Press TV has conducted an interview with Ralph Schoenman, author of Hidden History of Zionism, from Berkeley, to discuss the situation in occupied Palestine.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Schoenman, you’re the author of the Hidden History of Zionism, first
of all, walk us through the history of Zionism and how it has developed and
changed throughout time.
Schoenman: As we’ve often discussed, the basic component of the doctrine of the
Zionist movement is to remove the people of Palestine from their land and from
their history. The slogan on which they based this was ‘a land without a people for
a people without land’. From its inception, the Zionist movement has declared the
people of Palestine a people too many.
When they appeared before the United Nations at the time that Palestine was
partitioned over the heads of the Palestinian people, the Jewish agency presented
a map as to what constituted the [land of Israel], it was all of Palestine, all of
Lebanon, all of [Jordan], two-thirds of Iraq, one-half of Syria, the southern tier of
Turkey, Egypt up to the Nile including Cairo, one-third of Arabia, and Kuwait.
So, from its inception the Zionist movement has set itself the task of removing the Palestinian people from their land and from history, and there has never been a letup in this basic knock by this catastrophe of the massacre of the population and of them being driven out.
That continued with particular respect to Gaza. On May 31, 1948 there was a
slaughter that the Israeli forces carried out in the village of Huj, and the people
were driven out through massacre to Gaza. That is now called “Siederok”. It is
occupied by the Israelis.
That process has never ceased. It continued all through the early 1950s with killer
units being sent in by the Zionists to attack refugee camps and villages across
The siege of Gaza has never relented. It’s a strategic attempt on the part of the
Zionist state to eliminate the Palestinian people, to contain them within what is
basically a live concentration camp. That is the reality we all understand.
As we describe today what the so-called truce was supposed to do, the Israelis
were carrying on their military operations under the pretext of destroying tunnels
and destroying the ability of the people of Gaza to supply themselves with the
means of survival, but that operation was never stopped under the guise of the
Within a very short period of time as Agence France Presse reports, intensive
Israeli shelling killed 30 people and wounded more than 150 in southern Gaza.
The medics said that the hospitals were targeted. The Agence France Presse
correspondent said that the artillery barrage of Rafah was ongoing and medics
were prevented from recovering the dead and wounded. There’s nothing changed.
The Israeli shelling from the southern Gaza town of Rafah killed 40 people. The
local hospital said that they were hit. Efforts to provide supplies, medical supplies
and anesthesia and means for carrying out surgery had been destroyed. Reuters
reports that the number of Palestinians killed when the Israelis shelled southern
Gaza had risen to 50.
This is a programmed slaughter that has never ceased and will not cease as long
as the Zionists are not stopped from what they are doing.
I want to emphasize that on this very day the United States Senate unanimously
approved 225 million dollars for the Israeli Iron Dome system, even as the one
billion dollar of arms, mortar and rockets that are stored in Palestine by the
United States for the Israelis has been made available again to the Zionists to
replenish their murder apparatus in Gaza.
Let me make one point in particular, today a very important development
occurred. The general Palestinian Trade Union movement issued a joint statement
with the Congress of South African Trade Union: stand with the Palestinian
workers in Gaza.
It’s a unanimous call on trade unions across the world to take immediate action to
stop the Israeli massacre in Gaza, and to hold Israel to account for its crimes
against the Palestinian people. This is going to turn the tide.
This call for the international trade union movement to stop the shipment of
goods to Israel, to block ships from docking and from loading is going to be taken
up. A resolution is going to be placed before the San Francisco Labor Council. The
International Longshore Workers Union on the west coast is going to consider
blocking all shipments to and from Israel.
The Zionist state is going to be confronted by the workers of the world on an
organized basis. The trade union movement is being mobilized in every country
and I can assure you that this is going to intensify with every day that passes.
Press TV: If it weren’t for the support of the United States could Israel continue to
commit such atrocities?
Schoenman: No, every penny that is used by the Zionists comes from the United
States. They have been subsidized by hundreds of billions of dollars since the
formation of the state and that is an ongoing process.
They are given four billion dollars a year but that does not include the loans that
are never repaid. It does not include the fact that banks of states in the United
States put their funds in Israeli controlled banks at interest rates at a fraction of
the interest rates that are otherwise obtainable as a means of subsidizing the
It is an extension of US imperialism. It is an attack dog of US imperialism. It is
entirely dependent upon US military and financial support. It has utilized as the
means to which the entire region can be terrorized. That is the function of the
Zionist state from its inception.
That has bearing on the role of what is called the AIPAC or the Zionist lobby in the
United States. That lobby is used to terrorize the politicians by the ruling class of
the United States. It’s not just a question of the Zionists themselves.
The actual deployment of Israel with the propaganda of imperialism that this is
the only democracy in the region, that it is the moral legacy of the victims of the
holocaust is to provide a moral patina to legitimize US imperial intervention,
overthrowing governments, seizing their resources, assassinating their leaders, is
always carried out on the basis of defending the Zionist state, defending the
democratic state of Israel.
The basic reality is that this attack dog of imperialism is the ideological rational or continued predation upon the region and the state of Israel is an extension of imperial power has been in the past and continues to be in the present and will be in the future until it is removed, because it’s important to understand that from its earliest moment all spokespersons for the Israeli state have relied upon US imperialism to be their main instrument of being able to sustain themselves.
When Netanyahu declares that the Israeli state regards everything west of the
Jordan River as a critical area of their security that they will never relinquish, they
rely on American support to be able to maintain that position.
When they declare, as they did Rafael Eitan, the former Chief of Staff in the
Knesset, that when they are finished with the Palestinians, all they will be able to
do is run around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle, he can make that statement
from the Israeli Knesset with impunity because US imperialism is the essential
supporter and sustainer of the Zionist state. That’s the reality.
Israel has to be removed and overthrown by struggle across the region, by the
people themselves; but at the same time on a global basis, the capitalist and
imperialist regimes of each country have to be challenged by their populations
because those regimes oppress them and use our peoples as cannon fodder in
these wars not only against the Palestinian people but against the people of Iraq,
Syria, Iran and the entire region, and of Egypt as well. That’s the basic reality and
those are the dynamics and they have not changed.
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