Sarah Palin 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Israel’s worldwide “loyal opposition” is asking: Where is this country going?
Where is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu going? Where is this government’s
policy headed? Do they think they can go on with the occupation forever, do they
plan to fight the whole world forever? What is their goal and how do they expect
to get there? When these gung-ho Israelis try to plot the future, what do they
have in mind for a happy ending?
Simple: The Republican Party’s return to power.
The happy ending they envision is this: The Republicans retake the White House
and Congress so Bibi, the settlers and the whole Israeli Right can do whatever
the hell they want and America will back them up, no questions
This strategy came into focus clearly enough with Netanyahu’s
victorious visit to the White House this week. Everyone knows President Barack
Obama and his administration can’t stand Netanyahu or his policies, but Obama
had to smile and pretend because he’s scared stiff of giving the Republicans
more ammunition for the November elections.
Look at what’s happening: The
prime minister of Israel is holding the president of the United States
bending him to his will, because he’s got the Republicans behind him.
a bad strategy, I’d say. For the time being.
In the long run, I don’t
think it’s going to work. It’ll take Israel through the midterm
maybe beyond; after November, Obama may be too weak to pressure Israel
making peace. And two years later, with the way the US economy’s going,
Israeli Right may have its prayers answered by a Republican presidential
candidate defeating Obama.
But if Netanyahu and the gang think a
President Sarah Palin or a President Newt Gingrich and all their yahoos
Congress can make the world safe for West Bank settlements, or for the
of Gaza, or for Israeli militarism in general, they’re wrong. The
are the American equivalent of the Likud, and vice versa.
They both see
the world in terms of us vs. them, they both hate Muslims and liberals,
both see war with one Muslim enemy after another as the only way to
problems, they’re both clueless about how to make peace or stability
the only friends they have in the world are each other.
SORRY, IT’S not
enough. The American Right and the Israeli Right against the world – how
they get? The Likud thinks the Republicans will prop them up? Instead,
drag each other down. They’ll be like Thelma and Louise, holding hands
drive over the cliff.
But that’s at least a few years away. In the
meantime, Israel is becoming an ever more powerful “wedge issue” for the
Republicans. It goes like this: Either you’re for Israel or you’re for
Democrats, you can’t be both. Put another way: Either you’re for the
or you’re for the terrorists, you have to choose one.
The message is
working well and it’s cost Obama a lot of support – mainly among Jews
among middle-of-the-road gentiles. And it is, indeed, forcing Americans
Israel – including those who don’t
hate Muslims and liberals – to choose sides.
For this wing of the pro-Israel community, the choice goes like this:
you’re against Palin, Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Pastor John
all the other Republicans who just love the direction Israel’s going in,
you’re for the Netanyahu government’s policies – you can’t be both.
another way: Either you want Israel to remain a part of the democratic
you want to change the Likud-led, Republican-backed, belligerent,
direction it’s going in – you can’t have both.
whoever’s interested – you have to choose.