It was a celebration of love and inclusion. You were especially delighted to be there:
“It’s always good to be here, but as I told President Trump yesterday, it’s especially great to be in America’s capital now that he has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital”.
And you thanked Trump for “announcing another decision: to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem this independence day”.
It’s great to feel that ‘no-resistance’ feeling, isn’t it? No friction, love, support – and to hell with the Palestinians. That’s what the AIPAC party is really supposed to be about.
You were so happy about Israel’s ambassador to the US – oops, I mean US ambassador to Israel, the settlement-builder David Friedman.
“The first ambassador to have the honor of working from that embassy in Jerusalem is a great American ambassador, David Friedman”.
It’s all a one big family: “David, thank you for that terrific job that you’re doing”, you said. Of course, he’s doing a terrific job. He’s promoting the notion that the Israeli occupation is just make-believe – by him it’s just an “alleged” occupation, and he’s recently asked State Department officials to stop using the word “occupation”. What a great job. Before we know it, there will simply be no occupation, and it’s all thanks to David Friedman. In this great man all our wishes converge – even the leftists who want to stop the occupation, can get it from Friedman. A great man. Believe me.
The speech continues in an up-beat fashion:
“So today, I want to ask you- you remember that great Clint Eastwood movie ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly’? Well, I want to talk about the good the bad and the beautiful! The good, and all the good things that we are doing in Israel that are helping make the world a better place.”
Wow, that’s just beautiful. You’re not going to talk about anything ugly. Let’s not talk about the ugly – let’s talk about how good and beautiful Israel is! And of course we’d still have to mention the bad, that is threatening all that – and that’s Iran of course – but not because they’re ugly – only because they’re bad, and also malevolent. Yes this is very, very nuanced, and we don’t want anyone getting the wrong ideas:
“The bad are all the bad things that malevolent forces are trying to do to Israel and the world, and specifically, I’m talking about Iran”, you said.
But you saved that part for later. First we need to be happy, because of the good news. First the good news. And what are the good news, Netanyahu?
“First, the good news- Israel has never had a stronger military – tremendously strong. That’s an F-35 fighter plane, the most advanced in the world. That’s an Iron Dome interceptor and many other systems that we developed with the help of America. Thank you America! Thank you successive American presidents! Thank you congress, Republicans and Democrats alike! Thank you AIPAC, for helping bring this about! You’re terrific! And this incredible military is buttressed by superb intelligence, unmatched in the world…Superb intelligence”.
Fantastic, that’s just great news. Israel can now protect itself against slapping girls like Ahed Tamimi – with F-35 fighter jets and “superb intelligence”, I repeat, “superb intelligence”!
Oh but that intelligence also helps protect airplanes, you said!
“That plane could have been blown out of the sky if it weren’t for Israeli intelligence.”
Did you mean the American-produced Israeli F-16 jet that was downed last month by Syria? Oh but let’s not mention it. It’s only a dent. Superb intelligence, really.
Moving on to Israel’s economy, you said:
“It’s a tremendously strong economy. I’ll tell you, we made it stronger by moving Israel to free market principles, which unleashed the spark of genius in our people.”
When you say “our people”, you really mean the “people of Israel”, as in the traditional name for Jews, don’t you? It’s that ‘Jewish genius’ thing.
So now you boasted in length about the high-tech, the “precision agriculture”, and not least water technology. That’s a big one – water technology:
“You know, we were always good at water; I want you to see how good we are. We recycle almost 90 percent of our waste water. The next country, with less than 20 percent, is Spain”.
I know, it’s amazing. And in the meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza are left with 95% undrinkable water, untreated sewage running in to the beaches, and in the West-Bank there are recurring seasonal shortages – because we bomb Gazan water infrastructure and divert most of the West Bank aquifer water to Israeli settlers. But let’s not talk about that, because whatever happens to Palestinians is simply their fault. If they only had the “genius” of our people, if they only were as “good” as we are, they would be way ahead.
You boasted further:
“Take these two things – agriculture, water – and the other tech we apply in both, we can change the world. We are, we are!”
Wow, we are changing the world. So why aren’t we changing Gaza, Netanyahu? Oh, I forgot, we have nothing to do with Gaza. We “disengaged” from Gaza in 2005, we’re not there. Except that we control everything that enters and exits, control down to birth certificates, we control land, air and sea, and subject them to seasonal massacres when it befits us. But other than that Gaza is a whole other universe. Let’s not talk about Gaza. Let’s change the world – but let Gaza wither.
