by Ludwig Watzal
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to Washington to address „Israeli Occupied Territory“, the designation given by Pat Buchanan to the US Congress. This event has been cooked up between the GOP House Speaker John Boehner, an intimate enemy of President Obama, and the Israeli ambassador behind the President’s back. This move by a foreign leader to bypass the President of the United States in order to address Congress is unprecedented and bold. It’s a calculated insult to the United States. Netanyahu’s address was also directed at the Israeli people. In two weeks, Israel will elect a new parliament and Netanyahu wanted to thwart attention from a poor performance of his right-wing government.
Netanyahu’s main aim was to derail the ongoing talks between the U.S. and Iran about Iran’s peaceful civil nuclear program. He preached that the proposed deal is bad, very bad, as it will pave the road to an Iranian nuclear Bomb. The US would just be better off without a deal.
The members of Congress gave Netanyahu a bombastic reception. When he entered the congressional floor they cheered and hooted as if a movie star had entered the stage. Netanyahu enjoyed this warm reception, and as the speech proceeded it became clear that he had more influence on the vital question of war and peace than the American people. His speech was a recipe for war. His rant and demonization of Iran and its leadership made the Members of Congress jump 20 times off their seats.
Netanyahu caricatured the country in its darkest colors; Iran is a „dark and murderous regime“. It’s the greatest „exporter of terrorism“ and a „great threat to peace to the entire world“. Iran is not only a „Jewish problem“ anymore than Nazis were one. The country „will always be an enemy of America“ and „can’t be trusted“. „Iran needs a deal more than you do.“ Netanyahu formulated three conditions for the normalization of relations: Iran has to stop its aggression against its neighbors; stop the spread of terrorism around the world, and stop to threaten Israel, the only Jewish state in the world.
Netanyahu not only pretended that he speaks for the „Jewish people“ but also for the American people. He gave the impression that he judges the situation more realistic than Obama. To develop this audacity further, he seems more worried about America’s security than the president himself. The Obama administration rebuffed Netanyahu’s allegations as mere rhetoric.
Actually, Netanyahu’s predictions concerning Iran are less accurate than the weather forecasts. Most of them are just politically motivated. For the last 25 years he has been warning of a nuclear Iran. If he would have listened to his own spy agency Mossad, he should have know better. Iran is still years away from the bomb and does not have the intention to build one. With his rants before AIPAC and the US Congress Netanyahu pushed the US into a corner, from which there is only one way out: war against Iran. Netanyahu was one of the most outspoken proponents of an attack on Iraq that ended in a disaster for the US Empire. If Netanyahu wants to attack Iran, then he should do it alone and should not expect support from the Obama government.
Before Netanyahu started his tirades on the Iranian regime he flattered President Obama and his audience. Like the day before, when he addresses a huge crowd at the yearly AIPAC convention he said that he has respect for Obama and the office that he holds. He is deeply grateful for the support Israel gets. Israel will not intervene in the American partisan debate. Israel should always remain a bipartisan issue. But Netanyahu’s and Boehner’s machinations clearly made Israel a domestic partisan issue. He has taken sides with the most right-wing Republicans, which estranged many Democrats, although over 95 per cent of the American Jews vote for the Democratic Party.
Netanyahu even got lyrical: Both nations defend a „common civilization against common threats“. „We share the same dreams.“ „The values that unite us, are stronger than the differences that divide us.“ „As our region descends into medieval barbarism, Israel is the one that upholds these values common to us and to you.“ „In the dark and savage and desperate Middle East, Israel is a beacon of humanity of life and of hope.“ Despite disagreement, the „friendship“ between Israel’s and the US elites grows stronger and stronger.
Netanyahu did not mention the ongoing occupation and strangulation of Palestine and its people, the colonization of the occupied territories or Israel’s nuclear program that is not subject to international control. Not Iran is threatening its neighbors but Israel with its huge nuclear arsenal. It bombs Lebanon and Syria on a regular basis, assassinates Iranian nuclear scientists, Hezbollah or Hamas officials and is deeply involved in the chaos in Syria and Iraq.
By sabotaging of the agreement between the US and Iran, Israel intends to maintain its nuclear hegemony in the region and impose its will upon his neighbors. It can massacre the people in the Gaza Strip with impunity because the US holds its protective hand over Israel and prevents any resolution critical of Israel in the UN Security Council. How long will Americans let Israel humiliate them and their President? Do Obama and his staff have no self-esteem? And why are the richest Americans keeping quiet? Despite the weeks-long political excitement about the circumstances of Netanyahu’s speech in Congress, it seems as if this crisis will have no consequences for Israel.
One of the reasons for US support to Israel is that Israel serves as a laboratory to test the technology of urban warfare, mass surveillance and the ghettoization of populations. The film “The Lab” demonstrates the global role played by Israel for the security-industrial complex. This is directly related to the establishment in many countries of a police state, in preparation for a public uprising against increasing disparity between rich and poor, unemployment, impoverishment and the erosion of social security. Aren’t these aspects more important than the talk about the canard of a Zionist Lobby that runs American Middle Eastern policy?