Sunday, March 29, 2009

Six Decades of Terror: NATO is al QAEDA-pt1 -- by Mick Collins

[This is the first installment of our series commemorating the last 15 years of the six decades of US-backed global anti-majoritarian (i.e., anti-Communist) terrorism. Brief recap:

11 March 2006 is the date of President Slobodan Milosevic's death at the hands of the NATO Tribunal in The Hague (mistakenly and illegally credited to the UNSC);

23 March 1999 marks the beginning of NATO's terror-bombing of Yugoslavia over Kosovo;

6 April 1994 is the date of the double presidential assassination that is said to have triggered a paroxysm of mass killing in Rwanda, come to be known as the 'Genocide of 100 Days,' in a parallel campaign of NATO terror in Central Africa;

and 23 April 1999 is the date independent journalism began its slow dance of death in the world media with the bombing of Belgrade's Radio/Television Serbia (RTS), which killed 16 journalists and station staff, and, as with the other cited atrocities (or 911), has gone without an investigation worthy of the name--and its real perps have gone unapprehended--but the victims of all these NATO crimes will continue to pay for them in perpetuity.

We are just back from an all-too-short stay in Belgrade (we being my son Max and I), where a truncated version of this text was presented at an anti-NATO/EU/Fascism rally in Republic Square on Tuesday night the 24th.

The initial intention of this writing was to convey in English the essence of a statement made for the Commemoration Conference at the Sava Center, by French General Pierre-Marie Gallois, one of Serbia's oldest and best friends in France, and the man who accepted the unconditioned release of two French NATO pilots downed over Bosnia in December 1995, from his Yugoslav Army homologue, General Radko Mladic. Both these men are venerated by their peoples as great war heros, though Mladic has been turned by NATO expedience and cowardice into a most-wanted war crimes suspect unto genocidaire.

But Max's presence at my side in Belgrade changed a lot. Just as this visit to Serbia, to Slobodan Milosevic's grave in Pozarevac, and to the prison where Dragoljub Milanović, the chief of RTS, is currently stepping off a dime bid--a 'reckless endangerment' beef so humbug it'd bend Lady Justice double and choke her with her own vomit--this whole trip has racked focus on the Western wars for commercial and financial domination against small independence-minded nations, revealing them for the hideous campaigns of global terror and victim-blaming they really are.

So, NATO is al QAEDA, nobullshit!--but will Obama be Osama? Stay tuned for Part 2. --mc]


Six Decades of Terror:
NATO is al QAEDA--pt 1.

--Belgrade, 23 March 2009

Ten years ago, while NATO was ‘terror-bombing’ Yugoslavia over Kosovo (Newsweek’s pre-911 terminology), I had already been working on the Balkan Dossier for about four years. In 1995, during my first summer in Paris, I wrote a play about the Bosnian war, Black Samba, which was done in New York City at Soho Rep in 1998. By then the nation of Yugoslavia was just a memory in America, or a trivia question, like “Automobiles for $50: In what Southeastern European country is the Yugo manufactured?”. I couldn’t figure out why or how everyone fell into the easy, uncritical use of names like the ex-, or former-, or rump-Yugoslavia. I didn’t know what had become of the Yugoslavs, where their Yugoslavia had gone, but I had a hunch I knew the guys who’d gotten rid of it pretty well.

During the 1999 NATO bombing, the young woman with whom I was working to produce the Paris revival of my first Los Angeles play, WinoTime,--and who would later get me my greatest reproduction, my son Max--took me to a little restaurant, just outside Paris in Montreuil, called Le Café Yougoslavie. We would watch the gruesome news reports from Belgrade's RTS on a wall-sized projection TV. What we saw was people just like us--not little Southeast Asians or black Africans or swarthy Middle Easterners--, living in houses like ours--not in thatched huts or broken down refugee camps--, with cars like ours, and little families with beautiful kids--like everywhere in the world: we saw all this being destroyed, being blown to pieces, live and in color, and it was all being sponsored by those good people in the Human Rights business. It really made no sense--or, at least, what sense I did make of it was almost too cynical and too sinister to be anything else but inHuman Wrongs.

From the very beginning of the discussion, the conflict in the Balkans was seen to be an internecine battle among the once-Federated Republics, which had almost magically been declared independent sovereign nations by, first Germany, then the fledgling EEC-EU, and finally, once the US had weighed in, the entire ‘International Community’--less Russia and China, of course. It was instantly identified, even by the best historians, as a ‘civil war,’ just like the one that went down there during WWII: a war over territory, waged by the various Yugoslav ‘national minorities’, Croats, Bosnians and Serbs, with their goal of becoming a ‘national minority’ but within their own nations.

