a hatred of “the Zionist enemy.” As such, it was to serve as the paradigm legitimate resistance movement by the oppressed peoples of the world against all Western imperialist colonialist oppression and occupation. The term “terrorism” could by definition not apply to national liberation movements. Thus terrorism itself gained a “politically correct” new terminology, as “resistance movements.” Also see on this Brand, Soviet Russia, the Creators of the PLO and the Palestinian People, at http://www.think-israel.org/brand.russiatheenemy.html.

To this can be added that the KGB also ran other Palestinian terrorist organisations as well. As documents supplied by another KGB defector, Vasili Mitrokhin, show (see Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World [2005], reviewed by Barry Rubin in the Middle East Quarterly ), Wadi Haddad, deputy leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was until his death a Soviet agent, and the KGB approved and had advance notice of all the main PFLP terrorist attacks.

The results of this were played out on the world stage in the United Nations after Israel’s astounding victory in the “Six-Day War” of June, 1967. Internal Soviet demonising rhetoric against “Zionism” now was declared before all nations in the UN General Assembly debates that followed that war. There followed a concerted effort over the following decades to delegitimise Israel internationally, led and orchestrated by the Soviet Union. Two U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. during the 1970s and 80s, Daniel Patrick Moyniham (Ambassador during 1975-1976) and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (Ambassador from 1981 to 1985) have recounted and analyzed in similar ways the process by which the Soviet Union used the “Zionism = Racism” and “apartheid” accusations against Israel in the United Nations and the wider international arena from 1967 on through the 1980s as a key part of a wider global attempt to legitimize Soviet client groups like the PLO as “national liberation movements,” while delegitimizing self-defense against them by anti-Soviet “colonialist,” “imperialist” and “racist” states that were in fact liberal democracies or allied to the Western democracies.[35][36] Thus the delegitimization of Israel served wider Soviet geo-political goals against the Western democracies, of which Israel is one. The equation of Zionism to apartheid and racism, in a resolution by the U.N. General Assembly in 1975 was a major triumph in that U.N. campaign, involving the Soviet bloc and client states, the Arab bloc, the Islamic Conference, and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), although the Western liberal democratic bloc voted overwhelmingly against it. See Daniel Patrick Moyniham, A Dangerous Place (1978) and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, “How the PLO was legitimised,” Commentary, July 1989, pp. 21-28. With this background, it is easier to understand why it was that the “Zionism = Racism” resolution was only annulled by the UN General Assembly in 1991, directly after the fall of the Soviet Union.

That the ultimate Soviet intention was the annihilation of Israel was shown explicitly in the 1973 Yom Kippur War: Israel was running out of military materiel and would soon have nothing to use to defend itself; Golda Meir begged US President Richard Nixon to resupply Israel; he agreed to do so; the USSR threatened to go to nuclear war to stop this, and put all its forces world-wide on military alert preliminary to outright war; Nixon was not intimidated and put world-wide American forces on high alert too, and continued the organisation of an air-lift to Israel; all European allies refused landing rights for this air-lift; Nixon ordered refuelling in flight, an unprecedented operation for a massive air-lift over thousands of miles, and thus Israel was resupplied and was able to win the conflict. The USSR had sent its own ships into the Mediterranean to land on Israel’s beaches and to invade the country, but the strong American response dissuaded them from implementing the planned invasion: it would precipitate outright war with the US.

The continuities between the Nazis, the Communists and their leftist fellow-travellers, and the jihadis, have shaped modern Middle Eastern history, and this also explains the curious alliance today between even liberal leftists, jihadis, and far-rightists in regard to Israel and the Palestinians.

Jacob Arnon says:

“The Soviet Union”s rulers certainly tried to exploit these
existing pathologies for its own strategic gain, and given the anti-Semitic,
totalitarian character of their state, they no doubt felt very comfortable
doing so. But the claim that the Middle East would be any less violent,
tyrannical, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic today, had it not been for Cold War-era
Soviet arms and cash, isn’t just unfounded–it’s utterly implausible.”

Dan, there are degrees of violence and even chaos.

It’s been argued persuasively that the Nazis introduced a
new virulent anti-Semitism into the Arab world. That doesn’t mean that there
was no anti-Jewish feelings there before, but the kind of feeling that existed
there was intensified by Nazi propaganda.

