“A fool does not delight in understanding, but in revealing his heart.” Proverbs (18:2)
Apparently, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, one of the most notorious anti-Semitic fake documents of all time, has a sequel to cover conspiracies about the modern State of Israel, and many Jews do not realize that it exists.
The theory is based on an article that was published in the 1982 winter edition of Kivunim, a “Journal for Judaism and Zionism,” by Oded Yinon, who writes that the agreements in the Camp David Accords should not be honored, and discusses how Arab states will be eroded along ethnic and religious lines. This article might otherwise have been forgotten, but conspiracy theorists got their hands on it and ran with the ball. The theoretical stance outlined by Yinon was expanded perhaps beyond the originator’s wildest dreams, so much so, that Arab conspiracy theorists are now ready to blame internal discord in their countries on a Zionist plot to destabilize their nations and to gobble them up as part of a future Israeli colonialist empire.
Just this week, the so-called Yinon Plan was mentioned in an article published in the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) with a title which, at first glance, seems to say something nice about Israel: “Israel Ready to Help Africans Produce Food.” This must be a way to produce click-bait shock for readers, since an IRNA headline reflecting well on Israel should raise readers’ eyebrows and hook them into reading the article. The very first sentence, though, makes clear the aim of the article is not to praise Israel: “For long (sic) Africa has been a missing link in the evolution of a Zionist plan to set up the so-called Greater Israel.”
According to IRNA, Israel has its sights set on Africa’s oil reserves, its precious gems and diamonds, as well as uranium to increase its nuclear stockpile. The Iranian author claims to have retrieved this information from spy cables sent by the Guardian and Al Jazeera. It also said that Israel has been aggravating crises in African countries with a divide and conquer strategy, for which IRNA uses the “Yinon Plan” as evidence. Rather than a notion hatched out by a near-anonymous individual, IRNA asserts that the Yinon Plan has been policy from the moment Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, first put his pen to paper. Occupying lands in 1967 was just a first step, IRNA insists, to a larger scheme of a complete Zionist stranglehold on the continent of Africa, and it is exploiting one conflict at a time.
The IRNA article cites the Global Research website for a handy summary of The Yinon Plan as “an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller, weaker states.” The summary goes on: “In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called on a division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one Sunni, one Shiite.” It sounds as if they think Vice President Joe Biden is Israeli, since this is exactly what he recommended for Iraq in a New York Times Op-Ed piece. Biden seemed to have been following the model of the agreement that ended the Bosnian war rather than Israeli strategists. The IRNA article then concludes by explaining the headline about Israelis helping the Africans to produce food (oh…that). The Israelis are sharing their water technology to help African countries deal with drought and produce food. But of course, that is just on the surface. What they are really doing must be akin to what that crafty Joseph in the Book of Genesis did as viceroy of Egypt—store up food as a way of manipulating those gullible Africans and placing them under Israeli control.
Just as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was translated and disseminated throughout the Middle East, so Oded Yinon’s article was translated and edited by Israel Shahak, the kind of Jew even former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke loved, and it was published by the Association of Arab American University Graduates. It is called “A Zionist Plan for the Middle East,” and is lovingly summarized in a publisher’s note, “Oded Yinon is an Israeli journalist and was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To our knowledge, this document is the most explicit, detailed, unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy for the Middle East.” It identifies the theory as stating that to survive, Israel must become an imperial power, dissolve the Muslim states and create fragmented entities that fight among themselves before being united in an Israeli empire. The publisher claims that the Lebanon War in the 80s was intended to break Lebanon apart into smaller regions, even though the Israeli government called for a strong central government in Lebanon. The publisher then backtracks and says the Israelis actually wanted a strong central government in Lebanon with which they could sign a peace treaty and control more effectively. Like many conspiracy theories, the Yinon Plan libel considers an alternative that seems to go against the grain of the main strategy, but is not considered contradictory if it is another way of achieving the same pre-supposed goal. The publisher then states that the Lebanon War in the 1980s proved that the Israelis were not satisfied with displacing Palestinians, but wanted to destabilize the entire Middle East.
