- Calling for Palestinian capitulation, not peace and liberation,
Netanyahu delivered a litany of lies, fabrications, misstatements, and
half-truths to AIPAC members on May 23, saying:
- -- "Israel is unjustly accused of not wanting peace
with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth." In
fact, he once called the peace process "a waste of time," governing
accordingly to avoid it.
- -- Peace "can only come through....mutual trust,"
he said, adding that he envisions "peace in which a demilitarized
Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state." In fact, they're preconditions
solely for them, no other states with which Israel has diplomatic relations,
including peace treaty terms with Egypt and Jordan.
- -- "Israel stands ready to make compromises necessary
for peace." In fact, Israel never had a peace camp. For decades, efforts
were stillborn, obstructing it, perpetuating conflict, and denying Palestinians
a sovereign independent state or a viable one-state solution for all its
- -- "(O)ne thing I will never compromise is our security."
- In fact, claimed existential "security" threats
are bogus, a red herring, mischaracterizing Israel as vulnerable, surrounded
by hostile Arab states. Nuclear armed, it's a regional superpower, unthreatened
since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
- Addressing Congress on May 24, he repeated the same canards,
including saying he's ready to "make painful compromises (for) peace,"
while remaining obstructionist against it, a viable Palestinian state,
Jerusalem as its capital, Hamas/Fatah unity, and the inviolable right of
- In response, New York Times writers Helene Cooper and
Ethan Bronner headlined, "Netanyahu Gives No Ground in Congress Speech,"
- "....Palestinians will not get a right of return
to Israel.... Jerusalem will never again be divided," and Israel's
1967 borders aren't defensible. New ones must incorporate expanding settlements,
an IDF presence along the Jordan River, and Palestinians confined to isolated
cantons in ghetto communities or worthless scrubland, an offer no responsible
leader will accept.
- Moreover, he demanded abandonment of Palestinian unity
as a precondition for negotiations, saying Hamas rejects Israel's right
to exist. In fact, it accepts it in return for a viable Palestinian state
within 1967 borders, 22% of historic Palestine, a major concession Israel
rejects, wanting all valued parts of Judea and Samaria.
- No matter. Congress treated him like visiting royalty,
Cooper and Bronner saying he got "so many standing ovations that at
times it appeared that the lawmakers were listening to his speech standing
- Rejecting Netanyahu's Obstructionism
- In response, Mahmoud Abbas said he offered "nothing
we can build on." In fact, he "traveled far from peace,"
subverting it by dictating terms, remaining obstructionist like all Israeli
- A May 25 Haaretz editorial was just as harsh, headling
"Netanyahu wasted his chance to present a vision for peace,"
- Instead of new ideas, a constructive vision, and genuine
willingness to negotiate equitably, "we were witness to the same old
messages," dictating terms, offering nothing substantive in return.
- He ignored all essentials for peace, including "leav(ing)
a decisive majority of West Bank territory in the hands of the Palestinians."
As a result, he's "leading Israel and the Palestinians into a new
round of violence, along with Israel's isolation" at a time of Arab
spring uprisings. "The time has come for....Israel(is) who seek peace
to be heard. Israel deserves a different leader."
- Like America, in fact, most Israel parties differ little
on core issues, including Likud, Kadima, Labor, Yisrael Beiteinu, and Shas,
endorsing hardline militancy and neoliberal toughness, offering no concessions
for equity and peace.
- On May 24, an Al Jazeera editorial said "leading
Democrats and Republicans....support(ed) Netanyahu in his tricks to justify
the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, as well as his
incitement against Arabs and Muslims."
- "His speech was a blueprint (on) how (to) defend
Israel in refusing to end the occupation, oppression, and subjugation of
the Palestinian people. The focus on the Jewishness of the Zionist state
has been the new ploy to block any peaceful resolution." Palestinians
reject it as should everyone for equal rights and peace.
- If anyone doubts "how Israeli leaders control the
US government," watch congressional and other pro-Israeli groups'
fealty to Israel, subverting any chance for justice.
