The HyperTexts

The Curious Blindness of Abba Eban

by Michael R. Burch, an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry


Abba Eban Quotes
Abba Eban Epigrams
Abba Eban Biographical Material
Abba Eban, the Self-Named "Father" of the Modern State of Israel
Abba Eban's Pro-Israel Apologetics Analyzed and Discussed


"I discovered [in 1946] that across the world the Zionist movement was maintaining what it called "propaganda" offices. There was even a special department of Zionist propaganda." ― Abba Eban, from his autobiography, "Personal Witness"

Please don't get me wrong, or let my title mislead you. In certain ways I admire Abba Eban, who was perhaps the most eloquent of all Israel's apologists (an impressive achievement considering their superfluity), and I certainly believe we can learn valuable lessons from him. But one of the things we can and must learn in these perilous times is the danger of the blind leading the gullible into the ditch.

My observations and arguments are based on the words of the great man himself, having been extracted from Abba Eban's autobiography: Personal Witness, Israel Through My Own Eyes. Nothing is damning to Israel's current irrational rationalizations than the words of its leading lights and founding fathers: Eban being high, if not foremost, among them. Only if Israel regains (or, more properly, gains) its moral center and compass, can Israel avoid wrecking itself like another "unsinkable" Titanic on a gargantuan iceberg of racism, brutality, hubris, hypocrisy and injustice. But before we explore what went wrong, and what must be done to repair the damage, I will provide some background information on Abba Eban, who was truly unique among 20th century diplomats.

Before I proceed, please allow me to point out that I do not mean the terms Zionism and Zionist to be taken negatively. I don't see Zionism as being inherently negative, in theory. If Jews had found some place to occupy other than Palestine, most Palestinians would not have such highly negative opinions of Zionism (although the other people the Jews displaced most certainly would). It was not the dream of a Jewish homeland that led to the Nakba ("Catastrophe") of the Palestinians, per se. It was the implementation of the dream of Zionism that led to the Nakba, which in turn led to 9-11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Please keep this in mind as we discuss who Abba Eban was, and why he became such a pivotal, monumental figure: a Juggernaut, if you will, of Zionist rhetoric and apologetics. His dream was not Dr. Martin Luther King's dream of racial equality for all children, but a dream of a homeland for the children of one race, which became a living nightmare for the children of all other races (since the resulting foment in the Middle East now threatens the entire world.)

"In the ensuing years, many Israelis became so hypnotized by the heroic dignity of the resistance fighters that they tended to avoid selective discussion of their assignments, not all of which were useful or well guided. As recently as 1988 we find Prime Minister Yitshak Shamir, who had been a Lechi resistance leader, speaking with candor of his own support of the assassination of Lord Moyne." ― Abba Eban [Lord Moyne was a high-ranking British minister who had expressed the opinion that Arabs would not willingly surrender their land and self-government to Jews, and that it was an "impracticable dream" for Jews to return to Palestine in large numbers without horrific violence and bloodshed. He was, of course, absolutely correct.]


Abba Eban was born Aubrey Solomon Meir to a Jewish family in South Africa in 1915. His father died of cancer when he was a toddler, and his family relocated to England where his mother eventually married Isaac Eban, a London doctor. In England young Aubrey Eban received a superior education which included Queens' College, Cambridge, where he earned a "triple first," specializing in Classics and Oriental Languages.

Towards the end of his undergraduate studies, Eban concentrated on Arabic literature and history, of which he said, "I came to be impressed by its large visions and exuberant resources ... the Islamic Arabic poetry and the histories, geographies, and literary and philosophical treatises of the caliphate periods were intellectually and emotionally stirring ... My deep immersion in that legacy made it impossible for me thereafter to adopt the routine Zionist stereotype that regarded Arabs with intellectual condescension."

Eban became active in politics as a young man, editing an ideological journal called The Young Zionist. In 1939, he worked briefly for Chaim Weizmann (later Israel's first Prime Minister) at the World Zionist Organization headquarters in London. During World War II, Eban served British intelligence in Egypt and Palestine, where he rose to the rank of major and became the first director of the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies, a training ground for spies and diplomats. While in Egypt he met and married Suzy Ambache, the daughter of a Jewish engineer employed by the Suez Canal Company.

When the war ended, Eban remained in Palestine, joining the Jewish Agency headed by David Ben-Gurion. There Eban became one of the founding fathers of the modern state of Israel as it emerged, phoenix-like, from the ashes of history in 1948. For the next sixty years, Eban would be one of Israel's most influential politicians. Initially posted as a liaison to the United Nations, he lobbied for the partition of Palestine and for Israel's admission to the UN, with remarkable success. Eban was fluent in ten languages and could be a spellbinding speaker. His linguistic and oratorical abilities, combined with his knowledge and understanding of history, made him an influential presence in a conference of nations that was generally skeptical of Israel. Having won Israel member status at the UN, Eban then served as Israel's first ambassador to the UN and simultaneously as Israel's ambassador to the United States. In 1952, he was elected Vice President of the UN General Assembly. After returning home, he was elected to the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) in 1959 and served successively as Minister without Portfolio, Minister of Education and Culture, Deputy Prime Minister (to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol) and Foreign Minister. He was also president of the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science from 1959 to 1966.

At the end of his life, Eban suffered from Alzheimer's disease. When Israel acknowledged his contributions in 2001 by awarding him its highest honour, the Israel Prize, his wife received it on his behalf.

Upon his death in 2002, Eban was called a "diplomatic giant" who had "dominated the first decade of Israeli diplomacy" by BBC News. Binyamin Netanyahu eulogized him as the "founding father of Israeli diplomacy" who had "added an intellectual lustre to Zionism and established the foreign service of a fledgling state."

Abba Eban's powers of persuasion helped Israel become a nation. Without his ability to influence the United Nations and the United States, the state of Israel might not exist today.

"Churchill embarked on a long process of sulky indignation [after the assassination of Lord Moyne by Jewish terrorists] that lasted throughout all the remaining part of the war [WWII], thus aggravating the unfavorable situation of Israel in the international system." ― Abba Eban [Winston Churchill had told Abba Eden, "Our Zionist cause is going well. Moyne is now on our side." just two days prior to Lord Moyne's assassination.]

