The plan for the Iraq war, which has erupted
in the face of opposition from the entire world, was drawn
up at least decades ago, by Israeli strategists. In its
attempt to realize its strategy of destabilizing or dividing
the Middle Eastern Arab states, Israel has Egypt, Syria,
Iran and Saudi Arabia on its list of subsequent targets.
As these lines are being written, the United
States of America has begun striking at Iraq. Despite the
fact that most countries of the world, and even the majority
of the USA's allies, opposed it, the US administration was
determined for the strike to go ahead. When we look behind
the scenes of this insistence, it seems that Israel and
its powerful lobby in the US, have the greatest share in
In fact, Israel's policy aimed at the fragmentation
of Iraq has lengthy historical roots
The Age-Old Israeli Plan to Divide Iraq
An ambitious report entitled "A Strategy for
Israel in the 1980s," which appeared in the World Zionist
Organization's periodical Kivunim in February 1982
disclosed a strategy aimed at making the whole of the Middle
East a kind of "living space" for Israel. The report, drawn
up by Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist and formerly attached
to the Foreign Ministry of Israel, set out the scenario
of the "division of Iraq" in these terms:
Iraq, rich in
oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is
guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution
is even more important for us than that of Syria
once again, no different in essence from its neighbors,
although its majority is Shi'ite and the ruling minority
Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in
politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power.
In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north,
and if it weren't for the strength of the ruling regime,
the army and the oil revenues, Iraq's future state would
be no different than that of Lebanon in the past
a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as
in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or
more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra,
Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate
from the Sunni and Kurdish north.
This was not the only announcement of the Israeli
plan to atomize Middle East, including Iraq. As Israel Shahak,
the notable Israeli scholar known for his dedication to
a peaceful solution in the Middle East, explained that Yinon
was just echoing the views of Israeli hawks:
The idea that all the Arab states
should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs
again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example,
Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and
probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic)
writes about the "best" that can happen for Israeli interests
in Iraq: "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state,
a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz
6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.
Thus, the plan was a serious one and this has
been confirmed by the age-old Israeli support to non-Arab
or non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim Arab states. The
rebellious Kurds of northern Iraq was one of these strategic
allies of Israel. During their revolt against the Baghdad
regime, 1961-75, they have been financially and militarily
supported by Israel. Israelis would love to see them carve
up the northern part of Iraq, no matter how bloody and devastating
such a civil war would be. However, the revolt failed in
1975, after loosing the support of its major patron, the
Fifteen years later, a new opportunity arose
for Israel, an opportunity from the ambitions of the Iraqi
dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Israel's Role in the Gulf War
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, after his bloody
war against Iran in the 80's, invaded Kuwait in a sudden
attack on August 1, 1990, giving rise to an international
crisis. Israel headed the list of those forces that encouraged
that crisis. Israel was the fiercest supporter of the attitude
adopted by the United States in the wake of the invasion
of Kuwait. The Israelis even regarded the United States
as moderate, and wanted a harsher policy. To such an extent
in fact that the President of Israel Chaim Herzog recommended
that the American use nuclear weapons. On the other hand,
the Israeli lobby in the United States was working to bring
about a wide-ranging attack on Iraq.
This whole situation encouraged
the idea in the United States that the attack against Iraq
under consideration was actually planned in Israel's interests.
Pat Buchanan summarized this idea in the words "There are
only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the
Middle East - the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen
corner in the United State."iii
Israelis had also initiated a
serious propaganda campaign on the issue. Since this campaign
was largely waged in secret, Mossad also entered the equation.
Rogue Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky provides important information
on this subject. According to Ostrovsky, Israel had wanted
to wage war with the United States against Saddam long before
the Gulf crisis. So much so in fact, that Israel began to
implement the plan immediately after the Iran-Iraq war.
Ostrovsky reports that Mossad's Psychological Warfare department
(LAP - LohAma Psicologit) set about an effective pro-war
campaign using disinformation techniques. iv
A Mossad Agent Describes the Gulf War
Ostrovsky describes how Mossad used agents
or sympathizers in various parts of the world in this campaign.
