Alan Hart and What It Takes to Struggle On

Alan Hart and What It Takes to Struggle On


Editor's Note :  Dr. Lawrence Davidson writes : “…both public and private Arab money generously supported the PLO”

Davidson is a well-meaning writer, does he believe what he writes? The point was not to shovel money into the utterly corrupt PLO and its affiliates, IT IS TO SHOVEL MONEY INTO THE US and CANADA and  BRITAIN and AUSTRALIA, buy out newspapers and networks (ALL of which trade publicly and can be bought out by shareholders, at least in the US), to do to Congress and the three Parliaments what AIPAC and its ever growing counterparts in those three other countries do, and beat AIPAC and company at their own game.

Can you imagine (e.g.) a Muslim-owned NBC or CNN whose news coverage gave to the American public — not a pitiful few thousands or even tens of thousands, but tens of MILLIONS nightly — an accurate view of Israel and the Palestinians and Iran?

They don’t have a single lobby worth its name, let alone a network or two, even after 65 years. Talk about "significant progress over the past three decades".

As far as the assorted groups wandering around in these critical four countries, they are there and they are more vocal than four years ago, but the key question — as Dr. Alan Sabrosky wrote a couple of years ago — is what effect it has had on three critical issues:

(1) Israeli military power,

(2) The number of Jewish settlements and settlers, and

(3) Israeli leverage over the US government (and in this context, the governments of the UK and Canada and Australia).

Can anyone look at those three issues and honestly suggest that any of them is less now than four years ago?

Absolutely not, and Hagel's confirmation means nothing, as he absolutely made a Faustian bargain in order to be confirmed:

Israel is much stronger militarily and is now the recipient of an additional US$10 billion beyond its annual payment, there are more settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and about 100,000 more Jewish settlers, and their lock on all four governments is much stronger. All this would have been public knowledge and nipped in the bud, only if anyone had the commonsense to do the media takeover as mentioned above. But no one did, not the wealthy Arabs and neither did the Palestinians.

I understand Hart's position — in fact, several activists, writers and editors did the same thing several months ago, and not at all for financial reasons. Dr. Davidson's article below tends to belittle veteran journalist Alan Hart and that is not on!

I think one can safely presume everyone following the “Israel-Palestine conflict” knows who Alan Hart is. A former BBC Panorama and ITN Middle East correspondent with a vast first-hand knowledge of the subject. He knew, and interviewed, many of the main players in the Israel-Palestine conflict on all sides (Golda Meir, Yasser Arafat and other PLO leaders, Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, Gamal Abdel Nasser, King Hussein of Jordan, George Habash, King Feisal, Margaret Thatcher – the list is long). He also participated at a leadership level in the secret politics of the search for peace in the Middle East (as an intermediary between Arafat and Peres when it was presumed Peres was headed for leadership). His passion and empathy with both sides in the conflict is apparent in his obviously erudite analysis. 

by Dr. Lawrence Davidson

I – Who Is Alan Hart?


Alan Hart is an author and a journalist. He is the former Middle East Chief Correspondent for Britain’s Independent Television News and a former BBC Panorama presenter whose beat was the Middle East. He has written a number of books, including Arafat: Terrorist or Peacemaker? (1984) and the three-volume  Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (2009-2010). He is also a longtime activist for various causes, particularly his three-decade struggle on behalf of justice for the Palestinian people.

II – Alan Hart Resigns

On April 25 Alan Hart, the activist for Palestine, literally turned in his resignation letter. In it he states, “I am withdrawing from the battlefield of the war for the truth of history as it relates to making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine.” Why did he do this? In Hart’s opinion, the struggle for justice in Palestine is “mission impossible.” The information/propaganda war between Zionists and those, such as himself, supporting the Palestinians (which, in any case, had always been “the most asymmetric of all information wars”) is lost. He notes that the Western media still follow a Zionist line and asserts that most of the Western populations remain either pro-Israel or indifferent to the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

Hart blames this alleged Zionist victory in the propaganda war on a lack of financial support for those trying to write and speak out for Palestinian justice, and contrasts their plight to the situation of the Zionist writers and advocates, who enjoy almost unlimited funds. Hart feels it is mainly wealthy Palestinians and other Arabs who have failed to support pro-Palestinian activists. These wealthy Arabs  have failed to step forward because they either are afraid of Zionist retribution that would damage their businesses or careers, or are afraid of their own Arab governments, which do not want trouble with Israel because of assertive actions by pro-Palestinian wealthy citizens.

