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Rick Sterling on Political Weaponization of Sports & JFK-Israel

Rick Sterling on Political Weaponization of Sports & JFK-Israel


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Rick Sterling discusses his new article “Olympic Doping Case, Global Politics and the Sacrificing of Kamila Valieva: Here is how the West robbed and abused the best figure skater in the world, Kamila Valieva, while provoking the war in Ukraine.” His conclusion: “it is likely that US secret services intentionally created this situation to prevent Russian achievements at the Beijing Olympics and ‘unbalance’ the adversary.” We’ll also discuss his previous article “From Dallas to Gaza: How JFK’s Assassination Was Good for Zionist Israel.

Excerpt from the end of the interview:

Of all the people who are masters of really grotesquely mendacious propaganda, the Zionists probably win the prize. And so let's talk about your other article, “From Dallas to Gaza, How JFK's Assassination Was Good for Zionist Israel.”

You're not the only person who's been saying things like this. Ray McGovern, for example, just recently in an interview with Judge Napolitano, made a kind of similar, much shorter remark that suggested that he was aware of the case that was first developed by Michael Collins Piper that Israel played the lead role in the Kennedy assassinations.

Your article doesn't really get into the pinning of the responsibility of the assassinations. It simply points out who benefits, and that most people—like I was a Kennedy assassination buff from the mid 1970s through the early 1990s, I don't remember anybody noticing that Israel had benefited so greatly from the assassination.

Right. It's been extremely well hidden. And I was very surprised myself to discover all these things. And I did it because I helped to organize an event in November of last year which was the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

So in the course of, and I've written previous articles about JFK and foreign policy. There's the book, JFK and the Unspeakable, which is very good and which has a lot of information about JFK's moves toward peace and negotiation and compromise with the Soviet Union. He really had a very different notion of foreign policy. The Vietnam War would very likely not have happened if he had continued as president. The assassination or the coup in Indonesia in 1965 would not have happened. In fact, he had accepted an invitation from Sukarno to visit Indonesia. So he was friendly to President Sukarno of Indonesia, who was a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.

So he had a completely different foreign policy, and I was very much aware of that. But as I started looking into it—and I've always been interested and concerned with the situation in Palestine and Israel—I started looking, seeing things that were really interesting, and specific cases (including) the literature that's come out in the last few years about Dimona, the nuclear facility in Israel, and the development of the nuclear bomb at Dimona and the war of words through secret letters between the Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion and Kennedy.

Some of this documentation has only been released in recent years. And when I looked at the actual letters, it was astounding because in diplomatic language, JFK was laying down the law. He was giving the ultimatum to Ben Gurion that the U.S. needed to inspect this nuclear facility that was under construction at the time.

And then I started looking into other elements and I discovered, to my surprise, at that time in 1963, the U.S. was not giving any military aid to Israel. All it gave was food and humanitarian supplies. And the U.S. was supporting the Palestinian right of return, U.N. Resolution 194.

And of course, I knew from the past that Kennedy had been very friendly with Gamal Abdel Nasser, the nationalist president of Egypt, and that Kennedy had supported Algerian independence against France.

So it became clear that Kennedy really was on a different wavelength and was conducting a very different policy than than not only is it happening now, but happened immediately after his death.

Another interesting element is that the parent organization that gave birth to AIPAC was the Zionists of America and the Kennedy administration was adamant that they needed to register under the FARA Act as foreign agents. You can imagine how big a change that would be if AIPAC was not allowed to do all the sorts of things that they're able to do, and be recognized as agents of a foreign country and required to fulfill all the obligations that organizations so designated have to comply with.

So I identified the four different areas where Kennedy's policy was really different and how the evolution of Israel could have been really different than it has been. LBJ was completely subservient to Israel and dependent on Israel. Kennedy's death and LBJ's assumption of the presidency really cemented hardcore Zionism and prevented the possibility of a peaceful resolution whereby the Jewish people in Israel and the Palestinian people could find some kind of a workable compromise.

And that's what JFK was working towards and that's what ended.

It was also news to me and very interesting that there was a lot of opposition to Zionism, and to a militant supremacist state of Israel, both within Israel and within the American Jewish community. In fact, my article was just recently reprinted by the American Council for Judaism, which at the time in the 1940s and 50s and even into the 60s was a very prominent Jewish organization. It was anti-Zionist.

And so a lot of bad things happened with the JFK assassination.

That's putting it mildly. You quote JFK as telling the Zionists, quote, “I cannot believe that Israel has any real desire to remain indefinitely a garrison state surrounded by fear and hate.” Well, that could have been said last week, right?

This new Nakba might be even worse than the first one. And the first one has earned them the absolute enmity of a billion people in their region. And this one—you know, it's going to be off the charts. Do they really think that this is a good way to get on in that region and in the world?

Yeah, I think that's a great quote from JFK. It’s from a speech he was campaigning to be president in 1960. He was speaking before the Zionists of America. And he said various complimentary things about Israel, but Kennedy was clear. He spoke clearly. He spoke without subterfuge. It wasn't just a PR exercise or a campaign promotion.

And as you say, that sentence could have been delivered last week. And it's definitely the case that they have followed the path of—Kennedy said he hoped they wouldn't be, or he couldn't imagine that they would want to be, a garrison state surrounded by fear and hate, but that's obviously what—

It was a failure of imagination.

I guess it's what they wanted in a way, but they claim they want security. The Zionists always claim they want security and that's why they “have to eliminate Hamas.” Well, they're doing it by killing tens of thousands of people. They're just engendering more hate.