"Churchill promised [Chaim] Weizmann, in what was almost a ceremonial oath-taking, that he would "see Zionism through after the end of hostilities. Unfortunately, he had not taken effective steps to see himself through." ― Abba Eban [Churchill, who was a self-avowed Zionist, lost the 1945 election.]

Abba Eban's Claim to be the Father of the Modern State of Israel

In 1947, Eban succeeded in attaining UN approval for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab regions (Resolution 181). He then changed his first name to the Hebrew word Abba, which means "Father", in effect nominating himself as the father of the modern nation of Israel!

"Nothing else so much threatened Anglo-U.S. relations as Palestine." ― Abba Eban


Conor Cruise O"Brien called him "the most brilliant diplomat of the second half of the 20th century." Never one for false humility or to be daunted by flattery, Eban rejoined, "Who was so brilliant in the first half?"

He was also renowned for his oratorical talents. Henry Kissinger said, "I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language. Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity."

One one occasion the Irgun retaliated by taking two young British officers, innocent of any anti-Jewish action, one of them indeed being Jewish, and hanging them and leaving their bodies booby-trapped. This horrifying action, for which [future Prime Minister of Israel] Menachem Begin took personal responsibility ..." ― Abba Eban [What other "democracy" has been headed by self-avowed terrorists and mass murders like Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and Yitshak Rabin?]

Political Views

Eban was considered a "dove" and he deemed it vital for Israel to return captured territories in exchange for peace with Israel's Palestinian and other Arab neighbors. As Israel's Foreign Minister, he played an important role in the shaping of UN Resolution 242 in 1967. That resolution, which was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council, calls for Israel to return occupied territories in exchange for peace, and it requires a just resolution of the Palestinian refugee crisis. But of course Israel has never complied with this resolution. In his autobiography, Eban repeatedly discussed the pressing need for Israel to recognize and respect the human rights of Palestinians. Unfortunately, to this day Israel has repeatedly ignored and violated the human rights of Palestinians. (If you doubt me, please investigate what great humanitarians like Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Albert Einstein have said and written on the subject. I have created an index of their observations, which you can access by clicking here.)

I reflected that a man [Chaim Weizmann] who in 1917 to 1920 had persuaded the world's governments that it would be in their interest and cause no trouble for them to establish a Jewish National Home in Palestine must be capable of persuading anybody of anything. ― Abba Eban

Abba Eban's Role in Zionism and History

As Abba Eban states in the Acknowledgments of his autobiography, he was a witness of and a participant in the events which led to the creation of the state of Israel. He admits "some responsibility" for transmitting the "emotions and calculations" of Israel's founders to his readers. My main purpose here is to ask what those founders, including Eban himself, would have made of Israel's current state of affairs, and how this state of affairs relates to the 9-11 attacks and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Eban begins his book by admitting that the Zionist idea was "ninety percent fantasy and ten percent reality." But what exactly was this "Zionist idea" and if it was so loopy, why did Eban become its main apologist?

Let's be honest. Without turning Jews into demons or angels, let's confront the bald truth. The "Zionist idea" was that, after nearly 2,000 years of not having lived in Palestine except in marginal numbers, Jews would suddenly "return" and take over, usurping the rights of the people who lived there in vastly larger numbers: the Palestinians.

My father is American and I'm an American citizen who lives in the United States. If Norwegians suddenly claimed that their distant ancestors had been with Leif Ericsson when he established a North American colony, and they announced to the world that they were planning to "return" and repossess my land and property because Thor had "given" it to their forefathers, should I dutifully hand them my keys, pack up my belongings and walk meekly away, leaving my family homeless?

Of course not!

My mother is English. If a group of Italians claimed to be descended from Romans who had invaded and conquered England in the remote past, and they announced to the world that Jupiter now wanted them to possess and rule England, should my English family meekly accede to their demands?

Of course not!

Was the "Zionist idea" in any way just, righteous or reasonable? According to many (but not all) Jews, yes. According to many (but not all) Christians, yes. According to virtually everyone else, hell no!

So who is right? Was Abba Eban right simply because he was a wonderful, charismatic orator? Hitler was a wonderful, charismatic orator who convinced millions of Germans that it was "the will of God" for them to rule over other, "inferior" people, but today all sane people agree that Hitler was nuttier than a fruitcake.

Here's what Eban said himself:  "In order to seize the ears and the imagination of the world, Zionism has always found it necessary to employ a Utopian rhetoric. This is a natural condition of new communities established in an atmosphere of revolutionary passion." That's what Hitler, Lenin and Fidel Castro would have said. But shouldn't a true democracy be based on honest ideals, which can be stated and discussed honestly? In reality, the Zionists had an anti-democratic goal (minority rule of Palestine by Jews), but they had to convince the democratic Western powers that they too were democrats. Hitler and the Nazis pretended to be democrats, but once they were in power, they treated minorities like dirt. Unfortunately, once the Jews were running the show in Palestine, they treated the majority like dirt, and that majority included multitudes of women and children.

Because the Palestinians had a clear majority of the population, the Zionists soon came to the conclusion that they would have to evict large numbers of Palestinians, and keep them evicted, if they were going to have a "democracy." This would be like American Hispanics deciding to evict most of the Caucasians from the United States, in order to establish a Hispanic "democracy."

I was late for an appointment with Suzy in the King David Hotel, where I was due to have a haircut. On this occasion I found unpunctuality to have a life-saving consequence, and I have been recommending it ever since. As I came down the Bethlehem Road toward the hotel I heard a vast explosion. By the time that I got near the King David I could see a flaming mass of dust and ruins. The Irgun [commanded by future Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin] had blown up the hotel that was the headquarters of the British military and civil administrations."― Abba Eban [Albert Einstein wrote a letter to the New York Times in which he called Menachem Begin the preeminent terrorist in the Middle East and warned about dire consequences if he came to power. The King David Hotel bombing left 91 people dead and 46 wounded, none of them being the "real architects" of the policy that had limited Jewish immigration, according to Eban. Jimmy Carter would later point out the "sea change" in Israeli policy that occurred when Begin became prime minister, confirming Einstein's prediction.]

