- On July 6, Bibi and Obama met privately for 79 minutes,
Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Jay Bookman calling it "empty
theatre, actors going through the motions of pretending to pretend, (when,
in fact, there's) no willingness or political ability within Israel to
withdraw from settlements (or) create a viable Palestinian state, (nor
is there) stomach in Washington" to endorse an equitable agreement.
"I can't recall a time when I have been more cynical about peace prospects
there, and the prettily staged theatrics in Washington" only harden
- Not for New York Times writers Sheryl Gay Stolberg and
Mark Lander headlining, "US and Israel Shift Attention to Peace Process,"
- They "articulated a timetable for peace negotiations
(reflecting) a palpable shift in the administration's approach to a relationship
that has been rife with tension" since Obama took office. In fact,
for decades, Israeli-Washington relations have been rock-solid, including
under Obama and the current Congress, the powerful Israeli Lobby assuring
it stays that way.
- Haaretz writers Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya were
also upbeat, headlining "Obama-Netanyahu summit focuses on warm relations,
avoids settlements," saying:
- They "radiate(d) a sense of friendship and the absence
of any crisis in relations between the two leaders," Obama calling
"the bond between (the two nations) unbreakable," Bibi "emerg(ing)
from the White House meeting in high spirits."
- His sources said no pressure was exerted on settlement
issues, both sides avoiding the topic, focusing instead on handshakes,
photo-ops, and post-meeting comments - customary disingenuous boilerplate,
Obama calling Netanyahu a "man of peace," Bibi saying the president
is "a great leader (and) a great friend of Israel...."
- In contrast, hundreds of protestors demonstrated outside
the White House, including members of CodePink, Neturei Kartam - NK (anti-Zionist
orthodox Jews), Sabeel (a Jerusalem-based "ecumenical grassroots liberation
theology movement among Palestinian Christians"), Atra Kadisha (an
organization for safeguarding Jewish graves), and the Central Rabbinical
Congress of the US and Canada (CRC), a consortium of anti-Zionist groups
founded by the Satmar Hassidic ultra-orthodox community, including holocaust
survivors and their descendants.
- They displayed a banner for Obama to stop Israeli aid
and end the Gaza siege, NK Rabbi Yisroel Dovis Weiss calling Netanyahu
"a thief and criminal (who) doesn't represent the Jews. We pray for
peace and the end of the Zionist State. Our message today is not for Netanyahu.
It's for (Obama) not (to) meet with a thief who stole the Jewish star and
(committed) crimes (in) the name of the Jews."
- Others called Israel an "infidel regime," shouting
"No more nickels, no more dimes, no more funding Israel's crimes"
- end the Gaza siege and expel Israel's ambassador.
- More demonstrations were held outside the Israeli Embassy,
waving Palestinians flags and chanting "End the siege in Gaza now....Stop
Israeli piracy," traditionally dressed orthodox Jews carrying signs
reading "Judaism condemns Zionist atrocities in Gaza."
- After the Obama meeting, Bibi went to New York for a
curtain call, AFP headlining "Fueled by White House success, Netanyahu
heads to UN (for discussions with) UN chief Ban Ki-moon, saying he could
perform miracles to hammer out a peace deal if all sides come together."
- "We want President Abbas to grasp my hand, get into
a room, shake it, sit down and negotiate a final settlement of peace between
Israel and the Palestinians," he told ABC News, omitting what he demands,
a one-sided deal like all others - namely, capitulation, not compromise;
occupation and belligerence, not conciliation, and conflict, not resolution
- why Adalah-NY announced the following:
- "Hey Hey New York: Netanyahu's Coming to Town. We
Say No! Let's tell War Criminal and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
You are NOT welcome in our city!"
- "Netanyahu is coming to New York to justify continued
colonization and slaughter. The media will be there to relay his 'facts'
to the world. Let's make sure they hear the real story."
- Hundreds turned out, saying:
- "No to the Israeli Occupation!
- No to the blockade and siege of Gaza!
- No to US tax dollars funding Israeli war crimes!
- Yes to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions!
- YES TO JUSTICE FOR THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE!
- We are on a roll, people. The world is confronting Israeli
war criminals. Let's not permit this one to visit NYC with no resistance!"
- Endorsed by Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the
Boycott of Israel, American Jews for a Just Peace, Jews Say No, and the
WESTPAC Foundation, a Westchester County peace and justice group.
- Glorifying a War Criminal
- Throughout his visit, Netanyahu was feted like a visionary,
not a war criminal head of state, perhaps why Haaretz writer Zeev Sternhell
called Israel "A Society falling apart" in his July 9 article,
- "Among the regimes in the Western world, Israel
stands out with certain characteristics that generally do not indicate
a strong democratic system," citing a "nonexistent" opposition,
"contempt for the law....unrest caused by the ultra-Orthodox (and)
settlers," and the "respectable right (choosing) leaders of the
most dangerous kind....Against this backdrop, Israel's moral crisis is
getting deeper all the time," especially under Netanyahu, a man contemptuous
of moral values, ethical standards, democratic freedoms, and human rights,
notably for non-Jews.
