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The Secretary of Pandering arrives in Israel, again

on 25 Comments
Kerry on his last visit to Israel in May with Defense Minister Yaalon Intelligence
Kerry on his last visit to Israel in May with (l to r) Defense Minister Yaalon, Intelligence Minister Steinitz, PM Netanyahu and Justice Minister Livni

This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

It’s the next time already. The Secretary of Pandering has arrived for yet another visit to Israel and Palestine. 

Where has Prime Minister Netanyahu been spending time preparing for the Secretary’s visit?  In a West Bank settlement, Barkan, where he dedicated an elementary school named for his father who died last year. 

Did I leave out the announcement of new settlement construction on eve of the Secretary’s visit?  The Daily Beast reports approval of final plans for 69 houses in Har Homa outside of Jerusalem beyond the green line.

Meanwhile, speaking to the settlement students about the Holocaust and the Inquisition – a subject his father wrote a scholarly book about – Netanyahu reflected on Jewish history before the state of Israel: 

“All sorts of bad things happened to the Jews.  Why?  Because they did not have a country.  They did not have a land of their own, they did not have an army of their own.  This is what my father saw.  If you understand, remember it.”

Netanyahu’s father, Benzion Mileikowsky, was born in Warsaw and changed his name to Netanyahu in the 1930s.  For his entire life he was a revisionist Zionist and an unreconstructed follower of Ze’ev Jabotinsky.  Just a few years before his death, he commented about the Arab personality in an interview with Maariv

“The tendency to conflict is the essence of the Arab.  He is an enemy by essence. His personality won’t allow him to compromise. It doesn’t matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay.  His existence is one of perpetual war.”

Like father, like son, as the saying goes.

Like Arab, like Jew?

How does this sound?  “The tendency to world domination is the essence of the Jew.  He is an enemy by essence. His personality won’t allow him to compromise. It doesn’t matter what kind of resistance he will meet, what price he will pay.  His existence is one of perpetual will to world domination.” 

Essence – the Arab as, the Jew as. 

Doesn’t bode well for our Secretary of Pandering.

So back to the son. whatever he believes about essences, it is true that all sorts of bad things have happened to Jews in history.  Or is this, too, back to the father?  His father’s New York Times obituary in 2012 carries a caution about his history of the Inquisition: “Though praised for its insights, the book was also criticized as having ignored standard sources and interpretations. Not a few reviewers noted that it seemed to look at long-ago cases of anti-Semitism through the rear-view mirror of the Holocaust.” 

We can’t always account for our father’s rear-view mirror.  We can account for ours.  Benjamin Netanyahu is his father – with power.

When you have a state your grievances become empowered.  That’s when memory has to be disciplined.  Seeing anti-Semitism through the rear-view mirror of the Holocaust is one thing.  Imposing that view on others is another.

That’s the lesson of the Holocaust and the Inquisition.  Imposing state, ideological or religiously sanctioned views on others creates other rear-view mirrors that reverberate through history.

It’s a lesson many Jews and the state of Israel haven’t learned.

When Benjamin Netanyahu looks in the rearview mirror he sees his father.  What he should see is what his father’s ideology in an empowered state he leads has done to Palestinians.

What do Palestinians see through their rear-view mirror?  The Nakba.  But they also see it up the road as well.

Our Secretary of Pandering doesn’t have a clue.

Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is Professor of History and Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of the Global Prophetic. His latest book is Finding Our Voice: Embodying the Prophetic and Other Misadventures.

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25 Responses

  1. amigo on June 27, 2013, 9:35 am

    The Photo above shows a cabal of War criminals—one and all.

    What allows such monsters to smile??.They induce in me a desire to vomit.
    All over them.

    The sooner this lot is in the dock at the Hague , the better for world peace.

  2. Citizen on June 27, 2013, 9:52 am

    No. Kerry is following Obama’s orders. Even a POTUS exercisng his last hour in the oval office cannot but capitulate to continued big Zionist dollars and must placate Israel’s leaders: On the death of Marc Rich, and how Eric Holder and Bill Clinton slid around the US pardon process to pardon Rich:

    It never stops, this extremely effective Israel Firster method of turning American political talent into whores for Israel, at the expense of their own country’s best interests. Both Clinton and Holder could care less; they are both on record as having been solely concerned about damage to their good reputation by exposure of what they’ve done with the power of their office. Why would Kerry be any different?

  3. seafoid on June 27, 2013, 10:00 am

    The bots have to think about the future.
    But they are stuck in the past.

