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As even Trump begins to turn on him, liberal Israelis say go soft on Mohammed Bin Salman

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The horrific story of murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi is continually being changed by Saudi officials. First they claimed that nothing happened and that he went out of the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Then they claimed he died in a “fist fight” under “discussions”. Immediately after, a Saudi official said that a team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi on October 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted.

It goes on and on. After weeks of denial, the Saudis admitted his killing, but tried to frame it as a “rogue operation”.

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

Donald Trump first said he thought the “rogue operation” explanation was “credible”, but now he has begun to shift. In an interview published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, Trump was asked whether he believed Mohammed Bin Salman’s narrative about the operation having started “in the lower levels”. While Trump said, “I really want to believe them”, when asked directly about the crown prince’s possible involvement, he said: “Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”

So even Trump is beginning to realize that his wishful thinking about Bin Salman is not really going to hold water here, and he is beginning to remove his support.

Compare this response to that in Israel, where there have been apologetic calls to ease the pressure on Bin Salman. These have even appeared in the liberal paper Haaretz, even authored by left Zionists.

I had earlier mentioned a smear piece against Khashoggi which appeared in Haaretz, albeit with the qualification that there is “no justification for his murder”, as if promoting the Trumpist “many sides” notion (opinion by Petra Marquardt-Bigman):

“Don’t whitewash what [Khashoggi] believed – his commitment to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, his hope that Israel would ‘die by force’, and the anti-Semitic Islamists with whom he spent his final days.”

Two days ago another opinion appeared in Haaretz, by a prominent left-Zionist Meretz member, Tzvia Greenfield, a former Meretz lawmaker and member of human rights organization B’tselem. Her piece is literally titled “Why We Should Go Easy on the Saudi Crown Prince”.

Greenfield essentially argues that it’s a ‘bad neighborhood’, so we can’t be too picky, because

“[f]or 50 years we’ve prayed for a key Arab leader who agrees to sign a significant pact with Israel. Such a leader has finally arrived”.

Greenfield goes further than many others, to suggest that it’s possible that

“the Saudi royal house cannot tolerate any criticism, which is why it decided to eliminate the rogue journalist in an acid bath”,

and yet, she concludes:

“However, this time it’s necessary to treat the suspect with kid gloves. Trump’s peace initiative, if it is ever put on the table, is apparently the direct result of pressure by Mohammed bin Salman, who wishes to legitimize Israel before embarking on open cooperation with it. For 50 years we’ve prayed for a key Arab leader who agrees to sign a significant pact with Israel. Such a leader has finally arrived, and calls to depose him, such as those by former U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro in an op-ed in Haaretz (October 21) are destructive and in keeping with the best Obama tradition. Anyone waiting for a world of the purely just will have to struggle all his life with the purely evil.”

In other words, even a murderous despot who might even make people disappear in acid baths, is an evil means towards a good purpose, because that good purpose is “peace” – that is, under the “pact with Israel” by a “key Arab leader”.

Netanyahu has generally been silent about this whole horrendous saga. It’s embarrassing, to say the least. But here we have a Israeli Zionist liberal, protecting the murderer.

The horrible truth is, that Zionists from right and from left have been involved in the most horrendous acts against Palestinians, involving their assassination and making them disappear. These means are not foreign to Zionists. Why should they reject a leader who applies such tactics if it is in their favor?

But this is not looking good. Even without an acid bath.

Back to Trump, he said to reporters in the Oval Office about the Saudi murder plot:

“They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.”

Later at a dinner with military leaders, Trump said

“I’m saying they should have never thought about it. Once they thought about it, everything else they did was bad too … It should have never happened.”

But liberal Zionists like Zvia Greenfield have thought about it, long and hard. And she doesn’t mind too much.

H/t Ofer Neiman

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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6 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    October 24, 2018, 10:53 am

    … In other words, even a murderous despot who might even make people disappear in acid baths, is an evil means towards a good purpose, because that good purpose is “peace” …

    Zionists used to defend their “moral beacon” and “light unto the nations” state by arguing that it wasn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia (and Mali, African “hellholes”, etc.), so it’s sadly amusing to see them scrambling to fellate the KSA donkey. But it’s not surprising, given that KSA/MBS is just more of that “necessary evil” that Zionists seem ever too happy to embrace / wallow in.

  2. JaapBo
    JaapBo
    October 25, 2018, 4:42 am

    The Zio-centric world view: “what does it mean for Israel?” is the only thing that counts

  3. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 25, 2018, 7:09 am

    What The Khashoggi Case Means For Israel http://www.wbur.org/npr/660112877/what-the-khashoggi-case-means-for-israel via @WBUR

  4. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    October 25, 2018, 10:20 am

    “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.”

    Attention: Prime Minister Netanyahu

    As you are already joined at the hip with President Trump due in large measure to Sheldon Adelson’s $millions in contributions to the Republican Party, I urge you to follow through and cement your current friendly relationship with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, MBS. As the following news items attest, the consequences would be most interesting and of lasting significance for you and “Israel.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/jamal-khashoggi-case-latest-updates-181010133542286.html

    Al Jazeera, Oct. 25/18

    EXCERPTS:
    “Ex-CIA chief: MBS would have known about Khashoggi killing beforehand”

    “Former CIA Director John Brennan has said he has ‘no doubt’ that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would have had prior knowledge of any plans to kill Khashoggi.

    “Speaking at a live event on Wednesday, Brennan joined the international chorus of condemnation of the murder.

    “‘Whether or not [Bin Salman] authorised the dismemberment, the horrific and brutal killing and torture of [Khashoggi] and the reported dismembering of his body, I don’t know. But I have no doubt in my mind that MBS was fully aware of what was ultimately going to happen to Jamal Khashoggi and had approved it,’ he said.

    “CIA chief heard murder audiotape on Turkey trip: report”
    “CIA Director Gina Haspel is flying back to Washington, DC, from Turkey after reportedly listening to an audio recording that captured Khashoggi’s killing, The Washington Post reported.

    “Quoting people familiar with her meetings with Turkish officials, the newspaper said Haspel heard the ‘compelling’ recordings while on a visit to Turkey this week. Turkish media reports also suggested the CIA boss heard recordings documenting Khashoggi’s death.

    “If confirmed, the recording gives a key American official access to the evidence used by Turkey to accuse Saudi Arabia of premeditated murder, and puts pressure on the US to hold the Saudi leadership to account for the killing of the Post’s contributing columnist.”

    .
    “This puts the ball firmly in Washington’s court,’ the newspaper quoted Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and scholar at the Brookings Institution, as saying.
    “Not only will there be more pressure now from the media but Congress will say, ‘Gina, we would love to have you come visit and you can tell us exactly what you heard.'”

  5. Elizabeth Block
    Elizabeth Block
    October 25, 2018, 1:22 pm

    I guess this tells us all we need to know about “liberal Zionists.”

  6. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 26, 2018, 6:27 am

    It is all about THEM and THEIR agendas. To hell with decency, human rights, democratic rights, and justice. The zionists have formed a strange and close relationship with those who were once the enemy, and it seems willing to forgive, and forget, a bloody and bold assassination. But then on the other hand, they are notorious for going into other nations, even using stolen passports, to do the same.
    Had this been Iran, Netanyahu would be outraged about this murder, and perhaps even the cartoon charts might have come out.

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