The disappearance of the United Nations-founding member-state of Yugoslavia, the nation of the Southern Slavs, into the historico-toxic fog of a disinformation-driven civil war, allowed the original aggression against the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia by US and EU financial and commercial interests, backed by endless waves of private-military terrorists, just like those being deployed in the Middle East and Central Africa at the same time, to be occulted within, even effaced from, the Historical Record, and eventually retro-blamed on the very Slav victims of the aggression, itself. Western financial speculators from Enron, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse/First Boston supported the extra-legal secessions from Yugoslavia, especially by Croatia and Bosnia, and seized the recently deregulated markets, then used their formidable Private Military Contractors, like DynCorp and MPRI, to dissolve all public sector protection from the now emaciated Yugoslav State by going after the Yugoslav People’s Army, the JNA. As long as Yugoslavia could be seen to be acting out age-old religious, ethnic and national animosities; as long as the Slavs, in defending themselves, could be seen to be trying to kill each other off: it was stupidly simple to convince the world that all the killing had its origins not in response to any foreign aggression, but in the restlessness of the hateful native tribes, and that the best way to put a stop to it was, first, to choke them hard with embargoes and other economic sanctions, then to interpose the world’s most powerful military force, but call it a ‘Humanitarian Intervention,’ and, finally, just bomb the shit outta all these petty ‘nationalists’ until they’re begging for peace--then bomb them some more. However costly in human lives this joint criminal enterprise might be, the Chicago School policy adopted by the Western Business interests involved dictated that it should be paid. Of course this war--like all wars--was great for Business, but those who actually paid the real costs were no longer of much economic good for anything else.

The time, of course, was very right. The Soviet Union was broken up, and the European Union was about to put ink to its Maastricht Treaty. Globalization was on a roll, freeing capital to go wherever it wanted, to do whatever it wanted and without answering to anyone but its self-valorizing self. One by one, the countries that had depended on the Soviet Union for support to maintain their subsidized housing and domestic food-farming sectors, their universal free health care systems, their universal free education and their guaranteed full-employment; these former spudniks were freed from their orbits of privileged trade with Russia (especially in the realm of energy resources) and allowed, with full liberty and the wily ministrations of Western investment banks and brokers, to develop into morbidly exploitive and criminally anarchic market economies--all now the crushing bondage of NATO membership. Today, too late, they wish things had gone another way.

Yet the European moral vacuum necessary for this kind of Orwellian anti-rationality to be passed off as progress (e.g., wage slavery as an improvement on a socially guaranteed, healthy working life; victimization by profit-driven medical/pharmaceutical complexes that guarantee death by debt as preferable to socially supported protection against catastrophic illness; forced labor in the service of militarism and the wastage of never-ending war as preferable to living a peaceful, reflective and [pro]creative life) was sucked out in France by the elevation and celebration of nouveaux collabos-intellos, like Bernard Kouchner and Bernard Henri-Levy; and in the US by the achievement of state power by class collaborationists, and just common greed-heads, like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and even the porcine Richard Holbrooke.

Only such lunatic sociopaths could accept rewards, however grand the money amounts or haughty the positions, for foisting onto their fellows a false consciousness, a culture of murderous lies and manipulations--the very sort of atmosphere that has allowed the tyranny of NATO to continue well beyond its real anti-Soviet relevancy. And even though by now they all, BK & BH-L & Holbrooke, have admitted in their various writings that the rationale of a ‘Serbian fascist aggression’ against, and the ethnic cleansing of, all non-Serbs (non-Slavs?) from the other innocently self-determining former-Yugoslav Republics, as well as its own southern province of Kosovo; that the tabloid stories of death and rape camps, even unto ‘a genocide of non-Serbs’ (non-Christians?), were the pure creations of Western marketing--principal among the tub-thumpers being Ruder-Finn International ‘s director James Harff(1), whose motto, ‘The client comes first, second and third. The Truth? We’ll get back to you on that after lunch,’ became the overly long mantra of everyone in the War Biz.

‘The French Doctor' Kouchner, in a scene from his autobiography, A Warrior for Peace, describes a dying Bosnian president Izetbegovic telling him that it was at the instigation of his Western minders--like Ambassador Warren Zimmermann, who talked him into pulling his signature off the 1992 Lisbon Accords(2), and on the word of President Clinton, himself, (who also ordered up the Srebrenica phantasmagoria)--that the Serbian death camp lie was cooked up:


An obvious dying old man lies in bed with all the necessary tubes and monitors in place and beeping:

Dr. K: You remember President Mitterand’s visit?