Among the tools employed in the campaign were the horrible
massacres done by missiles launched against civilian targets
in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. As Ostrovsky makes clear,
Mossad's later use of these missiles as a propaganda tool
was quite peculiar, since those missiles had actually been
directed towards their targets by Mossad, with the help
of information from US satellites. Having supported Saddam
throughout his war with Iran, Israel was now disclosing
his crimes. Ostrovsky writes:
The Mossad leaders
know that if they could make Saddam appear bad enough and
a threat to the Gulf oil supply, of which he'd been the
protector up to that point, then the United States and its
allies would not let him get away with anything, but would
take measures that would all but eliminate his army and
his weapons potential, especially if they were led to believe
that this might just be their last chance before he went
The Israelis were so determined
on this matter, and with regard to the United States, that
on August 4, 1990, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy issued
a diplomatically worded threat to William Brown, the American
ambassador to Israel, stating that Israel "expects the U.S.
will fulfill all of the goals it set for itself at the beginning
of the gulf crisis," in other words that it attack Iraq.
According to Levy, if the United States failed to do so,
Israel would act unilaterally. vi
It would be of enormous benefit to Israel to
have the United States engage in the war and for Israel
to remain entirely uninvolved: and that is indeed what happened.
Israel Forces the USA to War
However, the Israelis were actively involved
in the United States' war plans. Some US staff officers
involved in planning Operation Desert Storm received fine
tactical advice from the Israelis that "the best way of
wounding Saddam was to strike at his family."
The Mossad-inspired propaganda campaign reported
by Ostrovsky set up the necessary public backing for the
Gulf War. It was again Mossad local assistants who lit the
touchpaper for the war. The Hill and Knowlton lobbying firm,
run by Tom Lantos of the Israeli lobby, prepared a dramatic
scenario to convince members of Congress on the subject
of war against Saddam. Turan Yavuz, a noted Turkish journalist,
describes the incident:
October 9, 1990.
The Hill and Knowlton lobbying firm organizes a sitting
in Congress on the subject of "Iraq's Barbarities." A number
of "eye witnesses" brought to the session by the lobbying
firm maintain that Iraqi troops killed new-born babies in
the hospital wards. One "eye witness" describes the savagery
in enormous detail, saying that Iraqi soldiers killed 300
new-born babies in one hospital alone. This information
deeply disturbs the members of Congress. This works to President
Bush's advantage. However, it later emerges that the eye
witness brought by Hill and Knowlton to Congress is in fact
the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington. Nevertheless,
the daughter's account is sufficient for members of Congress
to give Saddam the nickname "Hitler". vii
This leads to just one conclusion: that Israel
played an important role in the United States' to wage its
first war on Iraq. The second one is not much different.
The Pretext of "War Against Terrorism"
Contrary to popular belief, the plan to attack
Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime by force was
prepared and placed on Washington's agenda long before the
genesis of the "war against terrorism," which emerged in
the wake of September 11. The first indication of this plan
emerged in 1997. A group of pro-Israeli hawkish strategists
in Washington D.C. began to put forward the scenario of
the invasion of Iraq by manipulating the "neo-con" think-tank,
called PNAC (Project for The New American Century). The
most notable names in the PNAC were those of Donald Rumsfeld
and Dick Cheney, who as defense secretary and vice-president
would be the most influential figures in the George W. Bush
An article titled "Invading Iraq Not a New
Idea for Bush Clique: 4 Years Before 9/11 Plan Was Set"
written by William Brunch and published in the Philadelphia
Daily News, sets out the following facts:
But in reality,
Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and a small band of
conservative ideologues had begun making the case for an
American invasion of Iraq as early as 1997 - nearly four
years before the Sept. 11 attacks and three years before
President Bush took office.
An obscure, ominous-sounding right-wing policy group called
Project for the New American Century, or PNAC - affiliated
with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld's top deputy Paul Wolfowitz
and Bush's brother Jeb - even urged then-President Clinton
to invade Iraq back in January 1998. viii
Is Oil the Real Objective?