III – Mr. Hart’s Plight

With all due respect to Mr. Hart, who certainly does deserve our respect, I can’t help asking myself whether his assessment of this “war for the truth of history” is objectively true or an expression of personal disappointments. According to his own explanation, Alan Hart’s decision to leave the struggle is connected to the fact that Arab publishers and media failed to financially support and promote his recent book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews. This was a great disappointment to him because the Arab media had serialized his prior work on Yasser Arafat and this had brought him “a significant income.” He had obviously made the assumption that the situation would repeat itself. So strong was that expectation that, as Mr. Hart tells us in his resignation statement, he made certain decisions, such as mortgaging his property in order to support the production of the Zionism study, which have now brought him into financial distress. Hart appears to see the failure of Arab money to come to his assistance as indicative of Arab failure to support the Palestinian cause.

IV – How accurate Is Alan Hart’s Assessment?

As disappointing as the Arab failure to promote Hart’s important work on Zionism may be, it is not accurate to conclude, as Hart does, that most wealthy Arabs “do not care about the occupied and oppressed Palestinians.” Before the first Iraq war, both public and private Arab money generously supported the PLO. Yasser Arafat’s unfortunate attempt to mediate that conflict and prevent a war against Iraq stopped most (but never all) of that support. Whether the wealthy Arabs could now do much more is another question. However, and this is an important point, this is not the same question as to whether Western supporters of the Palestinian cause should or should not give up.

Hart is correct that in the past thirty years supporters of Palestinian justice have not been able to create the necessary critical mass of public opinion to change the policies of national governments. However, that does not mean there has been no progress. It does not mean this is a lost cause.

I too have been a strong supporter of the Palestinians for decades, and I have seen a tremendous difference over time. Thirty years ago you could not critically raise the subject of Israel in public, and thus the Zionists had a monopoly on the entire history of this issue. That is emphatically not the case today. Despite Alan Hart’s unfortunate experience, the fact is that, at a popular level, the Zionists have lost control of the Palestine narrative. There are other real positive signs in this struggle that Hart fails to mention, including the progress of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; the continuing maturation of counter-lobbies, particularly in the United States; and the growing worldwide recognition of Israeli criminality, which has slowly increased that country’s sense of isolation. In other words, there is more to this than the Arab failure to support Mr. Hart’s latest work.

V – How Do We Measure Success?

One has to also understand that success and failure come on many levels. On the macro level, progress is slow, but as pointed out above, it is far from nonexistent. Sometimes you just need to know where to look to see the ongoing activity. For instance, in the case of the United States, there are a growing number of organizations that are constantly busy getting out the message of Israeli crimes and the Palestinian demand for justice. There are the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (a coalition of almost 400 member groups and organizations), Jewish Voices for Peace, and the Council for the National Interest, to name just a few. The struggle against Israeli apartheid might well be, as it was in the case of South Africa, multigenerational. But among the many organizations waging this struggle there is no sign of slacking.

On the micro level, success comes when one is consistently true to one’s principles in a manner that is personally acceptable. No one is asking Western supporters of the Palestinian cause to go bankrupt or put themselves in physical danger, although in the latter case notably heroic individuals such as Rachel Corey and Tom Hurndall have chosen to do so, with tragic results. However, there are less dangerous routes. To do what you can in a steady, consistent way for a just cause in which you believe is already to have achieved success at the personal level. We struggle not only for the cause, but also because of who we are.

Alan Hart is an admirable man who has done admirable things, and we all owe him our thanks for his contributions to the Palestinian cause. But his decision to retire from the field should in no way be taken as a sign that that cause is lost. It is emphatically not lost. It has made significant progress over the past three decades and it is well positioned to make more progress in the future.

Read the original article @


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Dr. Lawrence Davidson is the co-author of A Concise History of the Middle East and author of America's Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; Islamic Fundamentalism; and The Alexian Brothers: An Evolutionary Look at the Monastery and Modern Health Care. A member of West Chester University's history faculty since 1986, he earned his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and completed his master's and Ph.D. degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Alberta in Canada, respectively. Email : Website :


  1. I'm with Alan on this. My impression is that Arab millionaires by and large don't give a toss, nor do the PA or the PLO or they wouldn't be forever dragging their feet.


    When Arabs acquire power or riches they seem to ditch principle and fighting spirit, hence the self-serving spivs that inhabit that compound in Ramallah.  


    We're not talking, as Lawrence Davidson seems to think, about how much Arab money went into the PLO. Nor are we talking about "the Arab failure to support Mr Hart’s latest work".