- Haaretz writer Gideon Levy headlined, "Netanyahu's
speech to Congress shows America will buy anything," saying:
- "It was an address with no destination, filled with
lies on top of lies and illusions heaped on illusions." Rarely do
foreign leaders address Congress. Perhaps none ever presented "such
a pile of propaganda and prevarication, such hypocrisy and sanctimony"
as Netanyahu to repeated standing ovations, a bipartisan hallelujah chorus
loving it. If most Americans did also, "we're in big trouble,"
- Imagine, Netanyahu praises Israeli democracy when he's
hammered it with mortal blows. His coalition Knesset partners passed racist,
fascist laws, vilifying anyone not Jewish, denying their basic rights,
including treating Israeli Arabs as existential threats when, in fact,
they're citizens like all Jews.
- Palestinian Authority (PA) spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh
- "What Netanyahu said does not lead to peace. Peace
for us means a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem
as its capital. We will not accept any Israeli presence inside the Palestinian
state, particularly on the River Jordan. (P)eace should be based on international
resolutions and negotiations, and not by putting preconditions and more
obstacles in the way of the peace process."
- Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said his speech "makes
the continuation of negotiations with the Zionist entity....wrong and pointless."
- The Israeli peace bloc Gush Shalom also reacted critically,
- His speech was "composed of dozens of gimmicks and
empty cliches, talk of peace which he does not intend to conclude and of
a fictional Palestinian state which he has no intention of seeing become
reality. (Instead, he intends) to continue occupation rule over millions
of people by (brute) force, against their will," perpetuating decades-long
- Praise from Hardline Israeli-Firsters
- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) "praised
(Netanyahu) for making clear to the US Congress and the world (about) Hamas'
call for the worldwide murder of every Jew and his reiteration that Israel
will not negotiate with a Palestinian Authority (PA)/Hamas unity government
nor return to the perilous 1949 armistice lines."
- Its statement echoed Netanyahu's lies and racist condemnation
of an entire people for their faith and ethnicity.
- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also applauded Netanyahu's
"commitment to negotiating a lasting peace with the Palestinians,"
- "He made a powerful case for Israel's unique relationship
with the US as the only democracy and stable American ally in a turbulent
region," as well as highlighting "Israel's need for security."
- Commentary magazine's Jonathan Tobin called his speech
"a triumph....eloquent and brilliant (laying) out Israel's desire
for peace," when, in fact, it spurned it since 1948.
- A Final Comment
- Instead of embracing peace, Netanyahu spurns it. In his
book, "The End of the Peace Process," Edward Said said:
- "(N)o negotiations are better than endless concessions
that simply prolong the Israeli occupation. Israel is certainly pleased
that it can take the credit for having made peace, and at the same time
continue the occupation with Palestinian consent."
- Peace, in fact, depends on evenhanded give and take,
resolving divergent issues equitably for both sides. It can't solely be
on Israeli terms, demanding capitulation, leaving Palestinians isolated
in a wasteland of destruction and human misery, enduring appalling
- indignities for their faith, ethnicity and presence.
- As a result, their liberating struggle continues for:
- -- ending occupation;
- -- a government of their own choosing;
- -- sovereign independence within 1967 borders, 22% of
historic Palestine with mutually agreed on land swaps to assure it;
- -- Jerusalem as its capital;
- -- the inviolable right of return; and
- -- full recognition as a UN member state with all rights
- On November 15, 1988, the Palestine National Council
(PNC) proclaimed an independent Palestinian state. According to the 1925
Palestine Citizenship Order in Council, Palestinians, their children and
grandchildren are automatically citizens, including refugees.
- Provisionally, Washington recognizes Palestinian independence.
Under UN Charter Article 80(1), its position can't be reversed by vetoing
SC resolutions, calling for its UN admission. Doing so is illegal, subject
to SC action under the Charter's Chapter VI, despite Obama telling AIPAC
that no UN vote "will ever create an independent Palestinian state."
- The Security Council, in fact, recommends admissions.
The General Assembly affirms them by a two-thirds majority. In December
1988, it did so, granting Palestine all member rights except to vote. PA
leaders will seek it in September. Washington and Israel object, spurning
peace, reconciliation, and potential challenges to their dominance. No
longer can that agenda be tolerated.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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