The Lesser Injustice

Abba Eban intuitively and intellectually understood the terrible dilemma of Zionism: if Jews insisted on establishing superior rights to Arabs, this would mean establishing inferior rights for Arabs and dehumanizing them, just as Nazis had dehumanized Jews. Eban also understood that Zionism was inherently anti-democratic, saying, "To deny the Zionist claim would have been to affirm that Arabs must be free and sovereign everywhere [since they had an overwhelming majority of the population] and the Jews nowhere, not even in the land that past history and contemporary law had designed as their abode. But this robust defense [his defense is hardly "robust"] of basic Zionist claims did not mean that I was oblivious of a moral dilemma ... For me a turning point in the moral history of Zionism had come with Weizmann's remark in a majestic speech to a [British] Royal Commission in which he declared that the fulfillment of the Zionist purpose would be the 'the lesser injustice.' Injustice, because the Palestinian Arabs, were it not for the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations, could have counted on eventual independence [like every other British colony] either as a separate state or in an Arab context acceptable to them ... If they had submitted to Zionism with docility they would have been the first people in history to have voluntarily renounced their majority status [thus becoming the willing serfs of a 'superior race' of foreign invaders].

When Zionists speak of having a Jewish state which is also "democracy," they're speaking out of both sides of their mouths. A Jewish state is obviously a racist state, by definition. A democratic state cannot be racist, by definition ("demos" means "people" and a democracy is a government of all its people, not just those of some favored class). If Chinese Americans overthrow the U.S. government and create a Chinese state, it will not be a "democracy." How can a Jewish state be a democracy, when the majority of the population is non-Jewish and when its laws are Jim Crow laws and its courts are kangaroo courts?

Abba Eban's starring role in the history of Israel is that of an eloquent apologist for racism, apartheid and injustice. Like many Jews, he was a fervent democrat when Jewish minority rights were at stake in other countries, like the United States, but he was a fervent racist when Palestinian majority rights were at sake in Israel.  More than one expert on the region has noted that when Jews leave Israel for the United States, they become liberal democrats, but when they leave the United States for Israel they become something else entirely.

"[Chaim Weizmann] would develop an intimate friendship with president Truman, to whom no other Zionist friendships were acceptable." ― Abba Eban [With Churchill out of office, the hopes of Zionism now fell on Harry Truman. But Truman, his senior advisors and the State Department all realized that partitioning Palestine would result in war. So Truman had decided to veto the partitioning of Palestine. But an ex-business-partner of Truman persuaded him to meet with Weizmann, who turned on the charm and persuaded Truman to change his mind. Thus the charisma of Weizmann and the hubris of Truman combined like sparks and oil to set the Middle East aflame. What right did Truman have, to make a decision affecting millions of people, simply because he "hit it off" with Weizmann? Truman was otherwise so opposed to Zionism that he refused to even discuss it with any Jew other than Weizmann.]

Religious and Ethical Conundrums: Judging the Tree by Its Fruit

Are Jews and Christians in the "right" as so many of them seem to believe, simply because they worship the "correct" God? Must the rest of the world bow to their wishes and demands, however hubristic? Jesus Christ spoke of judging a tree by its fruit, so if the "fruit" of Judaism and Christianity is the suffering and premature deaths (i.e., murders) of multitudes of completely innocent Palestinian women and children, what should we conclude about the religions? What can we conclude about the various Catholic Crusades and Inquisitions, except that they were the result of religion gone mad? But then what about this modern Crusade and Inquisition which allows Israel to condemn Palestinian babies at birth for being born into the "wrong" race and the "wrong" creed?

When Jews and Christians insist that God "gave" the land of Palestine and infinitely superior rights to Jews, by authorizing Moses, Joshua, Caleb and King David to murder and enslave women and children (yes, the Bible clearly says such things, time and time again, throughout the Old Testament), they forfeit any claim to believe in a God who is loving, compassionate, wise and just. What sort of God orders the murders of defenseless women and children (Numbers 31), or commands that girls who have been raped must be stoned to death or sold to their rapists so they can be raped "legally" the rest of their lives (Deuteronomy 22)? These are not isolated verses: there are hundreds of such verses in the Bible, which is awash with vile commandments which supposedly issued from God. But if Jesus was correct, how can a good God produce such horrific fruit? I agree with Mark Twain, who said it wasn't the Bible verses he didn't understand that bothered him, but the the ones he understood all too well. How can modern human beings with functional hearts and brains believe that God "gave" Palestine to the Jews, when according to the Bible they clearly took it via ethnic cleansing and genocide, the "slaying of everything that breathes"?

And what sort of world must we live in, if someone can "return" after 2,000 years of living somewhere else, saying some bloodthirsty, unjust God wants him to have all the land, then starts abusing and killing anyone who refuses to "believe" what he believes? What sort of world must we live in, if babies can be discriminated against from birth, because one person says, "I worship the proper God, and your parents worship the improper God!" Won't we necessarily live in a world where events like 9-11 occur, and lead to wars like those in Afghanistan and Iraq?

"In expressing contempt for partition [British Foreign Secretary Ernest] Bevin observed that it would mean the subordination of 400,000 Arabs to Jewish rule."― Abba Eban {In his curious blindness Abba Eban continually failed to "understand" Bevin, but of course Bevin was right to insist that in a democratic solution the majority should determine the system of governance. As was its wont, the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, planned to assassinate Bevin, but the plot was foiled by the British M15. Bevin would accuse the Zionists of plotting against Great Britain and himself personally. From what Eban wrote in his autobiography, and from what I have read elsewhere, it seems Bevin was probably justified. For anyone to express the opinion that the Arab majority was entitled to its self-evident right of self-determination, seemed to raise the hackles of the "democratic" Zionists.]

The Curious Blindness of Abba Eban

The curious of blindness of Abba Eban and men like him led to 9-11 and the subsequent wars. This curious blindness begins with what I call the "Chosen Few Sin-drome." The "China Syndrome" was a movie about the meltdown of a nuclear reactor. The "Chosen Few Sin-drome" is the meltdown of the nucleus of the human family. Albert Einstein, the great Jewish scientist, intellectual and humanitarian, called nationalism the "infantile disease" of the human race, pointing out that human beings are essentially identical (this has been confirmed by genetics). Einstein was a Zionist, but in a spiritual sense. When he saw how Jews were treating Palestinians, he was horrified, and said it was far more important for Jews to be on good terms with their Arab neighbors, than to have a political state and military power. But men like Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion and Abba Eban were intent on founding a political state backed by massive military power. They were funded by rich "uncles" in other nations (particularly the United States and Great Britain) and those rich "uncles" also had great influence in the halls of world power. Perhaps the Zionists created the nation of Israel for the same reason men scale Mount Everest: for the challenge. It's hard to say why intelligent men go willingly to war. Once a man has dedicated himself to an important proposition, it may be difficult or impossible for him to back down, even when he realizes that innocents must suffer the consequences of his actions. Did Alexander the Great, or Napoleon, or Hitler ever stop to consider the consequences of their actions to multitudes of women and children? Did Abba Eban ever stop to reflect and consider what the consequences of his eloquent flourishes of language might be, for future generations of children all around the globe?

