Executive Intelligence Review
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This interview appears in the April 23, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
INTERVIEW: RABBI ARTHUR HERTZBERG

Sharon and Bush `Will Fry in Hell'

Rabbi Hertzberg, former president of the American Jewish Congress, and former vice president of the World Jewish Congress, was interviewed by Marjorie Mazel Hecht on April 15, 2004. Her review of his newest book, The Fate of Zionism, is below.

EIR: After years of devolution and increasing tension, we're at a critical point in terms of Israel's survival and the danger of a full-blown worldwide clash of civilization.

Hertzberg: I think that what happened in Washington yesterday is a disaster. Sharon is licking his chops. He's going home to Israel to parade his achievement; he scored a famous victory. Bush is licking his chops. He thinks he's added about 10% or so to the Jewish vote that he will get in November. And so, Florida is more secure, and he thinks that he will himself be re-elected.

Both of them will fry in hell for what they did yesterday. And I want you to quote me on "fry in hell," because what they have done is that they have permanently put the United States at war with the Arab world. They have left no negotiating room. The only tactic that Arabs have left is to send in more suicide bombers.

EIR: It's certainly a worse situation than it was before the day before yesterday.

Hertzberg: And therefore, anybody who thinks that what happened in Washington yesterday is good for peace and good for people, is out of his head.

EIR: Unfortunately, in the Bush Administration and elsewhere, there are a lot of people who are out of their heads.

Hertzberg: Absolutely, absolutely.

EIR: As you know, we've been putting pressure on the Bush Administration for getting rid of Cheney and his entourage.

Hertzberg: I'm part of that pressure from a different side. These people are essentially mindless bullies. It's not merely that they're bad for Arabs, or bad for America. They are also bad for Jews. They are involving us in a permanent war with the Arab world. They are making it much worse.

EIR: Bush seems to think that he'll have support from the Jews for his policy. I don't think that's even true.

Hertzberg: I think he's going to have increased some support among the hardliners; but as the Jews think this one through, he's going to lose support.

EIR: I think most Jews aren't hardliners.

Hertzberg: That's the point. The majority of the Jews want peace, and they will recognize that this isn't going to lead to peace.

EIR: What do you think has to be done at this point?

Hertzberg: What I am thinking overnight is that there has to be a very serious Jewish declaration by some very responsible people, which says that Bush and Sharon do not speak for us. I'm going to try to make that happen in the next day or two. I think some Jews have to step out and say, this does not represent me.

EIR: Can you talk some about a solution—the policy of economic development for the Mideast, which LaRouche has pushed as the only way to change the situation?

Hertzberg: It is the only way. Look, I'll give you a rather startling parallel. Twenty-five years ago, the blacks made riots in America. How come they haven't torn up a suburb in 20-25 years? The answer is that with all its faults, affirmative action and all the rest that we have done, have brought enough blacks into the middle class and into the American mainstream economy, so that they have a stake in not tearing the joint down. I rest my case.

We have got to create a situation or situations in which Jews and Arabs have a stake together; Israelis and Palestinians, in not tearing up Israel/Palestine. And the only way you're going to do this, is not quickly by declarations, but slowly, by economic development.

EIR: We certainly have to start...

Hertzberg: There have been some starts. There are a few places around where Jews and Palestinians are in joint endeavors, but nowhere nearly enough.

EIR: Can you talk a bit about Sharon, and how you see a post-Sharon Israel? What do you think will happen?

Hertzberg: Well, a post-Sharon Israel will have one of two choices: It can either be worse—that is, it can go to Netanyahu, who is worse than Sharon. Or it can go back to the liberals. I don't know which way it's going to go. It depends on how much the situation changes, and how much pressure we put on.

EIR: How do you see that pressure coming? Do you see your declaration as having that effect?

Hertzberg: I see anything that is done in the Jewish world, and in the world as a whole, to make the point that these two leaders of yesterday do not speak for us, as fundamentally important.

EIR: What about the younger generation in Israel? Here, our youth movement, the LaRouche Youth Movement, is really changing things and shaking up the Democratic Party and politics as usual.

Hertzberg: The younger generation in Israel is confused. But, it doesn't want to get killed. That's the important thing. Except for a minority of right-wing hotheads, the younger generation in Israel wants peace.