Netanyahu’s Re-election – Israel’s Berlin Wall Moment?

Now we all know — progress in the Holy Land will only come with pressure from the outside, not inside Israel.

For months, if not years, I’ve been warning my Jewish American friends and family “Netanyahu isn’t sincere about the so-called ‘peace talks’ with the Palestinians. You can’t trust what he says about the Palestinians, Iranians or anyone else for that matter. Bibi governs by fear-mongering and he’s a racist to boot!”  Some friends pushed back, others just dropped away quietly, and a few shed tears.

Benjamin_Netanyahu_portrait

On Monday, Netanyahu dropped his mask and revealed what I’ve been saying all along. He explicitly disavowed any support for a Palestinian state and he warned Jewish Israelis that Arabs were out voting in “droves” (alleging, in a conspiratorial manner reminiscent of white supremacists in the US Jim Crow South, that “Left-wing organizations are busing them out”). Even the New York Times, which always regurgitates AIPAC’s framing of the issues, published an editorial on Tuesday announcing that Netanyahu has forfeited any claim to representing all Israelis because of his “racist rants.”

There’s no pleasure in my “I told you so” moment. I only hope this election prompts Americans of every stripe to reconsider their knee-jerk adulation for this Yahoo. Members of Congress who earlier this month gave him multiple standing ovations (they applauded 39 times of which 23 were standing ovations) should be re-evaluating their unquestioning allegiance to AIPAC and this man who says the “U.S. has no greater ally than Israel.”

The Mask Has Fallen

The U.S. needs to break Israel’s chains, and not let this rogue state wag U.S. policy in the Middle East. Ravit Hecht writes in this Haaretz article

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won. The man whose closest colleagues tell horror stories about him won. The man most hated by the U.S. administration won. The man who even disgusts many right-wing voters won. The man, a serving prime minister, who said on Election Day that “the Arabs are going out in droves to vote” won. The man who never flinched during a crisis from inciting, dividing and frightening people won.”

In the age of rigged elections, was there any independent monitoring of Israel’s election? Hecht continues:

“Israel will sink into international, academic and economic isolation. Its intellectual and economic elites will leave; young people will seek a life with hope. Only those who prefer the land’s holy stones over life itself, and the poor who can’t afford otherwise, will stay. The Zionist dream, which has already suffered an indecent act committed against it, will be mortgaged completely to messianism and violence.”

Mahmoud Nawajaa from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads the global BDS movement, said:

“Netanyahu race baiting and fear mongering among Jewish Israelis have revealed how deeply seated and prevalent racism has become in Israel. More than any previous Israeli leader, Netanyahu has clearly shown that he only represents Jewish Israelis, considering the indigenous Palestinian citizens an enemy that must be feared, hated and combated.”

Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian human rights activist and a co-founder of the BDS movement, added:

“Israel, a belligerent nuclear power that completely disregards international law and basic human rights, will soon have its most fanatical government ever, with grave consequences for Palestinians as well as for world peace. Israel has dropped the mask.”

“The UN and world governments must take part of the blame for this victory by the far right. They have failed to hold Israel accountable to international law by imposing sanctions on it as was done against apartheid South Africa. They rejected pressure from world public opinion to stop Israel’s latest massacre in the besieged Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 and its ongoing feverish colonization of the West Bank, especially in and around East Jerusalem and in the Jordan Valley. They were apathetic when Israel adopted even more extreme, racist laws that have further entrenched its regime of legalized and institutionalized racism which meets the UN definition of apartheid.”

“The biggest losers in the Israeli election are the Israeli right parties that wear left masks, like Labor and Tzipi Livni’s party. Both are guilty of cementing the occupation, the settlements and the apartheid regime, and both are guilty of grave war crimes against the Palestinian people. While rejecting the basic right to equality for Palestinians, both have managed to maintain a false façade of ‘moderateness’ and even ‘left’ tendencies. The mask has fallen. There is a Zionist consensus, with no exceptions, against equality for Palestinians in Israel, against the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands and homes from which they were ethnically cleansed, and against a real end to Israel’s unique system of occupation, colonization and apartheid.”

