Open letter to Alan Hart
George Salzman 
initial posting 28 April 2011- last update 16 May 2011


      Dear Alan, Your two essays,
[1] Israel and the de-legitimization oxymoron, of 2010-04-05, and
[2] Why does Israel have a veto over the peace process?, of 2011-04-12,
are sources of hope for me that eventually you will come to agree with me that the ethics of a just solution of humanity’s dilemma will be achieved when enough people come to an understanding of the necessary fundamental changes in the global social order. I’ll start this letter by reproducing your two essays. But first, you commented about yourself:
      . . . He hates all labels and isms and has never been a member of any political party or group . . . When asked what drives him, he used to say: “I have three children and, when the world falls apart, I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘Don’t blame me. I tried.’ ” Today he gives an improved answer . . . [Alan’s complete statement is posted on his website [3].

The original of Alan Hart’s essay [1] is on his website at, 2010-04-05. The text reads:

      How can you de-legitimize something (in this case the Zionist state) which is NOT legitimate?

      Leaving aside the fairy story of God’s promise, (which even if true would have no bearing on the matter because the Jews who “returned” in answer to Zionism’s call had no biological connection to the ancient Hebrews), the Zionist state’s assertion of legitimacy rests on the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the UN General Assembly’s partition plan resolution of 1947. The only real relevance of the Balfour Declaration is in the fact that it was an expression of both the willingness of a British government to use Jews for imperial purposes and the willingness of Zionist Jews to be used. The truth is that Britain had no right whatsoever to promise Zionism a place in Palestine, territory the British did not possess. (Palestine at the time was controlled and effectively owned by Ottoman Turkey). The Balfour Declaration did allow Zionism to say that its claim to Palestine had been recognised by a major power, and then to assert that the Zionist enterprise was therefore a legitimate one. But the legitimacy Britain conveyed by implication was entirely spurious, meaning not genuine, false, a sham. Zionism’s assertion that Israel was given its birth certificate and thus legitimacy by the UN General Assembly partition resolution of 29 November 1947 is pure propaganda nonsense, as demonstrated by an honest examination of the record of what actually happened.

      In the first place the UN without the consent of the majority of the people of Palestine did not have the right to decide to partition Palestine or assign any part of its territory to a minority of alien immigrants in order for them to establish a state of their own. Despite that, by the narrowest of margins, and only after a rigged vote, the UN General Assembly did pass a resolution to partition Palestine and create two states, one Arab, one Jewish, with Jerusalem not part of either. But the General Assembly resolution was only a non-binding proposal — meaning that it could have no effect, would not become binding, until and unless it was approved by the Security Council. The truth is that the General Assembly’s partition proposal never went to the Security Council for consideration. Why not? Because the US knew that, if approved, and because of Arab and other Muslim opposition, it could only be implemented by force; and President Truman was not prepared to use force to partition Palestine. So the partition plan was vitiated (became invalid) and the question of what the hell to do about Palestine — after Britain had made a mess of it and walked away — was taken back to the General Assembly for more discussion. The option favoured and proposed by the US was temporary UN Trusteeship. It was while the General Assembly was debating what do that Israel unilaterally declared itself to be in existence — actually in defiance of the will of the organised international community, including the Truman administration.

      The truth of the time was that Israel, which came into being mainly as a consequence of Zionist terrorism and pre-planned ethnic cleansing, had no right to exist and, more to the point, could have no right to exist unless . . . Unless it was recognised and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law only the Palestinians could give Israel the legitimacy it craved. As it was put to me many years ago by Khalad al-Hassan, Fatah’s intellectual giant on the right, that legitimacy was “the only thing the Zionists could not take from us by force.”

      The truth of history as summarised briefly above is the explanation of why, really, Zionism has always insisted that its absolute pre-condition for negotiations with more than a snowball’s chance in hell of a successful outcome (an acceptable measure of justice for the Palestinians and peace for all) is recognition of Israel’s right to exist. A right, it knows, it does not have and will never have unless the Palestinians grant it. It can be said without fear of contradiction (except by Zionists) that what de-legitimizes Israel is the truth of history. And that is why Zionism has worked so hard, today with less success than in the past and therefore with increasing desperation, to have the truth suppressed.

The original of Alan Hart’s essay [2] is on his website at, 2011-04-12. The text reads:

      Why does Israel have a veto over the peace process?

      As I explained on a lecture tour of South Africa (Goldstone Land) from which I have just returned, the answer is in what happened behind closed doors at the Security Council in New York in the weeks and months following the 1967 war. But complete understanding requires knowledge of the fact that it was a war of Israeli aggression and not, as Zionism’s spin doctors continue to assert, self-defense. More than four decades on, most people everywhere still believe that Israel went to war either because the Arabs attacked (that was Israel’s first claim), or because the Arabs were intending to attack (thus requiring Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike). The truth about that war only begins with the statement that the Arabs did not attack and were not intending to attack. The complete truth, documented in detail in Volume Three of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (, includes the following facts.

