The Obama Administration sent Secretary of State John Kerry to Israel to insist on a cease fire in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responds not only with a no but with a “hell no” and Kerry backed down, but Bibi didn’t let it end there, telling Kerry and US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro “don’t ever second guess me again.” The Administration pleaded for a halt in the fighting but it only criticized Israel directly once after there was irrefutable evidence that it had shelled a United Nations (UN) school killing 17 and wounding ninety. A subsequent UN school shooting, one of three major incidents, that killed ten more civilians produced a State Department comment that it was “appalled.” But at the same time the White House resupplied the Israeli Army with the munitions used against the schools to include tank shells and mortar rounds.
US weaponry supplied to Israel is by law only supposed to be used for defensive purposes. Tank and mortar fire is conceivably defensive when a dug in position is being attacked, but that is not the case in Gaza. Tanks and mortars are instead being used offensively to bombard Palestinian buildings, to include the UN schools and also hospitals where civilians have taken refuge. The devastation has been enormous and more than 1,800 mostly civilian Palestinians have died. This makes the United States, which likes to think of itself as a moral nation, complicit in the carrying out of a horrific war crime, only rivaled in recent years by the bloody Israeli “Cast Lead” assault on Gaze in 2009 in which more than 1,400 were killed.
Nearly simultaneously with the resupply of Israeli weapons the US Congress has approved legislation to give Israel an additional $225 million to “replenish” its Iron Dome missile defense system. Only eight congressman voted against the largesse. This is on top of $3.1 billion in military assistance that Israel receives annually.
The Senate and House also approved unanimously non-binding resolutions fully supporting Israel in its attack on the Palestinians. The House resolution, likely drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), states that Hamas has been using human shields; that terrorist Hamas has been firing thousands of rockets into Israel; that Israel is fighting humanely; that the United Nations (UN) is unfairly citing Israel; that Iran, Hezbollah and Syria are all behind Hamas; and that Israelis are living in fear. The resolution then goes on to condemn both Hamas and the UN while holding Israel blameless as it is defending itself.
Note how all the blocks are ticked from the Israeli perspective: terrorist Hamas is completely bad and responsible for the killing in spite of the statistical disparity in those being killed; it is committing war crimes and is somehow threatening Israel’s existence forcing the humane Israelis to defend themselves; and lurking are Israel’s (and the world’s) sworn enemies Iran and Hezbollah. The entire resolution is the usual farrago of half-truths that one is used to hearing from Israel’s friends in congress.
The Senate version is similar except that it omits the human shields charge and instead includes among Hamas’s crimes its entry into a Palestinian unity government with Fatah which “implies Fatah’s and the Palestinian Authority’s support for Hamas’ belligerent actions against Israel, potentially contributing to a false perception of legitimacy for Hamas’ belligerent action.” Confusing, but I suppose that the AIPAC drafters intended that to mean that all Palestinians are to blame, not just Hamas.
Note particularly the unanimous votes demonizing Palestinians and exonerating Israel. Where were Rand Paul, Walter Jones, Keith Ellison, Justin Amash and the Black Caucus? Rand explained that “I wouldn’t question what they need to do to defend themselves. There are difficult decisions people make in war when someone attacks you. It’s not our job to second guess.” The other congressmen were perhaps hiding under their desks or maybe even proudly voting “yea” with their colleagues. If Rand were truly his father’s son he should be asking just how Israel is engaged in “defending” itself given the fact that Netanyahu arranged the war on a pretext and the disparity of forces between the two sides, but that is perhaps not something he understands very well, particularly as he wants to become president and Sheldon Adelson has a lot of money.
The Israelis are now shifting their propaganda to arguing that they must destroy all the tunnels giving access to Israel. Ah yes, the terrorist tunnels. And just how many terrorists have slipped across from Gaza using the tunnels to kill Israelis? The answer insofar as I could determine it is “none.” The tunnels being used by Hamas with some success to resist the Israeli army are all within Gaza, enabling shooters to move from building to building underground. If the tunnels actually go into Israel, they could be detected by ground penetrating radar, which the Israelis possess. It is all perfect wag the dog theater as politics with Netanyahu again lying like a rug while showing who is in charge with the American politicians all lining up to kiss his ring.
