Monday, February 23, 2015 at 3:47 PM

Netanyahu’s Call for Jewish Exodus more Sharpton than Moses / Will Address Congress

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Despite my seasoned cynicism, the chutzpah of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never ceases to amaze me.

(“Netanyahu, Obama’s Iago; Iran, His Desdemona,” The iPINIONS Journal, October 2, 2013)

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 5.35.09 PM

Netanyahu has demonstrated throughout his career that there’s no event too solemn, or too farcical, for him to exploit for political gain. This exploitation invariably has him playing the Holocaust card, which is why he can be fairly thought of as little more than Al Sharpton’s political brother from another mother.

Still, it might be helpful to understand that Netanyahu suffers messianic delusions laced with Tourette-like episodes of paranoia. This causes him to see:

A world in which Israel is surrounded by enemies, including the president of the United States; in which peace negotiations are aimed at destroying Israel; in which Israel’s left is aligned with all the hostile forces, and even rightists who oppose Netanyahu want to carry out a coup through the instrument of elections.

(The American Prospect, December 17, 2014)

I have written many commentaries denouncing Netanyahu as little more than a warmongering, grandstanding chickenshit. The most recent – “Congress Invites Israeli PM Netanyahu to Respond to Obama’s State of the Union Address?!” January 23, 2015 – includes this unanswerable indictment:

The Jewish Zionists, Christian fundamentalists, and political neo-cons – who [House Speaker] Boehner and Netanyahu consider their bilateral base – would like nothing more than to kill Obama’s [diplomatic initiatives to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons]. This, they figure, would provide their pretext for this president (or the next) to bomb Iran … in an Iraq-style misadventure to protect Israel.

I’ll write more about Netanyahu’s fixation on Iran below. For now, I’d like you to recall how, just weeks ago, French President Francois Hollande personally pleaded with him to stay away from that historic anti-terrorism parade in Paris. Hollande did so because Netanyahu was on record doing all he could to frame the Charlie-Hebdo attacks as part of a Holocaust-inspired persecution of Jews.

FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-DEMOIt hardly mattered to him that the vast majority of people killed in those attacks were non-Jews, including Muslims. More to the point, Netanyahu not only showed up, he paraded front and center, like the proverbial skunk at a garden party. Anyone who knows anything about Sharpton, America’s most notorious Black activist, knows that this is something he would do … and relish doing so.

At any rate, Netanyahu seems to think Israel can get by with a little help from its friends – even if those friends compose just a small faction of Christian fundamentalists and neo-cons on the lunatic fringe of the US Republican Party. Only this explains Netanyahu compounding antics that have alienated Obama and Hollande by engaging in antics that are bound to alienate leaders of every country in Europe.

Specifically, Netanyahu responded to the terrorist attacks in Denmark two weeks ago (on Valentine’s Day) by issuing a clarion call for all Jews to begin a mass exodus from Europe to Israel. This, notwithstanding that the attacks killed one person who happened to be Jewish and another who was not:

Jews deserve protection in every country but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe,

(Reuters, February 15, 2015)

exodusnwThis would be laughable, of course, if European Jews were not so predisposed to heeding his call.

More than 7,000 French Jews migrated to Israel in 2014, double the number from the year before…

Shlomo Avineri, an Israeli professor of political science, described Mr. Netanyahu’s call as ‘an intellectual and moral mistake’ and accused him of taking a populist stance for electoral purposes.

(New York Times, February 15, 2015)

In fact, European leaders, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, are so unnerved, they are condemning Netanyahu’s call with as much indignation as European Jews, led by Chief Rabbi Jair Melchoir of Denmark, are pleading for people to ignore it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.08.10 PMMind you, any Jew immigrating to Israel is more likely to be killed by a terrorist attack there than an anti-Semitic one in the Europe.

Netanyahu couldn’t care any less. He simply could not pass over the opportunity to grandstand in the shoes (or sandals) of no less a person than Moses. Of course, Moses led the exodus of Jews from persecution in Egypt, way back in the Bible days, to the Promised Land. Netanyahu’s delusions are such that he fully expects to be hailed as a latter-day Moses.

