Do you remember when Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu visited the U. S. last May and Republicans insisted that by calling for Israel to return to the negotiations with the Palestinians and agree to land swaps that start with the 1967 borders, President Obama had “thrown Israel under the bus”? The idea that is running rampant among conservative evangelicals who support Israel at all costs and Republican politicians who pander to them and want to attract Jewish voters is that President Obama is somehow an enemy of Israel.
Last week, the idea reached horrific proportions when Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times wrote a list of things that should be done to protect Israel.
“Three, give the go-ahead for U. S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice-president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States policy includes hits helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”
Adler did two things in that one paragraph – he called for Mossad to assassinate our President and he called for the United States to commit genocide of the Palestinians, and anyone else Israel determines are their enemies.
Adler has claimed, since the shit hit the fans that he put the idea of assassinating President Obama out there to spark debate. If that was his real intent, he’s incredibly irresponsible. There are jackasses out there who would consider this an order, not a starting point for debate.
It is past time for a couple of massive reality checks.
First there is the issue of the level of hatred created by the Republican Party (Newt Gingrich has a lot to do with this one, with his manual for hate speech) and by the conservative and evangelical forces in America. As the Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded, we have a huge increase in anti-government militias during Democratic presidencies. They practically disappear during Republican regimes. It doesn’t matter how many people die, the call to arms goes on. The 168 men, women and children who died and the 680 injured in Oklahoma City, the 7 doctors, nurses, security personnel and escorts that have been murdered and the nine attempted murders by anti-abortion fanatics, none of this has registered a single moment of acceptance of responsibility from those who inspired the hate that caused these deaths. They sit back and say they are not to blame for some crazy person’s actions. They cannot be allowed to continue to deny responsibility. They caused this unreasonable level of hatred. They intentionally use the words that scare people into irrational actions. They tap into that part of our population who were fed anti-communism with their mothers’ milk and never figured out that communism is dead because they keep hearing about it from the right wing jerks who only care about creating a one-party fascist regime in America.
The people who believe that Democrats are demons from commie-hell have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the right wing media that they are incapable of seeing reason. Facts mean nothing to them, because they have been taught that everyone except the anointed – Fox News and right wing radio – are lying. They are even capable of forgetting that their conservative god Ronald Reagan and his successor George H. W. Bush oversaw the death of communism in the greater world.
On this score, Adler needs to be made an example of. The Patriot Act is very clear about threats to Federal employees and their families. Adler crossed that line. He called for the assassination of our President by agents of a foreign government. Find the right statutes and arrest him. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law. This kind of incitement must stop.
Second, there is the issue of Israel. For the past 44 years, Israel has occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. For 44 years, that occupation has been the recruitment poster for terrorists. Though there are many issues in the Middle East that the residents can blame America for, the easiest to focus on is the occupation of the West Bank. There has been a dynamic in the Middle East that made extremists reluctant to say “the United States is responsible for oppression in (insert nation here) by supporting a despotic regime.” It is less dangerous to say “the United States supports the oppression of the Palestinians.” Sixteen of the nineteen 9-11 terrorists were Saudis, young educated men who had no economic future in their homeland because of the way the Saudi royal family concentrates all the good jobs in their extensive family. But American support for the Sauds was a footnote in Osama bin Laden’s explanation for 9-11. He listed Israel and the Palestinians as the first cause.
Since 1988, when Jordan ceded ownership of the West Bank to the Palestinians, Israel has had the power to end the use of their nation as a reason to attack Western countries. Instead, they have let the Palestinian issue cause death and destruction all over the world. Thousands of innocents have died to protect Israel’s “right” to occupy and oppress the occupied people of the territories they conquered in 1967. The al-Assad regime has kept power in Syria as a foil to Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights. Hamas has risen to power among the Palestinians because of Israel’s policy of ten eyes for an eye. Iran’s combination of Islamic and secular despotism is built on Israel’s occupation. Under the rhetoric, almost all the nations surrounding Israel understand that after 63 years, it is not going away. But the occupation is a whole different matter.
Israel was the principle cause of 9-11. Because of 9-11, we invaded two countries. So far, we have lost over 6,000 American service personnel in the two wars, with tens of thousands injured, and nearly a trillion dollars spent on these wars. That is about as clear a line as one can draw – Israeli treatment of the Palestinians caused our wars.
Finally, what planet is Adler living on? He wants Vice-President Biden to vow to exterminate all of Israel’s enemies? How many millions of humans does he want us to kill? We already have the blood of nearly half a million Iraqi and Afghan civilians on our hands for Israel. How many more does Adler want? Would the annihilation of 3 million Palestinians satisfy him? How about 80 million Egyptians? Would 22 million Syrians be enough? Should we limit this genocide to just the Palestinians and the four countries that have borders with Israel – a total of 115 million people – or does he want to fan out across the Arab and Muslim world? What gives this man the right to demand that the United States of America engage in the Muslim holocaust?
It has taken a lot on the part of Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud Party to make both Israelis and Americans, Jews and gentiles alike, question the course of Israeli policy in regards to the Palestinians. It has taken the wholesale destruction of Palestinian farms and homes, the pushing of the Palestinians into every smaller areas of their own land, the building of suburban communities for the “settlers” while denying Palestinians and Gazans the materials to replace their destroyed homes. It has also taken a determined effort on the part of the West Bank Palestinians to control terrorism and submit to Israeli rule to show the world that Palestinian and terrorist are not synonyms.
Did you know that in one of the oldest forms of ancient Egyptian the name for the mountains to the east of the Nile Valley was “joo”? Archeology says there was not one Exodus, but several. Science says there is a series of natural events that could match the story of the Ten Plagues. History says that a Pharaoh named Akhenaten founded the first recorded monotheistic religion in the Mediterranean region, and that the exoduses began after his death. The facts suggest that the Biblical claim to Israel is a false one, based on an invasion, a conquest and the genocide of the Canaanites, something that is part of Maimonides’ 12th century version of Talmudic law. In a Christian Europe that advocated the forced conversion or death of Jews, living under the protection of Spanish Muslims, Maimonides called for their obliteration in the Holy Land.
President Obama didn’t “throw Israel under a bus.” He told Israel it is time to stop expecting us to kill and die for their power trip in the occupied territories. Andrew Adler did not start a debate. He focused attention on some of the worst aspects of the right wing – the virulent, baseless hatred of Democrats, the blind support Israel and the arrogant hypocrisy of a nation born out of a holocaust and centuries of oppression demanding a right to do the same to others.