      Israel’s prime minister of the time, the much maligned Levi Eshkol who was also defense minister, did not want to take his country to war. And nor did his chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin. They wanted only very limited military action, an operation far short of war, to put pressure on the international community to cause Eygpt’s President Nasser to re-open the Straits of Tiran. Israel went to war because its military and political hawks wanted war and insisted that the Arabs were about to attack. They, Israel’s hawks, knew that was nonsense, but they promoted it to undermine Eshkol by portraying him to the country as weak. The climax to the campaign to rubbish Eshkol was a demand by the hawks that he surrender the defense portfolio and give it to Moshe Dayan, Zionism’s one-eyed warlord and master of deception. Four days after Dayan got the portfolio he wanted, and the hawks had secured the green light from the Johnson administration to smash Eygpt’s air and ground forces, Israel went to war.

      What actually happened in Israel in the final countdown to that war was something very close to a military coup, executed quietly behind closed doors without a shot being fired. For Israel’s hawks the war of 1967 was the unfinished business of 1948/49 — to create a Greater Israel with all of Jerusalem its capital. (In reality Israel’s hawks set a trap for Nasser by threatening Syria and, for reasons of face, he was daft enough to walk, eyes open, into the trap). On the second day of the war, General Chaim Herzog, one of the founding fathers of Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, said to me in private: “If Nasser had not been stupid enough to give us a pretext for war, we would have created one in a year to 18 months.” As I say in my book, if the statement that the Arabs were not intending to attack and that Israel’s existence was not in any danger was only that of a goy, me, it could be dismissed by Zionists and other supporters of Israel right or wrong as anti-Semitic conjecture. In fact the truth has been admitted, confessed, by a number of Israeli leaders. Here are just three of many examples.

      In an interview published in Le Monde on 28 February 1968, Israeli Chief of Staff Rabin said this: “I do not believe that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent into Sinai on 14 May would not have been enough to unleash an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.” On 14 April 1971, a report in the Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar containined the following statement by Mordecai Bentov, a member of the wartime national government. “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.” In an unguarded public moment in 1982, Prime Minister Begin said this: “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

      The single most catastrophic happening of 1967 was not however the war itself and the creation of a Greater Israel. At America’s insistence, and with the eventual complicity of the Soviet Union, it (the single most catastrophic happening) was the refusal of the Security Council of the United Nations to condemn Israel as the aggressor. If it had done so, the history of the region and the world might well have taken a very different course. (There might well have been a negotiated end to the Arab-Israeli conflict and a comprehensive peace within a year or two. To those who think that’s a far-fetched notion of what could have been, I say read my book, which includes a chapter headed Goodbye to the Security Council’s Integrity) Question: Why, really, was it so important from Zionism’s point of view that Israel not be branded the aggressor when actually it was? The short answer of it comes down to this. Aggressors are not allowed to keep the territory they take in war, they have to withdraw from it unconditionally. This is the requirement of international law and, also, a fundamental principle which the UN is committed to uphold, as it did, for example, when President Eisenhower read the riot act to Israel after it invaded Eygpt in collusion with Britain and France in 1956. That is on the one hand. On the other is the generally accepted view that when a state is attacked, is the victim of aggression, and then goes to war in genuine self-defense and ends up occupying some (or even all) of the aggressor’s territory, the occupier has the right, in negotiations, to attach conditions to its withdrawal.

      In summary it can be said that although Security Council Resolution 242 of 23 November 1967 did pay lip-service to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, it effectively put Zionism in the diplomatic driving seat. By giving Israel the scope to attach conditions to its withdrawal, Resolution 242 effectively gave Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby in America a veto over any peace process. In 1957 President Eisenhower said that if a nation which attacked and occupied foreign territory was allowed to impose conditions on its withdrawal, “this would be tantamount to turning back the clock of international order.” That’s what happened in 1967. President Johnson, pre-occupied with the war in Vietnam, and mainly on the advice of those in his inner circle who were hardcore Zionists, turned back the clock of international order. And that effectively created two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations — one set for all the nations of the world excluding only Israel, which were expected to behave in accordance with international law and their obligations as members of the United Nations; and one set for Israel, which was not expected to behave, and would not be required to behave, as a normal nation.

      At the Johnson administration’s Zionist-driven insistence, the refusal of the Security Council to brand Israel as the aggressor was the birth of the double-standard in the interpretation and enforcement of the rules for judging and if necessary punishing the behaviour of nations. This double-standard is the reason why from 1967 to the present a real peace process has not been possible. In my view there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of a real peace process unless the double-standard is abandoned. Unless, in other words, the governments of the major powers, led by America, say something like the following to Israel: “Enough is enough. It is now in all of our interests that you end your defiance of international law. If you don’t we will be obliged to brand you as a rogue state and subject you to boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

Towards a completely moral resolution.

