Last night Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson gently set a naive Keith Olbermann partly straight. Olbermann noticed (at 2:45 or so) that a 2007 cable in the WikiLeaks communiques gives “a reason other than the obvious for Israel’s opposition to Iranian nukes”: that they pose a ‘demographic” threat to “Israel’s long-term survival as a Jewish and democratic state.” Olbermann mentioned that “surveys find that one-third of Israelis would leave [Israel if Iran had the bomb] and Palestinian Israelis already make up twenty percent,” so if Palestinians “become a majority, Israel would have to figure out how it could remain both Jewish and democratic at the same time.”
Wilkerson, formerly Colin Powell’s chief of staff, countered:
Israel’s problem is more profound, I think, than you just stated it. The profoundness of it is that Israel will find it increasingly difficult to be democratic and Jewish, even with the current demographic situation–no outside [Iranian] forces impacting. Israel will be an apartheid state probably within a couple of decades if it tries to maintain the current policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians’ growing population. And that’s not very good for the future. South Africa proved that.
Wilkerson didn’t discuss Israeli-government apartheid now–suffered by Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as the stateless people in the illegally Occupied Territories. Instead, Wilkerson affirms that “Israel’s got a problem….That’s why we need a two-state solution….two states that are viable, economically, politically, security-wise.”
Perhaps Wilkerson wants to ease Olbermann and his “Countdown” audience into the full facts. Wilkerson tells Keith that “Anyone who’s studied the situation–and I will admit that that’s few” knows about Israel’s “demographic” “problem.” Olbermann himself started by proving his ignorance that Iran is Persian rather than “Arab”– announcing that “the biggest cheerleaders for war with Iran, are–[pause]–other Arab leaders.” (KO corrected himself later, substituting “Middle Eastern” for “Arab.”)
Wilkerson, to his credit, pointed out–as one who’s composed and read many such cables–that “the information being reported back to Washington isn’t necessarily the truth,” but is “designed to obfuscate, and to lie, and to twist, and to turn–anything but the complete truth….and if they are the truth as seen by the observers, the observers are often fooled.”