- A man also responsible for the cold-blooded murder of
humanitarian activists bringing aid to besieged Gazans, and for daily institutionalized
violence, a snapshot below from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
July 1 - 6 report, citing:
- -- Israeli forces attacking peaceful West Bank and Gazan
protestors, injuring seven civilians (including two children and a journalist),
and arresting two others;
- -- firing at Palestinian farmers and workers in Gaza's
border areas and fishermen at sea, injuring two children;
- -- conducting 21 West Bank incursions, arresting 23 Palestinian
civilians, including seven children;
- -- continuing the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem,
forcing a Palestinian family to demolish its home and leave;
- -- destroying 13 North Valley tents and an inhabited
hut to remove Palestinians;
- -- continuing settlement construction, and letting settlers
attack Palestinians with impunity; and
- -- enforcing Gaza's siege, so-called easing bogus on
- On July 8, the International Middle East Media Center
headlined, "Israeli Army Conducts Limited Invasion In Southern Gaza,"
- At dawn, near the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) Crossing
(east of Rafah), a "number of Israeli armored military vehicles"
invaded Gaza, opening fire at civilian homes, causing damage but no injuries.
- "Local sources reported that three military vehicles
and two armored bulldozers advanced 200 meters into Palestinian farmlands
close to the border." They "uprooted farmlands and leveled some
structures, while the army opened fire in different directions."
- Almost daily, "Israel (conducts) invasions and attacks
into northern and eastern areas of the Gaza Strip, and prevents the farmers
from reaching their lands close to the border."
- In late June, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign
Affairs Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, called for stripping Israeli Arabs
of their citizenship and expelling them - his blueprint for peace, saying
they're a fifth column, "actively assist(ing) those who want to destroy
the Jewish state."
- During the 2009 elections, his extremist Yisrael Beiteinu
(Israel is Our Home) party endorsed the notion of "No loyalty, no
citizenship," proposing various loyalty laws, and saying peace depends
on "an exchange of populated territories to create two largely homogeneous
(ethnically pure) states, one Jewish Israeli and the other Arab Palestinian,"
accomplished by ethnic cleansing, what ideologues like Lieberman and his
followers love, no matter how in violation of international law.
- They also endorse confrontations like in Beit Jala (near
Bethlehem) on June 20, when Israeli forces burned fields, and attacked
peaceful demonstrators, bystanders and six journalists - Yousef Shahin
(Palmedia), Abdel Hafith Hashlamon (European News Agency), Nasser Al Shayukhi
(AP), Musa Al Shaer (AFP), and Najeh Hashlamon (ABA).
- Two Palestinian youths, Mohammed Masalma and Thaer Mahmoud,
were severely beaten. Gas canisters set fire to dry fields, engulfing an
olive grove. Homes were indiscriminately shot at. No injuries were reported.
- Incursions like this happen regularly, with no provocation,
including against peaceful demonstrators and bystanders. So do air attacks,
targeted assassinations, home demolitions, land seizures, mass arrests
and torture, including against children - official Israeli policy, hard
line under Netanyahu, his government perhaps Israel's most extremist ever,
his peace notion based on capitulation, ethnic cleansing, military occupation,
permanent conflict, and slow-motion genocide for Gazans - what Palestinians
won't ever accept nor should people anywhere tolerate.
- A Final Comment
- In America, credible reporting on Israel/Palestine is
verboten, a cause for dismissal, censure, and blacklisting - a testimony
to the power of the Israeli Lobby and neocon right, as virulent now as
- Iconic Helen Thomas a recent casualty: age 89, author
of five books, a copy girl after college, UPI in 1943 writing radio news,
a correspondent for 60 years, the National Press Club's first female officer,
the media Gridiron Club's first female member, recipient of numerous awards
and honorary degrees, the long-time White House press corps doyenne, covering
every US president since Dwight Eisenhower - ostracized by friends and
colleagues, pilloried by the pro-Israeli chorus, and fired for saying Jews
should "get the hell out of Palestine (and) go home," expressing
frustration and anger about 62 years of persecution, 43 under military
occupation, horrific enough to enrage anyone for justice.
- CNN's senior Middle East affairs editor, Octavia Nasr,
is the latest target, for twittering the following comment:
- "Sad to hear of the passing of (Lebanon's Grand
Ayatollah) Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah...One of Hezbollah's giants
I respect a lot."
- So did his followers, Reuters reporting hundreds thousands
("a sea of men and women from across Lebanon") turned out to
mourn his death, a man "who became one of Shi'ite Islam's highest
authorities." Buried on July 6, he died Sunday, July 4 at age 74.
- After her firing, Nasr elaborated, saying she used the
words "respect (and) sad because to me as a Middle Eastern woman,
Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on
women's rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of 'honor
killing.' He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned
Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam."
- He also wrote many books, founded Islamic religious schools,
including the Al Mabarrat Association (providing academic and vocational
education for orphans, the deaf and blind), lectured often, was a respected
scholar, established a public library, a women's cultural center, and a
- Yet he was vilified as a terrorist for being Hezbollah's
"spiritual mentor," Nasr fired for showing respect - a shameless
act by a network known for suppressing truths, endorsing imperial wars,
and backing corporate interests, right wing extremism, sham elections,
the worst of Israeli crimes, and intolerance of opposing views, as true
throughout the major media - corrupted, reprehensible, unscrupulous, worthless,
and devoid of real journalism, those daring any fired for doing their job,
why Project Censored warns of a "truth emergency inside the military
industrial media empire," a graver threat today than ever.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
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