My following interview, published in the Tehran Times, is now available online. Aside from an excessively flowery introduction, my comments are exactly as I sent them:
Amidst the harrowing blitz of Zionist arsenals on the defenseless civilians of Gaza and under the heart-rending silence of international community, UN officials, Western powers and Arab leaders who sketch the doleful and grievous fate of humanity and ethics in our tumultuous and chaotic era by their disappointing stance against the belligerence of Israel in the region, one can still find the awakening consciences of praiseworthy peoples who cling to their innate, human values yet and revolt against inequality, injustice, atrocity and violation of definite human rights boldly.
Antony Loewenstein is a world-renowned anti-Zionist advocate, the co-founder of Independent Australian Jewish Voices and the regular columnist of Guardian, Washington Post and Sydney Morning Herald.
In his 2006 book “My Israel Question”, he questioned the existence of Israeli regime in the Middle East fundamentally and won several international awards for his courageous and innovative way of criticizing Israel afterwards.
Following is the complete text of Tehran Times’ exclusive interview with Antony Loewenstein in which a variety of topics related to the unyielding incursion of Zionist Regime on the civilian residents of Gaza Strip has been discussed.
Tehran Times: Israel is holding an unrelenting and multilateral incursion on the people of Palestine from the air, earth and sea. The casualty rates are surging dramatically and most of the victims are innocent infants, children, women and civilians. What’s your opinion on such atrocities?
Antony Loewenstein: As a human being first and Australian Jew second, I unconditionally condemn Israel’s attack on the Gazan people. Hundreds of innocent Palestinians have been killed by the Jewish state’s disproportionate response. After a nearly two-year blockade on the Gaza Strip in a futile attempt to weaken the democratically elected Hamas government, both Palestinians and Israelis have the right to leave in peace. This current action will only embolden extremists on all sides.
Tehran Times: U.S. vetoed the anti-Israeli resolution of Security Council two times, as it had done several times before. It didn’t allow the UN to impose embargo on Israel for its belligerent massacre of Palestinians. What’s the reason?
Antony Loewenstein: The United Nations, with notable exceptions, has been ineffective in managing the major issues of the Middle East. Israel has defied countless Security Council resolutions and is protected by Washington due to the Israel lobby, Jewish money and Holocaust guilt, among many other issues. The vast majority of the civilized world condemns Israel’s over 40-year occupation of Palestinian land and yet peace has never seemed further away. There is a desperate need for other world powers, such as India, to become more actively involved in the UN and re-balance the current status-quo, where the leading powers bully the developing world.
Israel is almost a religion within American politics that is seemingly beyond criticism, despite recent polls finding that a majority of Democrat voters opposed Israel’s current attack on Gaza. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Israel was the only country that all major candidates pledged loyalty to. It’s pitiful to watch. It is unlikely that President-elect Obama will change this narrative, exert pressure on Israel to give up its colonial addiction to land, which is why other methods are required, such as boycotting elements of Israel that actively profit from the occupation of Palestinian land.
Tehran Times: Notwithstanding their continuous pretension of independence, American media seem to be reluctant or somehow restricted to publish any kind of report and news with anti-Israeli essence, even some slight criticisms. Is it correct?
Antony Loewenstein: With a few exceptions, most of the American mainstream media refuse to criticize the Jewish state. This may be starting to change, however. During last year’s 60th anniversary of Israel’s birth, leading papers, such as the New York Times, ran stories about the Nakba, the Palestinian term for the 1948 “catastrophe”. Such articles would have been unimaginable even a few years ago.
Much of the American media is far from independent, run by a handful of corporations with many interests. Challenging the Zionist narrative is regarded as bad for business.
Many journalists in the West are afraid of the Zionist lobby. This is something I’ve personally experienced many times over the years, but it’s mostly comical and should be ignored. Any criticism of Israel can elicit censure from the usual suspects. Alternatives are starting to emerge, however, as the internet is far harder to control than the opinion page of a national newspaper. Israeli publications such as Haaretz provide accurate information from within Israel itself and the occupation that leaves most of the American media for dead.
Tehran Times: Israel claimed that it just seeks retaliation against Hamas by raiding on Gaza, while we see that it has closed the Rafah crossing, prevents the admittance of food, cash and pharmacy into Gaza. What’s this obvious contradiction for?
Antony Loewenstein: The Jewish state, rather than stop the crimes of rockets from Gaza, has been attempting to pressure the Palestinians in the most densely populated area on earth, and force them to grow tired of their Hamas rulers and overthrow them. Alas, this hasn’t happened and the group is likely to emerge from the current conflict emboldened morally and politically. Hamas, like Hizbollah in Lebanon, is a fact of life in the Middle East, supported by millions of Arabs and Persians.
Tehran Times: And then, what’s your anticipation about the prospect of Israeli regime with its aggressive and inhumane approach? Is it going to be capable of soldiering on its current genocides without any stoppage?
Antony Loewenstein: Israel is at cross-roads. It can either continue on its current path that is expanding its occupation and refusing the Palestinian’s self-determination, or it can realize that Palestinians will never accept, and nor should they, a truncated state. Within 5-10 years, there will be more Palestinians than Jews in the lands of Israel and Palestine. Israel is currently an apartheid state, oppressing Arabs in ways that every older black South Africans are shocked to witness. The Jewish state is like a child that won’t grow up, screaming and fighting its way out of every fight. Thankfully, a growing number of citizens in Western countries and much of the Arab world no longer fear its muscle or threats.