The sight of Netanyahu parading Obama on a leash at the United Nations must gratify the egomaniacs lounging around the Israeli Lobby; it certainly ranks as one of the greatest stunts ever pulled by the American wing of the Likud party. But for many Americans, it was humiliating – even degrading. Watching Obama mouthing his Netanyahu scripted lines left little doubt as to who was the Alpha Dog in the American-Israeli ‘strategic’ relationship.
A lot of people felt genuine sorrow for Obama as he went through the motions of giving his speech at the General Assembly. He would pause, wait for applause and not hear the clap of a solitary pair of hands. The assembled delegates endured the president’s entire speech and only applauded politely when the farce was over and he stepped down from the podium. After the speech, the president groveled over to a pre-arranged press conference with Netanyahu and the supreme Israeli leader duly anointed him with a “badge of honor.”
Everybody — and I mean everybody — understood exactly what Obama was doing – he was capitulating to the Israeli Lobby to bolster his re-election campaign. It’s not easy to raise a billion bucks and the big Jewish donors had sent a clear message to the White House. They wanted to buy the American veto and the president was obviously willing to sell it.
Two days later, the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas brought down the house with a moving speech calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The contrast between the performance of Obama and Abbas was a rare spectacle. Abbas has been called a lot of things but no one has ever mistaken him for a charismatic leader. And there he was bringing tears to the eyes of millions around the world with an eloquent plea for justice for his down-trodden people.
There was something else in Abbas’s message – a lot of truth. I challenge anybody to fact check Abbas’s description of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation. Obama is perfectly aware of the accuracy of Abbas’s depiction of the daily humiliations and privations visited on the Palestinians by their tormentors. For one thing, POTUS gets daily CIA briefings. Unlike Bush, he reads books and newspapers and, as a lawyer, he is quite familiar with international human rights conventions.
Now, let’s go back to Obama’s disgraceful performance before the United Nations Assembly. Obama didn’t just sell Netanyahu the American veto, he deployed brigades of State Department ambassadors to arm twist members of the United Nations Security Council, including France, Great Britain and other NATO allies. What favors were promised? What price was paid? How much respect did he lose? How much American dignity and prestige was squandered to appease Netanyahu?
Obama didn’t stop there. He adopted the Likud’s narrative of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – the mythology of a ‘peace loving’ Israel surrounded by ‘hostile war mongering Arabs.’ Is that so? I think the British and French could enlighten the president on the 1956 Suez war and how they teamed up with Israel to attack Egypt. It was an American president, Eisenhower, who intervened to end the Tripartite Aggression against Egypt. Look it up.
How about the six-day war which started with an Israeli attack and resulted in the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, Sinai and the Golan Heights? The Israelis claimed it was a ‘pre-emptive’ strike and then immediately proceeded to annex Jerusalem and build settlements in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, Gaza and Sinai with the explicit aim of changing the demographics of the region. It was a blatant land grab. The inhabitants of these exclusive Jewish settlements are not there for ‘security’ reasons – they believe God wanted them to ‘redeem’ the land from the Palestinian ‘squatters’ who just happen to be the indigenous people of the Holy Land. The irony is that the Palestinians are the only nation on earth that can establish a definitive link to the ancient people of the Holy Land – including the ancient Israelites.
And let’s not forget the 1973 war. It was fought on occupied Arab land. Egypt and Syria had every legal right to recover the lands stolen from them in 1967 by any means necessary. These were internationally recognized sovereign Egyptian and Syrian territories under belligerent Israeli occupation.
I imagine Obama was old enough to process the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. If he can’t recollect the details, he should Google “Sabra and Shatilla” and order up some old footage of the siege of Beirut. Even Reagan was outraged and that alone should give Obama a clue about who has been in on the attack for the last 63 years.
I’m sure the state department can give Obama casualty statistics on the 2006 war in Lebanon and the 2008 invasion of Gaza. They can also confirm that no Arab Army has ever breached the 1949 Armistice line. Since the end of the 1948 war, no Israeli city has ever been bombed by an Arab air force and, in the last 38 years, no hostile military actions have taken place on Israel’s border with Egypt, Syria or Jordan. The Israelis preferred to pick on the weakest and most fragile Arab country in the region – Lebanon.
Which takes us back to 1948 which actually started in 1947 with the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian towns and villages. Contrary to Zionist mythology, the Arab armies did not intervene until hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had been unceremoniously evicted from their homes and the battles they fought were largely confined to the areas allocated to the Palestinian state by the 1947 Palestinian partition plan. That’s the verifiable historic record that has been confirmed by dozens of Israeli academics and historians; everything else is Likudnik mythology. Consult the work of Israel Shahak for a complete list of the Palestinian villages and towns that were obliterated from the face of the map.
I’m not even going to go into the Israeli Lobby’s role in marketing the WMD scam and ensnaring Americans in the Iraq war or how they used their substantial influence in Washington to back up their favorite Arab dictator, Mubarak.
To coin a phrase, Israelis are the most dangerous people in a dangerous neighborhood. A tally of the amount of damage they have inflicted on the Palestinian people and other Arabs over the last six decades helps explain Arab hostility to their belligerent neighbor. In what was perhaps his most inflammatory remark, Obama vilified Arabs by claiming that the conflict was a result of Arabs teaching irrational hatred to their children. Anyone vaguely familiar with the roots of the conflict can explain to the president that Arab grievances are a natural result of their memories of the sons and daughters that were murdered, imprisoned, dispossessed and humiliated by the so-called Israeli ‘Defense’ Forces. But Obama doesn’t need any explanations; he knew that already. He was just sending a coded signal to Netanyahu’s lobby that he had capitulated to all their demands.
The bottom line is that Israeli security issue is a bogus issue. It’s the Palestinians and Arabs who need security guarantees and American commitments to restrain a nuclear armed Israel from invading their lands and dispossessing their people.
Of course, Obama knew he was lying about the history of the conflict and so did every other knowledgeable delegate in the audience. Fortunately, these diplomats don’t get their information from FOX, CNN or the New York Times. They are very well versed in the historic roots of the conflict. In fact, there are professionals at the State Department who could very easily have fact-checked Obama’s Likudnik narrative and saved the President from making a sorry spectacle of himself. I suspect some of them tried but were overruled – by Obama and Netanyahu.
Why would Obama stoop to lie to a bunch of delegates who were too sophisticated to believe a word he was saying? Because he wasn’t lying to them – he was talking to Americans – Jewish Americans. He was swearing allegiance to Netanyahu to raise cold cash for his second presidential campaign. What he really sold out was American national interests and that ought to be a crime.
Obama challenged the 193 nations of the General Assembly to “face the truth” and then proceeded to deliver a diatribe of half-truths and outright lies. You want the truth? The president can’t face the truth because the truth would strain his campaign finances.