    The holocaust card is dead. It’s apartheid that we see now.

  4. Justpassingby on June 27, 2013, 10:05 am

    Oh please, Kerry has been more in Israel than in the US, such a puppet.

    Pic shows a brady bunch of warmongers and warcriminals.

  5. American on June 27, 2013, 11:59 am

    ”“All sorts of bad things happened to the Jews. Why? Because they did not have a country. They did not have a land of their own, they did not have an army of their own”

    All sorts of bad things have happened to others since they got their country too.
    I am convinced by looking at what the US has sunk to today that almost all countries reach a point where they begin to rot from extremes of all kinds, some retrench and save themselves and some dont.
    But Israel began with the rot of separation and hostility, there’s no none separation- none hostile ‘ fundamental reason for existence’ zionism can retrench to that I can see… has no reason for it’s existence as a separate state for Jews other than that.
    Can zionism ‘reinvent’ itself as something different? Can it be a separate state for Jews without the hostility and desire to dominate others? Have a different reason for ‘being’?
    I doubt that can happen without some existential event that forces it.

  6. seafoid on June 27, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Procrastination is like Jewish sovereignty over East Jerusalem- it is forever
    until it no longer works

  7. gingershot on June 27, 2013, 12:24 pm

    Kerry’s job is to successfully staave off Abbas for another ‘Friedman Unit’-of time, from being forced by Palestinians to drag Israel to the ICC

    It now looks like Kerry is trying to make the end of the summer the end of this fresh ‘Friedman Unit’. Look for condemnation and veto of any ‘unilateral moves’ at the UN by Palestine at that time by Samantha Power and rest of the administration.

    Before taking Israel to the ICC, Abbas gave Kerry 2 months (ending early June), then an additional 2 weeks (ending mid-June) – and I haven’t heard from Abbas yet if Abbas is going to give Kerry the additional 3 or 4 months from now. I’m betting that the other half of the pandering – the Quisling Abbas – will do everything he can to accommodate this most recent wife-battering

    All during this period Israel has behaved in the most flagrantly aggressive way possible – almost a frenzied lunge to destroy as much as Palestine as possible with settlements – almost as if these periods given to Kerry were FUELING the Israeli takeover of Palestine, in addition to the remarkable candor of the remarks from Bennett that the 2 SS was dead.

    Kerry has been like throwing gas on the Israeli colonization of the West Bank – he’s being Pricetagged by the Israelis at every step

    Here’s Likud welcome to Kerry’s visit today:
    ‘Likud minister Shalom warns: Peace moves could split party – Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom says that any major Israeli move to advance an agreement with the Palestinians could “shock” Likud, posing a threat to the coalition’s stability; says ball in Palestinians’ court’

    Kerry is just BUYING TIME FOR ISRAEL to attack Iran, attack Syria, or create some other conflagration behind which to kick Apartheid down the road another year or so, until Israel can rinse and repeat

    The Palestinians REALLY REALLY need new leadership – Abbas is far worse than ridiculous

  8. Kathleen on June 27, 2013, 12:25 pm

    “they did not have a land of their own” Wow this is going to come back and bite Bibi in the ass.

    Nothing in the MSM about the announcement of new illegal settlements the night before Kerry arrived. Israel continues to kick the Obama administration in the cajones

    • seafoid on June 28, 2013, 1:01 am

      ““they did not have a land of their own” Wow this is going to come back and bite Bibi in the ass.”

      Did they not always have their “ancient homeland”?
      Or did they forget about it?

      I thought they always meant to move back there but that the kids were in school and then the husband got a job and there were no decent kindergartens and it didn’t work out and it went on like that for around 2 millennia and 60 generations. When Zvi started to wear that furry hat back in the 1700s they said it would be impossible to go back and said he’d wear it in that heat and they all laughed. What a putz.

  9. Citizen on June 27, 2013, 12:36 pm

    What do Obama and Kerry, and Congress really have to induce Israel to get serious about the peace process? Try this, the US Congressional Report On Aid To Israel, 2013 Update:

    Lots of carrots, eh? Problem is, Israel will get them all, no matter how it thumbs its nose at the USA “honest broker.”

    US policy toward Iran (all sticks, no carrots) is the exact opposite of its policy toward Israel (all carrots, no sticks). American leaders actually working in the US interests would open the door to Iran as Nixon opened it to China, but instead, our leaders like to be dragged to the bottom by Israel’s anchor.