Why were the PNAC members so determined to
attack Iraq? The same article continues:
While oil is a backdrop to
PNAC's policy pronouncements on Iraq, it doesn't seem to
be the driving force. [Ian] Lustick, [a University of Pennsylvania
political science professor and Middle East expert,] while
a critic of the Bush policy, says oil is viewed by the war's
proponents primarily as a way to pay for the costly military
"I'm from Texas, and every oil man that I know is against
military action in Iraq," said PNAC's Schmitt. "The oil
market doesn't need disruption."
Lustick believes that a more powerful hidden
motivator may be Israel. He said Bush administration hawks
believe that a show of force in Iraq would somehow convince
Palestinians to accept a peace plan on terms favorable to
This, therefore, is the principal motivation
behind the plan to attack Iraq: to serve Israel's Middle
This fact has also been identified by other
Middle East experts. Cengiz Çandar, a Turkish Middle East
expert, for instance, describes the real power behind the
plan to attack Iraq thus:
... Who is directing the attack
on Iraq? Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld,
National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. These are the
"senior level" backers of the attack. Yet the rest of the
iceberg is even richer and more interesting. There are a
number of "lobbies."
Heading these lobbies are the Jewish Institute
for Security Affairs team, pro-Likud and Israeli-right and
known for their close relations with US arms manufacturers.
These have close relations with the "arms lobby," Lockheed,
Northrop, General Dynamics and Israeli military industries
... JINSA's fundamental principle is this: America's and
Israel's security are inseparable. In other words, they
are the same thing.
JINSA's objective is not solely the overthrow
of the Saddam regime in Iraq: it also supports the overthrow
of the Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Egyptian and Iranian regimes
with a logic of "total war," and the subsequent importation
of "democracy." ... In other words, a number of American
Jews on the same wavelength as the most extreme factions
in Israel at the moment comprise the hawks in Washington.
The Israeli Strategy for The Muslim Middle East
In short, there are those in Washington who
are encouraging a war aimed first at Iraq and then at Saudi
Arabia, Syria, Iran and Egypt. The most distinguishing feature
of these is that they are lined up alongside, and even equivalent
to, the "Israeli lobby."
No matter how much they speak of "American
interests," these people are actually supporting Israeli
interests. A strategy of waging war against the whole of
the Middle East and turning all the peoples of the region
against it cannot be to the United States' advantage. The
adoption of such a strategy can only be possible if the
United States is bound to Israel, by means of the Israeli
lobby, which is profoundly influential in this country's
It is for these reasons that behind the strategy
which began to be set in motion after September 11 and is
aimed at re-arranging the entire Islamic world, lies Israel's
strategy for dominating the Middle East. Ever since its
foundation, Israel has aimed at restructuring the Middle
East, making it manageable and secure to itself. The search
for security is of course a legitimate one, but the way
that Israel chose to achieve this end is wrong: From the
beginning, Israel decided to establish security behind an
"iron wall" that would separate itself from the Arabs, and
most important of all, protect the lands that Israel occupied
through methods of invasion, colonization and depopulation.
This strategy of reaping the wind had its consequence as
a century of constant clash between Israelis and Arabs.
Had Israel chosen a peaceful path to secure its existence,
by building good relations with its Arab neighbors and refraining
from aggression, Jews and Muslims could peacefully co-exist
in the Middle East, as they have done before for centuries.
However, the radical Zionist
ideology still denies any chance to peace and relentlessly
tries to transform the whole Middle East to create a "living
space" for Israel. It has been using its influence in the
United States for that purpose in recent years, and to a
large extent directs Washington's Middle East policy. The
post-September 11 climate gave Israel the opportunity it
had been seeking. Pro-Israeli ideologues who for years had
been propounding the falsehood that Islam itself - not some
militant radicals who use Islam as a shelter - posed a threat
to the West and the United States, and who encouraged the
mistaken concept of a "clash of civilizations," have been
trying to incite the United States against the Islamic world
in the wake of September 11. As early as 1995, Israel Shahak
of the Jerusalem Hebrew University wrote former Israeli
Prime Minister Rabin's obsession with "the idea of an Israeli-led
anti-Islamic crusade". Nahum Barnea, a commentator from
the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, stated that same year
that Israel was making progress "[to] become the Western
vanguard in the war against the Islamic enemy." xi
All that has happened in the years which have
followed is that Israeli hawks have made their intentions
even clearer. The political climate in the wake of September
11 prepared the ground for this intention to be made a reality.