This election changes the status quo (Obama and Kerry can’t continue with their Orwellian posturing that has characterized the past 6 years) and Lora Lucero, their pseudo adviser on Israeli-Palestinian affairs, makes the following recommendations:

  • Signal to your counterparts on the U.N. Security Council that you will support any resolution addressing long-term justice and sovereignty for Palestinians. The U.S. will not use its veto power on measures that criticize Israel, a major departure from the past 40 years.
  • Withdraw your open door policy to AIPAC lobbyists, and require AIPAC to register pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  • Reclaim U.S. sovereignty and control in foreign policy-making by setting firm RED LINES which Israel cannot cross without consequences. Then clearly set out the consequences and dispatch Secretary Kerry to Jerusalem to tell Knesset leaders (not just Netanyahu) where the RED LINES have been drawn and the consequences for their failure to comply.
  • Initiate front-door channels of diplomacy with Hamas, and direct Secretary Kerry to remove Hamas from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
  • Do not obstruct Palestinians’ efforts to seek justice in the International Criminal Court.
  • Send the Sixth Fleet to Gaza with badly-needed building supplies and medical equipment/supplies.
  • Support private attempts to build a fully-functioning seaport for the Gaza Strip.

This could be Obama’s legacy – his Berlin Wall moment — if he seizes it. Israel’s intransigence to any efforts to end the occupation and build a sustainable future for Palestinians will surely fall just as the Berlin Wall fell, if the U.S. aligns its foreign policy with its principles of justice, compassion and security for all.

Berlin Wall Falling November 1989

Berlin Wall Falling November 1989

 

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Filed under Elections, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Occupation, People, Politics, Uncategorized, United Nations, US Policy

Tweeting is the new battleground – guess who is winning?

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Tweeting, twittering or even chirping are not my forte, but I learned a few years ago, when I was participating in some training for aspiring Democratic women candidates, that social media is extremely important in electoral campaigns. So I have a twitter handle – is that the proper nomenclature?  @LoraLucero   I typically check Twitter once or twice each day. I prefer Facebook.

A Twitter tsunami struck yesterday when Hamas officials in Gaza announced a social media campaign on Twitter with the innocuous hashtag #AskHamas to reach Western audiences (hence the English!). I presume their goal is to reform the “terrorist” label that some Western governments have attached to Hamas. They want to answer questions directly rather than relying on the Western mainstream media which is notoriously biased in favor of Israel’s framing of the issues in the Middle East.

I wrote about the first day of this Twitter campaign here, but I failed to understand then just how successful this social media strategy might be. Thanks to a media specialist who shared some important insights with me, I’m chalking up #AskHamas as a big win for Hamas. Here’s why:

  • Traditional mainstream media in the U.S., U.K. and Israel all claimed that the #AskHamas campaign ‘backfired’ as though their journalists and editors were all reading from the same script — and maybe they were. The similarity in their framing of the campaign was striking.  I observed the tit-for-tat on Twitter and believe another legitimate framing would be that there was an attempt to ‘hijack’ the campaign by some very hostile and belligerent voices that I would label Zionists.  The difference between ‘backfired’ and ‘hijacked’ is important. The first sounds like a failure on the part of Hamas; the second puts the onus on those who attempted to derail the campaign. This is so eerily familiar that I shouldn’t have been surprised. The framing of Israel’s assaults on Gaza often follow this same pattern.
  • Israeli leaders avoid the word ‘occupation’ almost to the point of absurdity. The reason for this avoidance is that ‘occupation’ entails responsibilities under international law upon the occupying power that Israel would prefer to avoid.  The framing of the conflict is very deliberate and legal scholars have noted (see here “Illegal Occupation: Framing the Occupied Palestinian Territory”) that Israel’s avoidance of the term ‘occupation’ renders the conflict, at least in the minds of the uninformed, as between two equal adversaries rather than between an occupier (Israelis) and the occupied (Palestinians). Much of the mainstream media has bought into Israel’s framing, but Hamas’s Twitter campaign took mainstream media out of the mix and went directly to the people, especially the young and tech-savvy who get much of their information about the world from social media. And then we were all allowed to watch as the Zionists and hatemongers tried to OCCUPY #AskHamas. It was unbelievably refreshing to see them exposed, by their own hand, and drawing the parallels between Israel’s physical occupation of Palestine and their attempts at occupying the Twitter-Sphere was irony at its very best. Thank you!
  • During my ninth month visit to Gaza (Sept. 2012 – May 2013) I had the opportunity to meet and speak with many Palestinians, many of whom were Hamas supporters as well as Hamas officials. I found each and everyone of them polite, articulate, intelligent and thoughtful. They were willing to spend time answering my questions, even when my questions probably sounded inane and naive.  They demonstrated the same calm and patience in responding to questions on their #AskHamas Twitter campaign, while ignoring the Zionist trolls and hatemongers who wanted to distract and provoke a confrontation on social media. It was clear to me (and probably to anyone else observing this campaign) just who was the adult (Hamas) and who were the unruly and frustrated children (Zionists and hatemongers).  Thank you again!
Figure 1: Gaza Strip blockade. Source: UN OCHA

Figure 1: Gaza Strip blockade. Source: UN OCHA

 

 

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Filed under Hamas, Media, Uncategorized

#AskHamas

Woke up this morning and checked my Facebook and Twitter accounts for any breaking news. Surprised to learn of a social media campaign launched by Hamas in Gaza using the hashtag #AskHamas. Apparently, Hamas leaders are trying to reach western audiences (hence the English!) with the goal of breaking down the “terrorist” label that some Western governments have slapped on the group.

