Modern Arab Propaganda started as Soviet Propaganda
to suppress dissident Soviet Jews.
The vilification of Israel has, of course,
been an essential part of the campaign against her. The Soviet dissenting
liberal, Andrei Amalrik, wrote a book published in the West under the title
the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984? Amalrik himself would no doubt
agree that in important respects the Soviet Union has long ago reached
1984, has survived, and is indeed flourishing. The Soviet Union has transmuted
absolutely the concept of truth. Truth, if it does not serve the immediate
Soviet interest, enjoys the status of a crime, a hindrance, at best an
irrelevance. Amalrik himself was sentenced to three years' imprisonment
for writing his book and publishing it abroad. According to reports in
the summer of 1971, he was sent to one of the labour camps in the far north.
At any given moment, Moscow will be found to be supplying the world with
information especially composed to suit the purpose the country is at that
moment pursuing. Inanities, nonsense of all degrees, and, most particularly,
denunciation of her victims or its opponents for actions and policies of
which she is guilty, are repeated and reiterated and disseminated through
many channels until some people begin to believe some of them.
One of the leading experts in the West
on the policy and methods of the Soviet Union has described Soviet propaganda
as "an amalgam of truth and falsehood." "There is a great deal of whispering
campaigning," he notes, "and a great deal of untrue information as well
as exploitation of things that are true."1
Propaganda campaigns of this kind are directed
with special energy and persistence against those who obstruct the Soviet
Union in its expansionism. Such victims were, for example, the Yugoslav
government during Stalin's day, the more liberal Czech leader in 1948 and
again in 1968, the Western powers over the years because of their defense
of Western Europe -especially the United States which, for all its weaknesses
and errors, has tried to counter Soviet expansion in various parts of the
world. What evil, what crime, was not attributed to each of them?
Zionism has been a principal target for
most of the, Soviet era. Inevitably Israel, the ordained "puppet of, Western
imperialism" and, in her own right, an "aggressor" and "expansionist,"
has been the object of one of the more comprehensive campaigns of Soviet
denunciation. In this the Soviets are ideally mated with the Arab fantasists.
A study of the Western press during the
past twenty-five years would reveal astonishing, if spasmodic, support
for various Soviet themes designed to lull Russia's victims or undermine
her opponent. Widespread ignorance in the West of the character of the
Soviet regime has helped its brainwashing campaign achieve notable successes
in camouflaging its own ambitions. and even its short-range purposes. This
is notably true, of the campaign of the Soviets, in partnership with the
Arabs, against Israel. Because of their desire to support or at least not
to anger the Arabs, Western governments have countenanced, if only by silence,
and organs of opinion have helped to disseminate, wildly mendacious propaganda
against Israel. A major example is that none of the Western governments
has said a single word to refute the Soviet-Arab "axiom" that Israel was
the aggressor in 1967. Again, the most, fantastic versions of the events
accompanying the birth of the Arab refugee problem in 1948 are published
as established fact in Western newspapers that do not bother to check their
own back files and the reports of their own correspondents at the time.
Predictably, this propaganda has been welcomed
and supported by all the traditional enemies of the Jews. A motley collection
of bedfellows has in fact collaborated since 1967 in berating and besmirching
Israel. Russian, Chinese, and Yugoslav Communists, feudal and republican
Arabs, American capitalist oil companiied and nihilist New Left patrons
of mythical underdogs, British Laurentian and post-Laurentian pan-Arabists,
French exponents of calculating Gaullism -- all are to be found rubbing
shoulders in the same gallery. They have been joined by old-style anti-Semites:
The so-called philo-Semitic period that followed the revelations of the
Nazi Holocaust and awakened a flickering of conscience in the Christian
world has gradually evaporated, and from many parts of the world -- including
Germany -- come warning signals of renewed anti-Semitic activity and respectability.
Where anti-Semites have not dared to undertake organised action against
local Jewish communities, long-suppressed anti-Jewish feelings have found
an outlet in the dissemination of every possible libel on the State of
Israel and its people. In the unfolding story of our time, the restored
Jewish state, for all the strength and self-confidence it has injected
into the still dispersed Jewish people-and maybe because of them-has become
the focus, the ready-to-hand target of the anti-Semites.
Promoted by two such powerful forces as Soviet
assertions and Arab propaganda, the claim of Arab historical rights has
become a central element in the international debate. By sheer weight of
noise, it has impressed many otherwise knowledgeable and well-meaning people.
