Tag Archives: Israel

“We’ll be back…” Benjamin Netanyahu

For many people, having Netanyahu out of power was a relief.  In fact, there were those who worried that (like Trump) Netanyahu would refuse to relinquish power even though he was defeated in a national election.  But, Netanhahu’s replacement (at least for the time being), Bennett, is not much better.

According to Sarah Kenzior at Gaslight Nation (an essential podcast):

  • Netanyahu’s replacement, Bennett, is “incredibly dangerous in his own right.”  Naftali Bennett is an ultranationalist, has represented the violent Jewish settlement movement, has bragged openly about killing Arab people, opposes any Palestinian state within Israel, and has recently criticized Netanyahu for not boing violent enough with Gaza. 
  • Bennett is only one leader among the coalition of leaders taking over from Netanyahu, but he is among the most conservative.  His position as Prime Minister is supposed to be temporary and he is supposed to step down after a certain period of time to be replaced by one of the other members of the coalition.

NPR (6/13/21)

  • The new coalition government is made up of eight parties who have agreed to “hold off on major decisions surrounding controversial issues, like the future of the occupied West Bank.”
  • “Over the last 12 years, he (Netanyahu) has used his time in office to allow the growth of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, frustrated Palestinian aspirations for statehood and aligned Israel with right-wing leaders internationally.”
  • “…the former prime minister also faces corruption charges including bribery, fraud and breach of trust — allegations Netanyahu denies. A trial is already underway.”
  • Bennett is Netanyahu’s former chief of staff.
  • He is to serve two years before handing off to Lapid for the second half of a 4-year term.  Lapid holds more than double the seats of the “centrist” Yesh Atid party led by Bennett, but an agreement was made to allow Bennett to take the first term to “maintain political solidarity.”  I have no idea what that means.
  • This coalition includes a party representing Arab citizens.
  • Netanyahu called the coalition “…the scam of the century.”

In a speech shortly after handing over power, Netanyahu said: “We’ll be back – and faster than you think.” (NPR)

Sources

NPR (6/13/21)

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/13/1005724415/netanyahu-is-out-naftali-bennett-will-be-installed-as-israels-new-prime-minister

Don’t bother, you don’t need to know. After all, it’s uncle joe

ISRAEL

The Biden administration is taking on the same elitist “we’ll handle this you don’t need to bother” attitude that characterized the Obama administration.  And, the result will probably be the same. 

When there was clear evidence that the Russians had hacked into the election infrastructure in 2016, Obama, fearful of appearing partisan, refused to make the information public.  Harry Reid all but announced the information, but the corporate media ignored him.  But, Obama, remained silent.

According to staffers, Obama was so confident that Hillary was going to win, he figured she would take care of the issue after she was elected.  “We’ll handle this.”  Right.

Well, it didn’t turn out that way and we wound up with a Russian puppet in the White House for four years.  We will never know the extent of the devastation of that four years.

Obama cared more about his legacy than he did about the American people and the damage is incalculable.

Biden is issuing the same patronizing kinds of statements about the recent outbreak of conflict in Israel.  The administration is  doing “quiet diplomacy.”  That’s the story.  “We’ll handle this you don’t need to bother.”  It’s behind the scenes because really cool guys (like Biden) with experience (like Biden) know that it’s better to move behind the scenes than come out publicly and (in this case) demand a ceasefire.

In fact, not that you would know it from watching corporate news (celebrity gossip, agent driven interviews about new books, rap lyric quotes, hand wringing about the hypocrisy of the Republicans, the creation of Liz Cheney as a super-star) but the U.S. government has blocked a UN Security Council call for a ceasefire three times since this conflict began. 

Why, why would the U.S. block a call for a ceasefire?  What possible purpose would that serve unless you wanted to signal to Netanyahu that we support driving the Palestinians into the sea?

But, there is not a peep about this on the corporate news, or at least not that I have seen.  It’s all reassuring elitist head patting.  “We’ve got this under control.”  “Don’t worry.”  “You don’t have to know what’s going on.  Just trust us.”  “After all, it’s uncle Joe and his son died.”

When Barak Obama decided he knew better than the American people what to do about the Russian hacking, we wound up with the disaster of Trump, three Supreme Court justices not to mention a legion of federal court judges who comprise a ticking time bomb.  Biden adopting the same “trust me” attitude is not comforting. 

The corporate news by and large is promoting its usual “both sides” analysis.  Well, the Israelis are launching some missiles and Hamas is launching some missiles.  But, as was pointed out on Christine Amanpour’s show on 17 May 2021, there is no symmetry in the destructive power of the two entities. 

And, as Ehaled Elgindy, former advisor to the Palestinian authority commented on Amanpour’s program, the Israelis are essentially asking that Hamas stop firing on Israel in exchange for the Israelis stopping firing at some time in the future as yet undetermined. 

Elgindy noted that what was needed was the “robust” involvement of Biden in the situation, not the passive approach he is taking at the moment.  Elgindy argued that Biden was essentially saying to Netanyahu, go ahead, we’ll run diplomatic interference for you until you get what you want.  Biden should be calling for an immediate cease fire.  Because he is not, Biden is “greenlighting” the process. 

Elgindy continued that the policy in Washingon is basically that we have to “hug Israel” to get them to do anything.  Through 54 years of occupation, expulsions, and blockades, all Washington is willing to come up with are “positive inducements.”  The U.S. has “enabled” the situation for decades.