      Alan Hart has been a major player in bringing an insider’s detailed view of the Palestinian tragedy to the English-literate world. He and his wife Nicole have three children. Today they are celebrating their 49th anniversary. Alan is one of my top three informants on the global tragedy whose major festering points include the so-called “Middle East”, along with his fellow Brit Robert Fisk of the Independent, and the Canadian Eric Walberg who is mostly posted in Cairo, where his regular column is published in the Cairo Al-Ahram Weekly. Of course I try to read a good number of other correspondents, and to keep my eyes open for additional trustworthy sources of good analysis. It was my good luck to see some of the writing of Jillian C. York, whose work led me to the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. But first a few more comments to Alan Hart.

      The terribly tragic conclusion implicit in your earlier statement to your children, “. . . when the world falls apart, I want to be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘Don’t blame me. I tried.’ ” ought not be left with no response, nor your modified conclusion that characterizes heaven and hell as states of mind. All I can do, Alan, is to tell you what I think, and hope that you and a few others — Robert Fisk, Eric Walberg, Jillian York, etc. will see some sense in it. If so, then perhaps we could try to initiate a popular movement for a universal humane resolution of the fundamental problems that threaten humanity’s future. I have a possible initial draft that even you, Alan, avowedly not an anarchist, might find desirable. It offers the only route I can imagine to save humanity. [4]

[29 April 2011. This open letter in progress is still to be completed.]
      2 May 2011. Here’s a brief introduction to Jillian C. York, from Harvard University’s Berkman Center website.

      I first became aware of Jillian through her commentaries on the Al-Jazeera English website. Her writing struck me as consistently measured, sober, sympathetic to struggles for social justice, but without the ranting one so often encounters. [5]

Berkman Center for internet and society at Harvard University
Jillian York, Project Coordinator

      Jillian York joined the Berkman Center in the summer of 2008 as project coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) []. In that capacity, she works with ONI's many volunteers and contractors around the world to carry out ONI testing for Internet filtering. She also blogs for ONI, conducts research, and coordinates DDos [Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (Against Independent Media and Human Rights Sites)] and Circumvention research.
      Jillian also works on the Herdict Web [] project, coordinating translation, blogging, and maintaining Herdict's social media presence.
      She is involved with Global Voices Online [], where she serves as an author on the Middle East/North Africa team, as well as Global Voices Advocacy []. She is also a member of the Committee to protect Bloggers [].
      Prior to joining Berkman, Jillian lived in Morocco, where she taught English and wrote Culture Smart! Morocco, a guide to Moroccan culture. She was also involved in digital activism there, and has given presentations on using online tools for activism. Most recently, she served as a contributing editor to Fodor’s Morocco. Jillian studied at Binghamton University and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.
      Last updated september 09, 2010

      3 May 2011. Canadians in the struggle. Here in América Latina we may hate the efforts of the Canadian mining conglomerates and their corporate government to strip our natural resources for the gluttony of international money moguls, which is in full swing, but we can take heart that even in that debased society good young people are rising up in opposition. It’s only some days ago that the Canadian website, “Media with Conscience (MWC) News” came to my attention, on which I found posted an article of Jillian York. Though not posted by Jillian, it was encouraging to see it there. The site lists 41 columnists, including people from the U.S., Poland, Canada, Egypt, Palestine-Gaza, Australia, Great Britain, India, Germany, and Pakistan. Some of them, like Richard Falk, Denis Rancourt, Gilad Atzmon, Greg Palast, and Francis Boyle are familiar to me.
      Here’s my exchange with the site editor:
1. On Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 8:36 AM, George Salzman wrote: This is an enquiry e-mail via from: George Salzman <>
      Friends, my paper aims at the continuation of human life on the earth. It is titled, “The ethics of a just solution of the “Palestinian/Israeli” conflict”, but goes beyond any specific conflict.
      Please consider publishing it. Thank you.