The facts of history are thus a vital element in understanding the conflict
over Palestine and for placing it in its proper perspective. They are all
In our day, we are witnessing an astonishing
phenomenon demonstrating and, dramatising the depth of attachment to the
land of Israel in the heart by Jews long alienated from it both physically.
and spiritually: the explosion of Zionism among the Jewish youth of the
For fully fifty years the Soviet state,
clothed with totalitarian authority, by its very nature brooking no other
ideology, has laboured to indoctrinate its people with the Communist faith.
Hostile to all religions, the Soviet regime has made a special, purposeful
effort to eradicate Judaism. It has achieved the closing down of most of
the synagogues in the country; there are no Jewish religious schools or
classes in the Soviet Union. After thirty, forty, fifty years, as the third
generation of Soviet-educated, Soviet-indoctrinated young Jews grew up,
only faint remnants of Jewish religious observance survived.
The idea of the return of the Jewish people
to Palestine was outlawed by the Soviet regime. For nearly thirty years
Zionism was denounced as an instrument of British imperialism and of international
capitalism, as an enemy of the Soviet state and of Communism. It was a
crime in the Soviet code. At different times, tens of thousands of Jews
were jailed or toiled and suffered-and often died-in Siberian exile for
no other reason than that they were declared or suspected Zionists. Hostility
to Zionism has found ever more violent expression in concentrated enmity
to the State of Israel.
By its very nature and content, Soviet
education not only insured that young Jews should not be taught the faith
of their fathers, but also subjected them throughout their formative years
to a curriculum of hatred and contempt for the ideas, values, and achievements
While the first generation of Jews in the
era of the Bolshevik Revolution may have been able to inspire some spiritual
resistance in the hearts of its sons, that little had all but evaporated
when, after the creation of the Jewish state, the sons were faced with
the task of rearing the third generation. No wonder, then, that twenty-five
years ago many of us in the West assumed that the Soviet Union had probably
succeeded in forcing assimilation on the Jews of the USSR, that where indoctrination
and suppression had not entirely succeeded in the first generation, sheer
ignorance in the second and third would complete the process.
In fact, under the surface, a completely
different spiritual transformation was taking place. It came to fulfilment
precisely in the third generation-whose parents were born and reared in
the embrace of the Soviet state. It incubated and grew slowly. Only from
time to time were there public signs of non-conformism. It became explosive
after the Six Day War.
In the years since 1967, the Jewish community
in the Soviet Union has become a boiling cauldron. The third generation,
the sons of the "lost" generation, are visibly restless with longing for
this land they have never seen and of which they know very little. They
have made manifest a fierce sense of alienation from the society that reared
them and a passion of oneness with the Jewish people against whom their
whole education and the culture of their upbringing has nurtured them.
A movement has spread throughout the Soviet Union in spite of the totalitarian
repression of the regime. This movement is one of young people, challenging
the very core of Soviet indoctrination.
It started in the secret study of Hebrew,
which was frowned upon, in copying and spreading literature about Israel,
which was by definition forbidden, in word-of-mouth dissemination of news
gleaned from foreign radio broadcasts. Many of the young Jews emerged from
their anonymity. At the very moment that the Soviet Union exchanged its
long-standing policy of arming and backing the forces arrayed against Israel
for a policy of direct physical intervention on their behalf, these young
Soviet Jews boldly addressed the authorities, proclaiming their renunciation
of identification with the Soviet state. They demanded the fulfilment of
their right-formally entrenched in the Soviet Constitution but denied by
Soviet policy-to leave the Soviet Union and to join the Jewish people in
their homeland. They also drew many of their parents out of their timidity;
the Soviet Home Office was flooded with numerous applications by whole
families in the tens of thousands. Defying the state's capacity for retribution
and its potential for punishment, they declared their desire to give up
their Soviet citizenship, give up all they have in the Soviet Union, and
go, "on foot if necessary," to join their people in the State of Israel.
For a variety of alleged offences committed
in the process, many of them have been sent to jail or, in a few cases,
to mental homes. This response, far from deterring others, has spurred
them on to more and more defiant action. An unsuccessful attempt to hijack
a Soviet plane and thus fly to freedom; unprecedented demonstrations of
protest by groups of Jews inside Soviet government offices; the passion
that alone could make possible such an explosion of defiance -- are all
powerful indications that a form of Zionist rebellion is in progress inside
the Soviet Union.