The conspiracy theory implies the question of whether these states are easier to control if fragmented. With the example of ISIS, it seems the splinter groups are more difficult to control, since they are not centralized, political entities whose participants can be tracked. What made the second Palestinian intifada (2000) so terrifying and destructive for Israelis and difficult to contain was the randomness of the Arab attacks, the fact that one of several groups could claim responsibility, and that some terrorists could have acted alone on their own initiative. As shown by ISIS, fragmentation can inspire more terror, expand influence and have certain strategic advantages over centralization of power. Israel’s wanting to destabilize the Middle East makes little sense if what results is an ISIS, a multi-headed snake that can bite the horse’s heel.
The Association of Arab American University Graduates’ version of the Oded Yinon article is translated and edited by Israel Shahak who was an Israeli holocaust survivor, born in Poland, who published statements often regarded as anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic. Shahak was liberated from Bergen Belsen, emigrated to Israel, served in the IDF and became a professor of chemistry at Hebrew University. He was disenchanted with David Ben Gurion’s statement during the 1956 Suez war that the fight was “for the kingdom of David and Solomon.” He became a strident critic of traditional Judaism and started “The Israeli League Against Religious Coercion.” In addition, he wrote and published articles around the world with titles such as “Torture in Israel” and “Collective Punishment in the West Bank.” For his articles, he won praise from Gore Vidal, Christopher Hitchens, Edward Said and Noam Chomsky. Shahak wrote of an Israeli desire to dominate the world and to spread vice to weaken the masses by “encouraging drug addiction and thus creating political apathy.” He was involved with the Israeli Communist Party and wrote, “If the Israeli Jewish masses are not split from Zionism… then there will be another Holocaust, the Arab revolution is going to win. If the masses of Israeli Jews are not incorporated in it, they will necessarily be consumed by it.” Shahak was published by an English language PLO publication and called Israelis “Holocaust mongers” who were going through a “Nazification.” He also said the Nuremberg laws were milder than Biblical injunctions about mingling with gentiles. Even the left-leaning journal Haaretz has written that there was plenty of evidence of treason against Shahak. Then Dean of Tel Aviv University Law School, Amnon Rubenstein, said that Shahak “does not even support those who want a simple war against Israel, but rather those who want an annihilation of its people.” Former Klansman David Duke sang Shahak’s praises as someone who wanted to bring “decent humanity to Judaism and the Zionist state” and credited him with unveiling “hateful Judaic laws … that permit Jews to cheat, to steal, to rob, to kill, to rape, to lie, even to enslave Christians.” Israel Shahak died in 2001 of complications related to diabetes.
The conspiracy theory structured around the Yinon Plan, like any dangerous untruth, contains its naked inconsistencies and absurdities, but that never seems to trouble zealots. The fact is that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still around since the 19th century. The Protocols exploits anti-Semitic stereotypes that have roots in the Middle Ages, but were developed following the Napoleonic wars by gentiles who were opposed to Napoleon’s emancipation of Jews and his granting them civil rights. A French Jesuit named Abbe Barruel circulated a forged letter in 1806 in which Jewish leaders discussed a theory for world domination. Barruel had earlier made the Freemasons the target of this theory, but it didn’t catch fire the way accusing the Jews did. The Protocols have been revived now and again in times of civil unrest, including during the Russian revolution and between the World Wars, but they have been a consistent hit in the Middle East since the dawn of Zionism.
In the actual article, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties,” Oded Yinon begins by addressing the general instability of the world in the 1980s and the threat of Soviet domination. He then discusses the Islamic states which are “built like a house of cards put together by foreigners” and doubts the Arab states as they are would continue to exist in the long run. “All the Arab States east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with conflict,” Yinon writes, and then discusses various states, their factions and the causes of their conflicts. He then discusses the fact that discrepancies in wealth pour more oil on the fire of civil unrest there. “In the course of the 1980s, the State of Israel will have to go through far-reaching changes in its political and economic regime domestically, along with radical changes in foreign policy, in order to stand up to global and regional challenges in this new epoch.” The loss of the Suez oil fields and the Sinai created an energy drain for Israel, and Yinon blames the Camp David Accords which deprived Israel of the Sinai. He argues that the territories should be returned to Israel, and points out weaknesses in Egypt and how divided the country is. Yinon writes, “Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the 1980s on its Western Front.” He then discusses the possible breakdown of other states, such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, along ethnic and religious lines. The article discusses military options with a final section with the heading, “Why is it assumed that there is no special risk from the outside in the publication of such plans?” Yinon writes that “principled opposition within Israel is weak,” and “the Arab world has shown itself so far incapable of detailed or rational analysis of Israeli-Jewish society.” In addition, Yinon in 1982 cites the “liberal American press” which consists of “Jewish admirers of Israel,” and when they criticize Israel, engage only in constructive criticism.