    We're talking about the way we activists strive only to be obstructed and frustrated by the Palestinians' quisling leadership and the failure of the Arab 'establishment' (if there is such a thing) to take a positive hand.  


    Furthermore, Arab government sources don't seem keen to 'feed' writers or activists with key information. They refuse to get media savvy. The  Palestinian embassy in London is a case-study in uselessness.  


    As for Arab media, only one has ever approached me. Submissions to other Arab titles – even those based here in the UK – have been ignored. Yes, PressTV is in touch but they are of course Iranian and they certainly put the Arabs to shame.  


    As I've said before, the Palestinians had the moral high ground, truth on their side and a great story to tell, and they were up against the worst brand-name on the planet. How could they lose the information war?


    Writers on this and many other campaigning website are now feverishly doing what the Arabs should have done decades ago — educate the West.   What motivates me now is the damage Zionism is doing to my own country, its political and religious institutions, its prosperity and its security. The gradual realisation that this alien menace is multiplying in our own back yard, here and in the US, is probably what's hepped up Western activism more than anything.

  2. This  Editorial states the obvious need to have what Israel has and that is media outlets that will tell the truth, the real truth.  


    All of us should stop and think for a moment. What the Jews have done has taken sixty years, pouring billions into the single-minded project of owning the news, controlling the history and bribing their way through a very corruptible America. And they have done it. No one reading these pages would have any doubts on that score. The Hagel Senate fiasco was a summary of where the power rests in the US.   We neither have the resources to do the same, the unified will, or obviously, the single-mindedness to be successful in the same way. As I said, it took the Jews with all their billions, sixty long years.   But we do keep trying., each one in his / her own way.   Just as Israel is relying on this lack of any form of unification of purpose and action to make us all work against each other (as per today, somewhat) while all of us,  the people working for peace in Palestine and the end of the apartheid climate and freedom for those occupied peoples, we can only wait until Israel makes mistakes to move our cause along one notch. Fortunately, the Zionists make mistakes, so we move on,  by default.   

    No, it is not good enough but as I wrote :

    some months ago, hopefully thinking that the CNI could be a force for greater good as I respect their worthy writings, that unless we unite under a banner, we will not progress  based on our own individual efforts.


    Perhaps this slight disagreement today may make others join together  in some way to unify our total effort. We have emails, we have organisations like My Catbird Seat as a vehicle to organise, a clearing house so to speak. Finally, we have the will.  Surely it is worthy of consideration.


    Let’s not disagree on the main points. The changes we need to see, the reigning in of the murderous Israelis, the reduction of their power and influence around the globe, everywhere and the freeing of a nation of scatteredpeople. All worthwhile objectives   But no one should take away from the successes of Alan Hart, or the efforts of Lawrence Davidson, slightly at loggerheads today over the use of some words. Small change really and it will probably make our enemies, the Zionists of the world, call a meeting, pour in some millions and figure out a clever way to exploit such divisions in  our ranks.  


    Let’s not give them any ammunition.   Let's have no more  disagreements, please.. We cannot win a single point in this environment,  the winners clearly will be the well-funded, well organised Zionists. They are expert at searching out weaknesses. Just look at the US Congress and the US Senate. They have done a masterful job making those disgraceful, feckless politicians  jump through the hoops on request , seven days a week. They have what we do not have….organisation, all pulling in the same direction to the detriment of the rest of the world.  


    Organisation  is the key to making any  difference.

    • And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. by Mahatma Gandhi Published in the Harijan, 26-11-1938, which still rings true:


      Excerpt: “I have no doubt that they (the Jews) are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart.”


      RexW  writes : “…we can only wait until Israel makes mistakes to move our cause along one notch. Fortunately, the Zionists make mistakes, so we move on, by default. “


      Yes, Israel has always had an affinity for shooting itself in the foot at the least provocation.  In time, it will be their own undoing. 

  3. It's hard to compare the most vicious, longest running and demonically-inspired crime syndicate, the zionists, to the Palestinians who, like most of us poor Gentiles, just want to be left alone to enjoy the Universe God has given us. 
    In other words, the zionists, who have been doing Satan's work for what, 2,500 years min. to 6,000 years max., depending on who you believe, are now on the final phase of thier agenda to drive the world into submission.
    If you want to blame REALLY pathetic (and apathetic) people, blame THE BRITS and THE AMERICANS and THE WEST who still, to this very day, are only just STARTING to realize what a vile and filthy crime syndicate they have been supporting or, at minimum, ignoring.

  4. There is no comparison between the jews and the Palestinians…because on one side you have the one that gets bullied and beaten, on the other you have the one that cries wolf.