2. MWC. News, Shahram Vahdany <> Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM
Dear Professor Salzman, With pleasure. Please find your essay here:
Regards, Dr. Shahram Vahdany, Managing Editor, Media With Conscience
p 778-329-8867
3. from: George Salzman <> Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 9:41 AM To: Shahram Vahdany <>
Cc: Jillian C. York<>
Oaxaca, Mexico, Tuesday 26 April 2011, Dear Dr. Shahram Vahdany, Thank you very much for accepting my essay and posting it in its entirety. The format is attractive. I am much indebted to Jillian C. York, whose fine articles led me to discover your website. Very sincerely --George Salzman
4. from: Shahram Vahdany <> Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM
To: Dr. Science , Many thanks Professor, Please stay in touch and feel free to send us your work any time.
Kind Regards, Dr. Shahram Vahdany, Managing Editor Media With Conscience
p 778-329-8867
      4 May 2011. Why can’t we old folks learn from the young people? Why are we stuck in our ancient images of ourselves as knowing so much? Are we intellectually exhausted — or just too damned lazy? Why is our self-image so valuable that at times it seems more important to win an argument while losing the world than to admit an error in our thoughts?
      5 May 2011.       On the psychology of struggle.
One of the riches afforded by the internet (when it’s working) is the nearly instantaneous communication that enables us to sense the psychological differences among our correspondents. Here are three mature individuals — Alan Hart, Manuel Garcia Jr., and Mazin Qumsiyeh, each of whom is firmly committed to the justified struggle of the Palestinian peoples to resist Israeli Zionist conquest. Alan and I talked on Saturday 30 April for nearly an hour (Skype had 57 minutes), leaving me very encouraged by his support for my effort. His view is that unless drastic changes in energy use occur in 2 to 4 years, ecological collapse will destroy everything. Therefore, for tactical reasons, and with Americans deceived by the corporate/government media, there’s no time for a mass educational effort to succeed. Alan thinks only action by people in power can open a window to survival. He therefore calls for Israel to return to the borders at the start of the ‘67 so-called “6-day” war. I believe Alan thinks of himself — correctly — as a pragmatist with high moral and ethical standards. And sees me as an aging idealistic anarchist hoping that my dream world will materialize through the initiatives of the world’s youth.

To: Manuel Garcia Jr <>      My long-standing friend Manuel Garcia Jr., is even less sanguine than Alan Hart about my proposal. I wrote him,
Date: Wed, May 4, 2011 at 3:04 PM
      Hi Manuel, would you be willing to endorse my call for dissolving the state of Israel and returning Palestine to the indigenous peoples, which is posted at
All best wishes --George
From: Manuel Garcia Jr <>
Date: Wed, May 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM
To: George Salzman <>
      Hi George, The idea of the dissolution of Israel is OK by me in the abstract, but I see zero probability for such an occurrence. So, I don’t see a practical value to a petition. Who could one petition such a thing to, who would have the power, the authority, over Israel to order such a result? I’m afraid that money power and military power dictate the terms of this situation, and Israel, with all its faults, will remain for a long time to come.
      I could see a petition to the UN for sanctions on Israel for not complying with the international consensus (no settlements beyond the 1967 borders, no occupation, right of return and/or fair market compensation for Palestinian refugees and/or their heirs). Obviously the U.S. can veto such a move in the UN, but member states could voluntarily adopt many of the provisions (i.e., boycott Israel) of such a vetoed UN resolution, and world opinion would isolate the U.S. and Israel.
      I could also see a petition to the U.N. for similar sanctions against Israel if it does not compensate Lebanon for its 2008 bombardment and invasion.
      Israel is like South Vietnam, an artificiality sustained from abroad. Like South Vietnam, the problem of Israel cannot be solved by focusing on it, but on it’s power source, which is the combination of U.S. money, muscle and protection, and European acquiescence to U.S. hegemony leadership. If and when the Europeans want to put up a united front in opposition to U.S. Israel policy (for example by individual European countries all recognizing Palestine within its 1967 borders, and thus recognizing it as a nation under occupation, illegally, by Israel), and then act on it by trying to trade with Palestine (by ship), and then send out their navies to defend their trading fleets against Israeli piracy on the high seas, then you will begin to see real change. But, Europe is too comfortable to do anything on principle, especially if it crosses Uncle Sam.
      The second component of “fixing Israel” would be domestic reforms in the U.S.: 1, designate Israel lobby groups as foreign agents, no longer exempt from the laws restricting such, and 2, a massive clean-up (reform legislation, enforced) of campaign financing in the U.S. Take the money out of U.S.politics, and ensure that only actual domestic, not “foreign” money is involved.
      Actions along these lines I can endorse. But, what you suggest is too distant and dreamy for me to consider as even a useful tactic. Nothing short of a successful invasion and occupation by a far superior power (Martians?) could have any chance of dissolving the Israeli state (which I agree is just the facade of a European colonialist invader “tribe”). In the long, long, run demographics will swamp the Israelis like they swamped the white South Africans. But that’s an effect to be expected after several generations, not soon. The integration of Jewish people and non-Jewish semitic people into a non-apartheid multi-ethnic democracy that encompasses the territory now occupied by the Palestinians and/or the Israelis is not possible for generations, because of the Zionist attitudes (racist, colonialist, real-estate avaricious), and many long-term resentments harbored by the Islamic population. Were such a state capable of existing, it would be the most advanced in the Middle East, combining the European-Jewish-capitalist technological advances with the agricultural-labor wealth of the native population. It could be a super-Lebanon, without the ethnic gridlock one would hope. But, attitudes inculcated from the cradle make this impossible. Maybe after the next Chicxulub meteor falls on Jerusalem, the survivors can see their way around to such an arrangement. Gotta go, Manuel
From: Dr. Science (George Salzman) <>
Date: Fri, May 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM
To: Manuel Garcia Jr <>
Oaxaca, Mexico, Friday 13 May 2011
      Hi Manuel, I've been translating several articles from the weekly magazine Proceso, printed issue of 17 April. It ain't the world you're living in, you and so many Americans. But it's the real world that's snuffing out the possibility of your grandchildren (not to speak of your children) living out decent lives. Chicxulub may be hot stuff among some of the elite cognoscenti, but the young Muslim women being seduced to join the ranks of suicide bombers to terrorize "the enemies of Islam" are focussed on a more deadly pursuit. The article and my effort to translate it are below the reference to the Chicxulub_crater
This page was last modified on 10 May 2011 at 18:44.