  10. just on June 27, 2013, 1:03 pm

    Professor Ellis— I so appreciate your insight and wisdom.

  11. Rosebud on June 27, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Or maybe:

    “All sorts of bad things happen to the Palestinians. Why? Because they do not have a country. They do not have a land of their own, they do not have an army of their own. This is what we see. If you understand, remember it.”

  12. American on June 27, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Good News OT……the ziobots will say this is just because Britain doesnt want it’s violent Islam populations incited….but I see it as sanity taking hold and putting anti Islam on the same scales as anti semitism.

    Anti-Muslim US bloggers barred from Britain

    LONDON: Two US political bloggers who founded an anti-Muslim group have been banned from entering Britain following reports they were to attend a march by the far-right English Defence League (EDL), the government said on Wednesday.

    Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who set up Stop Islamization of America and operate the website Jihad Watch, have been forbidden from entering Britain on the grounds their presence would “not be conducive to the public good”.

    In response to the decision, Spencer said on the Jihad Watch website: “The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.”

    The EDL is planning a march on Saturday, ending in the Woolwich district of London, where a British soldier was brutally murdered last month. Geller and Spencer had been expected to attend.

  13. yourstruly on June 27, 2013, 3:29 pm

    john kerry
    israel firster
    secretary of state
    in that order

  14. HarryLaw on June 27, 2013, 3:51 pm

    When Kerry was asked about the spittle on his face [the 69 housing starts] he replied “it has been raining”.

  15. jsinton on June 27, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Oh, I certainly think Mr. Kerry has a clue, he’s not a stupid guy by any measure. The problem is he’s faced with trying to hold back the wind.

  16. LanceThruster on June 27, 2013, 6:10 pm

    By that rationale, maybe the UN should partition what’s currently known as “Israel” and give the lion’s share to the gypsies.

  17. James Canning on June 27, 2013, 6:52 pm

    Bibi does not like the idea Israel needs to get out of the West Bank. No matter how true.

  18. annie on June 27, 2013, 8:50 pm

    this is a reallly good article marc ellis

  19. Taxi on June 28, 2013, 12:08 am

    Does anyone have the address of the ziobot factory? Their models look so close-to-life, better than what I’ve seen at Madame Tussaud, for sure. Oh look: there’s one that looks just like John Kerry – I could use one of those for when I break international law – accidentally, of course.

  20. Blownaway on June 28, 2013, 12:37 am

    If an American envoy never came to Israel going back before Condi Rice to Kerry now, there would be at least 50% fewer settlements. Every time one of these so called do gooders arrives they are greeted with announcements of another settlement or new housing tenders in the West Bank…its kinda fun to watch them get humiliated …but these emperors have yet to realize they are naked so they just smile not knowing they are naked to the world

    • seafoid on June 28, 2013, 5:03 am

      I don’t think so. In my view that’s like saying if someone took some homeopathy tablets their cancer would recede.

      YESHA is a vicious cancer.

    • NickJOCW on June 28, 2013, 1:28 pm

      It is a situation that has to get worse before it can get better. In fact it has to get so bad almost everyone decides, Enough is enough. Progress towards that point is becoming ever more apparent and your ‘dogooders’ could be viewed as easing it along by playing to Israeli chutzpah; the next session of the General Assembly starts on September 23, consider how things have gone downhill for them since last year.

  21. NickJOCW on June 28, 2013, 7:36 am

    As European nations acquire increasingly significant Islamic populations, Pakistanis in the UK, North Africans in France, Turks in Germany etc., there is bound to be a loosening of bonds with an Islamophobic US; recently banned from the UK, Geller and Spencer both claimed the UK government to be behaving ‘like a de facto Islamic state’ (link below). It isn’t enough to dismiss such a remark as arising from a demented fantasist because there is a sound political necessity even for a quasi-democratic oligarchy to pay some attention to its public or risk unacceptable public disruption.

    Until recently, and still today to a large extent, the US has taken Europe’s unconditional support for granted but as there arises any doubt about the matter, the arrangement with Israel grows correspondingly more significant. Despite the ethnic disturbances in the UK and other European countries, which have largely economic roots, Europeans are by nature much less emotionally discriminatory than Americans and as the US becomes more irrationally obsessed with its anti-Islamic axis of evil we are likely to see more independence and a growing absence of enthusiasm for its incessant little wars. This, I am afraid, will increase US rapport with Israel and, by extension, tolerance for its purposes.

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