    If you want to blame someone, then blame the americans who have forced this onto the rest of the world. If wasn't for the money, then the americans wouldn't owe them anything. As majority realise now, the jews are the owners, the americans are the renters, the rest of the world are the scape goat for anything.  


    For instance, the spy caught in Russia…the russians deported him and they had every right to arrest him. The Americans didn't care.


    The Russian war ships going into syria, the americans are up in arms…because it affects the jews, so tell me who is at fault?


    When the bottom line is…the jews start it, the americans get involved, the other countries get millions of casualties and it all circles again, into next one.


    Palestine have said time and time again they will let them have their own state as long as they leave them and the country alone. But they won't and don't.

  5. This little piece of information is almost as important as Gandhi's message: It was written 26 November 1938. PRE-holocaust.



    A year BEFORE Gandhi's letter, on 5 October 1937, David Ben-Gurion wrote to his son that



    "We must expel Arabs and take their place." Gandhi's letter came just short of a year BEFORE Hitler invaded Poland. But over FIVE years AFTER "JUDEA DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY". 



    Gandhi's caution to the Jews came after the German people had endured FIVE YEARS of economic warfare as "international Jewry" schemed to destroy Germany economically, as was stated in a front-page, banner-headlined article in the Mar 24 1933 London Daily Express. see



    The 'holocaust' did not "cause" the Jewish colonization and consequent ethnocide of Palestine.THAT project began in earnest in about 1881; took shape when Arthur Ruppin surreptitiously purchased the "most fertile terrain in the entire Middle East," the Jezreal valley, in about 1908.   



    By 1910, Ruppin had built Tel Aviv hard by the Palestinian port of Jaffa, with the stated goal of displacing Arabs and siphoning off their commerce in oranges as well as rents.        

  6. The DATE of Gandhi's letter is almost as important as his message: It was written 26 November 1938. PRE-holocaust. A year BEFORE Gandhi's letter, on 5 October 1937, David Ben-Gurion wrote to his son that "We must expel Arabs and take their place."


    Gandhi's letter came just short of a year BEFORE Hitler invaded Poland. But over FIVE years AFTER "JUDEA DECLARED WAR ON GERMANY".  Gandhi's caution to the Jews came after the German people had endured FIVE YEARS of economic warfare as "international Jewry" schemed to destroy Germany economically, as was stated in a front-page, banner-headlined article in the Mar 24 1933 London Daily Express. seewww dot biblestudysite dot com slash judeawar dot htm The 'holocaust' did not "cause" the Jewish colonization and consequent ethnocide of Palestine. 


    THAT project began in earnest in about 1881; began to take shape when Arthur Ruppin surreptitiously purchased the "most fertile terrain in the entire Middle East," the Jezreal valley, from its Lebanese landlords in about 1908.   


    By 1910, Ruppin had built Tel Aviv hard by the Palestinian port of Jaffa, with the stated goal of displacing Arabs and siphoning off their commerce in oranges as well as rents. Impacted by the worldwide depression as well as by British policy that restricted Jewish immigration to wealthy Jews, which meant, in essence, German Jews, by late 1932 the zionist project faced bankruptcy. Hitler was appointed to the chancellorship on Jan 30, 1933; "within a fortnight" — and BEFORE the appointment had been endorsed — Louis Brandeis told Rabbi Stephen Wise that "All Jews must leave Germany."


    As the main character in "Ship of Fools" relates, German Jews did not WANT to leave Germany. German Jews pleaded with Rabbi Wise to cease his provocations of the NSDAP and imposition of hardships on the German people, but Wise ignored their pleas as meaningless.  (see "FDR and the Jews," by Breitman & Lichtman).

  7. Some might see this as good news.
    Too many people have glommed onto the ME conflict as a way to earn a living.
    They therefore act in ways to advance their economic interest.
    Some do it by casting the conflict in Manichean terms. One side is pure evil, the other pure innocence. Got to keep em angry, got to keep your side in an emotional lather – it's good for business.
    They stake out and promote extreme positions and "solutions"; ones that even the most moderate, reasonable and accomodating people from the other side would consider unacceptable. 
    Others have a vested interest in the "peace process", the never ending peace "process".
    As long as there is a "process", or the hope of a "process" they can write articles, give advice, chair organizations, accept donations, get speaking fees, etc. 
    Many of these people are part of the problem, not the solution.
    Note: I don't mean to suggest that all experts, specialists and commentators on the ME conflict
    fall into these two categories, just too many.