Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Israel Laughs

As a kid, I loved the circus. It was a full show of nonstop excitement; high wire walkers, trapeze flyers flipping from one bar to another, and most of all, clowns. Nothing fascinated a small child as much as clowns under the big top; dressed in ridiculous costumes, floppy shoes ten times too big, hats and capes and baggy pants that kept falling down revealing poker dot underwear. I could laugh for hours.

Today, as an adult, I no longer find clowns quite as amusing, especially when the clown is my own country.

And who is laughing at America today? Not the world. Most countries around the globe find our circus act frightening.  The one laughing is Israel.

We keep talking about a two state solution. Both “presumptive” presidential candidates applaud the two-state solution, knowing full well such is a fantasy. One state is a dominating power of privilege and the other is a prison.

Last year, when Sweden decided to recognize a Palestinian state, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had a fit, “The decision of the Swedish government to recognize a Palestinian state is a deplorable decision… relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA.”[1]

After years of US media and politicians singing the tune of a two-state solution, Israel has come clean and admitted this was not going to happen and it has never been seriously considered.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:

"Netanyahu does not now and has never sincerely believed in a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine", and accused him of deciding early on to adopt a one-state solution, but without giving them [the Palestinians] equal rights.[2]

I laughed when the clown leaned over, stepped on his own necktie and struggled to stand back up. It is funny when the clown acts like a fool. It’s another thing when we are the clown.  While demanding a two-state solution, we, the US, has been financing the settlements and Jewish only roads in the occupied territory which Israel now says makes a two-state solution impossible.  If it were in the circus, it would be funny, but when it means the loss of land, water, lively hood, health care, life and dignity for millions of Palestinians, and we are responsible by our gift of billions of dollars every year and veto cover at the United Nations, it is not funny.

Netanyahu openly declares that he is not concerned about the American conscience saying that America can easily be manipulated:

They asked me before the election if I would honor the Oslo Accords. I said I would, but I’m going to interpret the Accords in such a way that will allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67  borders.

            How do we do it?

Nobody said what “defined military zones” were. Defined military zones are security zones. As far as I’m concerned, the entire Jordan Valley is a defined military zone.[3]

When asked about American concern for justice and fair play, Netanyahu says:

I know what America is. America is a thing you can moved very easily.

If there is any question about his image of Americans, just remember his address to the US Congress in March of 2015. By-passing the White House, he chose to accept the invitation of the opposing party to address our Congress. It was a Netanyahu pep rally. “Congress interrupted to applaud 39 times. 23 of these were standing ovations.” More than one-fourth of his speaking time was listening to applause and standing ovations. Like a circus full of “Jacks in a Box,” members of our legislative branch jumped up and down every minute or so to flatter a foreign head of state as he undercut our president’s efforts to avoid a military confrontation with Iran.

I repeat, while declaring that settlements are an obstacle to peace, we send billions of dollars to support the building of settlements.  Israel laughs.

Such is laughable, but when it comes to the murder of American citizens by Israel, it is no longer funny.

I think of 23 year old Rachel Corrie crushed to death, while seeking to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in 2003. And Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty, killing 34 US sailors in 1967. And in 2010, the nineteen-year old American high school student on board the Mavi Marmara, seeking to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza in 2010, and the US Government has done NOTHING in protest

The biggest joke under the big top is that we still speak of Israel as a democracy. Israel has no constitution to protect its own citizens.  Democracies have a government of the people with a military. On the other hand, Israel has a military with a government to do its bidding. Even more painful is the fact that Israel has never declared the boundaries over which its “democracy” rules, which means that no one is safe from its goals of expansion. The will of the people, which is the hallmark of democracy, has no say in how they are governed. I don’t know what to call that, but it is not a democracy. 

Israel shows little respect for International law, makes a mockery of the Geneva Convention of which it is a signatory and daily violates the common rules of human decency.  Nevertheless, strike up the band and America dances like a clown. Just like Netanyaho said we would.

Thomas Are
June 8, 2016

[1] Lieberman: Sweden’s Decision to Recognize a Palestinian State is “Deplorable.” Middle East Monitor, October 10, 2014.
[2] Carter: Zero Chance for Two-state Solution,, August 13, 2015
[3] Media Education Foundation documentary, The Occupation of the American Mind.  2016