And we’re helping Africans! Yes, unbelievable:
“I just heard about an African woman in Africa, who has to walk 8 hours to give water to her children. Four hours one way, four hours back. A young Israeli brought to the country a company that improves osmosis, they made one from thin air – they bring water to Africa, to millions of people in Africa, Israeli technology!”
That’s just fantastic. So while we send African refugees to possible torture and death at sea, we’re also helping some African woman so that she doesn’t have to walk 8 hours to get water. I guess it somehow evens things out, right?
And then you had to do the ‘cherry tomato’ thing:
“I was just recently in India, that’s my friend, Modi! Great friend. I’m showing him cherry tomatoes, this is Israeli technology.”
Really, Netanyahu, don’t you know that the claim about Israel “inventing” the cherry tomato is a myth? But who checks these facts anyway? Let’s move on. I mean really, what’s the point, Netanyahu? OK, here it comes:
“Now here’s how the dots connect. Because we have this tremendous capacity for security and intelligence, this tremendous civilian technology for making the lives of people richer, safer, more productive, many countries are coming to Israel because they want to share with us these benefits. And that creates the third great change, which is a flourishing of Israel’s diplomatic relations around the world”.
Right, that’s what it’s about – diplomatic relations. You want allies, legitimacy, recognition. I get that.
“When I joined the Foreign Service, 105 years ago, as the DFM to this city, number two in our embassy, I think we had about 80 or 90 countries with diplomatic relations. Now there is 160 and very few countries left – by the way, what are we doing with Greenland? Go to Greenland? They must have some satellite needs or something we can do there.”
Actually it’s 161 countries recognizing Israel, and 31 not. Well you know, since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, 136 states have recognized Palestine. That’s actually a better comparative record. But of course, you wouldn’t recognize Palestine. They need to recognize not only Israel, but also Israel as the “Jewish State”, but they wouldn’t even get crumbs from you. They simply don’t have the “spark of genius” to create cherry tomatoes, that’s their problem.
And we’re also developing grand-scale painting techniques – it’s unbelievable – we’re “coloring the world blue”!
“We’re coloring the world blue. I’ve been to Africa 3 times in 18 months I’ve been to South America, Latin America […] We went to Argentina, we went to Columbia, to Mexico, and they said come back, we want more. That is changing. All these countries are coming to us, India, China Mongolia, Kazakhstan, all of it. Azerbaijan, Muslim countries. [For the] First time I visited Australia, tremendous, far away though. We’re coloring the world blue.”
That’s just beautiful. It’s like in Disney’s “Frozen” – wherever you pass, it becomes blue. But I think that many Palestinians have another impression – that wherever we pass, it becomes red. But let’s not talk about that – because that’s really the “ugly”. Let’s talk about the beautiful. And isolation is not beautiful, which is why we have to fight it:
“Remember when people talked about Israel’s isolation? Pretty soon the countries that don’t have relations with us they’re going to be isolated. There are those who talk about boycotting Israel, we’ll boycott them!”
Yes, those who actually address the ugly, they are bad. And we need to isolate them. Because boycott is just wrong! Except when we do it!
So now you finally moved over to the “bad news”:
“The bad news, and that’s the bad news, is the bad things are getting worse and they’re very bad. When I talk about that, we have to deal with this challenge and I’m thinking specifically what do we do about Iran. The force behind so much of what is bad is this radical tyranny in Tehran. If I have a message for you today, it’s a very simple one. We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran.”
Now, let me get this right, I don’t want to misunderstand, and it’s all very complex: Israel – good. Iran – bad. Did I get it, Netanyahu?
“Last week we read in the book of Esther about an earlier Persian attempt to exterminate our people. They failed then, they’ll fail now.”
Yes, I was right – Israel good, Iran bad. Shame on Iran. And you keep repeating that Purim story, like you did in your 2015 Congress speech, which just happened to coincide with Purim. What you want to tell with it, is that we will foil the evil plans of the Iranians today, like we allegedly foiled the evil plans of the Persians then. Are we also going to get permission to genocide the Persians like we allegedly did in the book of Esther, Netanyahu? You said about the Iranian regime:
“Now, I believe that a day will come when this horrible tyranny will disappear, will perish from the earth”.