The emergence and the progressive intensification
of Jewish national identification in the Soviet Union has seemed miraculous
even to many historically minded people. It is, in fact, merely an expression
sharpened, deepened, and concentrated by the circumstances of the central
fact of 3,500 years of Jewish history: the passion of the Jewish people
for the land of Israel. The circumstances in which the Jewish people, its
independence crushed nineteen centuries ago and large numbers of its sons
driven into exile, maintained and preserved its connection with the land
are among the most remarkable facts in the story of mankind. For eighteen
centuries, the Zionist passion-the longing for Zion, the dream of the restoration,
and the ordering of Jewish life and thought to prepare for the return --
pulsed in the Jewish people. That passion finally gave birth to the practical
and political organisations which, amid the storms of the twentieth century,
launched the mass movement for the return to Zion and for restored Jewish
It is an ironic fact that it was the Soviet
Union itself that played a major part in forcing on Israel the role of
barring its imperial progress. Moscow provoked the Arab leaders into opening
the war of June 1967 by proclaiming the imminence of an Israeli attack
on Syria. Nasser confirmed this circumstance in broadcast of June 9, 1967.
Levi Eshkol, the Israeli Prime Minister, immediately invited the Soviet
ambassador to accompany him to the Syrian border to see for himself that
no Israeli troops were concentrated there, but the ambassador refused (UN
Document A/PV/1526 p. 37). The Soviet Union presumably helped the Arabs
believe that the conditions laid down for victory already existed. The
USSR may have believed that the Arab states could crush Israel quickly
while the United Nations were still engaged in discussion.
The Soviet delegate to the United Nations
delayed the speedy adoption of a cease-fire resolution which might force
to a halt the destruction of Israel that was being described in the official
Arab communiqués and news reports. He realised too late that was
the victim of a fantasy. By the time a cease-fire was achieved, the Israeli
Army stood along the Suez Canal and the Jordan and was established in depth
on the Golan Heights.
The presence of Israeli forces on the banks
of the Jordan and on the Golan Heights was of no immediate concern to the
Soviet Union. Their presence on the Suez Canal, however, brought in its
train a severe blow to Russia's operational schedule and long-range plans
for expansion. The Egyptian dictator closed the Canal, he would not countenance
its being reopened while Israel controlled its East Bank. By this entirely
unexpected outcome of the war, the Soviet supply train to North Vietnam
was disrupted and the vast Russian move across the world was brought into
During the 1960s, the Soviet Union quietly
established its power throughout the Mediterranean area. It acquired bases
covering the complete length of sea. Its vessels put in not only at Port
Said, Alexandria,-and Matrtuh in Egypt, but also at Latakia in Syria in
the east and at Mers-el-Kebir in Algeria in the west. Without much noise,
Algeria became the central base of Soviet power in the western Mediterranean.
Algeria-threatened, after all, by no one-was supplied 150 Mig aircraft,
3,000 Soviet advisers were installed in the country, Soviet Tupolev planes
flew in and out of bases at Laghouat and Ouargla, and a missile base came
into being at La Calle. All these face Western Europe. A force of between
forty and sixty warships of various kinds became a standard feature of
the Mediterranean scene.
The Mediterranean Sea was indeed bursting
at the seams with Soviet activity. For the Soviet Union intended it to
be more than a base; it was also to be a corridor. Part of the concentration
of power in the Mediterranean was designed for application in the vast
area south and east of Suez, where traditional Russian ambitions were now
merging with new modern horizons. Southward and eastward in the Red Sea
and the Indian Ocean, there were, by 1971, clear signs of the beginnings
of Soviet penetration. At Aden in the South Yemeni republic, Soviet vessels
enjoyed the facilities once possessed by the British Royal Navy. At Socotra,
an island also belonging to that republic, the Russians planned the establishment
of a base. In the southern Indian Ocean, they concluded an agreement for
facilities on Mauritius. In the eastern Indian Ocean, they were negotiating
for base facilities at Trincomalee in Ceylon. Their actual use of facilities,
however, remained sparse-because the short passage through the Suez Canal
was barred. Soviet vessels can reach the Indian Ocean and any point on
earth by the roundabout route across the Pacific Ocean or by way of the
Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, then along the West African seaboard
and around the Cape of Good Hope. Communications are also maintained by
other than naval means. But these possibilities provided only a comparative
trickle. For the Soviet grand design, for the strong swinging flow of ships
and goods and guns, for sheer ubiquitous Soviet presence whenever and wherever
required south and east of Suez, the Canal is still irreplaceable. The
most intensive pressure was exerted on Israel to withdraw from the Canal.
