The Last Days of Israel
by Barry Chamish
Tempe, Arizona: Dandelion, 2001. 160 pp. $16.95, paper.
Reviewed by Daniel Pipes
Middle East Quarterly
Jews have suffered hugely from the rise of conspiracy theories, most especially Hitler's, so one would think they would know better than to spin their own loony ideas. For the most part, they do, though a few Jews find the notion of a small group running the world too appealing to ignore. For example, Meir Kahane viewed capitalism and democracy as gentile notions spread with an intent to eliminate Judaism. Some haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews see Zionism as a Satanic plot to destroy Judaism.
In a more secular vein, Chamish, a Canadian who moved to Israel in 1975, has emerged in recent years as Israel's foremost conspiracy theorist. He believes that John F. Kennedy was killed by the Mossad and his son was offed to get him out of Hillary Clinton's way on her road to the Senate and has been described as "the leading UFO researcher in Israel." But Chamish's central theme concerns the old American right-wing canard about the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) running the world. In the typical style of the fringe right, The Last Days of Israel is a barely edited rant with an alarmist title published by an obscure provincial press. Also familiar is Chamish's overheated prose, his overstuffed account, and his over-generous estimate of himself standing at the crux of history. He indulges in the usual typographic excesses (bold and italics abound; one sentence ends with seven straight question marks) and madhouse digressions.
Looking beyond these not inconsiderable faults, what is Chamish getting at? He discerns an "accursed cult whose aim is one world government" working out of the CFR which has secretly run Israeli politics since the days of David Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann (a pair whom Chamish dubs "the least ethical quislings" the British authorities could find to run the Zionist movement). More recently, when the CFR wanted a peace process, "a terrified" Ehud Barak dutifully obeyed his CFR "masters." The remarkable and sad thing is Chamish actually seems to have a following in Israel.
Related Topics: Conspiracy theories, Israel | Daniel Pipes | Summer 2001 MEQ
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