Mondoweiss

As Trump heads to AIPAC, Netanyahu stands to benefit

The Trump Phallusy (Trump Tower in New York City; Photo copyright Yoav Litvin)

In the surreal universe of the Republican presidential primaries, some believed that the dramatic standoff at Donald Trump’s chaotic rally in Chicago and its consequent cancelation signified his campaign’s welcome demise. However, the results from the primaries on March 15th proved to the contrary; states continued to fall into his clutches one after another like dominoes. But how is that possible? Currently, corporate media has rendered “The Donald” invincible, as ratings of his vulgar shit-shows of recent weeks soar, including extended coverage of his own inflammatory racist rhetoric, seasoned with his supporters’ sucker punches, Nazi salutes and calls to “go to Auschwitz”. But for many people who are tired of establishment politics the allure of the Trump campaign stems from its unconventional nature. In so doing, Trump supporters are carelessly throwing the baby out with the bathwater: they are indeed ridding themselves of the corruption of “the establishment” and its political correctness by supporting an outsider, but in so doing they are crowning a dangerous buffoon, obliterating civility and making way for racism and proto-Fascism. Decades of corporate-controlled governments in Washington have created a cynical situation whereby a demagogue like Trump simply needs to adopt an approach that is seemingly in opposition to current political practice. This is reminiscent of the comical tactic embraced by George Costanza in the classic Seinfeld episode “The Opposite”. In reality though, Trump’s clown act will not end with a commercial break, but with chaos, the antecedents of which played out in Chicago last week.

Meanwhile, ‘tis the season when American candidates for president submissively grovel for the much sought after “kosher” seal of approval from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and its accompanying spoils. Donald Trump’s invitation to the AIPAC conference has produced much controversy within the American Jewish community due to Trump’s blatant misogyny and overt racism toward Mexicans, Muslims and other minorities, not to mention the sordid nature of some of his supporters. Though AIPAC is guilty of supporting many, if not all, of Israel’s crimes of aggression, it still tries to maintain a civilized veneer. What’s more, Trump’s statements regarding Israel have strayed from AIPAC’s traditional bulwark of every and any Israeli aggression, promising to remain “neutral” and even implicitly blaming Israel for the breakdown of talks with Palestinians. In contrast, Trump has proved to be a friend of Greater Israel when he promised to transfer the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, a move sought after by Israeli governments as a means to solidify its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem and one that U.S. presidents have thus avoided.

The premise of the formation of Israel as a state for Jews was to serve as a safe haven in response to racist persecution. Israel was accepted as a member by the United Nations at a time when the anti-Semitic genocidal horrors of Nazi Germany were still coming to light. As such, one would expect the Israeli government to condemn Trump’s rhetoric and the shamelessly racist base he has galvanized and empowered, which remind many of Hitler and pre WWII Germany, respectfully. But surprisingly, so far the Israeli government and specifically its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have remained silent regarding Trump and his bigotry. Is this an indication of a newfound noninterventionist respect for American politics by the notoriously disrespectful Netanyahu?

In order to assess Israel’s sentiments regarding foreign policy in general and Trump in particular, it is natural to seek answers from Israel’s representative in Washington, ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer. However, as Netanyahu’s puppet Dermer has obediently maintained radio silence with respect to Trump’s candidacy. Alternatively, in the special case of Israel it is more useful to defer directly to Netanyahu’s puppet master; the billionaire, Republican megadonor, and owner of Israel’s widely circulated and free newspaper “Israel Hayom” Sheldon Adelson. When asked about Trump recently, Adelson simply responded with: “why not support him?” And in light of Adelson’s right-wing political affiliation and support of the notion of Greater Israel, his answer makes perfect sense.

Netanyahu and members of his extremist government have repeatedly asserted that there will be no Palestinian state, making way for the continued entrenchment and expansion of Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and the aggression that comes with it.  As a master manipulator of Israeli local and international mainstream media, Netanyahu has repeatedly capitalized on tragedy for the purpose of masking direct acts of expansion and aggression against Palestinians (as in the case of the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers) and for propaganda purposes (as in the case of the Paris attacks).

Donald Trump is a narcissist who, similar to Netanyahu, has a gift for manipulating the media to serve his purposes. Regardless of his inconsistent views on Israel, which are likely to fall in line with the traditional Republican do-or-die support at the AIPAC convention, his shenanigans and the mounting unrest they produce are the absolute best thing that could happen to Netanyahu and his extremist government. While the people in the United States and the entire world remain dumbfounded and distracted by Trump’s obscene and at times comical vulgarity, Netanyahu and his messianic counterparts can quietly continue to commit further crimes against Palestinians on route toward the fruition of their fantasy of Greater Israel. As such, Trump spells very bad news for Palestinians and their advocates; for when the empire is in chaos, its imperialistic collaborators can run amuck.