President Izedbegovic (Through a death rattle): I remember.

Dr. K: In the course of conversation, you mentioned that there were {makes the quotes with his fingers} “EXTERMINATION CAMPS” in Bosnia. You repeated that to journalists. That provoked a lot of strong feelings in the world. . . . (beats) François {referring to French President François Mitterand} sent me to Omarska. . . and . . . we opened some other prisons. (several beats) They were pretty horrible places, ok? . . . But the people there were not systematically exterminated. . . {LONG PAUSE} You know that, right?

President Izedbegovic (Reluctantly): Yeah. . . . (beats) I thought my revelations would put a rush on the [NATO] bombing. . . . I saw how the French and others reacted. . . I was wrong.

Richard Holbrooke: You saw that at Helsinki President Bush didn’t react.

President Izedbegovic (Resignedly): Yes . . . I tried. But it was a bad call. . . . (beats) There were no Death Camps, however shitty those places were.(3)

Bernard Henri-Levy wrote in his book, Who Killed Daniel Pearl?(4), about the ‘open secret’ among the supporters of the Bosnian Muslims concerning the lies and manipulations that the Serb atrocity stories were, including the so-called Siege of Sarajevo, the bombing of bakeries and market places and, especially, the rape and death camps. But this secret truth never mitigated BH-L's support for the ferocious bombing of Serbian/Yugoslav positions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, and then, again, over Kosovo in 1999. Throughout, BH-L kept clutching Bosnian Muslims to his blue-blazer-clad bosom.

And just to show that the Kosovo terror bombing was not some isolated aberration of US foreign policy in the Balkans: Scott O’Grady, a USAF pilot who took part in the 1992-1995 NATO bombing of Serb positions in Bosnia, and the subject of John Glenn’s film, Behind Enemy Lines(5) [included in the CM/P seminar, Movies and the UnMaking-Of History], confessed in his book, Return With Honor(6), that he was briefed before his fateful mission that the massacres of civilians in Sarajevo had been authorized by the Izetbegovic government, itself, and not carried out by the Serbs. Despite O’Grady’s disclosures of the real balance of forces on the ground in Bosnia, the Hollywood-led demonization of the Bosnian Serbs in films like Welcome to Sarajevo(7) and The Fourth Angel(8), made NATO’s terrorizing of Yugoslavia in 1999 both understandable and forgivable.

Women, too, showed themselves capable of abandoning moral dignity and shunning human decency for the sake of power and position. Who could forget Madeleine Albright, in a grotesque impersonation of a human being, claiming to CBS’s Leslie Stahl that the price of half a million Iraqi children’s lives was worth paying to stop Saddam Hussien(9). The same sort of ghoulish accounting was employed by Bernard Koucher’s wife, Christine Ockrent (a leading French radio and TV journalist), when she suggested that all the hundreds of thousands of refugees being created by the 1999 NATO terror in Serbia’s southern province, were preferable to allowing Milosevic and his ‘Serb thugs’ to kill as many or more Kosovo Albanians by doing nothing. This is not just human discernment degraded by ignorance; this is Human Reason and Decency mortgaged to geopolitical expediency. And it is also proof that women are no more likely to get it right than men.

But Holbrooke, Albright, Kouchner and their ilk seem so co-opted by the political powers that they are not able to be in the same room with Truth and Justice, even with the fierce gravity of the ever-burgeoning mass of legally determined evidence. Judicial calls like the ICTY’s acquittal of Serbian President Milan Miltunovic on all charges of crimes against humanity in Kosovo(10); the ICTR's verdict in the Military I case, where the so-called Extremist Hutu ‘masterminds’ of the Rwandan Genocide were acquitted on all charges of ‘planning or conspiring to commit genocide’(11); the February 2007 ICJ ruling absolving Serbia of any active responsibility for genocide in Bosnia(12): these judgments indicate that the expedient application of the charge of Genocide, so essential to sustaining the global spread of neocolonial domination, is historically unfounded, judicially unprovable, and can only be stipulated to or otherwise ordered by a court ‘to take judicial notice of’--as was done by the Appeals Chamber at the ICTR on 16 June 2006(13). So, now years after the discovery of the decomposing body of lies on which these congenital, carrion-slarving cowards have nourished their public careers, Holbrooke and Kouchner have once again been rewarded with promotions--Holbrooke with Obama’s appointment to be the US's man in Afghanistan and Pakistan (officially charged with supervising the bombing of wedding parties and mosques), and Kouchner with the French Foreign Minister’s gig from the sweaty, ever-more demented and Nixon-like Nicolas Sarkozy--and all without ever having to acknowledge their complicity in one of the great war crimes and national betrayals of the late 20th Century: NATO’s 78-day and 79-night terror bombing of Yugoslavia/Serbia-Montenegro.

