Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently making one of his periodic devastating plundering raids on Washington and New York. During his visit he discreetly picked up a bunch of large checks from the Wall Street crowd, benefited from the plaudits dutifully delivered by the media and chattering class and has even met with President Barack Obama, whom he quite openly despises. Netanyahu and Obama carefully concealed their mutual dislike when in front of the cameras but the president also made all the right noises about Israel’s security “needs.” Apparently all the violence occurring in Israel-Palestine is the fault of the Palestinians and Israel always has the right to do whatever it wants to defend itself. Obama will follow up on the meeting by throwing billions of dollars of additional Danegeld at Netanyahu as a token of America’s undying love and fealty to Israel’s interests.
One wonders if Obama had his fingers crossed behind his back to indicate that he was lying to Bibi except for the intention to come up with more money, which is always an easy way out for America’s ruling class. It is generally convenient to pay off blackmailers like Netanyahu in hopes that they will stop whining. The president will in any event have to prepare himself to endure the usual firestorm coming from GOP presidential candidates later this week over his less than enthusiastic support for America’s greatest ally and best friend, which would have been a consequence of the visit no matter how it had turned out.
Last Thursday a full page ad placed by the World Jewish Congress appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The group’s president Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics company heir, provided the White House with suggestions for how to deal with the visiting Israeli leader. Predictably, he delivered some debatable assertions in constructing his argument as to why the president and prime minister should kiss and make up.
Lauder wants to “reinvigorate” the relationship with Israel because “never has this relationship been more important.” Wrong Ron, the Israeli connection is an enormous liability for the United States strategically speaking that has cost well in excess of $100 billion to the American taxpayer and has done untold political damage. Compared to other strategic partners in the region including Turkey and Egypt Israel is of little or no importance but for the fact that it has an enthusiastic, politically powerful and extremely wealthy domestic lobby conniving on its behalf. Which includes you, Ron.
Lauder goes on to cite “human disaster in Syria, ISIS moving on Iraq, [and] Iran’s bid to destabilize the region.” Well Ron, the human disaster in Syria and ISIS in Iraq have been caused by policies pushed by Israel and carried out by the United States, all starting with the Iraq war which was initiated at least in part for Israel by a cadre of neocons in the Bush Administration. Iran may not be a friend of the United States, but its support is desperately needed to eliminate ISIS and help stabilize Iraq. As always, Israel sees a U.S. led military solution to each and every problem dealing with Muslims. That might provide a comfort zone for Israeli politicians but it is bad for the United States and to be completely honest it is not even good for the Israeli people.
The ad also cites “the ongoing violent attacks against Jews in Israel” and that Israel is the “only democracy” in the Middle East. Ron, more than seven Palestinians have been killed for each dead Israeli, many of them shot execution style, but you seem to have forgotten that. The simple solution to the attacks would be for Israel to give up its endless and endlessly brutal occupation of the West Bank as well as its siege of Gaza. The knifings would end.
And what about democracy when it only applies to Jews? Netanyahu has proposed expelling thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, where they and their ancestors have lived for centuries. And the continuous theft of Arab land and destruction of their livelihoods proceeds at an accelerated pace. If Ron Lauder and his friends really cared about suffering humanity instead of only the Jewish subset he would be using his considerable leverage to complain directly to Netanyahu and ask him to reverse his policies.
And how to fix things? Lauder claims that Netanyahu has “the greatness, the vision and the courage to move this relationship forward on a positive path.” Sure. And pigs have wings. Let’s face it Ron, Bibi is quite likely clinically insane. Even many Israelis are saying so, though they still vote for him based on his government’s relentlessly implemented and self-fulfilling program of inciting fear of Arabs.
For what it’s worth, this is what I propose Obama should have said to Bibi but didn’t, with a transcript of the conversation also faxed over to Ron Lauder at the World Jewish Congress:
- “Nice to have you back Prime Minister, but not really as it’s close to lunchtime, to which, incidentally, you are not invited. Why don’t you stay home? You have been interfering in our politics and denigrating both me personally and my office for far too long. How would you like it if I were to go to Israel and endorse one of your opponents? If you keep up this crap I will revoke your visa and you’ll never visit here again.”
- “And by the way, your plan to expel thousands of Arabs from East Jerusalem and to shoot kids throwing stones at your occupying army is not acceptable to us. And then there are new reports of your harvesting organs and other medical transplant material from the bodies of Palestinians that you have killed. There’s a long history of that in your country, but it’s a bit much even by your standards, isn’t it, and it begs the question whether there is anything that you won’t do. Next time a motion comes up in the United Nations condemning your brutality we will support it. Maybe we’ll co-sponsor or even propose it to show that we’re serious.”
- “We are running out of money here in Washington and are thinking of cutting benefits to our own people. I note that Israelis have free medical care and university education, which means that we are subsidizing things that we Americans do not have so it hardly seems fair. We have been giving you more than $3 billion in aid every year and also looking the other way when you benefit from tax free charitable contributions that actually are illegal under American law. By executive order, I am stopping the cash flow and asking the IRS to look at your friends over here.”
- “And speaking of Israel’s many friends, your good buddy at the State Department Victoria Nuland is now working down in the mail room. And I am asking the Justice Department to register the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as a foreign agent, subject to having its finances and operations monitored by U.S. authorities. Oh, and your spy Jonathan Pollard will be denied parole later this month and will be the guest of a federal prison for the next twenty years.”
- “I cannot see where you have done anything for us except complain. As you are now pledging Israel to continue its occupation of Palestinian land and ‘live by the sword’, meaning the killing of Arabs will accelerate, I am suspending all military cooperation with you until you come up with a plan to remove most of your settlers from the West Bank. Come back when you have something to show me. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”
Well, okay, it was never bloody likely to happen that way, but I can dream, can’t I? If you think Obama is spineless when confronted by Ron Lauder and the usual suspects, just think of how bad it will be when we have President Clinton or President Rubio, proxies for their Israel firster donors Haim Saban and Paul Singer respectively. The new president and his or her staff will have to learn how to perform proskynesis whenever Netanyahu enters the oval office.