Someone said, “A fool drinks poison expecting his enemy to die.” I can’t think of a more fitting image for Benjamin Netanyahu. Know it or not, he is killing himself.
There is a fascinating children’s story about an emperor who wears no clothes. The point of the story is that the emperor walks around naked and he is the only one who does not know that he is wearing no clothes. I think of Netanyahu. He is drugged on his own propaganda, chosenness, power and wealth and does not know that he is actually choking himself.
He is poisoned by his own propaganda. While the whole world saw television images of the senseless bombing of Gaza, the deliberate killing of men, women and children, the targeting of schools, hospitals, ambulances, electrical and sewage plants plus the destruction of agricultural fields, live stock and farms, Netanyahu still spoke of Israel as having “the most moral army on globe”. He looks at five year old kids and can only see terrorists and justifies their massacre as an “act of self-defense”. His nation supports two sets of laws, one for Jews and the other for non-Jews and he still speaks of
Israel as the “only
democracy in the Middle East”. He steals land, labor, and resources,
including water, from an occupied people and with a straight face calls Israel the “start-up
nation.” It is sad to see a man in power
poisoned by his own propaganda.
And Chosenness. I don’t know that Netanyahu has ever claimed to be a religious person. However, he loves that part in the Jewish scripture about God blessing those who bless
and cursing those who curse Israel. Of course, this was recorded by a Jewish
scribe who claims to have heard it from the Jewish God in a Jewish language and
recorded it in his Jewish scared literature for all non-Jews to read and obey.
However, if we believe in monotheism, that there is one God over all, then when
celebrates Joshua’s victory over the Canaanites, was not God also God of the
Canaanites? And if God won, does this not mean that God also lost? More
to the point, even in the Jewish Bible, chosenness carries with it the basic
Jewish values of justice and charity. The land is held conditionally and is
Wow! Chosenness really gets complicated.
Most outsiders would recognize that Netanyahu is poisoned by power. Constantly having to outdraw and out shoot all his neighbors to survive is exhausting. There has to be a better way to feel safe. It’s an old saying, but true, that the only way to get rid of an enemy is to make a friend of him.
Israel had its chance but chose the
poison of power as a means of dominating its enemies. Thus Israel must invest more and more
resources into maintaining its military might, and like salt water, the more it
drinks, the more thirst it feels. Never
having enough power to feel secure, I wonder if Netanyahu lies awake at night yearning
for more weapons, military aid and people without conscience to maintain his
oppression of its neighbors.
When I remember how viciously the Nazis treated the Jews less than a century ago, it is impossible for me to understand how Netanyahu can turn around and abuse another people. He does it, not because he has a right, but simply because he is drunk with power. His mind and heart must be so toxic until he is beyond memory, feeling or reason.
Finally, Charity can become an addictive poison, especially when your very existence depends upon it.
Israel survives only by handouts from other people,
mostly Americans. In addition to the
three to six billion dollars every year put in Israel’s
cup by the US tax payer,
hundreds of private, tax free, organizations send hundreds of millions of
dollars to keep Israel
afloat. However, with the ever growing needs of American people at home, even
Netanyahu must realize that his “blank check” life line is in jeopardy. More
and more political leaders, especially Democrats, are beginning to ask why the
fourth most powerful nation in the world needs our charity.
There is no doubt that
Israel has enemies. I can understand
why. I am an enemy of its policies. Yet,
having said that, I do not wish harm to Netanyahu. I would strip him of his power
if I could, which some believe would kill him, but I do not wish him dead.
Whether he believes in it or not, I believe his scripture, that he too is created in the image of God. And, some day, maybe late in life, he is going to be lying on a bed and begin to feel a few qualms. Just because of the “image of God” in which he has been created, even Benjamin Netanyahu will realize that for most of his life, he has been drinking poison. And on that day I will feel sorry for him.
September 3, 2015