On November 11, 1999, back when she was first lady, Hillary Clinton visited Gaza. She was graciously greeted by Yasser Arafat’s wife, Suha, who spiritedly launched into a blood-libel diatribe.
None of this, incidentally, could be laid at the door of Binyamin Netanyahu’s demonic disrepute. Israel’s then-prime minister was Ehud Barak, whose electoral campaign was enthusiastically aided and abetted by Hillary’s own hubby.
But contrary to conventional wisdom, it never really matters much who’s in power in Jerusalem. Israel is always the regional bogeyman. And so, back in the good old days of post-Oslo Labor rule, America’s first lady, self-satisfied and basking in ultra-liberal sanctimony, smiled contentedly as Suha railed in indignation: “Our people have been subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces, which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and children.”
No way could Hillary claim to have gotten the wrong end of the stick. She listened via simultaneous translation to Suha’s prepared script, accusing Israel – in genuine medieval well-poisoning tradition – of resorting to all manner of noxious concoctions to kill Arab women and tots (as distinct, presumably, from adult males).
Among its other sins, Hillary’s hostess charged, Israel deliberately contaminated with lethal toxins 80 percent of the water (not 79% or 81%) consumed by Palestinian females and infants.
Hillary listened to the calumny without a hint of displeasure. Indeed, she nodded approval from time to time, and when Suha concluded, Hillary embraced her warmly and planted affectionate kisses on her cheeks.
Thus, the uninitiated onlooker may be forgiven for assuming that Suha listed irrefutable grievances and that her claims won at least the tacit corroboration of her American guest. Significantly, even after the bizarre scene ended, Clinton never bothered to dispel that impression. This, however, should have come as no shocker to anyone familiar with her record.
Going back to the earliest stirrings of Hillary’s public-life debut, she treated the PLO as a hip revolutionary liberation movement, rather than as spearheading an Arab war to destroy the Jewish state. When she chaired the New World Foundation in the ’80s, she funneled finances to PLO subsidiaries. In 1998, she preceded Bill Clinton in unabashed advocacy of a Palestinian state.
So is it any surprise that, just as the Mideast is awash with reactionary Islamic-supremacist takeovers (cheered by the beguiled Free World as democratic uprisings), Secretary of State Clinton should choose to berate Israel’s treatment of women? Hardly.
She has certainly imbibed scraps of disjointed and tendentious information on our much-hyped in-house quarrels. Yet our boisterous debate, more than all else, attests to the vibrancy of our civil liberties rather than to their demise, as she disingenuously contended in her skewed monologue at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center.
Clinton likened Israel to Iran after harping on controversies at the extreme-most fringes of our society, making them look like the mainstream. She omitted to mention that the mainstream is diametrically different. That is rank distortion.
The same goes for Clinton’s excoriation of legitimate Knesset legislative initiatives to limit the ability of foreign governments to derail our domestic democracy via financial largesse to various NGOs. All these outfits face is the loss of tax exemptions, which is hardly a mortal blow to freedom and certainly less than what the American law prescribes. But the truth, as was the case in Suha’s address, is immaterial – perhaps it’s altogether undesirable.
With doting chums like this secretary of state, it’s safe to deduce that we need no enemies in America’s corridors of power. But the really bad news is that pals like Hillary abound there. She is an authentic representative of her boss, President Barack Obama.
In his friendliest guise yet, he has just told Jewish campaign donors that he considers “no ally more important than the State of Israel” and that “Prime Minister Netanyahu knows he can count on the United States…. We will not abandon the pursuit of a just and lasting peace that will end the conflict.”
Yep, we got the message: Obama wants money and votes. Electioneering begets lots of brotherly blarney, but the devil is in the details. What’s a “just” peace, and what does its “pursuit” denote?
The answers were furnished by Obama’s defense secretary, Leon Panetta, at the same forum in which Clinton tongue-lashed the Mideast’s lone democracy. If Clinton defamed our democratic deportment, Panetta acerbically scorned our survival strategies. Put in a nutshell, he blamed all regional ills on Israel.
The inescapable corollary is that justice can only be achieved by righting wayward Israel’s wrongs and winning concessions from it. Unambiguously placing the onus upon Israel, Panetta indeed urged Israel to take risks and “lean forward” to achieve peace with the Palestinians. Never mind that Israel had already taken risks aplenty – time after disastrous time – gaining nothing but more bloodshed and abuse for its sacrifices, while whetting appetites for yet more sacrifices.
What if our goodwill blows up in our faces yet again? “If the gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And that is exactly why Israel should pursue them,” Panetta pontificated.
Subtext: Israel needs to bare its throat to genocidal enemies, so that the watching world would admire its virtue. One would think Panetta, a former CIA director, has just surfaced from a sealed bunker, entirely oblivious to repeated displays of Israeli virtue that only intensified Israel’s vilification.
We won’t be better liked for being weaker, and getting weaker won’t improve our self-preservation prospects.
