Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Netanyahu Postmortems

Netanyahu Postmortems

by Stephen Lendman

Honest analysts know his double-barreled Washington offensive fell flat - targeting AIPAC and Congress.

His blustering Big Lies wore thin long ago. He repeated the same stuff he regurgitates in all his anti-Iranian/poor threatened israel rants.

You have to be practically comatose not to have heard it ad nauseam. Or sublimely ignorant not to know Iran threatens no one.

It's nuclear program is entirely legitimate - with no military component or intention to have one. 

Or that Israel is the region's only nuclear power - a dangerous one committed to use its arsenal of banned weapons if threatened.

Analysts weighed in on Netanyahu's performance as expected. Haaretz editors were scathing - calling policies Netanyahu and like-minded MKs endorse "the real existential threat to Israel."

They include "unending occupation…Israel's insistence on ruling over millions of Palestinians in the West Bank who lack civil rights, expanding the settlements and keeping residents of the Gaza Strip" lawlessly besieged.

"Israel is mortgaging its (future by) maintain(ing)" polar opposite systems for Arabs and Jews.

It's "fated to explode," said Haaretz editors. Three Gaza wars since December 2008 show a nation fundamentally off-the-rails - against core principles it claims to stand for.

World public opinion grows increasingly anti-Israeli for good reason. Any nation unwilling to treat all its citizens and people it controls equitably according to fundamental rule of law principles is doomed to pariah status.

Zionism and democracy are no more compatible than fire and water.

Throughout Netanyahu's tenure, occupation harshness increased. "Internal tensions between Jews and Arabs" are perhaps unprecedented - a tinderbox waiting to explode.

"Right-wing (lunatics vie to see who's more effective) pushing anti-democratic laws designed to institutionalize discrimination against" minority Arabs, said Haaretz editors.

Campaigning for March 17 elections "is being conducted like a Purim carnival."

Issues mattering most and their dangers are ignored. No one talks about Palestinian rights, occupation harshness, besieged Gazans, or last summer's war.

"But topping them all is the prime minister, who wasted the great opportunity and the enormous attention he received on Capitol Hill and didn't even mention the real danger Israel faces" - itself because of self-destructive policies, Haaretz editors explained.

Its columnists weighed in. Chemi Shalev called Netanyahu's anti-Iranian rant "no game-changer" - either on Washington or Israeli voters.

Yossi Verter said Israelis know leading up to elections Netanyahu bombards them with "words, words, words."

Amiri Oren called his rhetoric "much ado about nothing…made in preparation for (his) imminent electoral defeat - a bid to become defense minister in Issac Herzog's government…"

Zvi Bar'el said he "presented Congress with a warped view of the Middle East."

His existential threats are backwards. For sure Iran poses none. He threatens the entire region.

Reuters stressed how Netanyahu angered Obama for circumventing protocol - by addressing Congress without administration invitation and trying to sabotage ongoing Iranian nuclear talks.

AP said House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D. CA) blasted Netanyahu's condescension - virtually unheard of on Capitol Hill against an Israeli leader.

Obama refused to meet with him. Biden planned a Central American trip to avoid hearing him. Oren Hatch (R. UT) filled in as Senate president pro temp.

John Kerry was negotiating with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva during Netanyahu's rant - both sides aiming for a framework agreement by month's end. Then a final one by end of June.

New York Times editors called Netanyahu's congressional speech "unconvincing."

On the one hand, "fawning lawmakers" "mobbed" him. "Even Washington doesn't often see this level of exploitative political theater," they said.

All the worse because Republicans used Netanyahu to "challenge…Obama's foreign policy."

Netanyahu's rant offered "nothing new." It was all about "proving his toughness on security issues" ahead of March 17 elections - largely for a home audience to win votes.

Times editors called his demand for Obama to push for a better deal entirely "hollow." He rejects any deal with Iran.

He offered no alternative approach. He gave chutzpah new meaning. 

He circumvented administration and congressional authority irresponsibly by trying to make US foreign policy himself - an unforgivable affront rendering him persona non grata as long as Obama remains president.

Neocon Washington Post editors said "Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments" - something he hasn't yet done, they claim.

They called Netanyahu's obvious distortions, deception and Big Lies "legitimate questions."

They ignore Iran's peaceful nuclear program. In past editorials they urged tougher sanctions. 

They oppose any deal except under terms no nation would accept. They support war if other ways aren't found to deprive Iran of its legitimate nuclear power rights.

Neocon Wall Street Journal editors ludicrously called Netanyahu's bluster "bipartisan and gracious…" 

They accepted his litany of Big Lies as gospel. They treated a world-class thug like a legitimate leader.

They called his affrontary a proper administration policy challenge.

In contrast, Financial Times editors called his bluster "a brazen challenge to Obama."

Saying he snubbed protocol. He arrogantly circumvented presidential authority by appealing directly to a Republican-controlled Congress.

His gambit accomplished nothing to change administration negotiations with Iran.

He "opened cracks within pro-Israeli groups where none existed." He did more harm to US/Israeli relations than any of his predecessors.

He implied "the only way Iran could be stopped was through war."

His Manichean worldview is ideologically over-the-top and then some. "Never before has a foreign leader waded quite so brazenly into US politics," said FT editors.

He "needlessly risk(ed)" rupturing ties "with Israel's strongest ally." 

He's an out-of-control menace. On March 17, Israelis have a chance to oust him once and for all. Given lack of choices they face, it may not matter if he stays or goes.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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