All The More Reason

The lies of those who hate Israel and how to stop them
July 7, 2006, 3:04 pm
Filed under: Israeli / Palestinian, Uncategorized

New theories 

A new insidious theory seems to be doing the rounds amongst the conspiratorial left in politics, namely that Britain and the US are doing the dirty work of Israel in Iraq and following through their previously stated foreign policy objective of the balkanization of Iraq. This theory centres on an obscure journal article written in 1982 by Israeli journalist Oded Yinon entitled ‘A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties’ in the Zionist journal Kivvonim. This article is the basis for ream upon ream of anti-Zionist writing upon the internet, a quick google will uncover potentially exponential numbers of crank articles on Israel’s true intentions.  

Oden Yinon’s article was originally published in English under the title, ‘Making the Arab World Collapse’ in the Journal of Palestinian Studies (1982, University of California Press). It was re-translated – for deliberately political ends – by ‘self-hating Jew’ Israel Shahak. As anyone familiar with Shahak’s work could hazard a guess on, the Shahak translation is rather different from the one that is presented in the academic journal. This may perhaps seem like a rather onanistic splitting of hairs, but in the context in which those who hate the state of Israel use it, it is all rather important. For example, the article begins:  

“At the outset of the 1980s, Israel needs to establish a new vision of its place, its objectives and its national goals, internal and external.” 

Shahak translates this alternatively, supplementing ‘objectives’ with ‘aims’ and ‘goals’ with ‘targets’: a turn towards a clearly aggressive shooting metaphor. The main contention of Yinon’s piece is that the original intervention of foreign colonial powers and  Arab nationalism produced weak artificially constructed nations comprising mutually antagonistic ethnic groups. The borders of the nations of the Middle East are entirely contrived and as such the region is deeply and institutionally unstable. His article is well-versed and makes some sensible original points, he thinks that Jordan is internally maladroit, for the population is on the whole Palestinian, whilst a trans-Jordanian Bedouin minority rule – only enmity towards Israel keeps the state coherent. Yet, Shahak’s translation takes Yinon’s contention that the Middle East’s ‘imaginary communities’ will eventually disintegrate, and takes this as the aim of extreme Zionism. On Egypt, Yinon writes: 

“Egypt, both by nature and by virtue of its existing internal political structure is dead; it has collapsed and it faces an Islamic-Christian division which will become more acute in the future. Breaking Egypt territorially into separate geographical districts is the political goal of Israel in the 1980s on its western front. Divided, and having crumbled into many districts, Egypt, unlike today, will not present any threats to Israel. It will rather be a guarantee for security and peace for a long time.” 

Becomes the rather shorter: 

“Egypt, in its present domestic political picture, is already a corpse, all the more so if we take into account the growing Moslem-Christian rift. Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of
Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front.” 

There is no doubt that Yinon is extreme, but Shahak’s translation makes him misleadingly so and entirely ignores the valid points Yinon makes about the unstable artificial ethnic construction of the states in the region. Yinon envisages a peaceful
Middle East where nations whose telos is the destruction of the Israeli state fragment into viable ethnic entities (who no longer need the adrenaline of anti-Semitism to keep them alive): Shahak deliberately translates his work into that of a war-mongering land-grabber. Sadly, Shahak’s translation has gathered a momentum of its own and Yinon’s prophecy in 1982 that Iraq would disintegrate along sectarian lines has now been doctored to show that in 1982, Israel planned the disintegration of Iraq along sectarian lines. The obscure writings of a journalist in a tiny journal are now writ-large by those antipathetic to the existence of an Israeli state. 

The latest emergence of this ‘theory’ is in the recent arrival of this flotsam bilge upon the dark underbelly of the anti-war left. Google ‘balkanization of Iraq’ and be amazed at the corpulent body of anti-Israeli rhetoric all based upon Shahak’s twisted translation of a journal article from 1982. Linda S. Heard (I rather she wasn’t), a British correspondent for the Arab News and rent-a-gob for pretty much every unsavoury anti-Israeli cause going, has written a diabolical piece for rag Al Shindagah entitled, ‘Are wars being waged for Israel?’. Her conclusion is thus: 

“There is one thing we can know for sure, though. Oden Yinon’s 1982 ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ [another new translation] is in large part taking place. Is this pure coincidence? In the absence of absolute proof to the contrary, we can only say ‘perhaps’.” 