Oded Yinon’s sanguine justifications for making the article available for public consumption are almost more damning than if the strategy proposal had been published itself without that final section. The overconfident tone reads almost like satire or as if it were dreamed up by an enemy as a rationale for recklessness. Not only does the statement that the Arabs are “incapable of detailed or rational analysis” sound blatantly racist, but with conspiracy theories abounding on social media thirty years after the article was written, who is to say that such rationality is needed, when wild theories are doing just fine, thank you?
Oded Yinon was not a member of the Israeli government, but worked as a journalist, a research assistant and a lecturer. Using his work as a representative of an Israeli strategy would be like circulating an article written 30 years ago by some Arab journalist and representing it as the official strategy of the Palestinian Authority. Never mind that Hamas and the Iranian government openly state their desire to destroy Israel; they don’t need conspiracy theories to convince people of that, but the annoying detail is that people don’t seem to care as much, or not to take them seriously as they would an idea stated by an Israeli journalist 33 years ago. Yet Yinon’s Plan for “Greater Israel” has been invoked as if Yinon traveled in a time machine and had the ear of Mr. Herzl himself. All of the turmoil and dissolution in the Middle East is part of a Zionist plot, to which one could imagine many bewildered Jews replying, “If only the world didn’t have so much faith in us.”
According to the conspiracy site LeakSource, Israel was behind each and every recent conflict in the region, including the wars in Iraq and Syria and the regime changes in Egypt, on its way to a Zionist empire from the Nile the the Euphrates. ISIS is a part of a Zionist plan to divide Iraq into three parts. The US is Israel’s attack dog in its Middle Eastern. The recent direct confrontation between the US government and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is further “evidence,” argue the theorists, of America being at Israel’s beck and call. On the website Syria 360, an NPR interview with Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s Defense minister, is used in support of the suspicion that the Yinon Plan is official policy. Yaalon told Morning Edition that the borders of the Middle East “will absolutely change,” and sated, “the borders have already changed” under Assad. Now Yaalon could just be making an observation, but to a conspiracy theorist, the circular logic is absolutely compelling; assuming that Israel is behind the alteration of Syria’s borders, Yaalon’s observation that this has happened is a quiet cry of victory for the Yinon Plan. Rather than making an ideological statement, Yaalon might simply be acknowledging that, “Libya was a recent creation, a Western creation arising from the First World War. It’s the same for Syria and Iraq, and what we are currently witnessing is the collapse of the Western concept.” The 360 writer says, rather predictably, given his formulaic viewpoint, “and what about the New Israel? Is it not the creation of the Rothschild slave bankers and the law firm run by Lloyd George, who later became Prime Minister of Great Britain?”
Gilad Atzmon, an alto sax Jazz musician and an Israeli expatriate living in London, publishes in radical pro-Palestinian journals and sees the West as trying to break the Muslim countries on two fronts. First, Atzmon thinks the second war in Iraq was waged almost entirely for the sake of Israel with pressure from neo-Conservatives in the US and the UK devoted to the Yinon Plan. However, even Israeli and Jewish liberals do not manage to escape suspicion, according to Atzmon’s theory, and he thinks George Soros’ support for LGBT movements in Muslim countries is meant to create further fragmentation and erosion of those societies. Atzmon recounts in his blog a story of a Jewish lesbian activist who asked George Soros’ Open Society foundation for funds “that would inspire queer Arabs, especially from Egypt and Iran (although Iranians aren’t Arabs).” Atzmon writes, “What we see here is clear evidence of a blatant intervention by George Soros and his institute in an attempt to break Arabs and Muslims and shape their culture. So while the right wing Jewish lobby pushes the Arabs into ethnic, sectarian wars, their tribal counterparts with George Soros’ OSI institute do exactly the same—attempt to break the Arab and Muslims by means of marginal and identity politics.”
When you have an Israeli jazz musician including George Soros, of all people, in the list of those hungry to destroy the Muslim world on behalf of Zionism, you have reached a kind of trifecta one normally attains with the help of mind expanding substances.
And don’t be surprised when next you’ll find this very article listed on some Arab or White Power website as yet another proof of the Yinon Plan. It’s just the way these things work.