I applaud them for this effort, but it shouldn’t have come to anyone’s surprise that the Zionists (maybe not all Zionists but the rabid fools) have occupied the Twitter-sphere all day using foul language and grotesque pictures.

The Washington Post reported that their Twitter campaign backfired.  The Israeli ynetnews.com reported the torrent of abuse the twitter campaign has already received. The Times of Israel, ABC News, Haaretz, Times of India, and FOX News all jumped in to announce how the Twitter campaign “backfired”. I won’t be surprised if this simple Twitter campaign doesn’t make the nightly TV news in the United States this evening. I’ll be watching.

So maybe these commentators are correct, if the Hamas organizers wanted a rational Q & A on social media, then it certainly backfired because 99% (my estimate) of the Tweets appear to be from hatemongers, Zionist trolls, and Israeli apologists. They have spewed forth so much vitriolic venom in the last 12 hours that #AskHamas has actually been trending in America. Amazing!

On the other hand, if Hamas wanted to grab the attention of the western mainstream media and expose these rabid hatemongers, then this campaign has exceeded beyond anyone’s imagination.

So I encourage folks to check out #AskHamas on Twitter.  And post a serious question or two.

Apologies in advance, but I think it’s instructive to see some examples of the Zionists’ idiocy.

Kevin Long ‏@KL4AMERICA 1m1 minute ago
Maybe people would like you more if you wore your underpants over your trousers like Superman. Everybody likes him. Am I right? #AskHamas
Rebecca Thompson ‏@thisgirlsaysno 5m5 minutes ago
@AskHamas How many poots would Putin poot if Putin could poot poots? And where would he be while pooting? #AskHamas #fartjoke
The Python ‏@RozPython 7m7 minutes ago
#AskHamas Hi there. TY for doing this. What are your thoughts on the Prophet Muhammad sticking items of all shapes and sizes up his ass?

Mixty Motions ‏@iamnotchjohnson 8m8 minutes ago

Do you have bacon flavored bacon? #AskHamas

serena!!! ‏@suhhhhrena 9m9 minutes ago
@PolitiBunny: Why did the terrorist cross the road? Cuz his dick was stuck in the chicken. #AskHamas :)” wallahi white people need to stop
Chris Cross ‏@ProIsrael007 11m11 minutes ago
#AskHamas How much payola do you get from John Greyson & Demon D’Oliveria to kill Jews and, by the way, do you know they’re gay?
Robert Stanfield ‏@ReturnofBigfoot 2m2 minutes ago
#askhamas how young is too young? Does it bother you that no woman will ever truly love you? Is fear and intimidation an aphrodisiac?
Jason ‏@chopblockphx 5m5 minutes ago
How much funding is needed to step up your clothing game to suits and bowties like the Nation of Islam? #AskHamas

 Don’t these fools understand how their comments reflect back on them?  I’m embarrassed on their behalf.

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#47Traitors

Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt

That’s a lesson that 47 GOP Senators need to learn, and quick.

Their temerity in sending a letter drafted by freshman Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, to the Iranian leaders is off the Richter Scale, way off. Their ignorance makes a mockery of the U.S. Senate. What a joke!

Except that  “Cotton is no fool; he is an Iraq war veteran with two Harvard degrees and has been called “the future of the GOP” and “Ted Cruz with a war record, Sarah Palin with a Harvard degree, Chris Christie with a Southern accent — a force to be reckoned with.”

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The New Yorker summarized the GOP letter this way: Dear Iran, Please don’t agree to halt your nuclear-weapons program, because we don’t like Barack Obama and, anyway, he’ll be gone soon.   Here is the letter — read it for yourself, and weep…..or laugh.

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.  Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution — the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices — which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.

First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them.  In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote.  A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate).  Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.

Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics.

For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms.  As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then — perhaps decades.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.  The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.