Perhaps the most curious thing about the blindness of Abba Eden was that he and other Israeli apologists used the Jewish Shoah ("Catastrophe") to excuse the Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe"). But if what the Germans did to the Jews was wrong, then clearly what the Jews did to the Palestinians was also wrong.

When Nazis showed up on the doorsteps of Jews, claiming to be the "chosen few" and demanding that the Jews forfeit their houses and thus become homeless and destitute, according to the Jews, the Nazis were demons. But when Jews did exactly the same things to Palestinians, there was only a slight Jewish twinge of conscience, only a slightly befuddling "moral dilemma," as Abba Eban put it. Now, today, any chance of world peace is being held hostage by this endlessly strange claim of Zionism: that anti-Semitism practiced against Jews is a terrible evil (which it undoubtedly is), but that anti-Semitism (most Palestinians and Arabs are also Semites) if practiced by Jews is hunky-dory. 

How can I prefer Jewish babies to Palestinian babies, if I am not a racist?

Abba Eban at least understood the problem, whereas many other Zionists ignored it completely. But what Eban did, essentially, is act like the bank clerk who steals money from the till, knowing robbery is wrong but intending to "make it right" someday. Before long, the clerk has stolen far more money than he can ever hope to repay, so he lives in a la-la land in which his good intentions somehow justify his crimes. But of course the road to hell is famously paved with good intentions, and in this case the road to 9-11 was paved with the "good intentions" of men like Abba Eban.

Here where I live in Tennessee, we have a saying: "The proof is in the pudding." If you show me a nation called Israel that discriminates against babies because they were "born wrong," I will show you a nation based on racism and injustice. According to the American Declaration of Independence, any government that denies the God-given rights of human beings to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is an illegal government, and the people who are denied their rights have the right and duty to rise up against that government and destroy it, just as the American founding fathers rose up and destroyed the colonial appendages of the feudalistic British monarchy.

Americans ought to study the Declaration of Independence. What it says, in effect, is that when the British monarchy denied Americans equal rights and representative government, the Americans had the right and the duty to start killing Englishmen. And of course that's exactly what the great heroes of the American Revolution did: they started killing Englishmen, and they didn't stop until they finally had equal rights and representative government.

So if the governments of Israel and the United States collude to deny Palestinians equal rights, what should we expect Muslim men to do, play tiddlywinks or fiddle while their Rome burns to the ground?

It was a deadly game of cat and mouse that Abba Eban chose to play with human rights, when he used his golden tongue to persuade Americans to favor the minority rights of Jews over the majority rights of Palestinians. If Americans had not been so gullible, and so easily deceived into betraying their highest ideals, 9-11 and two horrendous wars could have been avoided. (Of course living up to our American ideals would also have meant paying the going price for oil, rather than using the CIA and our military to "secure" oil fields; "securing" oil fields never worked and only drove the price of oil sky-high.)

"The idea of a family of nations united in a covenant of law and peace is, in its origins, a Hebrew idea."― Abba Eban [I find this idea hard to credit, although one might find a basis for such an idea in the end-times visions of the Hebrew prophets. But even so, Israel as a modern nation has at best paid lip-service to equal rights, democracy and self-determination. The only rights Israel acknowledges are those of Jews to be more equal than any other race on the planet.]

The Ludicrous Enterprise and the Reasonable Solution

If you showed up on my doorstep claiming that Thor, Jupiter or Jesus Christ "gave" you my house, of course I would slam the door shut in your face. And that entirely reasonable reaction was the response of Arabs to the news  that "God" had "given" their land and homes to foreign invaders. If the word of God was not given as the reason for Jews "owning" land they hadn't seen for millennia, the next best argument was the history of the Jews in ancient Palestine. But what nation on earth bases current-day ownership of anything on what happened thousands of years ago? Neither argument is capable of holding an ounce of water.

Being the main apologist for such a ludicrous enterprise makes Abba Eban's role in history a curious one, to say the least. If there is any hope for Zionists today, it lies in the idea that possession is nine-tenths of the law. No one can deny that what Zionists did to Palestinians was morally wrong. But no one can deny the fact that millions of Jews now live in Palestine. Rather than pretending that what happened was justifiable, we need to face the bald facts: what happened was morally wrong, but it is in the best interests of Israeli Jews, Palestinians and other Arabs to achieve peace rather than engage in incessant hostilities. Unless millions of Palestinians choose to leave Palestine, or millions of Jews choose to leave Palestine, the reality is that millions of Jews and millions of Palestinians must agree to co-exist peacefully. And that means Israel must establish fair, non-racist laws and courts, since only Israel has the authority and power to do that today. 

While Abba Eban was a man capable of deep thought and reflection, where justice was concerned he exhibited a curious blindness. This curious blindness seems common to many Jews and Christians. According to them, Jews are entitled to "special privileges" to which Palestinians are not entitled, because of the "history" of the Jews. But why should I be deprived of my rights because of someone else's history? Neither the religious defense or the historical defense make any sense, whatsoever. 

But, if only for the sake of argument, let's consider what Abba Eban had to say for himself, and the nation of Israel. As Eban explains early on in the genesis of his book, the modern state of Israel was largely the product of the personal charisma of Chaim Weizmann (in much the same way that Nazi Germany was the product of the personal charisma of Hitler). Weizmann had a "formidable persuasive talent" which he used to convince powerful men like Winston Churchill and Harry Truman to help Jews gain an unfair advantage over Palestinians. Was this in any way "just" to the Palestinians who became homeless and destitute as a result? Of course not. But glory to Jesus and Jehovah, who cares about suffering, starving, dying children, when celebrities are able to exude charisma?

According to Eban, Weizmann was "universally acknowledged to be the architect of this wondrous new turning point in Jewish history," so who the hell should care about the rights of Palestinian children? Certainly not Jesus, Jehovah, the Pope, Billy Graham, or American politicians whose constituents include large numbers of well-off Jews and virtually no Muslims. To what can we attribute the creation of the state of Israel: democracy and justice, or religious hypocrisy and political expedience?