Ah, true Leninist justice! The article is furnished with a photoshopped image of a family in front of Congress with two members draped in the Stars and Stripes and two draped in the Israeli flag. Little can be done to prevent the circulation of this venom around the body politic, except by making objections to the magazines and newspapers who print it. Al Shindagah, is it is fair to say, is no friend of Israel, the Jewish people, the UK or US (and that is phrasing it in the manner of a parish priest). In its latest edition, the editorial comment has the strap line, ‘Sons of Abraham… Beware’. Then we have a further piece from Linda S. Heard praising Hugo Chavez. In this vein the poison continues with a piece by Paul Findley, ex-Republican congressman and critic of American relations with Israel (also winner of the 2000 ‘Malcolm X National Human Rights award’ by the American Muslim Alliance). Findley’s article, ‘How to Prevent another 9/11’ has an unsurprising conclusion: 

“Why 9/11? Months ago, bin Laden informed the world that 9/11 was a payback for US complicity in Israel’s 1982 laughter of more than 18,000 innocent Arabs in Beirut, as well as recent outrages. These days, we give bin Laden incentive for another payback, but our government can prevent that calamity without firing a shot or spending more billions on a futile effort to encase America in a protective cocoon. All it needs do is to suspend all aid until Israel ends its illegal occupation of Arab land.” [My italics] 

9/11 a ‘payback’ – truly awful stuff but not novel and perhaps now all too acceptable by many on the hard left and right, so you may well think this is all whistling in the wind. But Hildon Water and Aston Martin are products who have been associated with this tat by their suppliers placing advertisements in al Shindagah. And if you, like me, feel deeply unhappy about anti-Israel propoganda being paid for by two British companies, then get in touch with the brands who are now openly associated with al Shindagah and protest.

Hildon Limited, Broughton, Hampshire, SO20 8DQ 

Mention the supplier: the International Hotel Supply Company (

Aston Martin, Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwick, CV35 0DB

Again, mention the supplier: Al Habtoor Motors, Dubai.  

I am not an unfettered screaming Zionist, I strongly advocate a two-state solution based around the 1967 borders, and I believe in fair play. When the BNP were canvassing anti-Islamic literature in Lewisham I refuted their slander because it is not fair to make false accusations. Israel did not instruct the UK and US to invade Iraq, neither is it the foreign policy objective of the UK, US or Israel to see the balkanization of the nation of Iraq. We need intelligent debate on this subject, not a stack of politically motivated lies dug out from a translation of a journal article from 1982. Write to the companies involved and prevent these lies being propagated further.  



7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The Osama “payback” comments are interesting, given that the other main conspiracy theory doing the rounds is that Osama didn’t do 9/11. Strangely though contradictory facts generally do not hinder the conspiracy theorist.

“Everyone” in conspiracy theory world knows that George Bush/Mossad [delete as applicable] did 9/11, because…. [put your own demented rantings here].

Comment by David

Your article on Oded Yinon is extremely timely. A prominent newspaper in Australia maintains a Letters-to-the-Editor blog site. Unfortunately there is a regular group who are replete with conspiracy theories about Israel. Two have confirmed they read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; another cited Oded Yinon. After googling this, I was appalled at what I read. The site not only had a pamphlet supposedly written by Oded Yinon, but also claimed Kivunim supported these claims. I have been trying to find out as much as I can to counteract this. As the writer put this reference on the blog site, I was concerned that others, less informed, would read it. I usually cite, and compare population figures, to show how ludicrous expansionist conspiracies are.

Comment by Danielle James

Does the original article even exist?
I couldn’t devote much time to this but from my research on the Web two things appear:
– No serious publication even mentioned the article, or its popularity on the Web.
– In Hebrew, I cannot find any reference to Oded Yinon. Does he exist? Or is it all pure (though clever) invention?
Obviously it wouldn’t matter very much as those who hand over that stuff do not care very much, as long as it feeds the usual stereotypes of a Jewish conspiracy to weaken some or other part of the World and seeking world domination.

Comment by Sacha

If you don’t like what you see in the mirror give it a good smear. No wonder Zionism is called the religion of self-pity.

Comment by whiskeypapa

Your Oden Yinon rationale does not differentiate from the “haters” Oden Yinon you are trying to explain away, like on Egypt, where the “original” Breaking of Egypt by Oden Yinon is even clearer and more profound than Shahak’s. You in fact give Shahak the benefit of the doubt by making us reread him.
And on whether “Israel did not instruct UK and US to attak Iraq, then who else when Saddam was paying a ransom of $20,000 to every family of a suicidal bomber who exploded in Israel?
Come on.

Comment by Mario

Anti gentilism, the hate that never dies.

Comment by Betty johnson

Whether it was the intention to “Balkanize” the Arab countries or not it is interesting that we now see exactly that. So, is it incompetence or intent ?

Comment by Alan

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