      To see the suicide bomber article, go to [6]
      Never mind that the article is so stupid. It's horrendous (to me) that young people (women) are being recruited to be murderers. And it bothers me that Jewish Americans who support the Israeli government's equally murderous policies can be "innocently" befriended by decent humane Americans. To me there ought to be a moral obligation to ostracize those who knowingly support murderers. Yes, it's judgmental on my part. I think we should be judgmental. As always, sincerely --George
      P.S. The other articles are:
, Israel, en medio del huracán árabe, Por Témoris Grecko / Tel Aviv, Publicado en PROCESO (17/4/2011), and, Los pales-
tinos, divididos y anquilosados, por Témoris Grecko, Proceso, Semanario de información y análisis - 09 de mayo, 2011

[1] Alan originally posted his “Delegitimization of Israel”essay on his website more than a year ago, on 2010-04-05. It is at

[2] Alan’s latest essay on the Zionist conquest of Palestine, “Why does Israel have a veto over the peace process?”, is a sincere lament of a truly disappointed liberal. The piece ends with a hypothetical pseudo-threat by “the governments of the major powers” to “brand Israel a rogue” state, and punish it with boycott, divestment and sanctions.

[3] Alan’s statement about himself is at

[4] A proposal aimed at saving humanity. I believe that it may still be possible to prevent the utter destruction of the biosphere, and to alter global human society to make good lives possible for all peoples. I was encouraged a few days ago by the decision of the Media with Conscience (MWC) News website to publish my essay, “The ethics of a just solution of the ‘Palestinian/Israeli’ conflict”. It is posted at Although formulated in terms of that particular conflict, the general principles and considerations are applicable to all conflicts.

[5] Jillian C. York, some of her publications on the net., Authored by Jillian C. York, with contributions from Robert Faris and Ron Deibert, and editorial assistance from Rebekah Heacock
, Policing content on social media sites. The Internet acts like a new global commons, but crucial platforms are privately owned and subject to corporate rules.

