Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Netanyahu Backtracks

The night before his up-set election, Netanyahu vowed that there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch.  The day after his election, he said that he was committed to a two state solution.  What is amazing is that he is having difficulty understanding how anyone can see these statements as contradictory.  “My position has always been the same.”  In Israel, the Prime Minister, as long as the people vote for him, is the law and whatever he says is the truth.   

Nahum Barnea, columnist for Yediot Ahronot, wrote:

            Netanyahu’s promises are like something written on ice on a very hot day”[1]

I wish Netanyahu would backtrack… about sixty years or so and establish a Constitution for Israel to protect all its citizens.  However, until that happens, he is free to shoot from the hip.  He has run Israel for about ten years now and I can think of many ways he could backtrack with dignity.

I wish he could pull the bombs he dropped on the defenseless people of Gaza back up into his planes.  Just this week, on Meet the Press, Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., referred to the ineffective, crude rockets Hamas fired into southern Israel. At the same time, he failed to complete the picture and mention the 800 tons of bombs Israel dropped on Gaza, killing thousands of people, including 500 children, and causing such destruction that Oxfam says will take a hundred years to rebuild.  Yet according to Ron Dermer, Netanyahu is committed to peace and Hamas is nothing more than a terrorist organization.

I wish Netanyahu could suck back up the white phosphorous bombs which burned to the bone causing uncontrollable agony to anyone unlucky enough to come in contact with this gas. Its use is condemned by international law. When the planes came, as they did for 20 days last summer, children looked up with absolute terror in their eyes. Yet, according to Israel and the US media, the Palestinians, not Israel, are the terrorist.

I wish Netanyahu could backtrack and restore the arms and legs of the victims of his his slaughter of Gaza, offer medical care for the more than 11,000 injured and the more that 1000 children permanently disabled.  And rebuild the schools, hospitals and power plants and the tens of thousands of homes he destroyed in Palestine. And rebuild the economy his policies have wrecked by blocking imports and exports to and from the occupied territories.  I wish he could bring back the life of the fisherman his gunboats killed last week who was fishing within the “allowed” six mile limit Israel imposed upon those seeking food for their families.  However,  Netanyahu “put 1.8 million Gazans on a diet.” According to the UNRWA, 1.5 million Palestinians are food insecure because of Israel’s blockade at the entrance gates.

Yes, I wish Benjamin Netanyahu could wash the blood off of his hands.

The world press is accusing him of back tracking. But, unfortunately, he is not backtracking in anyway that could make a difference.  He is the same Netanyahu who can do anything he wants to do and say anything he wants to say because according to him, and most of the members of the US Congress, he is the only game in town.  Add to that, the support of fifty million Christian Zionists who preach that Israel is God’s chosen people and right away, Israel gets a pass, no matter what it does. Even worse, Netanyahu himself actually believes he is “special,” above accountability to international law, human decency, or to God.   

While Israel gets money, legitimacy and protection because of our “special relationship,” the question is: what do we, the people of the US, get?

We get to bury 34 sailors serving on the USS Liberty in 1967, killed by Israel. Of course, Israel backtracked the next day, claiming that it was a “mistake.”  Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chair of the Joint Chief of Staff, said, “I will never buy the idea that the pilots did not know this was an American ship. The attack was deliberate.”  Our Congress has yet to demanded an investigation.

We get to honor the life of a 23 year old American girl crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she stood up to protest the demolition of a Palestinian's home.  Our congress has never demanded an investigation and that was twelve years ago.

We get to have an American humanitarian worker refused entrance into Israel. Without any explanation, a U.S. citizen, at great inconvenience and personal financial cost, is  denied the right to enter Israel in spite of our “special relationship.”  
Perhaps it is we, the people of the United States, and not Netanyahu, who should backtrack.

Thomas Are
March 25, 2015

[1] Quoted by Thomas L. Friedman,  Go Ahead, Ruin my Day, New York edition, March 18, 2015, p.A25.

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