Sincerely,

Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR
Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT
Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA
Senator Mitch McConnell, R-KY
Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL
Senator John McCain, R-AZ
Senator James Inhofe, R-OK
Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS
Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL
Senator Michael Enzi, R-WY
Senator Michael Crapo, R-ID
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC
Senator John Cornyn, R-TX
Senator Richard Burr, R-NC
Senator John Thune, R-SD
Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA
Senator David Vitter, R-LA
Senator John A. Barrasso, R-WY
Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS
Senator Jim Risch, R-ID
Senator Mark Kirk, R-IL
Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO
Senator Jerry Moran, R-KS
Senator Rob Portman, R-OH
Senator John Boozman, R-AR
Senator Pat Toomey, R-PA
Senator John Hoeven, R-ND
Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL
Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI
Senator Rand Paul, R-KY
Senator Mike Lee, R-UT
Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH
Senator Dean Heller, R-NV
Senator Tim Scott, R-SC
Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX
Senator Deb Fischer, R-NE
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV
Senator Bill Cassidy, R-LA
Senator Cory Gardner, R-CO
Senator James Lankford, R-OK
Senator Steve Daines, R-MT
Senator Mike Rounds, R-SD
Senator David Perdue, R-GA
Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC
Senator Joni Ernst, R-IA
Senator Ben Sasse, R-NE
Senator Dan Sullivan, R-AK

________________________

These clowns will probably never be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act, a very old law (1799) that provides:

“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

The last indictment under the Logan Act was in 1803, but if there was ever a fact-pattern screaming to pull that law from the dustbin, this is it. These 47 Senators have invited the scorn and ridicule that is being hurled at them now.  See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and much more.  More than 165,000 Americans signed a petition in 2 days calling on the government to prosecute these scoundrels. But they’re certainly not apologetic. Louisiana Governor Jindal urges aspiring GOP 2016 candidates to sign on to the letter and Texas Governor Rick Perry says he would be “proud and honored” to sign the letter.

iran11n-2-web

 

The best response by far came from the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who said: “In our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy.”

He added that “I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfill the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.” 

The Iranian Foreign Minister added that “change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.” He continued “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with ‘the stroke of a pen,’ as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law.” He emphasized that if the current negotiation with P5+1 [Britain, China, France, Germany Russia and the United States] result in a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the US, but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.”

Senator Cotton and his colleagues should take a look at the United States Institute of Peace website, a treasure trove of scholarly information about Iran, before their next foray into foreign policy.

On the lighter side, I have a humble suggestion.

The Iranian Foreign Minister could invite Secretary Kerry, President Obama and all thoughtful Americans who wish to see a nuclear-free world to go live in Iran.

Senator Cotton, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the other hawks in the U.S. and Israel who are itching for a war could invite the hard-liners from Iran and Israel to move to the U.S. where like-minded belligerents could fight to their hearts content and leave the rest of us in peace.

Obama would, of course, have to destroy the U.S. nuclear arsenal before boarding ship.  I would join him.

 

 

 

 

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Amber Alert for all of us?

Sitting in this California public library today, cell phones everywhere suddenly sounded a strange alarm.  In all directions, people were reaching for their cell phones, and the quiet library became even quieter. One young boy asked the old man sitting next to him (perhaps his grandfather?) “What’s up?”

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“The police are telling us that a child has been kidnapped. Everyone should keep their eyes open in case we see the child and his abductor.”  A description of the child was texted to hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

California
2 hours ago – National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Jayden Santiago – Male, 1-year old … Last seen Mar 9, 2015 in San Pedro, CA … wearing a light brown and green sweater, green and … Gray 2006 Nissan Altima #5UCF010 (CA)

This is California’s AMBER Alert in action.  All adults need to be watching out for children, everyone’s child.

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The planet needs an AMBER Alert.  The planet needs an AMBER Alert.     THE . PLANET . NEEDS . AN . AMBER . ALERT!

Wake up people!  The home of your children, grandchildren and everyone else you care about, is running out of time.  The CO2 in the atmosphere is going to blast through 400 ppm (the upper limit of a safe and livable planet) and no one is paying attention.

January 2013 – 395.66 ppm

January 2014 – 397.83 ppm

January 2015 – 399.85 ppm

Sear these numbers into your memory. With the feedback loops kicking into full gear now, this may well be the last time you see CO2 limits under 400 ppm.

Figure-9 (1)

 

 

 

 

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My questions to Bibi

Benjamin_Netanyahu_portraitWe have two leaders in the Middle East sharing apocalyptic images of death and destruction while using religious dogma to support their positions.

Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu’s speech to Congress here: http://nyti.ms/1EeWKFn

And Graeme Wood’s article in The Atlantic this month describes what ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wants. My summary is here.