[6] Moda, belleza y "jihad", por Leonardo Boix: Style, beauty and "Jihad", by Leonardo Boix. Moda, belleza y "jihad" Leonardo Boix Proceso, Semanario de información y análisis - 09 de mayo, 2011
      La irrupción de la revista Al Shamikha, que sólo puede adquirirse vía internet, preocupa a los expertos en seguridad de Gran Bretaña... En las páginas de esa publicación hay tips de moda y consejos de belleza para las mujeres árabes jihadistas, mezclados con explosivos artículos que enseñan cómo sabotear corporaciones, gobiernos y entidades occidentales enemigas. Especialistas consultados por Proceso dicen que la revista, vinculada con Al-Qaeda, busca promover una guerra santa global pero con un toque de glamour como el de Elle, Vogue o Marie Claire.
      LONDRES, 23 de abril (Proceso).- Las mujeres jihadistas tienen ya una nueva revista. Auspiciada por el grupo Al-Qaeda, la publicación incluye consejos sobre belleza y moda, además de artículos sobre cómo preparar bombas en la cocina del hogar y la forma más eficaz de participar en ataques suicidas. Al Shamikha (La mujer majestuosa) incluye notas sobre cuidados de la piel a base de tratamientos con miel y leche, así como tips para que las lectoras encuentren al hombre perfecto para casarse con él (un mujaidín o atacante suicida), realizar atentados o lanzar la jihad (guerra santa) por internet. También aconseja cómo llevar de forma más agraciada el velo islámico (“como lo indica el propio Alá”); qué medidas tomar en caso de una emergencia en casa y cómo seguir mejor la etiqueta de una cena estrictamente musulmana. Uno de los artículos alienta a las musulmanas a criar a hijos para que se conviertan en mujaidines o atacantes suicidas. “A partir del martirio, la creyente musulmana logrará seguridad, protección y felicidad”, indica el editorial de la revista, que pide a las lectoras fieles “no salir de casa excepto cuando es muy necesario”.
      Uno de los textos narra la historia de una mujer llamada Umm Muhanad, oriunda de Afganistán, quien alaba a su marido Khamal por la valentía que mostró durante un ataque suicida en Kabul en 2010, que terminó con la muerte de varios soldados estadunidenses y civiles que pasaban por el lugar. Muhanad insta a las mujeres musulmanas a vivir “por la causa islámica”, con el fin de lograr “el precio más alto: el martirio por Alá”. El primer número de la revista, de 31 páginas y cuyo precio es de cinco libras esterlinas (casi ocho dólares), fue lanzada por el grupo Al Fajer Media, que cuenta con vínculos directos con Al-Qaeda y que incluso dice estar en contacto con el buscado Osama bin Laden. Aunque Al Shamikha sólo puede adquirirse a través de internet, las autoridades británicas ya lanzaron una ofensiva para impedir su venta por considerar que viola las leyes del país contra la incitación al odio racial y religioso.
      Gran Bretaña reforzó en febrero pasado sus leyes de tolerancia religiosa, pues considera que son necesarias para evitar un atentado terrorista como el ocurrido en Londres el 7 de julio de 2005. En ese ataque, los suicidas eran británicos musulmanes, jóvenes, en su mayoría, desencantados con las políticas británicas hacia Medio Oriente, Irak y Afganistán; todos habían sido “indoctrinados” a partir de lectura de panfletos y publicaciones extremistas. La portada de Al Shamikha muestra el barril de una arma subautomática junto a la imagen de una mujer con un velo negro completo (niqab), una clara incitación a la violencia por parte de las mujeres musulmanas, y del vínculo que busca crear entre el Islam y el extremismo. La edición incluye entrevistas exclusivas con esposas de “mártires” que lanzaron ataques suicidas en Irak y Afganistán, y lo más sorprendente es que, en su mayoría, los artículos son escritos por mujeres. Un video publicitario para la próxima edición de la revista promete consejos sobre cuidados de piel, como también cómo lanzar una “jihad electrónica” para sabotear a corporaciones, gobiernos y entidades occidentales “enemigas”.
      El objetivo de Al Shamikha, según el editor Saleh Youssef, “es educar a las mujeres e involucrarlas en la guerra contra los enemigos del Islam”. “Debido a que las mujeres constituyen la mitad de la población –y uno podría decir que son la población misma debido a que dan a luz a una nueva generación – los enemigos del Islam buscarán prevenir que la mujer musulmana sepa la verdad sobre su religión y su rol, ya que saben muy bien qué pasaría si las mujeres entran en el campo de la jihad”, sostiene Youssef en un comunicado. Las autoridades británicas desconocen dónde se encuentra el editor, quien además se muestra reacio a hablar en público. En su texto, Youssef expone también que “la nación del Islam necesita de mujeres que sepan la verdad acerca de su religión y acerca de la batalla y sus dimensiones, y que sepan qué se espera de ellas”.
      Nuevo método de reclutamiento
      Analistas y expertos británicos en seguridad consultados por Proceso sostuvieron que la idea de Al-Qaeda es promover una guerra santa global con el mismo atractivo que si se tratara de una revista de moda como Elle, Vogue o Marie Claire. Paul McIntery, del Instituto contra la Violencia Religiosa, afirmó que el peligro es que la revista logre reclutar a muchas mujeres que desconocen el verdadero fin de grupos como Al-Qaeda. “Hay muchas mujeres dentro de las comunidades musulmanas que no tienen acceso a la información y no cuentan con una educación formal, esto puede llevar a una manipulación mucho más fácil”, dice McIntery a Proceso. James Brandon, portavoz del think tank antiextremista de Gran Bretaña Quilliam, sostuvo que Al-Qaeda se da cuenta de cuán efectivas son las revistas femeninas en Occidente y por eso imita ese formato, pero para la mujer jihadista. “Como resultado crearon una versión jihadista de Cosmopolitan, o digamos una Jihad Cosmo”, agregó. Lo cierto es que Al Shamikha no es la primera revista para mujeres jihadistas. Sigue los pasos de otras polémicas publicaciones, todas ellas proscritas en el Reino Unido, entre ellas Las Nietas de Khansa, que fue lanzada en febrero de 2010 pero que sólo alcanzó a editar dos números, antes de ser cerrada por las autoridades. Dicha revista era similar a Al Shamikha.