The fact that the Israeli view of things is largely fantasy and unsustainable has meant that the Tel Aviv propaganda mill has gone to extraordinary lengths to falsely describe what is occurring. The Washington Post has been running daily op-eds, blogs and editorials supporting Israel from its usual stable of hacks including Charles Krauthammer, Richard Cohen, Jennifer Rubin and Eliot Cohen. Full paid ads appearing in the Post last week included one by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and another by This World: The Values Network featuring Elie Wiesel. Norman Finkelstein has excoriated Wiesel for his role in the holocaust industry, but he seems to be popular among the politicos for the usual reasons.
CUFI tends to be trotted out of the woodwork every time the overwhelmingly Jewish Israel Lobby wants to pretend that it is actually intercommunal. It consists of a gaggle of Christian dispensationalists who are so pigshit ignorant about Jesus Christ’s actual message that it is an embarrassment to even call them Christians. Unfortunately they are allowed to vote which intimidates always fearful congressmen in Bible thumping states. The expression “useful idiots” comes to mind.
CUFI’s ad stated that “Israel’s Enemies Are Our Enemies” and that “Israel’s Fight is Our Fight.” Both assertion are untrue but the ad goes on to provide its reasons – Hamas wants to destroy Israel, rejects negotiations and wants to kill all Jews. I don’t detect anything about Americans in the justifications and would point out that Hamas cannot destroy Israel or kill all Jews even if it actually wanted to and that it is Israel that torpedoed the Palestinian unity government which was prepared to negotiate a peace settlement. It is Israel that has no desire to see a Palestinian state in any way, shape or form.
Wiesel is more weasel-ly. This World is an organization that promotes “universal Jewish values.” It is headed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whose views on slaughtering Palestinians I examined last week. Elie describes Hamas as a “death cult,” using its own children as human shields. The current war “is a battle of civilization versus barbarism” involving “those who celebrate life and those who champion death.”
Wiesel may or may not be aware that the “human shield” narrative comes straight from the Israeli propaganda machine and he might even know that Hamas supporters live comingled with other Gazans in a rather crowded urban environment where there are no “military targets.” The numbers and the kinds of deaths being reported would also suggest that if there is a cult that “champions death” it would most likely be the Israeli government.
But so much for Elie – he’s rarely seen a Jewish or Israeli cause that he couldn’t profit from (his speaking fee is reported to be $25,000). I would however note in passing recent media reports indicating that fully 94% of all Department of Homeland Security discretionary grants go to Jewish organizations and wonder how Elie would rationalize that. As the danger to Jews in the US would appear to be minimal one has to wonder about how it came about that so much public money is being spent to protect facilities that just happen to be owned and operated by the wealthiest ethno-religious group in the nation. It just might be part of knowing how to game the system and it goes hand-in-hand with holocaust survivors getting special benefits through Medicare, though it is all small potatoes compared to the manipulation that goes on to get the United States involved in Israel’s many wars.
The United States is apt to moralize about what it does and does not do, but in practice it is not at all guided neither by ethical considerations nor by national interests. It rather responds to pressure groups and lobbies. A recently introduced Senate bill would defund International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, surely an idiotic move if one wants to resolve the nuclear program issue peacefully. Of course the intention is to make impossible such a resolution because Israel wants the United States to make war against Iran and Congress is going along with the charade.
And foreign policy lunacy is not limited to issues that touch on Israel. The Obama Administration, awash in anti-Russian propaganda, has also recently ramped up sanctions against Moscow over the made-in-Washington crisis in Ukraine. Ironically, the international support for sanctions increased dramatically in the wake of the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17, even though no evidence has been produced that Vladimir Putin was in any way involved. Indeed, Russia’s total engagement in Ukraine has been far more humane than Israel’s intervention in Gaza without even considering Netanyahu’s continued brutal occupation of the West Bank. One might well ask Congress and the White House where are the sanctions on Israel?