The question is, of course, rhetorical.

If Judaism and Christianity are true religions, their adherents should be capable of remorse, and repentance. But how many Jews and Christians are willing to admit that causing babies and children to suffer and die by depriving their families of the land and water they need to live, is a terrible sin: a sin exacerbated when it is committed in the name of God and religion.

Such is the curious blindness of the great man Abba Eban, and of the Popes, Evangelists, Rabbis and Politicians who, despite their presumably magnificent religious beliefs, cannot grasp the altogether obvious: it is wrong for men to steal the stuff of life from the mouths of utterly innocent women and children. So what are their beliefs worth, really, if they are so profoundly blind? 

This blindness would lead to 9-11 and two fruitless, unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And yet the American public remains clueless, as does the Jewish public. According to them, the "real problem" is that Muslims hate and despise the "values" of Jews and Christians. But if those "values" cause us to harm and murder innocent women and children, how are Muslim men wrong to despise such "values"?

Aye, there's the rub. We can tell a tree by its fruit. Religions and governments that are fueled by hypocrisy get their advocates killed, in the end. When we see innocent children suffering and dying needlessly, we can be sure that bad religion and bad government are to blame. 

"The talent of living and working together has never been cited by historians as a salient Jewish attribute." ― Abba Eban

Trick or Treat?

According to Abba Eban, Chaim Weizmann's great achievement was the "last and perhaps the only instance in diplomatic history of persuasion without power." But didn't Hitler rely on the power of persuasion?

Should we celebrate the fact that one charismatic Jew was able to persuade the superpowers of his day (Great Britain, France, Russia and the United States) to allow him to defraud multitudes of Palestinians of their land, farms and homes? We don't celebrate, but mourn, the fact that Hitler's personal charisma enabled him to defraud Jews and send them to their doom. We mourn the fact that Hitler was a racist madman. Should we then, perhaps, consider the possibility that Chaim Weizmann was also a racist, charismatic madman? After all, his charismatic histrionics produced the same results for multitudes of Palestinian children, as Hitler's charismatic histrionics produced for multitudes of Jewish children.

According to Eban, other people "stood a good chance of being charmed into unwanted compromise or exhausted by the temper of his [Weizmann's] intense but controlled emotions."

Is that a good thing, if innocent children suffered and died as a result? Should we celebrate the fact that Weizmann was able to charismatically persuade Harry Truman to ignore the dictates of his own conscience, and help create a Jewish state in Palestine when Truman and his senior advisors knew this would lead to ever-increasing violence in the region? Should we celebrate the hubris of Weizmann and the hubris of Truman? Should we celebrate the fact that their hubris eventually led to 9-11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

The curious blindness of Abba Eban is not limited to his being unable to see the similarities between Hitler and Weizmann. Eban comments more than once on the wisdom of Reginald Coupland, who suggested the partitioning of India and Pakistan. But it was Coupland who stressed the need for a separate Palestinian homeland, pointing out that the Jews and Palestinians were "totally separate and distinct peoples who held no ends in common, so that for one of them to rule the whole country would entail savage repression."

And of course anyone who is willing to be honest today knows that Israeli Jews rule the Palestinian people with savage repression. But what did Abba Eban ever do, really, to put an end to this savage repression? When did he ever stand before the UN and call Israel to account for what it had not done, that it should have done? When did he ever use his powers of persuasion on behalf of millions of Palestinians? Never, as far as I can tell, except here and there in a book he wrote long after the fact.

"Gromyko had become a Zionist hero."― Abba Eban [While Israel postured itself as a buttress of democracy against communism during the Cold War, the simple reality was that Israel would always be on the side of anyone who preferred Jewish rights to Arab rights. Zionist politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.]

How Abba Eban Misled Americans, and the World

The quotations below are taken from a very perceptive article on Abba Eban's speech to the UN Security Council on June 6, 1967. I have been unable to determine the article's author, but he/she is obviously knowledgeable and rivals Eban in eloquence:

Some people make history; Abba Eban preferred to invent a skewed version of history suited to Israel's purposes. After all, he considered himself to be Israel's "father" and obviously considered it his duty to protect her, whether she was right or wrong, perhaps erroneously believing that even when she was horrendously wrong she would eventually reform. But in any case, as Israel’s foreign minister during the war of 1967, Eban delivered a speech to the UN Security Council which has been said to rank "as the most erudite, sophisticated fraud ever heard by the world body." Eban "stood history on its head and the non-Arab world was only too willing to embrace his dissembling and deceit." What he said was carefully contrived to please and appease Americans, especially those American Jews who behaved like rich, magnanimous uncles, plowing money into Israel and rejoicing whenever the Israeli military crushed an Arab opponent. Unfortunately Americans lapped up Eban's fabrications, but it was hardly the milk of human kindness.

Eban was "an easy man to like, respect and believe, because he was cultured and thoroughly Western. Compared to the brutal gangsterism of Begin, Sharon, Shamir, Olmert, and Netanyahu, Eban stands like a colossus of conspicuous decency. Unfortunately, the comparison is purely relative. For all of his dovishness and diplomatic acumen Eban was still a Zionist, and therefore an apologist for [Israel's] aggression."

Eban’s "dissembling speech" to the UN Security Council, was a "masterpiece of rhetorical fraud that established the twin myths of Israeli vulnerability and Arab provocation." The speech was so convincing that "its message is still invoked today to rationalize the Occupation [of the West Bank] and justify the creeping theft" of Palestinian land. Even today, Eban’s "looking-glass reality" is continually given new life by Israel's apoligists who "dutifully reinforce the founding myths of the war." To this day, people who point out the errors and "tendentious arguments" in Eban’s speech are likely to remain either unheard or ignored. But Eban’s speech must be re-examined and held up to close scrutiny, because "a polite liar is still a liar, and the fruit of this particular lie is the genocide" of the Palestinian people.

