In the most educated and progressive circles, who is considered to be the archfiend of the Middle East, the person who most imperils life and freedom and the safety of the world?
Bashar Assad, perhaps, the butcher of Syria? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the psychotic Islamic State terrorist group? Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who threatens a second genocide against the Jewish people? None of the above. Among progressives, the accolade from hell is bestowed instead on the prime minister of the only democracy in the Middle East, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Shocked and appalled by their failure to finish him off politically – only to see him reelected stronger than ever – the Left immediately intensified its campaign of distortion and demonization against him. Its “aha” moment was that he was said to have reversed himself and come out against a two-state solution.
The Obama administration pounced and started hurling threats. It let it be known that, now that Netanyahu had opposed the creation of a separate Palestinian state, it would need to “reevaluate” the best way of bringing that about. It suggested the US might now fail to oppose the Palestinian initiative to get the UN Security Council to declare the establishment of such a state.
So much for America’s declared opposition to the Palestinians tearing up the agreements they had signed and unilaterally foreclosing the possibility of a negotiated settlement. What price international agreements in the face of President Obama’s anger at a foreign country daring to elect a leader he dislikes? But his administration distorted what Netanyahu had said. For he did not, as had been implied, rule out a Palestine state in principle for ever and all time. He said rather that it would not be formed under his premiership, because current circumstances ruled it out as simply too dangerous.
“Anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, anyone who is going to evacuate territories today, is simply giving a base for attacks to the radical Islam against Israel,” he said. “This is the true reality that was created here in the last few years.”
In other words, as things stand a state of Palestine would inevitably turn into another part of Islamic State’s “caliphate,” or Hamastan, or yet another proxy of Iran.
Who could possibly doubt that this is exactly what would happen? For years it has been obvious that, if the IDF left the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas would have been unable to hold out against Hamas. And now there’s a queue of ever-more barbaric groups poised to take over a state of Palestine.
Surely even the most blinkered leftie can see that the game in the Arab and Muslim world has now changed? It is vital, for the security not just of Israel but also of the West, to deny the Islamists any more territory.
For the same reasons, it is essential to reverse Iran’s regional hegemony and stop it from getting the bomb. The West’s obsession instead with a Palestine state – which is wanted by the Arab and Muslim world for one purpose alone, to exterminate Israel – has become a self-destructive pathology.
Worse still, there are suspicions that the Obama administration may have backed an outfit which jetted over from the US to manipulate Israel’s election and defeat Netanyahu. Obama’s former campaign director, Jeremy Bird, a veteran of the Chicago school of politics which maximizes the vote by the resentful and angry in order to win power, ran an outfit in Israel during the election campaign called V15.
Its parent body, One Voice, says it aims to mobilize Palestinians to “end the occupation and the conflict through nonviolent activism.” That would seem to be inciting civil disorder among Palestinians. Yet One Voice received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the US State Department – which claimed disingenuously that this funding had ceased shortly before Israel’s election was called.
Nevertheless, the US Senate is sufficiently alarmed to have appointed a bipartisan panel to investigate this funding. Netanyahu complained that V15 was busing Arabs to the ballot box in order to bring the left to power. Without missing a beat, the Obama administration and Israel’s enemies accused Netanyahu of racism and of wanting to deny Arab Israelis their vote.
But once again, this distorted Netanyahu’s words. He said that Israeli Arabs have every right to vote. What he was objecting to was the supposed interference in Israel’s election by foreign money manipulating that vote.
Whenever the US interfered in elections in the developing world, the left would howl its outrage over such colonialist practices. Yet when it comes to Israel, such claims are dismissed and its democratically elected politicians are blamed for complaining.
This unprecedented campaign against Netanyahu rests on the supposed belief that he alone is the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. This is an eye-watering inversion of reality.
The Islamists aside, there is no interlocutor for peace on the Palestinian side. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority extols and incites terrorism, teaches its children to hate and murder Israelis, and declares that no Jew will be allowed to live in the state of Palestine. All those impatient for such a state are therefore backing a racist, murderous project – and they are blaming Netanyahu for standing in the way of such an obscenity.
In any event, the Palestinians have been offered a state alongside Israel many times – which has produced only more mass murder as a response. Which is hardly surprising, since if you reward aggression and punish its victims you get more aggression. This, however, is the bone-headed strategy employed by the US and the West. That is the real reason there is no peace in the Middle East. It is not Netanyahu who stands in its way. It is the Obama administration, the EU, and Britain.
It is astounding that Netanyahu is demonized by those giving a free pass to Abbas and Iran for their unmitigated and genocidal aggression. You don’t have to be a Netanyahu fan to spot that something is very amiss here. Double standards, blaming the victims, and accusing them of cosmic malice are the hallmarks of classic Jew-hatred. If Israel is accordingly the Jew among nations, Netanyahu is surely the Jew among world leaders.
He won the election because the true middle Israel, the kind that may dislike Netanyahu for myriad reasons but for whom the bottom line is the country’s security, realized at the last minute they were heading for a prime ministerial duumvirate that would roll over in front of Obama, become the laughing stock of the Islamists and the despair of the rest of the Arab world, and deliver Israel up to its enemies.
Now the distraction of Israel’s election is over, attention should focus on stopping Iran from getting the genocide bomb. But instead of knowing that the US has its back, Israel will need to spend the next two years protecting it against Obama’s knives.Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).