So why can’t all this evidence of who were the real aggressors and who were the real aggressed be applied to correcting the Historical Record, rehabilitating the policies of those governments that sinned, and repairing and restoring the lives of those who were wrongfully damaged in this geopolitical crime spree known as globalization? An important reason--though far from the only reason--is a want of solidarity among the targeted countries with the establishment of ruling compradors. In the past ten years, we have all lost the sense of our shared history to an atomizing multifarious terror, and our struggles for Independence and Justice are only effective when they are joined. Divided we fail.

Like that young woman who got me my son: ten years ago, as we sat together in the Café Yougoslavie--now called ‘Il y a une fois un Yougoslavie’ (Once upon a time there was a country called Yugoslavia)--and as we watched the suffering of the Serbian people, our Slavic kith and kin, she vowed to come with me to Belgrade, and she assured me that everything would be all right. That hooked me back then.

However, now she’s at home in Paris, and I’m not sure just how far things are from ever being all right--at home or anywhere else--because I still have a feeling that most things are gone terribly wrong. But because Max is with me here in Belgrade, I do have hope--real live hope. And by giving him this opportunity to come to Belgrade and meet some truly heroic people, I feel like these paternal strivings of mine, to get things right in the world, will not end with me, and, maybe, ten years from now, when we come back to Serbia, Max will have made far more things far better than I ever could.

That’s my audacity of hope. Because today is a new day. There’s a new administration in Washington (though it is redolent of the corruption of the previous Democratic government that destroyed Yugoslavia), and for the first time in my life I can support a US president because he seems truly to want to promote majoritarian interests.

So far, my President Obama has shown his intelligence and decency by listening, deeply and intently, to everyone who speaks to him, and fully considering everything before he speaks--and some of his statements are so politic, like his position on the expansion of NATO (‘All countries that want to join, should be allowed to join!”), as to be almost comical.

If we can all get together to write the true history of the real crimes against humanity committed against Yugoslavia, against Serbia and all the Slavic people, and present this story to President Obama; if we can show him the horrific misdeeds of his Democratic predecessors, the Clintons, the Holbrookes, the Bidens and Wes Clark’s NATO, in perpetuating a moribund socio-economic system, a system of production that only destroys life through terror, war and waste; if he can be shown the unprovoked violence, the unnecessary death and destruction, the wanton murder of brave patriots protecting their homes and families, the criminalization of national self-defense, the flagrant theft of territory and resources and the indeterminate indenture of ordinary people with extraordinary courage: perhaps--and just perhaps--we can begin to make tomorrow a better day for Max and his generation and all the generations to come.

Mick Collins




3 In Pierre Péan’s Le Monde Selon K (The World According to K), Fayard, Paris, 2009. pp 96-97. {translated from the French and adapted for the stage/screen by CM/P}











Recognizing the Other's Right to Exist--Willy Gutman on Netanyahu's Israel

Recognizing the Other's Right to Exist -- Willy Gutman on Netanyahu's Israel

[Willy Gutman is a friend of mine. After nearly 50 years in show bizness, I have quite a few Jewish friends, and Willy's one of the best of them. I'm told with that much time down studying under rabbis like Henny Youngman, Lenny Bruce and Teddy Adorno, I have earned the right to consider myself an honorary Jew.

But when it comes to criticizing Israeli militarism--and what with the ubiquitous spiritual Gestapo-ing of the Holocaust Industry and it's Stop the Fucking Genocide wing--if I try to weigh in against the latest IDF atrocities in the refugee camps of Gaza or Lebanon, or question the pensée unique on designer genocides like those mawkishly bleated over in Yugoslavia or Rwanda, I immediately get hung with a foul-mouthed anti-Semite jacket.

You know: goys will be goys.

So now seems like a good time to let an authentic defender of Jewish humanism and understanding have a word.

Here are a couple things Willy wrote that reflect on the recent ascension of BiBi Netanyahu to the Israeli Premiership. You can really feel the suffering of this good man's heart that has had to endure the tortures of ethnic prejudice and militaristic (and religious) nationalism in the wasting of an ancient humanist tradition of wisdom and tolerance.