Eban insisted that Israel’s existence was threatened. He said: “Two days ago … an army, greater than any force ever assembled in history in Sinai, had massed against Israel’s southern frontier. Egypt had dismissed the United Nations forces which symbolized the international interest in the maintenance of peace in our region. Nasser had provocatively brought five infantry divisions and two armoured divisions up to our very gates; 80,000 men and 900 tanks were poised to move … As time went on, there was no doubt that our margin of general security was becoming smaller and smaller. Thus, on the morning of 5 June, when Egyptian forces engaged us by air and land, bombarding the villages of Kissufim, Nahal-Oz and Ein Hashelosha we knew that our limit of safety had been reached, and perhaps passed. In accordance with its inherent right of self-defence as formulated in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, Israel responded defensively in full strength. Never in the history of nations has armed force been used in a more righteous or compelling cause.”

But Eban’s doom-and-gloom propaganda was later refuted by Israel’s generals and politicians:

Mordechai Bentov, an Israeli cabinet minister: “This story about the danger of extermination has been a complete invention and has been blown up a posteriori [after the fact] to justify the annexation of new Arab territories.” (Le Monde, June 3, 1972)

Menachem Begin, a future Prime Minister of Israel: “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (New York Times, Aug. 21, 1982)

General Matityahu Peled:  “To pretend that the Egyptian forces massed on our frontiers were in a position to threaten the existence of Israel constitutes an insult not only to the intelligence of anyone capable of analyzing this sort of situation, but above all an insult to the Zahal [Israeli army].” (Ha’aretz, March 19, 1972)

Was Israel’s use of force the most righteous and compelling in history, or was Eban engaging in "sanctimonious hyperbole" for a specific purpose: to pull wool over the eyes of gullible sheep? After all, Eban completely failed to mention Israel’s repeated border violations against Syria, which precipitated the conflict because Egypt and Syria had signed a mutual defense agreement.

In reality, Israel provoked the war by seizing Syrian land in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. There were also armed clashes over valuable water sources within Syria's borders. From 1948 to 1967, Syria reported more than 1,000 armed incursions. In a 1976 interview, Moshe Dayan admitted that Israel provoked most of the conflicts: “We would send a tractor to plow some [disputed] area ... and we knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance further, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was ... I made a mistake in allowing the conquest of the Golan Heights. As defense minister I should have stopped it because the Syrians were not threatening us at the time.”

Therefore, Nasser’s "provocative" build-up of forces on the Sinai had far less to do with aggression against Israel than with Egypt coming to Syria’s aid if Syria was attacked by Israel. Moreover, Nasser had sent 100,000 of his best troops to fight in Yemen’s civil war and was in no position to start hostilities.

Nasser did evict the UN peacekeeping force, and he did close the Red Sea port of Eilat, but Eban blew these actions out of proportion and repeatedly invoked Eilat as justification for invasion: “There was in this wanton act a quality of malice. For surely the closing of the Strait of Tiran gave no benefit whatever to Egypt except the perverse joy of inflicting injury on others. It was an anarchic act, because it showed a total disregard for the law of nations.” But what about Israel's disregard for the law of nations, which precludes one nation from continually violating another nation's borders, stealing its land, blowing up its waterworks, etc.?

Eban insisted that the “central point remains the need to secure an authentic intellectual recognition by our neighbours of Israel’s deep roots in the Middle Eastern reality. There is an intellectual tragedy in the failure of Arab leaders to come to grips, however reluctantly, with the depth and authenticity of Israel’s roots in the life, the history, the spiritual experience and the culture of the Middle East … There are not two categories of States. The United Arab Republic, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon ― not one of these has a single ounce or milligram of statehood which does not adhere in equal measures to Israel itself.”

But Eban fails to mention the Palestinians, who were the clear majority of the population of Palestine and therefore the rightful determiners of the nature of the state to be established there. Israel’s equivalence with other Middle Eastern states is merely asserted, not proven, and sounds like Shakespeare's lady who protested too much. If any other group of people had tried to reclaim land their forefathers had left 2,000 years before, they would have been met with looks of scorn and derision. Eban's "robust defense" of Israel's claim to the land was, in reality, a con job. The only legitimate claim Israel has to any of the land is that millions of Jews now live within the borders of Israel. How they got there probably doesn't really matter. But what does matter, a lot, is that the Palestinians still vastly outnumber the Jews and have been denied basic human rights for more than sixty years, and counting.

Less than two weeks after he addressed the Security Council, Eban gave a much more accurate account of Israel’s contempt for international law: “If the General Assembly were to vote by 121 votes to 1 in favor of Israel returning to the armistice lines [pre-1967 borders] Israel would refuse to comply with the decision.” (New York Times, June 19, 1967.) In other words, when the UN agreed with Israel, Israel's policies and actions were legitimized and vindicated. When the UN failed to agree with Israel, the UN could go to hell. Therefore, the UN was merely a tool in the superhero Abba Eban's utility belt.

Today the world cannot deny the physical presence of millions of Jews in Palestine. But at the same time we cannot live in a fantasy world where everything Israel does is somehow "justified" by irrational rhetoric and bald lies, however genteelly and eloquently delivered. At some point, Israel and the United States must admit the truth: what happened to the Palestinians was wrong and cannot be "justified." Today Jewish babies are born with vastly superior rights to Palestinian babies, who are born outcasts and pariahs on their own native soil. This is an abomination. It is past time for Israel to become a civilized nation, to abandon Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts, and either make the Palestinians fully equal citizens of a single state or allow them to become citizens of a separate, fully independent Palestinian state. Whatever land Israeli Jews keep, they will have taken at a terrible price, for which multitudes of Palestinians, other Arabs and Muslims, and now Americans have paid dearly. But why should my children and grandchildren suffer and die, paying some future terrible price, for the sake of a nation called Israel, when it refuses to treat Palestinian babies as human beings?

It is past time to understand why Abba Eban said what he said. His goal was to father a new nation called Israel. To accomplish this, he felt he had to dissemble and lie, and in so doing he brought the world to the brink of ruin. If we want peace, it's past time to call his bluff, and Israel's bluff, and confront and deal with the Truth. Yes, a nation called Israel exists. Yes, millions of Jews live there. No, not everything Israel says and does can be justified, and the price of believing fabrications and outright lies is more events like 9-11 and more wars like the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"The Arabs were committed to the doctrine that the end of the British Mandate could be followed by nothing except the establishment of an Arab Palestine. The idea that their rights and claims were equal to that of the Zionist establishment was an affront."― Abba Eban [But why? The Arabs had a clear majority of the population. The Zionists claimed to believe in democracy. Who but a racist would object to the majority determining the nature and form of government? Why did the Zionists continually insist that they were superior in every way to the Arabs?]