Yet weakening Israel is precisely the Obama administration’s definition for “just,” and consequently the “pursuit” of a just solution means twisting Israel’s arms. This begins with reading it the riot act.
That was plainly Panetta’s mission when he sternly warned against a preemptive Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
That was plainly Panetta’s mission when pompously proposing that Israel “reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in regional stability – countries like Turkey and Egypt.” We might question how much stability has been furthered by Egypt and Turkey, but Panetta left no doubt regarding who’s liable for the busted fences.
That was plainly Panetta’s mission when he suggested that Israel undermines the Palestinian Authority and is at fault for not restarting moribund negotiations with it. That was why he hectored: “Just get to the damn table.”
In the simplistic Obamaesque worldview, Israel is the irritant that predisposes the entire Arab/Muslim sphere against America.
Israel is the figurative poison in the Mideastern well, much like the contaminants with which Suha insisted Israel literally polluted actual Palestinian wells.
Unfortunately (by their perception) Obama and crew can’t thoroughly disinfect the region from the Israeli venom. Even a faint trace of such sentiment would be politically super-stupid with elections in the offing.
But Barack, Hillary and Leon can bully us while nonetheless posing as our bosom buddies. Of course, successive Israeli governments have well demonstrated that crude pressure from Oval Office patrons can be marketed as evidence of deep, abiding friendship.
“But the really bad news is that pals like Hillary abound there. She is an authentic representative of her boss, President Barack Obama.” – Not to worry. The progressive US Jewry will again vote for Obama and his whole inept and/or cynical gaggle. Once, when I was a pupil in a Riga school, our schoolmistress said that most Jews fall either in the category of great geniuses or one of total idiots. I hope I won’t offend anybody by wondering in which category my American co-religionists belong. Anyway, I’d rather throw my luck in with the Evangelicals, Israel’s staunchest supporters. Their theology would be my last concern when the whole world is ganging up on the only – and tiny and vulnerable – Jewish state.
Not only Israeli governments, but also Jewish voters in America, well demonstrate that crude White House pressure can be marketed as evidence of deep, abiding friendship.
Your “brotherly blather” nails it.
Horribly true and chaotic Republican situation means our enemy in the Whitehouse likely to continue
After the Suha/Hillary kissing scene, Mrs. Clinton’s spokesperson said she didn’t know the English version until after the incident. She had a simultaneous translation? If so, she is a liar.
I’ve just read that President Obama, in his keynote address to the Union for Reform Judaism said: “No US administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. It is a fact,” Obama said forcefully, his voice betraying hints of frustration at having to defend his record in the face of sharp criticism of his Israel policy”. Let me take exception and tell you otherwise.
Nixon’s administration did much more in support of Israel during the 1973 October war. Without US massive stream of giant cargo aircraft airlifting vital supplies, Israel might have not withstood the coordinated onslaught of Egyptian and Syrian armies aided and abetted, albeit punily, by our friend and soon to be ally the late King Hussein of Jordan. Why Nixon did what he did is beyond the point. He did it, after Henri Kissinger twisted Golda’s arm into not calling in the IDF reserve units, until Egypt actually crossed the Suez Canal.
Let’s not kid ourselves. US support is vital to Israel’s existence. Successive Oval Office patrons as Sarah calls them know it, and from time to time when they deem it necessary, they call Israel back to order. The late president Dwight Eisenhower did it when he summoned Ben Gurion to get out of Egypt in the 1956 Sinai campaign.
One also has to try and understand what the mood of the US people is after a protracted and bloodily costly war in Iraq, and an uncertain outcome of the war if Afghanistan. The current Oval Office has squeezed all the political juice it could extract from Bin Laden’s elimination. America is not ready for another war, it has significant internal problems. All hands are called for the presidential second term, Panetta is one of them.
I suggest that we keep Suha as what she is, a mere irritant footnote at her husband’s pitiful career. As for Ms. Clinton, then First Lady and now Secretary of State, she is not and hopefully will never be president.
Ohh…”when they deem it necessary, they call Israel back to order”…DO YOU FEEL WELL ? These American retards would have been well advised, NOT to meddle into Israels affaires !
Israel decisively had won the Yom Kippur war, when the Americans saved Saddats ass…!
By the way, Panetta is a bad joke, just like Gates was…and Obama is as afraid of the Iranians as Bush was…!
Israels most important military virtue is, to survive it’s enemies and Israels most important political virtue is, to survive it’s “friends”…To survive it’s enemies, it must be prepared to win shooting wars and to survive it’s “friends”, it must be prepared to outsmart their well known and dumb and never ending bullying and always to be one step ahead of their predictable efforts…IT CAN BE DONE…even after Oslo !
” If so, she is a liar.”
astute observation my dear alan. her lips were moving, weren’t they?
A politician never lies, he or she accomodates the truth.
Top of the morning to you all!
Just like you…Top of the morning to you !