Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Benjamin Netanyahu Has Jumped The Shark

11 Nov

Just when I thought Israeli prime minster Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t be anymore pig-headed  and hell-bent on sabotaging any remaining chance for peace with the Palestinians, Israel announced plants to build 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem. Congratulations “BiBi’ you have officially jumped the shark.

The overtly beligerent announcement came just days before Netanyahu was to visit the United States. I hardly know where to begin with this news. First of all, I’m utterly disheartened and incredibly angry with the current Israeli government. Building settlements is the fastest way to end peace talks and escalate tensions in a region that is just waiting for the next war to erupt. It’s bad enough Netanyahu caved to pressure from his right-wing coalition and let a 6 month moratorium on settlement building expire. But this is an even more blatant demonstration of the hard headed, bullying policies that have characterized the current Israeli government from the start.

Of course, President Obama voiced his disapproval of announcement in his typical “let’s not point fingers” fashion.“This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations”.  Never helpful? Was that really the harshest condemnation Obama could offer?  And Netanyahu’s response? “Jerusalem is not a settlement; Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.”  Netanyahu is 100% correct with that statement, however he’s forgetting one little detail. The Palestinians will never agree to any peace deal which does not include East Jerusalem as their captial.

Building settlements in East Jerusalem and any where inside the West Bank, is the biggest obstacle to peace. Period. Political leaders in Muslim countries all around the middle east have used the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for decades now to rally support against Israel and the United States. When Iranian president Ahmadinejad woke up on Monday and read the news about the planned construction he must have been beside himself with glee. Why? Because it validates the evil Zionist regime image he uses to successfully garner support for his extremist beliefs. Don’t think it’s working? Look at the turn out he received when he showed up in Lebanon a few weeks ago.

One of the best interviews I have seen took place this year on the Daily Show. Jon Stewart spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan about the Middle East, and of course the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. During their discussion King Abdullah stressed how ending the occupation and establishing peace with Palestinians  is the best thing Israel can do for its security. If you are the least bit interested in the Middle East you must watch this interview.

The basic gist of his argument is Israel needs to make peace with the Palestinians because it will take power away from extremist voices, like Iran and Hizbollah in the Middle East. Obviously Israel wants peace in the region. Aside from being at war for almost 60 years, the country has immense internal social problems, that cannot be seriously addressed until there is lasting calm in the region. But the question is how bad do they want peace? Judging from Netanyahu’s actions, they don’t seem to want peace anytime soon. That’s why it’s time for the United States to take charge of situation once and for all.

Illegal settlements don't help the peace process.

It’s time for Obama to grow some beztyim (cajones for Spanish speakers) and finally stand up to the sandbox bully Israel. The United States gives Israel a $2.7 billion a year allowance, mostly for military purposes, and this is how they repay us? By ignoring everything we ask them to do? It is time for Obama to play hardball (I love political jargon) with Netanyahu and say something along these lines. For every new home erected in East Jerusalem, or the West Bank, the United States will take away $1 million of your annual funding. Starting immediately. Israel would loose $1 billion right out of the gate with the new construction proposals. Extreme? Absolutely. Effective? You better fucking believe it.  Netanyahu and his goon of an foriegn minister Avigdor Lieberman (who should be in jail) will scream it  proves once and for all that Obama is a Jew-hating Muslim in disguise who is plotting to destroy the Jewish people. But it will send the message that the United States will no longer tolerate Israel’s irresponsible and illegal behavior.

There will finally be a palpable punishment for Israel, rather than a mild chiding.  As an American Jew, who is pro-peace, I am so sick of the United States pretending it’s trying its hardest to get both sides to talk. The current Israeli government will not do anything unless they are dragged kicking and screaming.   It’s come for Obama time to step on some Israeli toes, and hard.