Watch the interview at Press TV
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barrett, an editor with Veterans Today, in Madison, about Republican members of the US Congress slamming the head of the Roman Catholic Church for recognizing Palestine as an independent state.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Dr. Barrett, first of all, what is wrong with the Pope making a political initiative and recognizing Palestine as a state?
Barrett: Well, there is nothing wrong with it. This was a treaty between the Vatican and the state of Palestine. So, it is just a normal treaty between two states and the people who are so upset about this in the US Congress, which is basically a wholly owned subsidiary of Israel and in particular its extremist Likud faction, apparently are part of this kind of genocidal Zionist mentality that says there is no such thing as Palestine.
It is amazing how we have a whole school of thought of these people who, with complete ignorance and in defiance of the facts of history, insist that Israel was a land without people for a people without land. As if there have never been any people living in Palestine; when of course the truth is that they have always been there.
So the Congress is just stuck in a state of denial and they are funded… they get half of their campaign contributions – which are basically bribes – from pro-Israel people. The Israel lobby is the richest and most heavily funded lobby in America; so, it is not surprising that they are taking their marching orders from Netanyahu and his Likudniks. Of course, this is treason against the United States of America, representing a foreign government like this. But nobody in Congress seems to care.
Press TV: And of course, what does the Pope’s decision mean to the Palestinians themselves?
Barrett: Well, I think there is a plus and minus here. The plus is that the Pope decided to recognize the state of Palestine rather than the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which was the original draft of the treaty. And by doing that, the Pope is recognizing that there is a state of Palestine that goes beyond simply that organization, which in fact is terminally corrupt; it has repeatedly betrayed the Palestinian people. Hamas is a much better representation of the people of Palestine than the Palestinian Authority ever has been. But of course we also have to recognize that this act by the Pope is not going to magically make the genocide stop.
It is one very small step towards overcoming the complicity of the Western powers in this genocide against the Palestinians. And it does demonstrate that this Pope is not a complete captive of the hard-line Israel lobby. But I think that we are going to have to see a lot more movement from other power centers in the West before the people of Palestine can celebrate and feel safe that they are not going to be butchered in another round of slaughter – or “mowing the lawn” as Israelis call it in Gaza – and that they are eventually going to get citizenship rights in their native land.
Press TV: And of course, day by day, Palestine is rising to become recognized, it is now an official member of the ICC. Just how stronger is Palestine becoming in the international political scene to take action against Israel and the fact that it is an ICC member now make Israel be held accountable?
Barrett: That is right. Palestine is making big strides in this area and it is important. I think that what has happened is that the extremist element in Israel has taken charge. Netanyahu’s election is a good example of that as are the polls that show that the majority of Jewish Israelis supported these massacres in Gaza.
But I think the world, that is the power centers in the world that are relatively friendly to Israel have realized that Israel has fallen into the hands of extremists and indeed [it] has drifted towards a certain kind of extremism that is heading towards a complete genocide. And of course Netanyahu wants to start another big Middle Eastern war so he can finish the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and have another Nakba and basically kill or expel all the rest of the Palestinians.
Now the world does not want that, most people do not anyway; and so this move to recognize Palestine and make it official that there is a Palestine… I think it is a kind of preemptive strike against Netanyahu and his friends’ plan to try to complete this genocide. And it is a welcome development. I hope that the rest of the world continues to move towards officially recognizing Palestine and creating a situation in which it would be impossible to contemplate eliminating Palestine and the Palestinians.
Press TV: And on a similar note, as much as Palestine is becoming more recognized, how much Israel is becoming isolated?
Barrett: That is the other side of the same coin, that is, by choosing this path of extremism and accelerated genocide, the Israeli leadership has completely isolated themselves. They are really very, very few people around the world who agree with that program – even the people in Congress who are mouthing Israeli slogans and screaming insults at the Pope and swearing on their Scofield Bible that God wants to commit genocide in Palestine and give the land to the master race and all this ridiculous stuff from the Zionist-manufactured Scofield Bible that has brainwashed so many Americans. Those people in Congress… I do not think they really believe it. They are basically just greedy, power-hungry people who would say whatever it takes to keep those campaign contributions flowing. So they are mouthing the slogans, but they do not really believe it. And anybody who really does believe that is basically a complete fool and such people are of no consequence anyway.
So, there is really almost no support around the world for this extremist right-wing Israeli Likudnik program to accelerate the genocide in Palestine; and more and more rational voices from around the world, including the Pope, are standing up and saying it is time to put a stop to this. Palestine exists, the Palestinians exist, let’s get them their rights.