Similarly, the Mid-East was always violent and democracy is utterly
foreign to it. You are right there. Still, Absent the German meddling there in
evidence since WW1 when the Kaiser tried to launch a holy war against their
foes, and intensified by the Hitler regime which inundated the area with anti-Semitic
and anti-British propaganda and intensified and continued by the Soviet Union
which also supported “socialist” military regimes Nasser, Saddam, Assad, Libya,
etc. with arms(of course the West countered by sending its own arms shipments) the kind of violence would have been of a much
lower order.

Still, what is of interest to me is not what might have been
but was: the actual involvement of the Soviet Union in the Middle East as
evidenced by what we already know and the new light which these documents show,
that is what I am focused on.

Jake Sanders says:

Wow, fantastic article Claire. I would like to translate it to Hebrew – it should be published in the Israeli press.

Jacob Arnon says:

Excellent overview, Tzur.

It is clear from these documents that Zionism more so than capitalism was the Soviet’s chief enemy: it constituted a kind of binary opposition.

Csaba Tibor Tóth says:

fairly argued, however i think the point here is that if its genuine, the book and the material proves that the Soviets accelerated the Islamist activity in the region thus sustaining their direct involvement. mind me but this was no confirmed common knowledge for me.

Jacob Arnon says:

Claire, Ronald Radosh, a historian I respect, argues that these docucments are not new and that they have been readily available for historical researchers:

http://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/2012/03/

What say you?

Amazing how close everyone is to the truth, but then fall just short because they can’t face a simple truth – that all the power-mongers are as bad as each other. What evidence supports this truth you may ask? To get the answer, ask yourself who benefitted from all the years of conflict and division? It certainly wasn’t the meek!
I don’t celebrate my birthday anymore, because I grew tired of having my birthday wish of ‘world peace’ go unanswered every year – how sad is that (rhetorical question)!?

tzur says:

All governments are not as bad as each other. Some are truly evil, like the Nazis, the Soviet Communists, and other totalitarians such as the Muslim variety today, and they have to be fought; in fighting the Nazis in the Second World War the Western allies defended and mostly well represented liberal democracy itself, a far superior moral, political and cultural system. It is not accidental that no liberal democracy has gone to war with another liberal democracy in the past 200 years. The only wars liberal democracies have been involved with, almost always unwillingly, reluctantly and tardily and in sheer self-defense alone, are with authoritarian or even totalitarian states. Meanwhile, these authoritarian and totalitarian states not only are very frequently at war with each other, they even are at war with their own populations (either through reigns of terror producing Gulags of 60 million, state-sponsored starvation, as in the Soviet policy towards the Ukrainian farm landlords or Mao’s Great Leap Forward in which around 50 million died, or outright civil war, as in Syria today). As statistical studies show, the rates of internal violence in a society are closely tied to the degree of democratic and even economic freedoms in it. The more centralization and statism in which freedoms are restricted, the more violence.

On this, see R.J. Rummel, Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Non-Violence (1997), available on-line at http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE6.HTM

Liberal or “parliamentary” democracy is a system designed to distribute power as widely as possible and to prevent its concentration in any one sector of the population (see the brilliant discussion of this in the marvellous Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay and published in 1788 during the debates about what sort of Constitution the new American state should have — this is a book that all Americans should read to understand their own political system and its social values). In the American system, for example, and as created quite intentionally by the Founding Fathers there is a required division of government into executive, legislative, and judicial sectors, each of which (with its own distinct method of election or selection) limits the powers of the others and is needed for advice and consent before the government policies are permanently fixed. There are other separate, independent but interacting hierarchies of power too in liberal democracies, guaranteed by the legitimacy of freedom of association, opposition parties, freedom of opinion and a free press, division of government into federal and more local bureaucracies each with their independent powers and services, such as state, county and municipal levels, regular elections for stipulated periods of time, and so on. Alexis de Tocqueville described this very probingly and well in his Democracy in America back in 1835 or so. Also see on all this Robert A. Dahl, Pluralist Democracy in the United States: Conflict and Consent (1967) and his Democracy and Its Critics (1989).

To suppose that all governments and political systems are the same is basically to equate democracy with Nazism. I am sure, John, that you are not really wishing to say that.