Abba Eban Quotations

"History teaches us that men and nations only behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives."

I think Abba Eban is correct, and especially so when it comes to Israel and its incredible follies. It seems Israel will only embrace real democracy if the rest of the world demands it.

"Tragedy is not what men suffer but what they miss."

Once again, I agree with Eban. What Israel has continually missed, resulting in so much human tragedy, is the "prime directive" of the Hebrew prophets: the pressing need for compassion and social justice in human relationships.

"The Jews are the living embodiment of the minority, the constant reminder of what duties societies owe their minorities, whoever they might be."

Yes, but what about the duties of Israeli society towards its minorities (which actually constitute the majority, since there have always been more Palestinians than Israeli Jews)?

"In order to seize the ears and the imagination of the world, Zionism has always found it necessary to employ a Utopian rhetoric. This is a natural condition of new communities established in an atmosphere of revolutionary passion."

Perhaps, but it is up to every civilized nation, once it has secured its borders, to establish fair (i.e., nonracist) laws and courts. Israel has never done this and instead has a system of Jim Crow laws and kangaroo courts designed to keep Palestinians in chains. What sort of modern "revolution" has as its main goal a feudal system based on a "superior" race dominating an "inferior" race?

"In our times, if a novelist were to describe the structure and environment of our mission, the critics would accuse him of taking his fantasies beyond the point of credibility."― Abba Eban

The Biltmore Resolution and the Excesses of Zionism

This section contains information provided by Ami Isseroff.

A 1939 British White Paper had closed Jewish immigration to Palestine and limited Jewish land purchases. Effectively, the White Paper had rescinded the Balfour Declaration and reneged on the British commitment to a Jewish national home in Palestine. [While this undoubtedly seemed "unfair" to Jews who wanted to seize control of Palestine, the British were aware that the majority of the population strongly opposed Zionism and might choose to side with the Axis powers if they believed the Allies were going to allow their land to be taken from under their feet.] This White Paper brought to question and intense dispute and refutation the methods of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the President of the Zionist Organization who had been "the architect of the Zionist policy of cooperation with the British, and who had been instrumental in obtaining the Balfour declaration." Millions of Jews were trapped in Nazi-controlled Europe, and the Zionists were desperately and completely understandably seeking ways to get them out. Toward this end, Zionist leaders met at the Biltmore Hotel in New York on May 6-11, 1942. They included Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion and Nahum Goldman. The conference adopted a series of resolutions calling for:

"the fulfillment of the original purpose of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate "
"to found there [Palestine] a Jewish Commonwealth"
"unalterable rejection of the White Paper of May 1939"
"that Palestine be established as a Jewish Commonwealth integrated in the structure of the new democratic world"

While it is completely understandable that the Zionists wanted to help the Jews trapped in Europe, they chose a solution that soon would have them emulating the Nazis: denying the rights of people of other races, pretending for the most part that they didn't really exist, and herding them into terrible ghettoes and refugee and concentration camps. In trying to avoid one Holocaust, the Zionists created the genesis of another: the Nakba of the Palestinians.

Abba Eban said himself, "In our times, if a novelist were to describe the structure and environment of our mission, the critics would accuse him of taking his fantasies beyond the point of credibility." He pointed out that "the Biltmore resolution implied that Zionism would govern the entire 'commonwealth' in spite of the inconvenient fact that the Jews were a minority of the population." So it makes no sense to accuse Palestinians and other Arabs of reacting irrationally to the news that the Zionists were coming. Everyone "in the know" on both sides understood the reality. If the Zionists were successful, they would control all Palestine and multitudes of Palestinians would become their slaves or serfs.

The primary goal of Zionism was incompatible with its profession to be part of "the new democratic world." Zionism had become a colonial enterprise based on the premise that an oligarchy of Jews would rule over as large a territory as possible, even though that territory was primarily Arab in population and culture. The Zionists were simply copying the methods of Great Britain, which used superior firepower to take over "less sophisticated" countries like India, then have their way with the natives. But at the same time Great Britain was divesting itself of its colonies, and the civilized world was moving increasingly towards self-determination and democracy for indigenous people everywhere around the globe.

And the British "had always stated that it was their intention to make Palestine a Jewish National Home, and NOT a 'commonwealth' or independent state as Weizmann had sometimes stated informally." Though Lord Balfour himself and Winston Churchill "had both made statements privately receptive of the idea of a Jewish state, neither had said so in any public statement, and neither had any other British official." And up to this point "Zionist officials had been careful to steer away from a concrete demand for a state except when it was offered in the Peel Commission Report." [In other words, Great Britain had been in favor of establishing a region in Palestine where Jews could live together, but had said nothing officially about Jews ruling over Arabs anywhere in Palestine.]

Beginning with the Churchill White Paper of 1922, the British had "emphasized that a Jewish national home would be formed in Palestine, that is, in a part of Palestine." But the Biltmore resolution now declared that all Palestine would be a Jewish "commonwealth." A fundamental shift had occurred, and the Arab world would understand that shift and its implications.

The Biltmore Program was "a very important turning point in the development of the Zionist movement, which increasingly saw itself as opposed to Britain rather than a collaborator of Britain. It officially set the goal of an independent Jewish state as the goal of the Zionist movement, and it determined that henceforth Ben-Gurion and Zionist executive in Palestine, rather than Weizmann, would lead the Zionist movement and determine policy toward the British. [The shift of power to Ben-Gurion is important, as he would adopt a strategy of relying on force rather than diplomacy, and of "saying one thing and doing another," which soon became par for the course, to the befuddlement of the American public.]

The announcement of the intention to form a state was not new, since the Zionists had accepted the Peel Commission Report which had called for creation of two states in Palestine. However, it was the first time that Zionist and non-Zionists alike had called for establishment of a Jewish state. There was, likewise no intention to remove the Arabs of Palestine implied in this declaration. It was not part of any sinister international Jewish conspiracy as some assert, but rather a desperate attempt to save the trapped Jews of Europe. In 1942, there were still about five or six million Jews living in Western Europe, and it was still possible to believe that immigration of some of these Jews to Palestine would create the majority needed for the Jewish commonwealth as well as saving them from Nazi persecution." The resolutions included a conciliatory paragraph:

"...The Jewish people in its own work of national redemption welcomes the economic, agricultural and national development of the Arab peoples and states. The Conference reaffirms the stand previously adopted at Congresses of the World Zionist Organization, expressing the readiness and the desire of the Jewish people for full cooperation with their Arab neighbours." ["Cooperation" seems to have meant "capitulation" on the part of Arabs.]