The Only Way to World Peace: An Islamic Union
The situation may be summarized as follows:
Israel's aim is to reshape the Middle East in line with
its own strategic interests. In order to do this, it needs
a "world power." That power is the United States; and Israeli
hawks, thanks to their influence there, are trying to wage
a militant American strategy against the Islamic world.
Although Israel is a small state with a population of only
4.5 million, the plans drawn up by Israeli strategists and
their counterparts in the West are directing the world affairs.
What needs to be done in the face of this?
1) "Counter lobby activities" need to be adopted
in the face of the Israeli lobby's influence in the United
States in order to develop dialogue between the United States
and the Islamic world and to invite it to seek peaceful
solutions to Iraq and similar problems. A wide section of
the United States wishes to see their country adopt a fairer
Middle East policy. Many statesmen, strategists, journalists
and intellectuals have expressed this, and a "peace of civilizations"
movement must be carried forward in cooperation with them.
The approach inviting the US administration to peaceful
solutions must be carried forward at governmental and civil
society organization level.
2) A reconciliation between Israel and the
Muslim Middle East must be sought. There are many "peaceniks",
i.e. pro-peace Israelis, too. Many Israeli statesmen, religious
leader, opinion leaders and many Jews from all around the
world are urging the Israeli state to refrain from its brutal
occupation and accept a just peace to live along with their
Arab neighbors. Cooperation with them, especially on the
inter-faith level, should be initiated and encouraged. One
thing should never be forgotten: The rise of radicalism,
enmity and violence is bad for all parties.
3) Alongside all this, a deeper rooted solution
lies in a project which can resolve all the problems between
the Islamic world and the West and deal with the fragmentation,
suffering and poverty in the Islamic world and totally alter
Islamic Union. Recent developments have shown that the
whole world, not just Islamic regions, stands in need of
an "Islamic Union." This Union should heal the radical elements
in the Islamic World, and establish good relations between
Muslim countries and the West, especially the United States.
This Union, can find a solution to the mother
of all problems: The Arab-Israeli conflict. With Israel
retreating to its pre-67 borders and Arabs recognizing its
right to exist, there can be real peace in the Middle East.
And Jews and Muslims - both Children of Abraham and believers
in one true God - may peacefully co-exist in the Holy Land,
as they have done during the past centuries. Then, Israel
would need no strategy to destabilize or divide the Arab
States. And it will not have to face the results of occupation
in forms of terrorism and constant fear of annihilation.
Then, both the Israeli and Iraqi (and Palestinian) children
may grow up in peace and security. That is a Middle East
that any sane person should work to see.
Israel Shahak, The Zionist Plan for the Middle East; from
Oded Yinon's "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties"
Published by the Association of Arab-American University
Graduates, Inc. Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982 Special Document
No. 1 (ISBN 0-937694-56-8); http://www.geocities.com/roundtable_texts/zionistplan.html
ii- (ed.) Israel Shahak, The Zionist
Plan for the Middle East; http://www.geocities.com/roundtable_texts/zionistplan.html
iv- Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side
of Deception, pp. 252-254.
v- Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side
of Deception, p. 254
vi- Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous
Liaison, p. 356.
vii- Turan Yavuz, ABD'nin Kürt
Kartı (The US' Kurdish Card), p. 307
viii- William Bunch, Philadelphia
Daily News, Jan. 27, 2003
ix- William Bunch, "Invading Iraq
not a new idea for Bush clique" Philadelphia Daily News,
Jan. 27, 2003
x- Cengiz Çandar, "Iraq and the 'Friends
of Turkey' American Hawks", Yeni Şafak, September
xi- Israel Shahak, "Downturn in Rabin's
Popularity Has Several Causes", Washington Report on
Middle East Affairs, March 1995.