Jacob Arnon says:

“To get the answer, ask yourself who benefitted from all the years of conflict and division? It certainly wasn’t the meek!”

Who are the meek in your opinion, John?

“I don’t celebrate my birthday anymore, because I grew tired of having my birthday wish of ‘world peace’ go unanswered every year – how sad is that (rhetorical question)!?”

And I don’t celebrate mu birthday because I got tires of having my birthday wish of winning the lottery go unanswered.

How narcissistic is that, John?

gwhepner says:

An absolutely fascinating article, in which the most important detail has almost been buried, namely the first President Bush’s willingness to help Russia dismember Israel. This facet of the story is worthy of a separate article.

gwhepner@yahoo.com

blackfeather99 says:

It is thanks to the nazi state that Israel exists today–Because in the 1930s the nazis created the conditions for the future Jewish state. Read: 1. Leni Brenner, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, 2. Francis Nicosia, The Transfer Agreement, and 3.Edwin Black–also on this topic, the title presently escapes me. Nazi and Zionist co-operated very closely. Not surprizing, for both are nationalist, socialist, and ethno-centric in orientation. ON German Jews in the Wehrmacht read Mark Bran Rigg, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers. Lufwaffe Field Marschal Milch was a Jew, and a significant number of German-Jewish officers and men received combat awards for bravery on all the fronts Germany was forced to defend. Finally, I suggest that less reliance on establishment Hollywood history of WW2 would behoove all of us, and bring us closer to the truth.

emunadate says:

Very interesting. It makes sense that a major player like Russia would influence the middle eastern countries. But, the bottom line it that Arab states will do what they want in the end…
http://emunadate.blogspot.co.il/2010/11/blog-post.html

Jacob Arnon says:

“It is thanks to the nazi state that Israel exists today–Because in the 1930s the nazis created the conditions for the future Jewish state.”

What a crock, blackfeather.

The Nazis not only murdered ;millions of Jews who might have moved to Israel, but threatened the Jews of Mandate Palestine with genocide. Had Rommel won in North Africa and conquered the middle East the Jews of mandate Palestine would have been murdered.

Blackfeather is repeating antisemitic calumnies. Besides the misnamed book “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers” isn’t about Jewish soldiers at all but about Germans who had one Jewish grandparent or great grandparent and were made honorary Aryans.

Blackfeather is like the Soviet Stalinists who accused Zionist of making deals with the Nazis (which was a lie) while they singed major treaties with the Hitlerites: Soviet-Nazi pact, for exmaple.

This all seems a bit overstated. It sounds like Gorbachev was a Kissingerian realist; not a huge surprise.

For example: Then there was the 1979 Iranian revolution. … It had been planned since the end of World War II … The mullahs captured SAVAK’s records, and with this knowledge they rounded up every last Soviet agent.

So… the Soviets spent 35 years wishin’ and hopin’ for a revolution against the US-backed regime in Iran (this is a surprise to no one). Then once the revolution finally came… the Soviet-backed groups were on the outside looking in.

And we need a bit more in the way of specifics before we can all agree that Bush Sr. agreed to the “dismemberment of Israel.” That’s rather too inflammatory a point to make in passing.

blackfeather99 says:

Hello JACOB ARNON, check out the three books on NAZI-ZIONIST 1930s co-operation — don’t blame me if you don’t like the facts. Go ahead and read the books, and then refute Brenner, Black, and Nicosia, if you can. Good luck from BLACKFEATHER.

blackfeather99 says:

Now here’s another relevant book for you, Jacob Arnon: read Brian Amkraut, BETWEEN HOME AND HOMELAND. Excellent book, great pictures of Zionist vocational schools in Nazi Germany. Very informative, highly recommended.

Jacob Arnon says:

You are a lying sack of sheist, blackfeather and these books you mention no more support your propaganda that Zionists made “common cause with Nazism” than does your Nazi brother Holocaust denial.

