American Herald Tribune | Robert Fantina: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is known for making incredibly bizarre statements. Prior to the United States invasion of Iraq, he said this: “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region”. We all know how that prediction turned out. Yet on April 19, he once again delighted his Zionist audience, with more amazing statements, when discussing a February, 2017 internal report on the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip in 2014. This report was highly critical of the Israeli government.
We will look at just a few of the very interesting statements he made during this special committee meeting.
“We didn’t want war in the south.”
There are many ways to avoid any war; in this case, Israeli adherence to international law would certainly have been a big help. But one must consider if this was, in fact, a ‘war’. Israel bombed Palestine with the most deadly and sophisticated weaponry available on the planet, supplied by the United States. Palestine has no army, navy or air force. Palestinian freedom fighters are sometime able to cobble together supplies to build ‘rockets’ that they fire into Israel. Professor Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors and an outspoken critic of Israel, has described those rockets as ‘enhanced fireworks’. No one describes U.S.-provided Israeli bombs in such terms.
And it is worth pointing out that during 54 days in the summer of 2014, the number of bombs Israel dropped on the Gaza Strip exceeded the number of ‘rockets’ that Hamas had fired into Israel in the previous 14 years.
So perhaps the word ‘genocide’ isn’t too strong to use here.
“We tried to avoid war all along.”
According to the report, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the members of the inner security cabinet did not consider taking diplomatic action regarding Gaza in an effort to halt the escalation in the year before the 2014” assault on Gaza. No, this was simply the periodic ‘mowing of the lawn’ that Israel performs periodically, destroying the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians, and testing new weaponry on human victims, weapons that it can then sell to the highest bidder.
‘War’ with Palestine could easily have been avoided. Again, all Israel needs to do is adhere to international law, which would mean ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and removing the 500,000 illegal Israeli settlers from the West Bank.
“We are facing a very hard, vicious enemy.”
One sometimes hesitates to make any comparison between the Israeli Prime Minister, and Adolph Hitler, the author of the Holocaust, but if the comparison is fitting, is should be made. Hitler defined ‘The Big Lie’, and Netanyahu exemplifies it. Hitler described ‘The Big Lie’, partly, as follows: “… in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation … more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.
It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”
Let’s look at the resources of this ‘hard, vicious enemy’. As stated above, Palestine has no army, navy or air force. The blockade of the Gaza Strip prevents basic necessities from entering; such ‘dangerous’ products as crayons and pasta have been banned. Cement, absolutely required for rebuilding, is occasionally allowed in, although in very limited amounts.
The ‘victim’ of this ‘hard, vicious enemy’ receives $4 billion dollars annually from the U.S., which also protects it from any accountability for its barbaric actions. The United Nations has issued more resolutions critical of Israel than it has of all other nations combined, which is incredible in itself, but more so considering the U.S.’s fervent opposition to such action. The U.S. allots about $300 million annually to Palestine, but seldom pays it; Congress withholds it, at Israel’s direction.
Israel proclaims the need for this funding, because it sees any opposition to its barbaric human rights violations as an ‘existential threat’. Yet between September 29, 2000, and April 24, 2017, a total of 1,213 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians, while 9,478 Palestinians have been killed by Israel. Among this number were 134 Israeli children, and 2,154 Palestinian children. And the Palestinian death toll rises almost every day. This represents U.S. tax dollars at work.
As Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi has said, “The Palestinians are the only people on earth required to guarantee the security of the occupier, while Israel is the only country that demands protection from its victims.”
“As far I’m concerned, the option of reaching a political agreement with Hamas is insane. There can be no political possibilities with Hamas as long as it is dedicated to our destruction.”
Israel has, since 1967, stolen more and more Palestinian land. The 500,000 settlers living in the West Bank are all there illegally, according to international law, and Netanyahu has stated clearly that not one of them will ever be removed. It is Israel that is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, and has the means to do it, and is, in fact, in the process of doing just that. Yet Netanyahu claims that he cannot reach an agreement with Hamas, because that organization is dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
For decades, the U.S. has fostered the farce of negotiations. It is, of course, clear to those who push forward this sham, that negotiations can only occur between two parties, each of which has something the other wants, that can only be obtained by surrendering something it has. Israel takes whatever it wants from Palestine with complete impunity.
U.S. government officials also choose to ignore the fact that negotiations aren’t necessary; adherence to international law is. If someone robs a bank and is caught, he or she is not asked to negotiate with the bank manager, to come to an agreement of how much of the money should be returned, and how much the robber can keep. The entire amount is restored, and the robber punished, as directed by law.
What happens next? What’s in store for Palestine, when Israel is in the grasp of a radical rightwing government that doesn’t recognize the humanity of the Palestinian people? What will happen, with the U.S. government in chaos, headed by the bumbling, egotistical, incompetent but extremely dangerous President Donald Trump, with Vice President Michael Pence, a far-right, Zionist Christian, as second in command?
In 2014, during and after the brutal and indiscriminate Israeli assault on Gaza, Israel experienced harsher criticism than ever before. This was because, while the corporate-owned media reported on Israel’s ‘defense’ from ‘rocket’ fire from Gaza, and the U.S. Congress voted unanimously to support the Israeli bombardment, social media enabled people around the world to see the truth. The U.S. is hardly a representative democracy, despite what its public-relations machine proclaims to a skeptical world. Support for Israel among U.S. citizens continues to decrease, and social media plays a major role in this progress. It is a people’s movement that will eventually bring peace and justice to the Palestinians; decent people around the world must continue their efforts to end the unspeakably barbaric treatment of the Palestinian people by Israel.