by Ayesha Alam (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 44, No. 2, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1436)
Benjamin Netanyahu exposed the true nature of Zionism when he appealed to their racist instincts by invoking the threat of “Arabs” being bussed in to vote in Israeli elections.
Binyamin Netanyahu won Israel’s March 17 election, ushering in another four years of ultra-right-wing government in the Zionist State. Netanyahu ran against a left-leaning coalition opposition featuring rivals Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog, which was reportedly favored by President Barack Obama’s government in Washington. Netanya-hu’s strategy was to rally the violent, xenophobic right-wing Israeli settler population by declaring in the days leading up to the election that “the right-wing government was in danger” and that left-wing groups were bringing Arabs “in buses” against him.
Even more sensationally, he declared that he was against the two-state solution. Openly announcing Israeli schemes to re-engineer the Middle East into an Eretz Israel (Greater Israel) is almost a sure-fire way to bring out the rabid ultra-conservative racist Zionists in droves.
The strategy worked: he demonized the beleaguered Israeli Arab population and invoked “Eretz Israel” in order to arouse solidarity based on suspicion and hatred. Israel is now only held together by the state’s encouragement of mutual hatred for Palestinians, rather than any organic national solidarity. Netanyahu’s victory proved what many commentators have been saying all along: the country is tilting toward the extreme right wing, which has favored policies of outright war and genocide of the Palestinians and Arabs at large. Now, the Palestinians prefer it that way — they would rather confront the hatred than the duplicity of making empty rhetorical gestures toward honoring Palestinian rights.
As chief of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Khaled Batsh, said, “The election of Benjamin Netanyahu has been the best outcome for the Palestinian people. It means there is no confusion. We are seeing the true face of Israel, a face that does not want peace, and we know at least what to expect.” He went on, “All the things said during the elections in Israel are just advertising, so difficult to take seriously,” he said. “But they are advertisements painted in Palestinian blood, and afterwards wars are created, people killed, by Israeli leaders, to suit domestic politics — we have seen this over the years. As for peace, we have heard so much about that, just in the last quarter century. A generation of Palestinians has grown up in that time without hope.” The noted Palestinian-American analyst Yousef Munayyer, wrote in a tweet, “Israel needs to be isolated internationally.” He went on, “And there is no better leader to take them down that path than Netanyahu.”
The difficulty is that Netanyahu’s electioneering has once again exposed the true face of the US government — namely, its determination to support Israel at all costs in order to maintain conquest over the Muslim world by destabilization and incessant warfare. Following Netanyahu’s reelection, the mainstream US media has been at pains to depict “a rift” growing between Netanyahu and Obama. According to a blog on a conservative website, the Obama administration has been secretly channeling funds to Netanyahu’s opposition in order to bring to power a “left-leaning” government in Israel. A March 30 article in The New Yorker by David Ramnick expressed disappointment that Netanyahu “would prove to be the Richard Nixon of the State of Israel,” a reference to Nixon’s opening of diplomatic relations with China after a long freeze. The article went on to describe how Obama’s “relationship with Netanyahu is now poisoned by mistrust.”
However, the Pentagon did declassify documents relating to the worst-kept secret in the world — Israel’s nuclear program. The US Department of Defense published a secret 1987 report which detailed that Israeli labs were on par with the US labs at Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge, and that Israel was into the development of hydrogen bombs, which are a thousand times more powerful than atomic bombs.
How seriously should one take these descriptions of an Obama-Netanyahu rift? The answer is rather obvious — not seriously at all. These are merely another rendition of political theatre, in which the US president pretends to publicly “fall out with” Israel, particularly in cases when Israeli political rhetoric has reached new levels of vitriol, or when it has committed a fresh act of genocide. These condemnations allow the US to maintain its fig leaf of neutrality, and maintain its credentials as an “impartial” hegemon in the Muslim world.
Whether or not Netanyahu is precisely Obama’s cup of tea, since the Israeli election, the US and Israel have already begun the drama of burying the hatchet and mending fences. Since his re-election, Netanyahu has made various comments signaling his contrition and the importance of placating the US. He made an apology of sorts for fear-mongering and race-baiting the Arab Israeli population in the elections, and in a video, declared his contrition to the US.
“Our hands are held out in peace towards our Palestinian neighbors, and the people of Israel know that true peace will only be guaranteed if Israel remains powerful, both in spirit and in strength,” he declared in the March 25 video. “We greatly appreciate, and will keep our pact with, the closest of our friends, the United States of America,” he continued, “and we will nonetheless continue to act to prevent the unfolding deal with Iran, an agreement which puts in danger us, our neighbors, the world.” The video was broadly posted in the mainstream US media, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. Apparently from their perspective, all has been set right in the world.
Meanwhile, Palestine is at a crossroads — they are under no illusions with respect to the United States, and know that they are locked in an existential struggle with the Zionist regime. “Israel chose the path of racism, occupation and settlement building,” said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestinian official, “and did not choose the path of negotiations and partnership between us.” They “can perhaps vote for their ‘community council,’ the Palestinian Authority, but they can’t participate in the real game, the one that seals their fate,” noted leftist Israeli writer Gideon Levy. In the British daily, the Guardian, Palestinian writer Raja Shehadeh wrote that they see no “viable peace camp.”
Shehadeh continued, “The big parties in Israel may pay lip service to the two-state solution — which remains the strategic position of the Palestinian Authority — but what they are willing to do to make this possible falls far below the minimum that would be acceptable to the Palestinians.” He further wrote, “None propose the dismantling of settlements or the sharing of Jerusalem as the joint capital of the two states.”
The Palestinians, however, are confronting the end of all political roads. They know that they can expect nothing but the quotidian violence of apartheid, punctuated by genocidal attacks a la Operation Cast Lead. The US will do nothing but enable the Israeli occupation through libations of US tax dollars and continued military interventions in the Muslim East in the mythical search for absolute security for Israel. This realization, in and of itself, is power — it shows that the solution lies with themselves, not outside in the hands of an external government.