      En tanto, los servicios secretos de Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña están cada vez más preocupados por las ambiciones de Al-Qaeda a la hora de publicar dichas revistas, que buscan como objetivo final reclutar a más mujeres en el mundo musulmán, según informó el pasado 13 de marzo el periódico inglés The Independent, que ha seguido de cerca el tema del reclutamiento por parte de grupos extremistas islámicos. El lanzamiento de Al Shamikha se produce nueve meses después de que Al-Qaeda presentó la revista en inglés Inspire (Inspirar), dedicada a jóvenes musulmanes en el Occidente para invitarlos a entrenarse en ataques terroristas y la guerra santa. Inspire es editada por el clérigo radical estadunidense Samir Khan, quien según los servicios secretos británicos MI5 se encuentra escondido en Yemen, y es asistido por grupos rebeldes sauditas. Antes de escapar de Estados Unidos en 2009, Khan publicó una serie de revistas jihadistas llamadas Jihad Recollections (Memorias de jihad), las cuales, como Inspire, estaban destinadas a extremistas musulmanes cibernéticos, es decir que usaban frecuentemente internet. Las campañas mediáticas de alta sofisticación de Al-Qaeda son vistas como exageradas o hasta cómicas para los lectores occidentales, pero el MI5 llama a estar alertas, ya que considera que las revistas logran de forma muy eficiente su objetivo: reclutar a cada vez más musulmanes a sumarse a la llamada “guerra santa” contra el “enemigo” de Occidente, especialmente jóvenes musulmanes desencantados de muchos países islámicos, pero también del Reino Unido, Estados Unidos, Francia y Alemania. En 2008, 2009 y 2010, los estrategas de Al-Qaeda reaccionaron rápidamente a los desastres naturales en Arabia Saudita, Yemen y Pakistán, aprovechando las respuestas ineficientes de los diferentes gobiernos a inundaciones, y el supuesto robo por parte de las autoridades de dinero destinado para causas humanitarias, para encausar y atraer a fieles a la causa “contra las cruzadas de Occidente”. “Estas revistas parecen en un principio completamente inocentes, pero en el fondo están logrando lo que buscan. Cada vez más jóvenes musulmanes desencantados con las políticas occidentales –y lo hemos visto claramente en Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña– encuentran en este tipo de mensaje una respuesta a sus dudas y ansiedades. Y esto es peligroso, ya que el mundo islámico se está radicalizando a una velocidad nunca antes vista, un caldo de cultivo con consecuencias irreversibles para el resto del mundo”, sostuvo Brandon. Style, beauty and "jihad" Leonardo Boix Proceso, Weekly of information and analysis - 2011-05-09
      The bursting in of the review Al Shamikha, which could only be acquired by the internet, worried security experts in Great Britain... In the pages of that publication there are style tips and advice on beauty for Arab women jihadists, mixed with explosive items that teach how to sabotage corporations, governments and Western enemy organizations. Specialists consulted by Proceso said that the review, tied to Al-Qaeda, seeks to promote a global holy war but with a touch of glamour like that of Elle, Vogue or Marie Claire.
      LONDON, 23 of April (Proceso).- Women jihadists already have a new review. Backed by the group Al-Qaeda, the publication includes advice on beauty and style, as well as articles on preparing bombs in the kitchen of the house and the most effective way to participate in suicide attacks. Al Shamikha (The majestic woman) includes notes of caution for the skin based on treatments with honey and milk, as well as tips for readers who meet a man perfect to be married to (a participant in the Jihad or a suicide bomber), to carry out attacks or to launch the Jihad (Holy War) by the internet. Also it counsels how to raise the Islamic veil in the most gracious way (“as though to indicate God (Allah) himself”); what measures to take in case of an emergency in the house and how to continue better the etiquette of a strictly Muslim supper. One of the articles encourages Muslims to call on the children to become participants in the Jihad (Mujaidines) or suicide bombers. “At the start of the martyrdom, the person becoming a Muslim will achieve security, protection and happiness”, indicates the editorial in the review, which asks the faithful readers “to not leave the house except when it is very necessary”.
      One of the texts relates the story of a woman named Umm Muhanad, a native of Afghanistan, who praised her husband Khamal's valor which he showed during a suicide attack in Kabul in 2010, that ended with the death of various United States soldiers and civilians that were passing by the place. Muhanad urges Muslim women to live “for the Islamic cause”, with the goal of achieving “the most precious height: Martyrdom for God (Allah)”. The first number of the review, of 31 pages and whose cost is five pounds sterling (almost eight dollars), was launched by the group Al Fajer Media, which maintained direct ties with Al-Qaeda and which included, it was said, being in contact with the sought-for Osama bin Laden. Although Al Shamikha only could be acquired by use of the internet, the British authorities already launched an offensive to prevent its sale because they considered that it violated the laws of the country against inciting racial and religious hatred.
      The past February Great Britain strengthened its laws of religious tolerance, because they thought it necessary in order to avoid a terrorist attack like that which occurred in London on 7 of July 2005. In that attack, the suicides were British Muslims, youths, in the majority disenchanted with British politics towards the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan; all had been “indoctrinated” by reading pamphlets and extremist publications. The cover of Al Shamikha shows the barrel of a subautomatic arm together with the iage of a woman with a complete black veil (niqab), a clear incitement to violence by Muslim women, and of the connection that it seeks to create between Islam and extremism. The edition includes exclusive interviews with wives of “martyrs” who launched suicide attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the most surprising is that the majority of the articles are written by women. A video being publicized for the next edition of the review promises advice on skin care, also how one can launch an “electronic jihad” to sabotage corporations, governments and western “enemy” entities.
      The objective of Al Shamikha, according to the editor Saleh Youssef, “is to educate women and to involve them in the war against the enemies of Islam”. “Because of the fact that women make up half the population –and one could say that they are the very population that must educate a new generation – the enemies of Islam will seek to prevent the Muslim women from knowing the truth about their religion and their role, they already know very well what would happen if the women enter the field of the Jihad”, Youssef maintained in a communication. The British authorities don't know where to find the editor, who also shows herself resistant to speaking in public. In her text, Youssef also explains that “the Nation of Islam needs women who know the truth about their religion and about the battle and its dimensions, and who know that hope rests on them”.

