Not since Citizen Genet has a foreigner behaved as atrociously in America as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu did at this week’s AIPAC conclave of 8,000 cheering U.S. citizens — including 300-plus congressmen and senators — who are more loyal to Israel than the United States. The behavior of both men, I think, reflects the fact that they represent arrogant governments that rule by violence.
The major difference between Genet and Netanyahu is that Genet’s effort to subvert President Washington’s non-interventionist foreign policy and push America into war with Britain on France’s behalf, and Netanyahu’s effort to strengthen Israel’s war-causing yoke on today’s U.S. foreign policy is that Washington stood firm for U.S. interests, and both Federalists and Republicans — including even Jefferson — resented Genet’s interference and subsequently ignored him, letting his words serve as enough rope to hang himself and his government’s hope of forcing America into France’s war. This week, on the other hand, many Republicans and Democrats — and 8,000 other purportedly U.S. citizens — gave Netanyahu a thunderous ovation and pledged to help him drag America into any way Israel wants to fight.
It also is worth noting that Netanyahu and his cohort of U.S. Israel Firsters spew the same transparent and lethal lie about what motivates our Islamist enemies, thereby ensuring U.S. soldiers and Marines will continue to die fighting an enemy that does not exist while the real Islamist enemy grows stronger in its credibility among Muslims, its geographic reach, and its military strength. Like the Israel-Firsters who weaken U.S. security from positions in the Congress, the federal bureaucracy, the media, and many Christian evangelical churches, as well from the pages of leading Israel-First journals like Commentary, the Weekly Standard, the National Review, and the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu chanted the big-lie mantra, one that has helped to kill well over 10,000 Americans in the last decade from the Pentagon to Manhattan and from a Pennsylvania field to Afghanistan to Iraq. Here are Netanyahu’s lying, American-kids-killing words:
“Our soldiers and your soldiers fight against fanatic enemies that loathe our common values. In the eyes of these fanatics, we are you and you are us. To them, the only difference is that you are big and we are small, you are the Great Satan and we are the Little Satan. This fanaticism’s hatred of Western civilization predates Israel’s establishment by over one thousand years. Militant Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because of the West.
Because it sees Israel as an outpost of freedom that prevents them from overrunning the Middle East. When Israel stands against its enemies, it stands against America’s enemies.”
As despicable as was Netanyahu’s performance, however, it gives President Obama a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dump the Israelis and the Palestinians. Instead of lapping up the humiliation Netanyahu dished out to him, Biden, and America, Obama should tell Americans the truth: We are at war with a growing portion of the Islamic world not because of what Americans think or how we live, but because of what their government has done in the Muslim world over the past forty years. He then should make a clear presentation to Americans about Israel’s perfidy, describing its plans for continuing to annex Palestinian land, as well as its vision for a Palestinian “state” that would have all of a nation-state’s attributes except independence, sovereignty, and genuine self-rule; that is, a Palestinian state that would be a pathetic, dependent duchy of Israel.
And then Obama could deliver some truth about the Palestinian side, which is that the game is up for the geriatric secular Palestinians in Fatah and ditto for most of Hamas, except for the group’s hard-line Islamists. The combination of corrupt, incompetent, and self-serving Palestinian leaders and Israeli oppression — with that inflicted by Israel’s Jordanian and Egyptian lap dogs — have birthed a Sunni Islamist movement in Palestine and across the Levant that will not be squashed, first because of its religious zeal, and second because the Saudis and other wealthy Arabs are funding the movement. Reinforcing this movement and hardening its zeal — courtesy of the always less-than-bright Neocons and their Iraq war — are the Salafi jihadis flowing westward out of Afghanistan, through Iraq, and into the Levant. In other words, Obama should acquaint Americans with reality: the Israel-Muslim religious war is unendable, both sides are becoming more warlike, and both sides seek to involve the United States in their war.
The trick for the United States is to get out of the mess it helped create before it blows up. Dumping the Palestinians would be relatively painless, save for some cries from aging Fatah folk; massive whining from the EU; and squeals of horror from the Democratic left and Republican right — both always panting to intervene on Israel’s side — and the Pacifist block of Democrats and U.S. Christian/Catholic church leaders who always want Washington to intervene to give peace a chance, no matter how many American kids get killed while diplomatic diddling goes on.
Dumping the Israelis is harder because so many congressmen, senators, journalists, and White House staff are owned by AIPAC. In addition, the Israelis will have no qualms at striking back at us before we can dump them by provoking another war with the Palestinians and/or Lebanese Hizballah; by selling our enemies the immense amount of the best U.S. technology we have given them; or by attacking Iran and starting what, in essence, would be the clash of civilizations the late Dr. Huntington wisely warned about.
Great opportunities often require the taking of great and even harrowing risks to be successfully exploited. This is one of them, and Obama ought to take it before the Israel-Muslim religious war — now in the hands of violent zealots on both sides — escalates and pushes America’s economy and national security all the way down the drain that decades of misrule by both parties now have them circling.
What part will you play Mr. Obama, patriot or toady, George Washington or Pierre Laval?