The Biltmore resolutions were "designed to appeal to American Jews, who had supported Jewish statehood since the Peel plan of 1937, and they did appeal to American Jews." Weizmann was "at least willing to live with the program, which in fact had been drafted by his close aid, Meir Weisgal, and which he supported in a speech in December 1942. He viewed it however as a maximal and theoretical demand, not as a program for action." Soon after the Biltmore meetings, Ben-Gurion "tried to unseat Weizmann as president of the Zionist organization, arguing that he was too conciliatory and pro-British, but his arguments were rejected as baseless by American Zionists." However, Ben-Gurion would eventually replace Weizmann as the primary leader of the Zionists, and he would be followed in turn by even harder and fiercer men dedicated to the proposition of wresting all the land of Palestine from the Palestinians. Men like Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu would increasingly allow Jewish robber barons to steal and plunder land and water resources from increasingly homeless and destitute Palestinians, while the Muslim world watched on in horror.

The Arabs "in any case believed the worst as far as Zionist intentions were concerned, and did not need the Biltmore programme to confirm their suspicions. In the last resort Biltmore was not a policy but a symbol, a slogan, reflecting the radicalization of the Zionist movement as the result of the war and of the losses suffered by the Jewish people. It foreshadowed the bitter postwar conflict with the British government." (Walter Lacquer, A History of Zionism, 2003, pages 548-549).

The Zionist movement could not "control the fate of European Jewry, nor did it have the armed force to compel the British to keep the letter and spirit of the mandate and the Balfour declaration. However, the Biltmore declaration was crucial nonetheless. It planted a flag that united Zionists around a common cause and made possible the understood common purpose of the post-war Jewish revolt. It explained the purpose of the Zionist struggle to the world and it provided the moral backing for that purpose in the framework of the struggle against Fascism. It made the cause of the Jewish State into a moral issue that could be recognized (and then denied) by the British Labor Party and it it made it into a viable public issue that could be brought before the President of the United States as well as the United Nations when the time came." But the Biltmore declaration seems to have marked a turning point of sorts within the Zionist movement, away from democracy and toward autocratic minority rule of all Palestine by Jews. The "problem" the Arabs posed to Jews was similar to the "problem" Jews posed to Nazis. But in Germany the Jews were the decided minority, while in Palestine the Jews were the decided minority.

"Might this [establishing a Jewish state in Palestine] not kindle a permanent war?" ― Abba Eban [Yes, and it would also kindle 9-11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well.]

Abba Eban's Comments on Zionism, the "Lesser Injustice"

Abba Eban intuitively and intellectually understood the terrible dilemma of Zionism: if Jews insisted on establishing superior rights to Arabs, this would mean establishing inferior rights for Arabs and dehumanizing them, just as Nazis had dehumanized Jews. Eban also understood that Zionism was inherently anti-democratic, saying, "To deny the Zionist claim would have been to affirm that Arabs must be free and sovereign everywhere [since they had an overwhelming majority of the population] and the Jews nowhere [since they did not have a majority of the population anywhere on the planet], not even in the land that past history and contemporary law had designed as their abode. But this robust defense [his defense is hardly "robust"] of basic Zionist claims did not mean that I was oblivious of a moral dilemma ... For me a turning point in the moral history of Zionism had come with Weizmann's remark in a majestic speech to a [British] Royal Commission in which he declared that the fulfillment of the Zionist purpose would be the 'the lesser injustice.' Injustice, because the Palestinian Arabs, were it not for the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations, could have counted on eventual independence [like every other British colony] either as a separate state or in an Arab context acceptable to them ... If they had submitted to Zionism with docility they would have been the first people in history to have voluntarily renounced their majority status [thus becoming the willing serfs of a 'superior race' of foreign invaders].

But that terrible "lesser injustice" would eventually turn into a new Holocaust, the Nakba ("Catastrophe") of the Palestinians, affecting millions of completely innocent Muslim women and children.

Eban goes on to say that "not a single government in the world" would have voted for a society based on the principle of minority rule, and yet that is exactly what Zionism was "all about," since the Zionists wanted to rule as much of Palestine as possible (and eventually all Palestine) despite the presence of vastly more Arabs who had lived there continuously for thirteen centuries.

Eban also points out that among the Jews there was "no public or national awareness" of what was about to happen to the Palestinians, that the view of the region he had been transmitted by other Zionists was "preposterously misleading," and that the "soothing doctrine" that Zionism would be "beneficial" for Arabs was "total nonsense." In other words, Zionism was anti-democratic and based on bald lies and pie-in-the-sky fabrications.

Eban calls the idea that anyone would willing barter independence for economic benefits "a typical colonialist illusion." This colonialist illusion was the root cause of the Vietnam War: the Vietnamese people did not want French and American rulers telling them where and how to live on their own land. The same colonialist illusion led to 9-11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, because a small group of Muslim men decided that if Palestinian women and children were going to suffer and die at the hands of Jews and Americans, they would respond in kind. Because Jews and Americans don't want to admit the horror of what their governments did to millions of innocents, they must fabricate an "alternate reality" in which they are the victims rather than the oppressors. Abba Eban was honest enough to admit the moral dilemma, but not objective enough to see that the Zionists were just as wrong to colonize Palestine as the French were to colonize Vietnam.

"Some things in Jewish history are too terrible to be believed, but nothing in Jewish history is too terrible to have happened." ― Abba Eban [The Jewish Shoah was too terrible to be believed, but so is the Palestinian Nakba. The Shoah is thankfully over. The Nakba unfortunately continues. The Shoah cannot and does not excuse the Nakba. A man who was beaten as a child cannot continually beat his own children, or the law must intervene. The excuses of Zionism are just that: excuses. Every civilized nation is responsible for establishing fair laws and courts, but the laws of Israel are Jim Crow laws, and the courts of Israel are kangaroo courts. Israel cannot insist that the tactics of the Nazis were evil, then use the same tactics against Palestinian women and children. The civilized nations of the world must tell Israel to either let the Palestinians go, so that they can have an independent state of their own, or make them fully equal citizens of a single democratic state.]

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