The book you cite: Brian Amkraut, BETWEEN HOME AND HOMELAND. is about German Jews who left Nazi Germany to go to Israel just as other Jews tried to leave for other countries

“While the future darkened for the Jews of Germany as Hitler and his followers assumed and consolidated power in Germany, a number of efforts, at first random, uncoordinated, and often at cross-purposes with one another, were set underway both within and without German cities to facilitate the departure of Jews. Among them was the organization, “Youth Aliyah” (aliyah refers to the Zionist goal of a homecoming for Jews in historic Israel). To this day Youth Aliyah is considered by Israelis as a major contribution to the foundation of a Jewish presence leading to the modern state of Israel. Brian Amkraut follows the organization from its establishment, its alliances and antagonisms with other Jewish organizations, its problems on every side, perhaps the greatest being sheer human optimism (“surely things will get better”). ”

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Home-Homeland-Germany-Studies/dp/0817315136

Here is one review of the book:

“Between Home and Homeland provides a detailed history of Youth Aliyah’s origins, its philosophies, its alliances and its detractors – thought it saved several thousand youth from the Holocaust, the movement’s greatest obstacle may well have been simple human optimism that things would get better, even as Hitler consolidated power. A scholarly, sober, and in-depth historical chronicle..”

you are a dyed in the wool antisemite who can’t be taken seriously on any level when it comes to Jewish history.

Go post on some Nazi website.

Jacob Arnon says:

I am re-posting my reply here:

You are a lying sack of sheist, blackfeather and these books you mention no more support your propaganda that Zionists made “common cause with Nazism” than does your Nazi brother Holocaust denial.

The book you cite: Brian Amkraut, BETWEEN HOME AND HOMELAND. is about German Jews who left Nazi Germany to go to Israel just as other Jews tried to leave for other countries

“While the future darkened for the Jews of Germany as Hitler and his followers assumed and consolidated power in Germany, a number of efforts, at first random, uncoordinated, and often at cross-purposes with one another, were set underway both within and without German cities to facilitate the departure of Jews. Among them was the organization, “Youth Aliyah” (aliyah refers to the Zionist goal of a homecoming for Jews in historic Israel). To this day Youth Aliyah is considered by Israelis as a major contribution to the foundation of a Jewish presence leading to the modern state of Israel. Brian Amkraut follows the organization from its establishment, its alliances and antagonisms with other Jewish organizations, its problems on every side, perhaps the greatest being sheer human optimism (“surely things will get better”). ”

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Home-Homeland-Germany-Studies/dp/0817315136

Here is one review of the book:

“Between Home and Homeland provides a detailed history of Youth Aliyah’s origins, its philosophies, its alliances and its detractors – thought it saved several thousand youth from the Holocaust, the movement’s greatest obstacle may well have been simple human optimism that things would get better, even as Hitler consolidated power. A scholarly, sober, and in-depth historical chronicle..”

you are a dyed in the wool antisemite who can’t be taken seriously on any level when it comes to Jewish history.

Go post on some Nazi website.

Jacob Arnon says:

Trotskyite Communists got a nerve to talk about opposing the Nazis. Trotsky saw very little difference between Capitalist regimes and the Nazis. Many Trotkyites like Dwight McDonald opposed fighting for the US against Nazi Germany because there was no difference between Nazi Germany and the US.

And if some Jews both Zionist and non Zionist could have made deals with the Devil (Hitler) to save Jewish lives all the more power to them. Of course to Communists saving Jewish lives was never a priority and condemned any attempt to save them. (Of course it was ok for them to make deals with Hitler as the Soviet Union did in 1939.

So much for “Brenner’s credentials” or yours.

Jacob Arnon says:

blackfeather reminds me of Yevka another Stalinist antisemite.

Jacob Arnon says:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jewish-refugee-day-bring-it-on/

“Jewish Refugee Day: bring it on!”

““A special day to mark ‘the uprooting of Jews from Arab countries’ can not only spread the word in Israel and abroad, but also leverage the subject to promote understanding and reconciliation between two peoples, and repel the worldwide wave of antisemitism”, she writes. “It also might lead researchers, sociologists, historians, media people and educators to research and disseminate information on the displacement of Jews from Arab countries in order to register it as an integral part of the general Jewish heritage and an important, but so far neglected, aspect of the Arab-Israeli conflict.” “………

“But Ayalon’s idea of tying a nationwide memorial day to the Farhud is a shrewd one: this is a catastrophe that occurred seven years before Israel came into being. It cannot be rationalised as a backlash to the creation of the Jewish state. It is often argued that the Palestinians were not responsible for the plight of the Jews. In the case of the Farhud, the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who spent two years in Baghdad before eventually joining Hitler in Berlin, had a direct hand in making the Farhud happen, by whipping up frenzied Jew-hatred in Iraq. The Farhud is a tragic example of unprovoked antisemitism. Its legacy of oppression and intolerance is still with us today.”

