Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All Hail Bibi

I tried to watch Netanyahu’s speech today but after a short time simply had to turn it off. I have never before seen such servile obeisance to anyone, let alone the leader of another country. You might well have thought you were watching the “Second Coming.” It seemed to me that after every third or fourth word, no matter what they were, everyone jumped to their feet and applauded enthusiastically for a strangely long time. What on earth was this all about? Netanyahu is probably the single most serious obstacle when it comes to peace in the Middle East. He is, I think, arguably a war criminal, having authorized the assassinations of Palestinian leaders, the killings of people in Gaza, and so on. He is a racist who has never disguised his contempt for the Palestinians, a thief who has authorized the theft of Palestinian lands, an international criminal for blithely ignoring international law for years, and a liar as well. I actually began to fear there would be a rush to the podium to be the first one to kiss the hem of his trousers (let alone his ass).

President Obama made it very clear, I thought, that the 1967 borders were simply a starting point for negotiations and said that no one believed they would be the borders ultimately established. There are to be land swaps, mutually agreed upon, that would establish new borders (unfortunately when pigs begin to fly and fish begin to tango). Netanyahu ignored what Obama said and insisted, completely unnecessarily, they would never return to the 1967 borders. He then rather grandiosely claimed the U.S. did not have to “build a nation” in Israel because they already were one, did not have to export democracy to them because they already had one (except, of course, for Arabs), and did not have to defend them as they defend themselves (with the help of billions every year from the U.S.). It was, I thought, an absolutely shameless performance, and watching it one could not help but see the Palestinian cause disappear before your eyes (and ears). I have no doubt that had President Obama been in attendance Netanyahu would not have hesitated to tell him what the U.S. should do next to benefit Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. The strange love affair between the U.S. Congress and Israel insures there will never be peace in the Middle East, never, and it insures the Arabs will have no other option than to oppose the state of Israel. It makes a mockery of even the pretense of a two state solution, fairness for the Palestinians, or even a serious attempt at peace.

The unconditional, unbreakable, and unquestionable support promised Israel by President Obama (and many others before him) means that we will (and have) supported even Israel’s overwhelmingly asymmetrical aggressive towards Lebanon and Gaza, their blatant war crimes, including the killing of innocent women and children, use of supposedly forbidden weapons, targeted assassinations, the bulldozing of Palestinian orchards and homes, deliberate daily humiliations, and naked colonialism. We are, in short, just as guilty as they are.

President Obama, it is said, has the support of Russia, the UK, and many other countries for his Israeli/Palestinian solution. Unfortunately it appears he will never have the support of his own Congress. Is this perhaps because like everything else he tries to do they will oppose him on principle, or is it because they worship the Israeli cause (the destruction of the Palestinians), or perhaps both? It would seem obvious Republicans will do anything they can to keep Obama from succeeding at anything, even if that means preventing peace in the Middle East (or perhaps even making us default on our debts for the first time in history). When Republicans announced they would become a party of “no,” I naively believed it was merely political posturing, when they announced their number one goal was to make Obama a one term President, I thought it was just talk. But now that I have seen what they have done to cripple and oppose every positive thing Obama has attempted, regardless of the seriousness of the consequences, I think it is no longer just politics as usual, but, rather, flirting on the boundaries of treason. Also, I have to ask, do you believe this would be as it is if Obama were not Black?

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