Thursday, April 11, 2024

Blind Obedience

Some day, somewhere a reporter or news host will ask Representative Mike Lawler of New York why he is so fond of Benjamin Netanyahu.

In his speech in the House chamber on March 14, Majority Leader Schumer

-called on "the Israelis, the Biden Administration, the Qataris, the Egyptians, and anybody else at the (negotiating) table" to "continue doing everything possible to get to a deal" which would include freeing every hostage;

-encouraged the USA to "provide robust humanitarian aid to Gaza and pressure the Israelis to let more of it get through to the people who need it;"

-urged the Israeli government to "prioritize the protection of civilian casualties when identifying military targets;"

-noted "Hamas has heartlessly hidden behind their fellow Palestinians by turning hospitals into command centers and refugee camps into missile-launching sites" whose "soldiers use innocent Gazans as human shields"- and berated "most media outlets covering this war and many protesters opposing it" for placing "the blame for civilian casualties entirely on Israel;"

-recommended "a negotiated two-state solution- a demilitarized Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in equal measures of peace, security, prosperity ,dignity and mutual recognition;"

-criticized as "a fatal impediment to progress" those Palestinians who "don't acknowledge how their insistence on an unequivocal 'right of return' is a fatal impediment to progress;"

-lamented that "many people, especially on the left, seem to acknowledge and even celebrate this right to statehood for every group but the Jews;"

- recognized that "Israel moving closer to a single state entirely under its control would further rupture its relationship with the rest of the world, including the United States;"

-noted that the "four major obstacles to peace" are "Hamas and the Palestinians who support and tolerate their evil ways; radical right-wing Israelis in government and society; Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu;

-urged "all sides" to "reject from the river to the sea thinking;"

-suggested "there is enough strength in the Arab world to get President Abbas to step down and to support a gradual succession plan for responsible Palestinian leaders to take his place;"

-advocated "normalization with Israel" by "Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations" as "the foundation of a grand bargain in the Middle East that will finally make meaningful Palestinian statehood a reality;"

-proposed that the USA "demand that Israel conduct itself with a future two-state solution in mind;"

-asserted that "holding a new election once the war starts to wind down would give Israelis an opportunity to express their vision for the post-war future"- but that the USA should not try "to dictate the outcome."

It's a long list- but that's the point. All you hear from Republicans such as Lawler is that Chuck Schumer wants the Israelis to interfere with the affairs of another nation and remove Benjamin Netanyahu. To some, recommending that Israel have another election- after the war starts to wind down- is to overthrow a legitimate leader and 1/6/21 was a mere riot. And what you hear from the media when Republicans simply and trivialize this speech in this manner is.... nothing. No correction or even a follow-up question.

The speech of Majority Leader Schumer was not anti-Israel, as Mike Lawler and some other Republicans have portrayed it.  The government of Benjamin Netanyahu facilitated the funding of Hamas by Qatari for several years. it obtained more than a year before 10/7/23 what The New York Times terms a "blueprint" which was followed "with shocking precision."  Last July, Israel's signal intelligence agency "warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint."

That warning was rejected by the military as Qatar continued to prop up the government in Gaza. However, Netanyahu was obsessed with hatred of the Palestinian Authority and the possibility of creation of a Palestinian state.

It's not clear that the likes of Lawler and Donald Trump are particularly fond of Israel. But Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes in three separate instances. And he has been trying to limit the power and oversight of the judiciary in order to centralize power in the office of Prime Minister. And he laid the groundwork for the worst terrorist attack in Israel's history.  

The Senate Majority Leader had the temerity to suggest that the Israeli voters have a chance- sometime in the near future- to render their judgement on their Prime Minister. However, many Republicans are fiercely loyal to Netanyahu, who undoubtedly reminds them of their own party's beloved leader.  That may not fully explain the fondness toward the Israeli Prime Minister but it certainly seems to be a worthy point of inquiry.


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