'It is better to endure evil than to inflict it.' I find this a very 'Jewish' precept--and it's one that I've always tried to live by.--mc]


This letter should have been written years ago, when the incident that prompts its belated publication took place.

More than a letter, it's an apology, heartfelt and long overdue. I have been haunted by its urgency for more than three decades.

I cannot wait any longer and hope it is neither too late nor in vain.

Some 30 years ago or so, as I absent-mindedly browsed the merchandise in a Times Square novelty shop in New York, a young man, clean-cut and neatly attired, asked me if I needed help.

I thanked him and said no, not for the moment. I detected a familiar accent and asked him where he was from.


"There is no such a place," I replied. I had uttered these incredibly cruel and humiliating words without a hint of animosity, without the slightest passion, the way one talks about some banal occurrence, like the weather.

I knew better.

I had lived in Israel as a boy, and several of the kids I played with in the Greek Colony in Jerusalem were Palestinians. My first girlfriend - my first young love, Leila - was my age, beautiful, smart, educated and proud.

Her father was a respected local businessman. My parents, who didn't have a prejudiced bone in their bodies, took an instant liking to Leila and neither said nor did anything to discourage what was my first teen romance.

Our neighbors were not quite as fair-minded. Circuitous and irresolute at first, the community's resentment toward my parents, first for sending me to a Catholic French school (going to a Hebrew public school would have set me back to first grade) reached a furious pitch when I befriended Leila.

One day, a delegation of about a dozen persons headed by a rabbi came to our house unannounced and uninvited. The rabbi addressed my father in Yiddish.

He admonished him for keeping me at the College St. Joseph and asked him to discourage me from "fraternizing with the enemy." He meant Leila and the other kids.

My father, a physician and a man of unimpeachable integrity who was never to be trifled with --especially by bigoted busybodies -- stood his ground. He was magnificent.

I don't remember his words and won't attempt to reconstruct them for fear of diluting what must surely have been a knockout riposte. What I vividly recall is that he opened the door and asked the "delegation" to get out of our house.

Predictably, my father's uncompromising stance did not help mend fences in the Greek Colony. Acrimony and ugly rhetoric festered for the duration of our stay in Jerusalem.

Leila ceased to visit. I looked for her. Her father told me she was no longer allowed to see me. "It's best this way," he said. There was sadness in his voice.

I was heartbroken. We soon left Jerusalem for Ramat-Gan, and I later left Israel on my own for good.

It was the same look of mortification and sadness that I saw in the young salesman's eyes more than two decades later in New York, where I lived. It didn't take long to realize the ugliness of my gaffe.

I had not only offended a human being, depersonalizing him, but I had trivialized his national identity and stripped him of the one thing stateless people aspire to most: the hope of nationhood, security and self-determination.

I returned to the store the next day, eager to apologize, in need of the kind of moral cleansing that only sincere expiation of a wrong can provide. The young man had left his employ. His co-workers, also Palestinians, volunteered no information as to his whereabouts.

Time, personal and professional preoccupations dulled the memory of my unforgivable affront. But they did not erase it. It kept surging in my mind like a recurring abscess, and every time it did, fresh pangs of conscience filled me with regret and remorse.

I am now 71 and semi-retired. I will not dwell on the partisan politics that continue to cleave that region. I will not comment on the hegemonic objectives that doggedly retard the prospects for peace in a land bloodied by years of hatred and violence.

I have family in Israel and I wish that nation well. But in the name of decency and justice, as a human being and a journalist, I cannot silently watch the continued dismantlement, expropriation, marginalization and, yes, dehumanization of a people who have just as much right to selfhood and dignity and peace as does the state of Israel.

As for the recent actions by Jewish "settlers" in Hebron, I join those who characterized their obscene behavior as nothing short of a "pogrom," something worthy of Hitler's thugs. As a Jew, I, too, am deeply ashamed that Jews could do such a thing.

What I did nearly a lifetime ago in a Times Square souvenir shop may seem trivial to some. I have been haunted by it ever since. Call it a matter of scruples, of conscience, of principles.

It is with sincere good wishes for a brighter, secure and prosperous future that I offer my most sincere apologies to the people of Palestine, in their homeland and in exile, for the stupidity and cruelty of idle, unreasoned words.

Palestine exists. In body and soul. I hope the young man, and by extension the people I once insulted, read this letter and find it in their hearts to forgive.