This week on the horrible Morning Joe (home for all middle of the road has beens who have nothing, and I mean nothing,to say) David Ignatius claimed that there wasn’t really anything the U.S. could do about the situation. 

Meanwhile, Washington approved $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel.  The Democrats were largely silent.

Sources

U.S. Today

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-05-17/biden-administration-approved-735-million-arms-sale-to-israel-sources

Christine Amanpour (5/17/21)

Elliott Abrams Should be in Prison. A New Low for the Trump Administration. The Criminal Mind

elliott

This is a good summary of some of the reasons Elliott Abrams should be in prison: Common Dreams, August 6, 2020

Abrams’ resume includes:

  • In the 1980s, he defended the infamous Guatemalan General Efraín Ríos Montt, whose violent crackdown on the indigenous Ixil Mayan people of Guatemala was so brutal that it was classified as genocide by the United Nations.
  • He denied that the Salvadoran military was responsible for the devastating El Mozote massacre where, in 1981, a U.S.-trained battalion murdered more than 500 civilians, slitting the throats of children along the way. Not only did Abrams deny the massacre and push for continued US support for the notoriously brutal Salvadoran government, but he even claimed in a 1994 interview that “the U.S. administration’s record in El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”
  • He is vehemently anti-Palestinian and shamelessly supports Israel. As George Bush’s aide on the National Security Council, Abrams did everything he could to thwart peace negotiations. He repeatedly undercut any U.S. pressure on Israel to stop the building of settlements and cited the Holocaust as justification for Israel’s killings of Palestinians (Jews are “a people who had learned from history what happens to Jews without security”). In 2015, he applauded then-Speaker John Boehner’s decision to invite Netanyahu to address Congress without the approval of President Obama. He lauds Evangelical descriptions of Israel such as the belief that “Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects Americans.”
  • In 1991, Abrams pled guilty to withholding information from Congress related to his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, the secret and illegal scam in the 1980s to siphon profits from Iranian weapons sales to support the right-wing Contra rebels trying to overthrow the Sandinista government.
  • Abrams was a key supporter of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. In 1998, he submitted a letter to President Clinton encouraging him to depose Saddam Hussein. As Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy during George W. Bush’s second term, Abrams was in charge of promoting Bush’s strategy of “advancing democracy abroad.”
  • Abrams championed the U.S. overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, echoing the tactics used by the neocons for intervention in Iraq.
  • Abrams’ opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal is epitomized by his attempts to encourage Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites before negotiations became too serious. He expressed concern that Israel’s capacity to impede the deal was “already being narrowed considerably by the diplomatic thaw, because it is one thing to bomb Iran when it appears hopelessly recalcitrant and isolated and quite another to bomb it when much of the world — especially the United States — is optimistic about the prospect of talks.”
  • In January 2019, Abrams was appointed to be the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela, and used his position to support an attempted coup, quash diplomatic talks, and increase brutal sanctions, even during the pandemic.

Abrams has now been appointed as the U.S. envoy for Iran, managing a situation that is already a tinderbox, with the Iranian people suffering immensely from U.S. sanctions. Rather than receiving this new position, Elliott Abrams should be barred for life from government positions and recognized as the war criminal that he is.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2020/08/06/codepink-denounces-elliott-abrams-appointment-next-us-special-representative

Article in Common Dreams

Maxwell, Epstein and Political Context

jeffrey epstein

There are two documentaries out about Jeffrey Epstein.  One, “Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?” is part of a series by Investigation Discovery.  The other is a Netflix release “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich” based on a book by James Patterson.

But, as Elizabeth Vos points out in an article in the Consortium News (6/18/20), neither covers Epstein’s place in a larger political narrative.  In treating Epstein’s activities as separated from their political context, they turn Epstein into a sexual predator, committing crimes that float free of their political context.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were part of an international scheme to compromise and then blackmail influential people.  There is evidence that this operation was part of the compromising of the Republican party long before Trump became the nominee.

Even though Epstein’s death in prison is widely accepted and indeed repeatedly reported as a “suicide” no thinking person can accept that narrative on face value.  There is so much that is suspicious about the death and there is a plethora of evidence of the interests of powerful and rich people in his silence.  Epstein knew the secrets of a lot of powerful people and his death was essential to protect those people.  The refusal of the media to question that death is just part and parcel of their subservient status with regard to those in power.

Ghislanie Maxwell, who had finally been arrested in New Hampshire on July 2, 2020, is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, the former owner of the New York Daily News and The Mirror.  He was given what Vos describes as a “state funeral” in Israel after his mysterious death in 1991.  Maxwell “fell off” his yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, much like enemies of the Russian state repeatedly “fall” out of windows.

Israeli sources say that Epstein worked for Israeli military intelligence.   Ari Ben-Menache, a former Israeli intelligence officer, told Consortium News that Robert Maxwell introduced his daughter and Epstein to Israeli intelligence after they engaged in a blackmail operation for Israel.

According to Ben-Measche’s book “Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “[Epstein] was taking photos of politicians f**king fourteen-year-old girls — if you want to get it straight. They [Epstein and Maxwell] would just blackmail people, they would just blackmail people like that,” he says in the book.

 

Alternative Podcasts: Sheer Intelligence

Robert Scheer interviews Max Blumenthal about the “lesser of two evils” approach centrists in the Democratic Party have been pushing for decades.

The Clinton Machine Will Do Anything to Stop Bernie

https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/scheer-intelligence/the-clinton-machine-will-do-anything-to-stop-bernie

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