Jeremy R. Hammond – Israel was a colonialist project from the outset, and so remains today

By Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In
the following my interview with Jeremy R. Hammond of Foreign Policy Journal. I
talked to him about Palestine, journalism, US foreign politics, and about
Zionism as a colonialist project.
Do you believe the two-state
solution is definitively buried?
Israel and the US certainly have been working hard for
decades to bury it, but, no, I do not believe they have succeeded. On the
contrary, I think right now there is a unique opportunity for the Palestinians
to move forward and accomplishing an end to the Israeli occupation, which is
essentially equivalent to implementing the two-state solution. The leadership
should pursue legal remedy for the Occupying Power’s crimes against the Palestinian
people through the international mechanisms that have been available to
Palestine since the UN recognized it as a state in 2012; most specifically,
through the International Criminal Court (ICC).
What do you believe the next moves
of the Trump administration will be in Palestine/Israel and Middle East?
He’ll likely try to pick up the baton from the
previous administration and make a feeble and vain effort to restore
credibility to the US-led so-called “peace process”. He might, for example, try
to persuade the Netanyahu government to implement some kind of limited scaling
back of Israel’s illegal settlement activity in the West Bank. The good news is
that with Trump in the Oval Office, it seems unlikely the “peace process” could
regain any traction even among other governments of the world (it has long
since ceased to have any credibility among the publics of the world).
This presents the Palestinian leadership with an
opportunity. They must take advantage of the political leverage they gain so
long as the “peace process” is dead on account of Israel’s refusal to even
limit its illegal activities. If the Palestinian Authority (PA) won’t do what
is necessary, the Palestinian people should rise up and dissolve that body –
which the PLO has the authority to do – and find new leadership who will.
For me personally, Israel is a
neo-colonialist project. What do you think about it?
It is certainly a neo-colonialist project. Going back
to the Mandate era, the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate was literally
drafted by the organized Zionists, the aim being to implement an occupation
regime that would accommodate their goal of displacing and dispossessing the
Arab inhabitants with mass waves of Jewish immigration. The idea was that the right
to self-determination of Palestine’s inhabitants would not be respected until
the Jews became a majority. This was in keeping with the British and
Zionists’ concept of “the democratic ideal” (as discussed between Lord Arthur
Balfour and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann). It was a colonialist project from
the outset, and so remains today.
Tell us about your books!
In late 2008, when Israel began its 22-day full-scale
military assault on Gaza dubbed “Operation Cast Lead”, I watched with disgust
how the US mainstream media waged a propaganda war against the public, a
systematic campaign of deception that served the purpose of manufacturing
consent for the US government’s support for Israel’s war crimes against the
civilian population of Gaza. I became determined to write a book about it to
set the record straight. (My coverage of the US’s support for Israel’s war
crimes during that conflict resulted in me receiving a Project Censored Award.)
But I didn’t just want to write about that operation.
I wanted to explain the whole conflict in context, to help others understand
why this conflict has persisted for so long. Only by fully understanding what
the greatest obstacles are can we determine how to move forward. What is
required is a paradigm shift, a change in the way the public perceives this
issue. We need to fight the propaganda and get the truth out. That is why I set
out writing Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian
But before I could explain contemporary events, I
would need to provide the necessary historical background and explain what the root
of this conflict are. That would require examining the period from
the rise of the Zionist movement in the late 1800s through to the establishment
of the state of Israel in 1948 via the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. So I
ended up splintering my book idea and writing a short book titled The
Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the
Roots of the Israeli-Arab Conflict
Obstacle to Peace presents historical context as necessary in order to understand more
recent events (it focuses primarily on the last decade), but readers will even
get more out of it if they first read The Rejection of Palestinian
as a primer to understanding how the conflict
originated. Obstacle to Peace will then help readers understand why the
conflict persists, how the mainstream media serve to help perpetuate it, and
what needs to happen for peace and justice to finally be realized.
How to engage for Palestine today as
human rights activists, writer and journalists?
Everyone has their own strengths in terms of knowledge
and skills, and it’s up to the individual to determine how best to apply those
skills toward achieving peace and justice. My own strengths include research,
analysis, and writing, so that is where I’ve focused my energy. I can’t advise
others how to focus their energy without knowing their individual strengths.
Generally, however, we must continually educate ourselves and then share that
knowledge with others until a tipping point is reached and the necessary
paradigm shift occurs at which point it will become politically infeasible for
the status quo to persist any longer.
Which are the main objectives of
Foreign Policy Journal?
I established FPJ to serve as an antidote to the
propagandistic reporting of the mainstream media, which serve the role of
manufacturing consent for government policy. I’m borrowing this phrase from
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, from their book Manufacturing Consent;
they were in turn borrowing the phrase from Walter Lipmann, who had written in
the early 20th century about the need for the ruling elites to
manufacture the consent of the ruled for the policies they wished to implement
to pursue their own self-interests (as opposed to the interests of the public).
It’s my goal with FPJ to help others become better
informed about the true nature of US foreign policy and international affairs,
as this is a task at which the mainstream media have utterly failed us.