Netanyahu Wrong Choice for Mideast Peace and Tranquility
W. E. Gutman

In an editorial published in the Connecticut Post in August 1997 in which I urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, I wrote that, as a Jew, I opposed the expansion of settlements in Israeli-occupied areas of Palestine. I also called for an immediate and permanent cessation to the expropriation of Arab lands, a practice still regarded by the world community as a blatant provocation and an invitation to unrest and violence.

As an American with relatives living in Israel, and after much soul-wrenching self-inquiry, I also concluded that Mr. Netanyahu’s regime was a calamity and a recipe for disaster. I further argued that dastardly alliances with jingoist generals, unholy covenants with religious zealots who use ideological extortion to force a theocracy on a largely secular society, the inexplicable compulsion to scuttle peace negotiations, a wrathful, neurotic disdain toward international criticism, a savage antipathy toward the Palestinian people -- all hallmarks of an administration wavering between ineptitude and aberration – pose grave dangers to peace in the Middle East and, by extension, to the region.

My views, harshly criticized in the press, would be validated by ensuing events. Mr. Netanyahu’s stern and capricious governance brought not one iota of security -- perceived or actual -- to Israel. Instead, as successive political crises between his government and the Palestinian Authority deepened, Jews and Arabs became mired in frustration and endless conflict.

His combative style and pugnacious rhetoric exhumed and re-ignited old hatreds, reopened unhealed wounds, fomented a new swell of cynicism, misgivings and suspicions. Israelis were demoralized. Israel’s sympathizers abroad were exasperated. Negotiating partners were unnerved. Bitterness and rancor deepened with every stroke of his ministerial pen, with every hostile decree, every calculated vacillation, every broken word, every rubber bullet.

This pernicious alchemy, in the name of national defense, yielded confusion, anxiety, sorrow and, yes, insecurity. Stimulated by the wild possibility of a peaceful settlement of their protracted conflict, Israelis and Palestinians were now bewildered and apprehensive. Neither side could endure the suspense and agony of occupation, piecemeal concessions and fragmentary, snail-paced progress routinely nullified by spasms of retributive violence.

Last, echoing the musings of distinguished Israeli journalist Yosef Lapid, who wrote that the prime minister exhibited a crass disregard for reality and humanism, I described Mr. Netanyahu’s vision of peace and security as “trapped in paranoia and the corruptive forces of chauvinism.”

Twelve bloodstained years later, and after weeks of infighting following the general elections in February, Benjamin Netanyahu is set to become Israel's Prime Minister -- for the second time. In so doing, he will be putting Israel on a potential collision course with its Palestinians partners, its Arab neighbors and perhaps even its long-time American ally. His latest pronouncements, which betray his notorious ultra-nationalism, his intransigence and deep-rooted hostility toward Arabs, rule out any possibility of reaching some modus vivendi by encouraging and participating in an open exchange of grievances.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are fighting for fragments of their homeland.

President Harry S. Truman, through the United Nations, made it possible for the Jewish people to return to their Biblical homeland. By an act of international law, the Palestinians were moved aside. The Israelis developed the land and opened up Palestine to hundreds of thousands of Diaspora Jews. Over the years more land was needed to absorb waves of newcomers. As a result the Palestinians found themselves outnumbered, marginalized. They became strangers in their own land.

MIT-educated Netanyahu laid waste to the delicate foundations for peace that were being erected. Issued from the sword and resting on the Bible, his policies have daunted and discouraged serious attempts to bring about regional security and stability. His lifelong antagonism toward the Palestinians, whom he considers “a sinister and divisive element,” has palliated the religious Right, whose enormous financial resources helped underwrite his campaign and whose gluttonous territorial expansionist objectives he endorses.

Mr. Netanyahu’s victory does not “prove that there is a God in heaven,” as a euphoric rabbi was heard clamoring. It demonstrates instead that Satan still dwells in the hearts of men who would give up spiritual self-renewal in a world daring to be brave.

Given these sobering realities and the volatile political landscape on which he has cast his shadow, the once-and-yet-again prime minister, his colossal ambitions fulfilled and his hawkish supporters placated, may wish to glance earthward and heed non-partisan wisdom: Hard line begets hard line. Security by intimidation, repression and economic persecution produces animosity and insecurity. He who sows the wind reaps the tempest.

W. E. Gutman is a widely published veteran journalist and author, and a former press officer at Israel’s Consulate General in New York. From 1991 to 2004 he was on assignment in Central America where he covered politics, the military, human rights and other socio-economic issues. He now lives in southern California's High Desert.