To be fair, though, there’s some method to his apparent madness. Because anyone familiar with the Zionist concept of “Aliyah” will appreciate that Netanyahu’s call is not just about protecting Europe’s one million Jews. His ulterior motive is to use them to settle areas of that proverbial Promised Land, which are now unsettled, settled by Palestinians, or considered parts of hostile neighboring countries, namely, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”

(Genesis 15:18)

Not to mention that the more Netanyahu has the world focused on Iran, the more he detracts world attention from — what no less a person than former President Jimmy Carter denounced as — his “apartheid” treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories….

Still, his clarion call smacks of a march of folly. For, even if Netanyahu could create his greater Israel faster than Putin his greater Russia, this all-eggs-in-one-basket strategy is hardly the best way to ensure the survival of the Jewish people. Frankly, having all Jews in this one place would seem pursuant not to Netanyahu’s clarion call, but the Ayatollah’s. After all, this would make it that much easier to complete Hitler’s “final solution” if/when Iran acquires the nuclear bomb Netanyahu fears.

To fully appreciate this folly, imagine President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf responding to the notorious killing of two unarmed Black men by White officers in the United States by issuing a clarion call for all Black Americans to come home to Liberia. How well do you think that would go over…?

Never mind that every Jew living in Israel is acutely mindful of this cautionary taunt, which Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reportedly issued as Islamic Jihad’s counter to Aliyah:

Nasrallah said their aim was to return the Jews to Israel and rebuild their temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70AD, over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

However, Nasrallah added, ‘if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.’

(The Daily Star Lebanon, October 23, 2002)

F110921GPO31Let me hasten to clarify that I couldn’t care any less who governs Israel. But I do care about its security. More to the point, notwithstanding Netanyahu’s political histrionics suggesting otherwise, Obama does too. In fact, here is what the phonetically named Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister from 2007-2013, said about Obama’s commitment to and support of his country’s security:

I am saying very clearly that this administration in regard to Israel’s security – and we are traditionally supported by each and every American president in our generation – but under this administration we went even further into a clear, deep, deep commitment to the security of Israel. And beyond. I see the administration is ready to veto steps which go against or are perceived by us as being against the interests of Israel.

(Charlie Rose, March 24, 2010)

Netanyahu to Address Congress on Iran?

imrs (2)This brings me back to Netanyahu’s fixation on Iran. In my January 23 commentary cited above, I mocked the absurdity inherent in Republican House Speaker John Boehner inviting Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress a week from today.

Boehner and congressional Republicans would have you believe that he is the most qualified person in the world to address the American people on the categorical imperative of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Never mind that Obama has not only been doing a pretty good job of addressing this imperative, but is actively engaged in the final stages of multilateral negotiations towards that end.

The most egregious problem with this invitation, however, is that Netanyahu lost what little credibility he had left on this issue years ago.

29israel-popupNot least because he warned the entire world (during a September 2012 address to the United Nations General Assembly) that Iran was only nine months away from crossing his red line, which he insisted represented the last opportunity to stop it from developing nuclear weapons.

As I noted in “Obama Dissing Israeli PM Netanyahu?” September 12, 2012, Netanyahu has been issuing such Chicken-Little warnings about Iran being just months away from going nuclear since the 1990s. Indeed, if it were up to him, the United States would now be embroiled in a war with Iran over nukes that do not exist, emulating the march of folly that had it embroiled in a war with Iraq over WMDs that did not exist.

And let us not forget that these are the same congressional Republicans who invited Netanyahu in 2002, as the most qualified person in the world, to make the case for that war against Iraq. Sure enough, much of what he’s saying today (about the apocalyptic, existential dangers Iran’s poses) he said back then about Iraq….

Meanwhile, most Americans and Israelis could be forgiven for dismissing this scheduled address as nothing more than a political stunt:

  • By Republicans to undermine Obama’s signature foreign policy objective … a nuclear deal with Iran.

Their unwitting championing of Putin as a more admirable leader than Obama betrays the fact that far too many Republicans hate their president more than they love their country. Which is why they will say or do anything to undermine his presidency — the welfare of the country be damned.

