Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech at the Independence Day celebration at the US embassy in Israel and announced: “It’s our celebration too.” Israel and the United States “are family,” we share values and freedom and have a common enemy: the terrorist state of Iran.
“Zionism was always about freedom… We built the State of Israel on the same democratic foundations upon which the United States was built… They [Iran’s mullahs] say, Dan [Shapiro, US ambassador], We are you and you are us. And you know something? On this, they are absolutely right. We stand with America. America stands with us…
“Dan, we are family. Let me translate. We are mishpucha.”
Netanyahu traveled to that party to warn about the threat posed by Iran, but as his meetings with Art Garfunkel and Robert Kraft and Thurman Thomas and other NFL players lately showed, the guy gets a lot of American visitors for a rightwing leader whose army killed more than 500 children a year ago and whose governing coalition includes fascist strains, as even the New York Review of Books has said. His social calendar is a reminder that the two countries are joined at the hip, and shows what political capital President Obama had to spend not to meet with Netanyahu the last time he was in Washington, in March.
Last weekend, Katie Couric was endorsing him:
Around 1,200 friends of the Anti-Defamation League gathered at the Waldorf Astoria to celebrate Abe Foxman’s 50 years of service to the organization… In lieu of an Israeli government representative present, [Katie] Couric read aloud a letter from Prime Minister Netanyahu.
And when he was giving the Genesis Prize to Michael Douglas last week, and hanging out with Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Netanyahu noted he had also met with Eric Schmidt of Google the week before:
in fact last week the Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, visited my office and he says: Israel is number one, number one digital powerhouse in the world. I said: Eric, aren’t you exaggerating a bit? He said: No, I’ll be precise. In absolute measures that I make, you’re number two after Silicone Valley, after Cambridge, MAS and after Cambridge, England. Sorry, before Cambridge MAS, before Cambridge England. Per capita you’re way off the charts, and what you’re doing now in Israel is setting a growth engine for the next 50 years.
Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a poker-player bud of David’s and David’s self-proclaimed “house Jew,” brought a copy of [Curb Your Enthusiasm episode] “Palestinian Chicken” to his dinner with Benjamin Netanyahu in the hopes that the Israeli prime minister would toss a bag of popcorn in the microwave, invite Mahmoud Abbas over for a viewing party. The two leaders would laugh, they’d cry, they’d braid each other’s hair, they’d realize they’re not so different after all: Bam, world peace. (Netanyahu, a fan, did watch the episode. No word on whether or not Abbas has seen it, though the recent escalation of conflict in the Middle East would indicate unh-uh.)
Oh and not an American, but an American poodle, here’s Tony Blair from late May:
Thanks to Max Blumenthal.