In this effort, the Soviet Union and Egypt were given consistent public
support by the United States, against whom the Soviet strategy is primarily
There is indeed a startling similarity
between the psychology of United States policy toward the Soviet Union
in the Middle East at this time and the British appeasement of Germany
in the 1930s, which led to Munich Pact, the piecemeal subjugation of Czechoslovakia,
and the Second World War.
The consequences of a withdrawal by Israel
in Sinai could be foreseen as clearly as were the obvious consequences
of the surrender to Hitler of the Sudetenland with its formidable fortifications.
Israeli withdrawal from Sinai would almost certainly be followed within
days by an Egyptian armed occupation of Sinai The base for a new offensive
against an attenuated Israel could thus be built up. Or such an offensive
might merely be threatened and the concentration of force used to impose
a permanent state of siege on Israel, confined behind a long, vulnerable
land line. The maintenance of permanent large-scale mobilisation would
have disastrous consequences for Israel's economy and her very way of life.
The Soviet Union might, it is true, oppose the Arab plan for the complete
physical destruction of Israel, finding it more useful to reserve a place
in her imperial system for a small, dependent Israel.
The Soviet presence would be free to move
on the large objectives when conditions permitted establishing hegemony
over Saudi Arabia. While Soviet warships maintained a westerly warning
presence in the Red Sea along the southern shore of the Arabian Peninsula
and in the Persian Gulf on the east, and while a demonstrative base in
Sinai warded off any interference across the land border, it would probably
need no more than an Egyptian political offensive against Saudi Arabia
to bring about the establishment of a republican "progressive" government
to take over from the Wahabite king. If forces were required, Egypt resources
would be adequate for this purpose.
To Turkey and Iran-whose northern borders
march with the Soviet's-the full arrival of Soviet power in their strategic
rear in an encircling posture, with a now fading Israel their only buffer
on the south, would be the irrebuttable proof of Soviet supremacy and of
the valuelessness of American and of NATO plans and undertakings. There
would then be no sense in their resisting the Soviet embrace.
The Soviet Union, moving forward in full
confidence and with the heightened purpose of a triumphant imperialism,
would in that case not need decades to establish itself. Both in the Middle
East and in Africa there would be no lack of local leaders to extend the
appropriate invitations and to open the required doors for speeding the
process. The outflanking of southern Europe would then assume its fall
dramatic significance. At that point, the only way -for the West to try
to halt the Soviet advances would be by war.
Such a prospect, or the alternative of
a bloodless Soviet victory, is certainly not inevitable. Of all the lessons
to be learned from the recent history of the Soviet Union's expansionism,
not the least important is its refusal to risk war for objectives outside
Europe. It gained much by the comparatively peaceful means of shows of
force against European satellites, such as Hungary or Czechoslovakia, or
by purchasing advantage, as in some Arabic and some black African states.
The USSR certainly does not contemplate a major war.
The United States itself has had first-hand
experience of the Soviet Union's backing down, even risking loss of face,
when confronted by a resistant attitude. In Turkey, in Iranian Azerbaijan,
and most incisively in Cuba, the pattern of retreat was unequivocal. The
Soviet Union has been likened by United States Senator Henry Jackson to
a burglar going down a hotel corridor trying the doors and going in only
when he finds me unlocked.
Even now, after the opening of the Suez
Canal, with its tremendous advantages to the Soviet Union, this pattern
has not changed. The opening of the Canal did probably serve as a spur
to the Soviet adventure in Angola-by sending Cuban troops to intervene.
Growing military strength too increased Soviet self-confidence. Yet it
is quite safe to say that the USSR will not risk getting herself involved
in a major war.
Leonard Schapiro, in Hearings Before the Sub-Committee Of the U.S. Senate
on National Security and International Operations, April 16,1970 (Washington,
This page was produced by Joseph
Middle Eastern Political and Religious
Brooklyn, New York
to a friend
Source: "Battleground: Fact & Fantasy
in Palestine" by Samuel Katz,
OFFER Purchase this 1970s classic, a special reprint only found at WorldNetDaily
||A fully documented, dramatic
history of the turbulent events which shaped the crisis of the Middle East.
"Battleground" is one of the best written and most informative histories
of the Arab-Israeli conflict. ... I advise everyone to read it. - Congressman
Reading "Battleground" is an eye-opener. It is well written, informative,
fast-paced and debunks some carefully cultivated myths concerning Israel
and the Middle East. - Former US Ambassador to the United Nations,
Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick