Netanyahu: His Own Worst Enemy
By Stephen Lendman
He never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity to act responsibly. He's too set in his ways. He's too far gone to change. He's off the rails entirely.
It shows every time he speaks. He puts his foot in his mouth. One day he'll risk swallowing it.
His 2012 UN address was abhorrent. He made a fool out of himself before a world audience. He did again on October 1.
His anti-Iranian bluster wore thin long ago. He falsely claims the Islamic Republic wants Israel destroyed. He lies about its peaceful nuclear program.
He's viciously anti-Muslim. He considers Arabs subhuman. His governance proves it. He's more lunatic than leader.
He repeats one lie after another. It comes easy to him. Perhaps he can't distinguish between truth and fantasy. He menaces people throughout the region.
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei is right, saying:
"(W)e believe the US administration is untrustworthy, conceited, illogical and unfaithful to its pledges."
He feels the same way about Israel. "Actually, the US administration moves in the direction of the Zionists' interests, and it blackmails the entire world and is blackmailed by the Zionist regime," he added.
Earlier he said:
"Israel's leaders sometimes threaten Iran, but they know that if they do, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground."
"The center of conspiracy and the basis of hostility with the Iranian nation is the US government."
"Through different ways and messages, the Americans try to negotiate with us on the nuclear issue, but I am not optimistic about these talks."
"I am not opposed to talks with regard to the nuclear issue, but certain issues must be clarified."
"Negotiation is an American tactic for deceiving the public opinion, and if it is otherwise the Americans should prove it."
The same holds for Israel. Nothing it says or does has credibility. It's especially so under Netanyahu. He's a rogue leader writ large.
Many influential Israelis don't trust him. He's his own worst enemy.
On October 3, Union for Reform Judaism president emeritus Rabbi Eric Yoffie headlined his Haaretz article "In America, Israel is losing the debate on Iran," saying:
"Americans aren't buying what (Netanyahu is) selling."
It's true "for the American political class, and it's true for the American people."
Americans "are fed up with the Middle East." They're tired of imperial interventions. They reject leaders urging them.
They want diplomatic conflict resolutions. They're against one war after another. Netanyahu's bluster doesn't wash.
He repeats the same lies in one speech and interview after another. He makes more enemies than friends.
Private meetings followed his UN address. So did a media blitz. He extended his US visit a day. He did so to give multiple interviews. He criticized Iran relentlessly. He briefed top US media executives.
He's an equal opportunity offender. His media blitz in part backfired. He has a knack for alienating allies. PBS host Charlie Rose interviewed him. He argued against settlement expansions, saying:
"You can't make the case that settlements, which you have continued are essential for the security of the Jewish state."
They do more harm than good. Rose stopped short of explaining what viewers most need to know.
"The question is, most people want to ask why you think that building settlements in East Jerusalem is necessary," he asked?
"(T)he world believes (doing so) stands in the way" of responsible conflict resolution.
Netanyahu responded saying, "The world believes a lot of things, but the world doesn't get it."
In other words, the world is wrong. He's right. He doesn't care what others think. He governs the same way at home.
NPR's Steve Inskeep raised his nuclear hypocrisy. He won't discuss Israel's open secret. It's nuclear armed and dangerous.
It's the only regional nation with nuclear weapons. It's got long range delivery systems. It has formidable chemical and biological weapons stockpiles. Netanyahu won't touch these topics.
On October 3, The New York Times headlined "US and Israel Share a Goal in Iran Talks, but Not a Strategy," saying:
"(H)e only grudgingly endorsed the negotiations between the West and Iran expected to start Oct. 15 in Geneva."
He "set out what most experts see as unrealistic conditions - a complete dismantlement of key nuclear facilities - and has repeatedly warned against relaxing sanctions until a deal is done."
He demands what no responsible Iranian leader would accept. Nor would any others.
Netanyahu isn't satisfied. He wants more. He wants illegal sanctions maintained. He wants them stiffened. He wants Iran's economy crushed.
He want ordinary Iranians harmed more than already. He wants the Islamic Republic neutralized as a regional rival.
According to The Times, "many (US) politicians and commentators took issue with (Netanyahu's) tone."
They said "he made it seem as if Israel was already standing alone, outside a growing international consensus that negotiations hold promise."
Some Israeli officials feel the same way. According to Labor Party head Shelly Yacimovich:
"His speech should have been one of mobilization and not a speech of isolation. This scare campaign does not benefit us."
Hatnua MP Amram Mitzna added:
Netanyahu "missed the point by describing Israel as a country which sees the use of military power as most important."
"We must not in any way place ourselves as the spearhead of the fight against Iran."
Former Israeli national security advisor Giora Eiland recommends "never say(ing) no. Always say 'Yes, but.' "
On October 3, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen headlined "Bibi's Tired Iranian Lines." It's a searing attack on his fearmongering.
"Never has it been more difficult for (him) to convince the world that" Iran reflects 1930s Nazi Germany.
American Jewish Committee executive director David Harris responded critically to his UN address, saying:
"Simply implying, for instance, that anyone who sits down with Rouhani is a modern-day Neville Chamberlain or Edouard Daladier won't do the trick. To the contrary, it will only (offend) and alienate."
More on what Harris said below. Other US Jewish leaders agree with him. They want Netanyahu to stop calling Rohani "a wolf in sheep's clothing."
They want him to stop crying wolf. They want him engaging Rohani responsibly. According to Cohen:
"It is not just that the world has now heard from Netanyahu of the imminent danger of a nuclear-armed Iran for a very long time."
"It is not just that Israel has set countless 'red lines' that proved permeable."
"It is not just that the Islamic Republic has been an island of stability compared to its neighbors Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan."
Rohani's election showed "Iran is no Nazi-like totalitarian state with a single authority."
"Netanyahu’s credibility issue is rooted in the distorted priorities evident in a speech that was Iran-heavy and Palestine-lite."
Israel's "challenge is (its) failure" to accept Palestinian self-determination. It's ongoing "occupation leaves Israel overseeing millions of disenfranchised Palestinians."
A recent Pew Research Center survey found only 17% of US Jews believing settlements help Israeli security.
According to Cohen:
"Iran has long been an effective distraction from the core dilemma of the Jewish state: Palestine. But global impatience with this diversionary strategy is running high."
"Netanyahu should cut the bluster and shift focus." He should negotiate responsibly with Palestinians. He "should adjust to changed circumstances rather than rehearse tired Iranian tropes."
On September 27, Harris headlined his Haaretz article "Israel's Cassandra moment," saying:
It "must find more effective and less shrill ways of making the case for caution, vigilance, and strength regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions - or risk being left alone and unheeded."
"(I)f Israel turns out to be Cassandra, the world may not listen - and Israel is then left with the unenviable question of what to do next."
Netanyahu made a fool of himself in New York. Israel embarrassed itself. It was the only UN member state to walk out when Rohani spoke.
He stole the show. He was straightforward, honest and sincere. He was the UN's star performer. Israel looked foolish not to listen.
It has "to find new ways to make its case, so that it is not just talking to itself and its supporters."
It's rhetoric is increasingly empty. It's tired, unconvincing and hostile. It wants problems solved through the barrel of a gun.
It's running against the tide. Most nations want peaceful conflict resolution. They're tired of US and Israeli saber rattling.
They reject one imperial war after another. They want long denied peace in our time. They want a world safe from nuclear annihilation.
They want it free from Israeli Lobby pressure. They want what's for so long been illusive. It's perhaps the only way for humanity to survive.
A Final Comment
On October 6, Netanyahu spoke hawkishly at Bar-Ilan University.
"Unless the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and give up the right of return, there will not be peace," he said.
"After generations of incitement, we have no confidence that such recognition will percolate down to the Palestinian people."
"That is why we need extremely strong security arrangements and to go forward, but not blindly."
Netanyahu dismissively claimed occupation harshness isn't the problem, adding:
"When anyone is asked what is the source of the conflict, the standard answer is the occupation, the territories, the settlements."
"They say that the Israeli takeover of Judea and Samaria following the Six-Day War to a large extent created the conflict, and I ask whether that is true."
Historical revisionism followed. Netanyahu blamed Palestinians for decades of post-Balfour Israeli crimes. He claimed conflict resolution depends on them.
He showed peace in our time is a convenient illusion. Not as long as he and other hardline racists run Israel.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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