New method of recruitment

      British analysts and experts in security consulted by Proceso maintained that the idea of Al-Qaeda is to promote a global Holy War with the same attractiveness as a style like Elle, Vogue or Marie Claire. Paul McIntery, of the Institute Against Religious Violence, affirmed that the danger is that the review succeeds to recruit many women who don't know the true goal of groups like Al-Qaeda. “There are many women in the Muslim communities that don't have access to the information and that haven't had a formal education, these can be moved by a manipulation much more easily”, said McIntery to Proceso. James Brandon, spokesperson of the antiextremist think tank Quilliam of Great Britain, maintains that Al-Qaeda takes account of how effective the feminine reviews are in the West and therefore imitates that format, but for Jihadist women. “What resulted was creation of a Jihadist version of Cosmopolitan, or we say, a Jihad Cosmo”, he added.
      What is certain is that Al Shamikha is not the first review for women Jihadists. Following the steps of other polemical publications, all of them prohibited in the Uited Kingdom, among them The Granddaughters of Khansa, that were launched in February of 2010 but that only succeeded in publishing two issues, before being closed by the authorities. That review was similar to Al Shamikha. Thus the secret services of the United States and Great Britain are more worried each time by the ambitions of Al-Qaeda at the time those reviews are published, that they are seeking as their ultimate goal to recruit more women in the Muslim world, according to information the past 13th of March in the English newspaper The Independent, which has continued around the theme of recruitment by extremist Islamic groups. The launching of Al Shamikha occurred nine months after Al-Qaeda inagurated the review in English, Inspire (Inspirar), dedicated to young Muslims in the west to invite them to begin training for terrorist attacks and the Holy War.
      Inspire is edited by the radical United States cleric Samir Khan, who according to the British secret service M15 was seen escaping in Yemen, and is assisted by rebel Saudi groups. Before escaping from the United States in 2009, Khan published a series of Jihadist reviews called Jihad Recollections (Memories of Jihad), which, like Inspire, were destined for extremist Muslim cibernaughts, that is to say who frequently use the internet. The campaigns carried out with high sophistication by Al-Qaeda are seen as exaggerated or even humorous by western readers, but the MI5 calls to be alert, because they think that the reviews achieve their objective in the most efficient way: to recruit more Muslims each time to add to the call for “Holy War” against the “enemy” of the West, especially young Muslims disenchanted with many Islamic countries, but aso with the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Germany.
      In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the strategists of Al-Qaeda reacted rapidly to the natural disasters in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan, benefitting from the inefficient resonses of the different governments to the floods, and the supposed robbing by sectors of the authorities of money destined for humanitarian causes, to prosecute and attract faithful to the cause “against the Crusades of the West”. “These reviews appeared completely innocent initially, but fundamentally they were achieving what they wanted. Each time more young Muslims disenchanted with western politics –and we see it clearly in the United States and Great Britain– encounter in this kind of message a response to their doubts and anxieties. And this is dangerous, already the Islamic world at a speed never before seen, a fuming soup with irreversible consequences for the rest of the world”, maintained Brandon.
George Salzman is a former American Jew living in Oaxaca, Mexico, an Emeritus Prof of Physics, Univ of Massachusetts-Boston.
All comments and criticisms are welcome.
George Salzman <>

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Initial posting of this page: 28 April 2011.
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