What Rift? 5 Times Netanyahu's Speech Showed America's Well on Board With His Dangerous Plans
For the past couple weeks, the American media has focused on the fact that various members of congress planned on skipping Netanyahu’s speech. Predictably, this was perceived by many on the right as the latest example of Obama, and other prominent Democrats, failing to support Israel sufficiently. This is, of course, a massive red herring and a distraction from very real and dangerous issues; mainly, Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and its unyielding push for war against Iran. Netanyahu’s speech was strikingly bellicose, even by his standards, as he compared the leadership of Iran to the Nazis and ISIS. Much will be made about the farcical comparisons, but he also said a number of ridiculous things that President Obama, and others who skipped the speech, agree with him on. Netanyahu’s speech was an attack on the administration’s foreign policy, but it was facilitated by years of support from the Obama administration. After getting a green light for nearly all of his actions, why wouldn’t Israel’s Prime Minister logically ask for more? Here’s five moments from the speech that highlighted how the Israel/United States “rift” is overrated.
Netanyahu Praised Obama’s Support For His Recent Operation in Gaza: Senator Diane Feinstein stood up to clap for this one. It was a reference to Israel’s 2014’s seven-week bombardment of Gaza, that resulted in over 2,000 deaths. At least 30% of those deaths were children. Obama urged restraint, but continually reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself. Susan Rice, Obama’s national security advisor, declared, “Here is one thing you never have to worry about: America's support for the state of Israel. Hamas initiated this conflict. And Hamas has dragged it on."
Netanyahu Declared He Wants Sanctions “Until Iran Stops Aggression On Its Neighbors”: He’s referring to the Obama administration’s sanctions on Iran, which could possibly be increasing corruption and repression in the region. There’s no doubt that these actions have alienated the Iranian people, as they’ve paid a vast human cost. Reports have documented how the sanctions have created food shortages and cut off crucial medical supplies.
Netanyahu Praised Obama’s Iron Dome Funding: Congress approved $225 million to help fund Israel’s Iron Dome system and Obama signed the bill. Iron Dome has allegedly intercepted hundreds of Hamas rockets. Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich, one of the only members of congress to vote against the funding opined, “[Iron Dome] proposes that the means to achieve security for Israel is through investing in a missile defense system. I do not support that, and neither should anyone truly supportive of the security of Israel.” He added that, even if it was stopping missiles, “I am also concerned that 43 years of military occupation in the West Bank, and the crippling siege of Gaza that has entered its fourth year, continue to undermine Israel’s security. Investment in a missile defense system will not eliminate the need to address these issues that are a fundamental part of securing Israel’s future.”
He Praised Secretary of State John Kerry, Calling Him “My Good Friend”: Kerry has been a good friend to the government of Israel, as he’s helped it achieve anything it’s wanted. After accidentally referring to the fact that Israel could become an “apartheid state”, he walked back his comments and declared that, ““For more than 30 years in the United States Senate, I didn’t just speak words in support of Israel. I walked the walk when it came time to vote and when it came time to fight.” Kerry continues to walk-this week he blasted the UN’s “obsession” with Israeli crimes, stating, “We will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the U.N. system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate, Israel.”
Netanyahu Declared That He’ll Always Be Grateful for Obama and That the US/Israel Relationship Is Doing Just Fine: We have every reason to believe him, as this administration has supported Israel every step of the way and continually refused to recognize the Palestinians' quest for self-determination. As Josh Ruebner, the national advocacy director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, has said of the Obama’s “peace process” efforts, “The United States keeps doing the exact same thing over and over again, and somehow expects that it’s going to lead to a different result, and it’s not. It’s only been leading to more Israeli colonization of Palestinian land, which many people would argue is really the point of having a “peace process”–it seems as if Israelis and Palestinians are negotiating towards a peace agreement, that takes a lot of pressure off of Israel, and allows them to continue colonization.”
The current good cop/bad cop routine might temporarily obscure the narrative, but it’s important to remember that the United States government, and the Israeli government, continue to be linked and continue to make the world a more dangerous place.