The Man Who Wished For War   Leave a comment

B.B.: Win or lose, take your lying, race-baiting, anti-American, pro-war POV and ride into the sunset.

March 17, 2015

I would normally pay just passing interest in an Israeli national election. But this time I’ve found myself following it far more closely than ever before for one simple reason. Benjamin Netanyahu, the provocative PM is the leader of this American ally. Yet it’s doubtful he cares about anything other than the drooling sycophants of America’s GOP. He’s lied and worse to gather sympathy in the United States and votes in Israel.

First, Netanyahu shows himself to be a liar. His previous pronouncements about support for a two-state future for Israel and Palestine is now confirmed to be a lie. Back in 2009 Netanyahu spoke eloquently about two states coexisting: “There are two free peoples living side by side in this small land, with good neighborly relations and mutual respect, each with its flag, anthem and government, with neither one threatening its neighbor’s security and existence.” He’s suggested as much in the years since, probably to placate those in the American audience desirous of a lasting peace, or perhaps just to seem more likable during meetings with President Obama. The Prime Minister is now changing his mind: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state if he is re-elected, further rolling back his acceptance six years ago of a two-state solution.” This is not a case of evolutionary thought. He’s been lying and went public today to play to his base.

Second, the Israeli version of the race-card was played today: “‘Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations,’ Mr. Netanyahu said in [a] video. ‘The left-wing nonprofit organizations are bringing them in buses.’”  These “Arab voters” are entitled to vote; they aren’t the alleged graveyard voters of the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. Netanyahu’s rhetoric sounds like the U.S. Republican base as they continue to disenfranchise Black voters.

Third, anti-American sentiment was on display when he, his ambassador to the United States, and House Speaker John Boehner concocted an Israeli campaign speech for Netanyahu to deliver to a joint session of congress. He spent his time in Washington dictating American foreign policy with the gushing support of the GOP.

And finally, his pro-war stance toward Iran might have more sympathy had he not been spouting about imminent weaponry for 20 years. As Roger Cohen reminds all of us in the New York Times, “Netanyahu has talked himself into a corner on Iran. He has set so many “red lines” on the Iranian nuclear program nobody can remember them. He has taken to fuming publicly over President Obama’s refusal to do the same. Of late he has juggled metaphors: Iran is now “20 yards” from “touchdown.” His cry-wolf dilemma comes right out of a children’s book. It was in 1992 that he said Iran was three to five years from nuclear capacity.” And these comments from Mr. Cohen are from 2012.

Whether Netanyahu wins or loses his election, all of us should consider the source before buying into anything he has to say.

David Steffen

© 2015 David Steffen

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