(“Makes more Sense for Obama to Negotiate with Terrorists than Republicans,” The iPINIONS Journal, June 7, 2014)

Clearly it’s no stretch for Republicans – who hail wannabe-Stalin Putin as a more admirable leader – to use wannabe-Moses Netanyahu as a black knight to foil Obama’s negotiations with the Iranians. I’ve been ridiculing their spiteful politics in this respect for years in such commentaries as “Success of Obama’s Policies Confounding, Vexing, Defying Republican Critics,” December 29, 2014.

  • By Netanyahu to posture as Israel’s most indispensable and dependable Zionist leader … ahead of national elections scheduled for March 17.

This speech, which was born in sin as part of an election campaign, endangers the security of the citizens of Israel and the special relationship it has with the United States. With all due respect to his campaign, Bibi must lead as a patriot, and not throw Israel’s security under the bus of the election.

(Jerusalem Post, February 20, 2015)

This is the biblical way Isaac Herzog, the politician most likely to unseat Netanyahu as prime minister, condemned Speaker Boehner’s congressional invitation. In fact, the number of Jewish political and civic leaders (in Israel and the United States) calling on Netanyahu to cancel his address is fast approaching critical mass.

Abrahm Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League said that the political uproar ignited by Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress makes such a move unhelpful and therefore it should be scrapped.

(Haaretz, February 6, 2015)

Not to mention the grassroots organizations that are putting members of Congress in the hot seat with their “#SkiptheSpeech” petition:

On January 27, Jewish Voice for Peace, along with our partners at the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Roots Action and CodePink, launched an online campaign calling on elected officials to skip Prime Minister Netanyahu’s March 3 speech before a joint session of Congress.

(Jewish Voice for Peace, February 4, 2015)

Benjamin-Netanyahu_2858086bIt speaks volumes, though, that Speaker Boehner and his Republican leadership would accord Netanyahu the distinguished and coveted honor of addressing a joint session of Congress knowing full well that Israeli prosecutors could indict him any day now on a battery of corruption charges:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hired top criminal lawyer Jacob Weinroth on Thursday to defend him in the criminal investigation that could emerge from allegations of abuse of funds at the Prime Minister’s Residence…

According to suspicions … the Netanyahus systematically used state funds to finance private expenses.

(The Times of Israel, February 19, 2015)

Mind you, nothing makes Netanyahu more worthy of being dismissed as Sharpton’s political brother than having his career dogged by such suspicions, just as Sharpton’s has been….

Vladimir-Putin-Abdul-Fatah-SisiFinally, apropos of putting all eggs in one basket, Netanyahu has been so obsessed with Iran that it seems he failed to notice Egypt taking steps to become a nuclear power in its own right.

But leave it to Putin, the only world leader with greater delusions of grandeur and paranoid ideations, to make quite a show of signing agreements to help Egypt become a nuclear power. Never mind that Putin’s only reason for doing so is to demonstrate that Russia has as much power to determine which countries are allowed to join the nuclear club as the United States.

Which raises the question: Will Netanyahu declare Egypt’s nuclear program as grave a threat to Israel’s security as Iran’s; or will he have the political good sense to recognize that, unlike Iran, Egypt, with whom Israel signed the famous Camp David Peace Accords, has done nothing to forfeit its sovereign right to develop nuclear weapons?

I shall end with this instructive excerpt from “Resolving the “North Korean Menace,” September 21, 2005.

___________________

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a joke – as [unofficial nuclear powers] Israel, Pakistan, and India can attest.

Besides, every country has the right to develop and possess any weapon it chooses for its national defense; provided, however, that that country is not led by religious fanatics (e.g., Iran) who claim divine authority to determine which countries have a right to even exist; or that that country is not led by a delusional, genocidal, paranoid, megalomaniacal and certifiably insane dictator (e.g., North Korea) whose notion of diplomacy is threatening to nuke the country of any leader with whom he has a political disagreement.

Moreover, where countries like Iran and North Korea forfeit their right to develop and possess weapons of mass destruction, history dictates that the United States and its coalition of the willing are the only agents capable of disarming them … as Libya can attest!

___________________

In other words, instead of Netanyahu lecturing Obama on nuclear non-proliferation, this self-righteous hypocrite needs to just shut up!

Related commentaries:
Congress invites Netanyahu
Obama dissing Israeli PM
Netanyahu Chicken-Shit PM
Obama’s Iago
Success of Obama’s policies
Makes more sense
North Korea

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