It seems that, perhaps, Israel’s latest slaughter of defenseless Palestinians may have been a bit too much even for the United States to condone. In what may be the U.S.’s harshest, although still quite mild, criticism of its puppet master, President Barack Obama said that the plan to increase illegal settlement building could alienate Israel from ‘even its closest allies’.
There is, of course, no closer ally of Israel than the United States. Israel is able to disdain international law, violate the most basic human rights of Palestinians, slaughter men, women and children, bomb United Nations refugee centers, kill journalists and commit genocide only because of U.S. funding and use of its veto power in the U.N.
But the U.S., this time, went even further in its criticism. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the newly-approved construction would cause the global community to ‘question Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement’ with Palestinians.
One must wonder which rock it is that Ms. Psaki has been hiding under during her entire diplomatic career. Is there anyone, including the hypocritical United States, that doesn’t know that Israel has no ‘commitment’ to a peaceful solution to its self-induced problems with Palestine? Does she not recognize, however dimly, that the countless internal checkpoints, home demolitions and illegal settlements, all in violation of international law, sheds at least a bit of doubt on Israel’s sincerity to negotiate a settlement? Does it not seem to her, that when Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu states categorically that not one settlement will be removed, nor one Israeli settler displaced, that perhaps his ‘commitment’ to a negotiated settlement might be a tad weaker than is necessary?
But Mr. Obama, like all U.S. presidents since the bloody establishment of Israel, was careful to negate Palestinian needs, and value only Israeli lives. Said he: “I think we also recognize that we have to find a way to change the status quo so that both Israeli citizens are safe in their own homes, schoolchildren in their schools, from the possibility of rocket fire, but also that we don’t have the tragedy of Palestinian children being killed as well.” During Israel’s recent ‘mowing of the Gaza lawn’, its periodic destruction of lives and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, one Israeli child was killed. This unfortunate child was, as Mr. Obama said, not safe, whether in his school or home at the time he was killed. Yet what of the more than 500 Palestinian children who were not safe in their schools or homes, in United Nations refugee centers, or even on public beaches? Should they not be safe ‘from the possibility of rocket fire’, rocket fire provided by the United States and delivered by Israel? He did, at least, acknowledge the ‘tragedy of Palestinian children being killed’, but didn’t attribute any responsibility for those hundreds of deaths to Israel.
During the July massacre of Palestinians by Israel and the United States (the U.S. may not drop the bombs, but it provides them, so its role in Israel’s genocidal practices is significant), information about the massacre was widely available on social media. For the first time, people in large numbers didn’t have to rely on one-sided news programs to learn about the situation; people in Gaza were able, when conditions allowed, to send pictures and other information about the bombings of hospitals and mosques. They showed pictures of mangled cars, on which the large letters spelling out ‘PRESS’ could still be seen, despite being blown apart by Israel bombs. Social media’s tens of millions of users saw photos of four young boys, lying dead on beach where they had gone to play to obtain a few minutes respite from the horror of daily bombardment. They saw Israeli soldiers using Palestinians as human shields. And they knew, as never before, that U.S. proclamations about Israel’s need to ‘defend’ itself were simply lies; it is illogical for a nation to ‘defend’ itself from another nation that it occupies. It is not war when a powerful military brutally attacks a nation with no military at all. It is genocide.
If Mr. Obama feels that Israel has, finally, crossed a line, what is he to do about it? The obvious answer is to cut the purse strings. Israel gets more foreign aid from the U.S. than the U.S. gives to all other countries combined. It is this aid that enables Israel to continue murdering Palestinians, stealing their land, humiliating them with countless checkpoints, destroying their reservoirs and depriving them of basic imports needed for survival. This raises three basic questions, all of which have the same answer:
Will Mr. Obama do this?
Will he have the courage to reinforce his gentle admonition to Israel with something that has meaning?
Will Santa Claus come down your chimney in December, bringing toys to all the good little boys and girls in your home?
The answer, sadly, is that Mr. Obama will not do anything to stop Israel from continuing its illegal
settlement activity, which is part of that nation’s goal to obliterate Palestine, Palestinians and their culture from existence. And why is this? Will this writer begin to bore the reader if he once again discusses the power of the Israeli lobby over U.S. government policies? Between July 1, 2008 and June 20, 2014, Israeli lobbies funneled an impressive $12,036,252.00 into the campaigns of U.S. Senate candidates, most of them incumbents. This included monies donated to their failed presidential campaigns. During the period of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, Israeli lobbies donated a mere $5,190,280.00 to members and candidates of the House of Representatives. One need not wonder just who it is the elected ‘representatives’ are representing.
But one could see Mr. Obama’s gentle rebuke of Israel as a positive sign. Perhaps the countless telephone calls and emails that the White House received during the most recent Israeli slaughter of the Palestinians may have given Mr. Obama pause. Perhaps those elected officials, so willing to bow and scrape before the golden Israeli altar, also heard from constituents in such numbers as to enable them to countenance Mr. Obama’s mild reprimand. Occasionally the voters are able to get through the cloud of lobbyist money that enshrouds the corrupt, greedy and racist governing members of the House and Senate. One must not be sufficiently naïve as to think that common human decency motivates them; no, that would be an imaginative stretch that even the most creative writer of fiction would never consider. But if enough constituents indicate displeasure, to the point that, perhaps, an elected official’s job may be in jeopardy, he or she may change their tune.
Time alone will tell if this is the case. With Israel violating the current cease-fire agreement on a daily basis, expanding settlements and gaining even the timid wrath of Barack Obama, perhaps the global community is finally preparing to act.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).