|Netanyahu with a leading supporter of Israeli colonialism.|
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in the United States. Ahead of an election in his home country, Netanyahu was invited by the Republican Party to address Congress to make the case for deliberately raising tensions with Iran, and torpedoing the prospect of a settlement over the country’s nuclear program.
When Netanyahu appears before Congress, it will be with little credibility. The subject of investigations in Israel, the Prime Minister has also been alleged to have lied about the intelligence he presented to the United Nations in 2012 about the development of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. On that occasion, Netanyahu took his war-mongering to New York waving a diagram that looked like it had been thrown together for a first-grade science fair, albeit using logic that would have left any first-grader with eyebrows raised.
The first-grader would not have been alone. We now know that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, repudiated the Prime Minister’s claims in a secret cable. All of this suggests that the Israeli Prime Minister, like a number of our politicians and intelligence agencies 12 years ago, has a secret intelligence cache, although whether that is to be found in his fevered fundamentalist imagination or up his backside might be difficult to say.
A key point is that the Netanyahu will be attacking diplomatic efforts in an attempt to substitute violence for negotiation, and that when he launches his attack, we know that he has a history of dishonesty.
More disturbing altogether is the fact that Republicans in Congress saw fit to invite to the United States a man who is essentially a practitioner and proponent of state terror.
It is often claimed that Netanyahu is the leader of the only democracy in the Middle East, as though the fact that the United States has created a region so devoid of representative institutions by propping up assorted dictators and autocrats is a point of pride. The claim also ignores the reality that Israel can hardly be considered to be a democracy so long as it possesses colonies in Gaza and the West Bank.
Netanyahu has repeatedly launched wars against his country’s colonies, using a policy of deliberately withholding adequate food supplies, creating tremendous hardship. His regime practices the typical colonial policy of collective punishment, trying to defeat anti-colonial fighters—and they are such, whether or not we approve of every one of their actions—by punishing the population at large, killing thousands of civilians, many of them children, destroying housing and ensuring that utilities do not reach the colonized population.
In short, the Israeli regime has used colonial warfare to engineer humanitarian crises. And by keeping its colonies perpetually on the breaking point, fuelled with sinister rhetoric, not only is the regime sailing perilously close to articulating a policy of ethnic cleansing, but is ensuring that local authorities in those colonies lack the power to support their constituents, while lumbering with the burden of responsibility for the state of affairs the Israeli regime has actually created.
As though to trumpet the impunity with which his regime wields state terror, Netanyahu has also repeatedly and deliberately attacked the United Nations as it operates in his colonies, its task being to bring relief and monitor what is clearly an untenable and morally indefensible situation.
These Israeli policies—the use of collective punishment, the deliberate impoverishment of a community, attacks on the United Nations, and the maintenance of colonies—are the actions of a rogue state. The leader of such a state should not be the recipient of an invitation to address Congress. The Hague might be a more appropriate venue for an appearance by Netanyahu, where he should be joined by a bevy of current and former U.S. administration officials complicit in a variety of international crimes.
Israelis, like all members of colonizing societies, are finding that the authoritarian behavior of their state in its colonies is seeping back home in toxic ways. Netanyahu recently targeted Israeli intellectuals for their political views, attempting to shut down criticism of his administration and of the colonial military forces.
Netanyahu has answered his critics in the U.S. and Israel—and there are a great many of them in both countries—by bleating that his “sole intention in accepting [the invitation from Congress] was to voice Israel’s grave concerns about a potential nuclear agreement with Iran that could threaten the survival of my country”.
He’s already voiced those concerns—and apparently lied while doing so. The truth is, Netanyahu, and the community of neocons and fundamentalists in the United States are the far greater threat to Israel. The reason Israel finds itself worrying about its survival has much to do with its colonial policies, the series of injustices the colonial regime has perpetrated against colonial populations over the past decades, its flouting of international law, and its close relationship with the United States, given the often-terroristic foreign policy of the latter government.
In short, the United States does Israel no favours by writing blank checks to prop-up a colonial regime that not only inflicts unspeakable damage on its colonized population, but also imperils its own society. I for one hope that when they vote in the coming elections, Israelis recognize that their colonialism and terror will be their own downfall, and remove those like Netanyahu who support state terror and colonialism from positions of power.