On the subject of Bibi’s speech, I wish a journalist would ask Bibi these questions:

  1. Will you sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty?
  2. Will you allow inspections of your nuclear program?
  3. Will you disclose what actions you have taken in the fight against ISIS, alongside Iran, Jordan and others?
  4. Will you release the taxes you have withheld from the Palestinian Authority?
  5. Will you allow a humanitarian ship to bring supplies directly to the port in Gaza?
  6. Will you open the Erez Crossing so that Palestinians can freely transit between Gaza and the West Bank to visit their families, study and work unimpeded by Israel’s burdensome checkpoints?
  7. Will you allow Palestinian students in Gaza who have received scholarships and opportunities to pursue their education abroad to leave Gaza through the Erez Crossing?
  8. Will you end settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories?
  9. Will you agree to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and recognize a divided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine?
  10. Will you lift the 8+ year siege and blockade of Gaza Strip?
  11. Will you end the illegal military occupation of Palestine?

The answer to each of these questions will inform U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East more than Bibi’s grandstanding in front of Congress.

 

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An opportunity for Congress to mature

This might be a watershed moment in US-Israel relations, despite the pronouncements from both sides of the aisle in Congress that our relations are rock solid.

Netanyahu will be speaking to Congress on Tuesday, undoubtedly to a packed chamber. Those 30-40 members who have decided not to attend in protest will find their seats warmed by young interns and pages who, of course, will be clueless to the grand theatrics unfolding around them. Maybe they’ll have something to share with their grandchildren in 40-50 years. “I remember where I was that day the United States matured and left its adolescence behind.”

As he was boarding the plane to D.C., Netanyahu told reporters, “I feel that I am an emissary of all Israel’s citizens, even those who do not agree with me, and of the entire Jewish people.”  To which, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) retorted: “He doesn’t speak for me.”

Taking him at his word, Netanyahu believes he’s fighting for the survival of the State of Israel. His worldview is based on fear, and his fear he believes justifies his actions (whether bombing civilians in Gaza or bombing, figuratively speaking, the long-term historic relationship between the U.S. and Israel). His fear has blinded him to the real threats to Israel’s security.

Congressman Steve Cohen from Tennessee described the planned speech as “political theatre” that has “caused a breach between Democrats in Congress and Israel as well as the administrations of the United States and Israel”.

“While Americans and members of Congress may disagree on anything, even foreign policy, providing a forum of such immense prestige and power to the leader of another country who is opposing our nation’s foreign policy is beyond the pale,” he said.

Some history:

From the very first day of Israel’s existence, the U.S. has been its primary benefactor. In fact, some could argue that the State of Israel owes its existence to President Truman and some in his Administration who lobbied the United Nations in 1948 for recognition of this new state, rather than a UN trusteeship that the majority of UN diplomats favored at that time.

Regardless of which party has sat in the Oval Office, or controlled the Congress, the United States government has had Israel’s back for the past 66 years —- providing Israel with the largest slice of the annual foreign aid appropriations, access to the best weapons technology, diplomatic cover at the U.N. and abroad, and vetoes at the Security Council whenever a resolution critical of Israel surfaced.

Even when the Israeli military deliberately attacked the U.S.S. Liberty on June 8, 1967, killing 34 U.S. servicemen and wounding at least 173, our government’s support of Israel was unwavering.

Our unquestioning support and advocacy on behalf of Israel in the face of incontrovertible evidence of Israel’s illegal and inhumane occupation of Palestine has, arguably, done as much to enrage the extremists (Al Qaeda and Daesh aka ISIS) and bring instability to the Middle East than any of our other foreign policy misadventures, including our disastrous war and occupation of Iraq.

Israel’s perceived security needs and threats have come to overshadow our own. Just as an adolescent struggles to find its own identity and detach from its parents, both Israel and the United States need to cut the umbilical cord.

Time for the United States to mature. 

We can forge a new, healthy relationship with Israel — one of mutual respect and support, but one with firm boundaries. “You continue the illegal settlement expansion in the West Bank, we will withhold foreign aid.” 

“You kill 1000s of innocent Palestinian civilians, we won’t veto those Security Council resolutions condemning Israel.”

“You fail to negotiate in good faith to end the occupation, we will break the siege ourselves by sending in the 6th Fleet to bring the necessary humanitarian supplies to Gaza.”

Morton Klein, director of the Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA), called the boycott of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress “anti-American, anti-patriotic”.

“We will, of course, be publicly condemning any Democrats who don’t show up for the speech—unless they have a doctor’s note,” he told Politico.

iStock 20492165 MD - American and Israeli flags

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