Hey, you know what, that sounds pretty much like Ahmadinejad, when he quoted Khomeini saying that “this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” Of course we got that widely mistranslated as “Israel must be wiped off the map” – but if anyone had mistranslated your phrase to “Iran must be wiped off the map” you would be very indignant. That would be evil. Because you just love the Iranian people:
“We shall always remember the brave people of Iran. Their suffering, their hopes, their courage, women are jailed for removing their hijabs, students are tortured, tortured and shot for advocating freedom. We stand with those in Iran who stand for freedom”.
That’s just beautiful, Netanyahu. We, who regularly torture children and students for advocating freedom, we can’t stand that Iranians do that. Hey – we even snatch Palestinian students straight from the university, with our ‘Mistravim’ kidnap units posing as Palestinian journalists. Now that’s what I call innovation. It’s almost genius. Painting Palestine blue.
But we want peace, you say, also with Palestinians.
And what is the obstacle to peace? Not settlements – don’t even mention it! It’s Abbas. Abbas is the obstacle:
“But to get peace, President Abbas has to embrace peace and stop supporting terror. Raise your hands high if you agree with me that President Abbas should stop paying terrorists to murder Jews. You know how much he pays? He pays about 350 million a year to terrorists and their families. Each year. […] I have a message for president Abbas. Stop paying terrorists!”
Alright, let’s think about this, Netanyahu. You mentioned the case of Hakim Awad and how much Abbas ‘pays him’. First of all, Abbas is not really paying Hakim Awad. And why? Because Hakim Awwad is serving five consecutive life sentences for murder in prison. He’s not getting that money. Who is? His family. And why is the Palestinian authority paying families of those who are believed to have committed terror attacks (even when it is unclear whether they have)? Because Israel systematically punishes the families of alleged Palestinian terrorists. It systematically expels them and makes them homeless.
The house Qunbar’s wife and children lived in was sealed off with cement – the youngest child was nine months old at the time. Israel decided to revoke the Israeli residency of 12 of his family members, which means deporting them from occupied East Jerusalem (where they have Israeli ‘permanent residency’) to elsewhere in the West Bank. Israel has additionally filed an 8 million-shekel (about $2.25 million) damages suit against his widow and children, claiming that Qunbar’s heirs must compensate the state for benefits and payments to the bereaved families of the soldiers killed in the attack.
So you see, Netanyahu, Palestinians have a real need for support as protection from this draconian collective punishment policy that you exert. But that policy is ostensibly because we just want peace, because we’re good, we’re beautiful, and we’re even at the level of genius, with “superb intelligence”.
Anything else you’d like to enlighten us with before you go, Netanyahu?
Ah, yes, end on the “beautiful”:
“Ladies and gentleman, I have spoken about the good and the bad. There’s plenty of both, but I want to end with a few words about the beautiful. I’m talking about the beautiful alliance between Israel and the United States of America […] the great alliance between our two countries. All you need to do is leave this room, this hall, you walk around a few blocks from here and you see these majestic monuments, you can learn from them all about our common values”.
I’m almost crying. Shared values. And what are those values based upon?
“They come from a certain book a great book, a good book, called the bible. It said that all of us are created in the image of god, and it’s inspired Jefferson to write the declaration of independence, that all men are created equal, all women too by the way. And that book inspired Abraham Lincoln in the darkest days in Americas civil war. He found inspiration in the words of our greatest king, King David, when he said the wounds of divided America would heal and judgments of the lord are true and righteous.”
Wow, it’s all about men (and women) being equal! Tell me more!
“Just as the stirring words of prophet Amos inspired Martin Luther King Junior when he stood before Lincoln memorial and promised to carry on the struggle until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. These values are an inseparable part of America’s story, of Israel’s story”.
So, we need to continue the struggle for justice and equality! So why are those fighting for it being sanctioned, tortured and killed by Israel? I don’t get it Netanyahu, what did I miss?? Isn’t this at all to do with Palestinians, Netanyahu?
Apparently, not. Apparently, it is only about Israel and America. That’s what it ends up with, that’s how you ended the speech:
“Today, together, we are writing a new chapter in our common story— a story of freedom, of justice, peace, of hope, and it’s because we’re inspired by the same idea. Because we’re animated by the same values, that America and Israel have forged an eternal bond that can never, ever be broken. Thank you AIPAC. God bless Israel, God bless America, and god bless the Israel America alliance. Thank you, thank you all.”
It was kind of instructive, Netanyahu. But you forgot something at the end. I think it should have read “and drop dead, Palestine”.