Yinzer says:

Oh my, how inconsiderate of the Soviets to try and take over a place that we were trying to take over. It’s not like the West’s hands were clean – Operation Ajax anyone? How about Iran-Contra? Charlie Wilson, ever hear of him? While finding out these fly-on-the-wall details are genuinely fascinating, I don’t think Soviet encroachment in the Middle East was any big secret (the MiGs that were the staple of the Iraqi and Egyptian air forces was kind of a giveaway).

Jacob Arnon says:

Yinzer (Yevka?) your sarcasm aside the Soviet’s war on the Jews was hiding in plain sight as EA Poe would have said. Of course it doesn’t matter to someone like you if the Jews had been wiped out or not.

well actually israelis are to blame for radicalism the world’s first theocracy paved the way for all the other’s that came… if there shall be a jewish state why not a shia state??? it was the biggest mistake and a very significant set back from the fight for a secular state in wich we can all live together… it’s very painfull to see that even my country, the world’s first secular state ever is increasingly more religiously devided… i’m a french of jewish origin, and i’m very proud of my french and jewish origins, this is my country as it is the case for millions of muslims, we all live in harmony and peace under a french republic that up to this day as been protecting us and our rights. this is my country a country we’re i’m proud to say evryone is welcome, where no matter of race, sexuality or gender we all are equal citizens… it is far from perfect we all know but at least it is not a country based on discrimination and religous foolishness… the only way foward is for a secular state in wich both arabs and israelis are asured the same rights and the same treatment…

Your ignorance of history is actually pretty amusing.

There were no secular states in the ancient world. Period. Nobody even conceived of such a thing until the 18th century AD. All states were in some sense religious states before that.

Your ignorance extends to the modern period, though. The modern state of Israel is as close to being a secular state as any in the modern world. Arabs and Israelis are, in fact, assured the same rights and the same treatment. There are a number of Palestinian residents who were offered citizenship in Israel but refused because they refuse to accept Israel as a sovereign state.

fieldinski says:

israel doesn’t need enemies. it is destroying itself.

ThorsProvoni says:

A book and a Tablet author in the great tradition of Joan Peter’s historiography.

AbuAbdAllah_Muhammad_IbnMusa says:

Gorbachev is regarded as a traitor to the Russians. We all saw how the west sat and watched as Muscovites queued for bread after being promised “close integration”.

AbuAbdAllah_Muhammad_IbnMusa says:

They’re no longer accepting comments on that article. I’m not surprised.

Talmudline says:

What a joke. Zio-fascists blaming everyone else in an attempt to propaganda. Who do you think you are fooling?

The lobby apparatus you have been working on no longer works. Wall Street and AIPAC’s wars have bankrupted the US. The majority will soon have nothing to do with zio-fascist identity. Hispanics, Asians, Europeans don’t buy your rapture propaganda.

Thank you for a brilliant analysis

the middle eastern circumstances were as a result of the desire to tear down barriers standing in the way of actualizing the orgy that was to take place in “their jerusalem”. it appears, however, that something greater than these ‘players in the wilderness’ has interfered with their sub-oaths thereby preventing them from carrying out the general terms for which their souls were covenanted to the master.

they will now have to fall back on “astana”…

Umish Katani says:

In short so what else is new… Russia effening around in the mideast to stir the pot to their favor……Are we so naive to think they dont do this and still arent

Bella Ceruza says:

Hi nihiliste, you are correct about llving together – Read the Israeli Declaration of Independenceto see the equallity and welcoem to all ethnicities.

As to France – when the Jewish boy was tortured to death in Paris and the police were so intimidated by the Muslim community that they refused to acknowledge it as ethically based hate crime, French culture was sinking. The legion of Honour to Enderllin who is responsible for the despicable al Dura blood libel was the last nail in the coffin of ‘egalite, fraternity’ – and all that the revolution achieved. Toulouse merely confirmed the facts.

ScottAdler says:

Your toilet leaks, blame the Jooooooooooooooos.

Get a new tin-foil hat. Better, take your meds.

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