It just seems kind of preposterous that they really think that implanting the settler colony in this part of the world and making the whole region just absolutely loathe them is somehow going to work out well for them. It's just mind boggling. There are various analyses of where that mentality comes from. I know you mentioned that you've read Lauren Guyenot's book, JFK 9-11. Laurent Guyenot also wrote From Yahweh to Zion, which I translated and published. It’s an analysis of Jewish identity politics and the influence of Jewish religion on it over the centuries. And he speculates that there is actually a religious factor involved. He thinks that the Torah or Old Testament is kind of at the heart of it.

But we are seeing now a kind of a rethinking by a lot of people looking at the genocide of Gaza and the way it's being misreported in the media, and noticing that there's something very, very wrong here. Do you have any thoughts about what's led to this Zionist mentality that's so obviously genocidal and also self-destructive?

Yes. I think the Kennedy assassination was pivotal because before his assassination, there were strong voices (including) prominent Jewish voices in America, including Albert Einstein, who were vehemently against (hardline Zionism). They were calling the super Zionists terrorists and fascists. And there was the philosopher Martin Buber. There were a lot of prominent voices both within Israel and within the U.S. who wanted to find some kind of accommodation.

And it's interesting about JFK. He went there in 1939 and he spent some time in Israel. And then he wrote a very lengthy letter to his father about his observations. And one of his observations is still true today. He said it's very much divided between a hardcore fundamentalist community that is unwilling to make any compromise and a more liberal community that's really at odds with the hardcore religious fanatics.

But is that still true, Rick? Because the polls today show that from 2008 on, Operation Cast Lead and each of these mowings of the lawn in Gaza are supported by a near-unanimous chunk of Jewish-Israeli public opinion. Not the Arab-Israeli public opinion, of course. Arabs are 20% of the population of Israel. But among the Jews of Israel, 90% plus support these massacres and genocides.

So what's changed?

I spent the summer of 2007 living with a Palestinian family in Palestine, but traveling around Palestine and Israel. And I remember going to a rally in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. And it was really heartening to see thousands of young Israeli families marching against the occupation, saying that you can't be democratic and Jewish at the same time. That was a contradiction of terms to say you're a democracy, but have preferential treatment for one ethnic group.

That was very heartening. It was a minority then. And I think you're exactly right that it's an even smaller minority now. The lock-hold of Zionist ideology, of ethnic supremacy, has really gained ground.

But the pivotal point about the JFK, what happened after his death was that the Zionists of America and AIPAC were not required to register as agents of a foreign government. The U.S. reneged on UN Resolution 194 respecting rights for Palestinian refugees and looked the other way as Israel proceeded to develop the nuclear bomb.

And then in 1967, of course, you had the Six Day War, which was pivotal, both within Israel and within the American Jewish community, because everybody loves a winner, and here they were winning in six days, and everything seemed to be rosy. That was a huge turning point. And even at that point you could tell the sense of impunity was pretty astounding. It was because LBJ was in office that the Israeli forces attacked the USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt during the Six-Day War, killed 34 US sailors, injured another 194, and tried to sink the ship with the intention of blaming it on Egypt and then consolidating the support of the US with Israel against Egypt and the Soviet Union.

That's what I think it was the objective. But in any case, that happened, and LBJ looked the other way. He said, “I can't allow our ally to be embarrassed” when a US ship has been directly attacked. But since then, it's gone on, up to the current time.

I think October 7 is reversing what happened in June 1967. The prison break that Hamas and other militant groups waged on October 7, successfully attacking military checkpoints and showing the weakness of the Israeli military, and then the subsequent inability of the Israeli military to crush Hamas, and the ongoing genocide, have reversed it.

The whole world is reacting with horror. And I think the false image of a supremacist and unbeatable Israel has been effectively ended.

Yeah, I agree. So where will it go? The U.S. empire seems to be losing in Ukraine and will very likely lose to China, which is still growing a lot faster than the U.S. and the West are, and then with this situation in Gaza where the whole global south, especially the nearly two billion strong Muslim world and certainly this region, is turning strongly against the U.S. and ready for a post-American empire world.

So at some point, will Israel either have to change or go down due to the U.S. empire no longer being able to prop it up?

Well, that's the $64,000 question. What will they do in failure, whether it's Israel or it's the United States? In some ways, they're kind of joined at the hip, unfortunately. It speaks very poorly of American democracy that you can have 75% of the U.S. population wanting a ceasefire in Gaza and yet the U.S. administration has consistently denied that. They vetoed it in the U.N.

And what's happened in the last 24 hours at the U.N. was kind of a smokescreen, it was a pretend ceasefire resolution from the U.S. which was vetoed by China and Russia because they didn't want to go along with a smokescreen pretend-ceasefire resolution that wasn't anything of the sort.

So it's bad for the U.S., it's bad for Israel. And how to find a way out of it? How to find a way out of the U.S. spending a trillion dollars a year on the empire as our own infrastructure falls apart, as society breaks up in Israel through all of its contradictions.

I guess the danger is that some crazies will get power and that that Israel will use a nuclear weapon, which they have, or the U.S. and their puppets in West Europe will keep provoking the situation there instead of realizing that it's not that bad if Ukraine is neutral. What's so bad about that? And if the people in the eastern Ukraine want to be part of Russia instead of Ukraine, that should be their right.

The people in Crimea—and I've been to Crimea twice, and it's it's not close. 90% of the population wants to be part of Russia.

What's so bad about Ukraine being neutral? And what's so bad about ending apartheid in Israel and having one person one vote? The Jewish people in Israel will do fine. They've got the education and all the advantages that they've had. What's wrong with having an equal state and ending apartheid and ending the occupation? It costs them a tremendous amount financially to maintain the apartheid state, to maintain the occupation. All of that could be done away with and they would have vastly more security if they didn't have their foot on the neck of the Palestinian population, which is about the same size as the Jewish population.

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