There is no polite way to say this, but Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the most repellent and dangerous politicians in the world today. He is a man who trades on fear and war, a cynical and amoral manipulator without a trace of honesty in his entire body, who lies as easily as he breathes. In 2012 he warned the United Nations that Iran was a year away from manufacturing a bomb, even though his own security services had told him something entirely different,
Last year he deliberately used the murders of three Israeli teenagers to manipulate Israeli public opinion into supporting the ferocious and strategically meaningless slaughter in Gaza.
He also manipulates his most powerful ally. In public Netanyahu never ceases to express his love and gratitude to the United States, which props up Israel’s military machine. Yet in private he’s not always so respectful. Back in 2001 he told a group of settlers in the West Bank ‘I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.’
Netanyahu cannot be ignored entirely, not as long as Israelis are crazy enough to keep voting for him. But no country with any respect for truth or even its own national interest would actually invite a man like this to speak to its own elected representatives if it didn’t have to, let alone invite him in order to undermine the policy of its elected president. But this exactly what happened yesterday when Netanyahu went to Washington, following an ‘invitation’ arranged between Republican speaker of the House John Boehner and the Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.
This demarche was deliberately intended to torpedo the ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, and pave the way for a new bill imposing harsher sanctions on Iran. His audience knew what he was going to say, because everyone always knows what Netanyahu is going to say when it comes to Iran. Yesterday all the usual buttons were pushed; references to the Holocaust and condemnations of the ‘genocidal’ Iranian regime; Hezbollah and Iran’s ‘march of terror’; five-minutes-to-midnight warnings of nuclear war; and ominous references to ‘Munich’, because Israel’s enemies are always Hitler in Netanyahu’s eyes.
And not only to him. To the moronic Republican party, whose collective brain is now so rotted by the paranoia, war and militarism and Zionist propaganda that it has been injecting into its veins for years that it no longer even knows how to think, Netanyahu’s was deep, deep stuff, a real clarion call.
Never mind that on Sunday 200 former Mossad veterans took the unprecedented step of staging a public press conference to condemn their own prime minister’s visit as a danger to Israel’s security and argue against imposing new sanctions. None of this had any impact on the glassy-eyed zombie-politicians who sat there in their silk ties and suits and their world-historical facial expressions, sucking up Netanyahu’s fearmongering, warmongering poison like alien seed pods in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.
Because make no mistake about it, politicians who allow the leader of another country to insult and undercut their own elected government have had their minds well and truly snatched, or maybe they never had any to begin with.
When it was over the congressmen and senators got to their feet like one man, because they are in fact one man, and delivered no less than 26 standing ovations of the type that Stalin used to get when he announced a new five-year-plan. Of course with Stalin it was Russians praising a Russian and the penalty might have been death if you didn’t stand up.
For the bozos who paid homage to the Great Liar yesterday, the worst that could happen was that their career trajectories might be altered. But such is the hold that Israel now exercises over the Republican Party that even showing up wasn’t enough, you had to physically express your joy and rapture. So Kentucky senator Rand Paul was criticized afterwards for looking ‘less than enthused’ and ‘clapping halfheartedly.’
Oh give me an absolute break already. Whether they actually believed Netanyahu or were merely concerned about their careers and the cash that comes with them, these congressmen and senators effectively colluded with the leader of a foreign state in order to promote its foreign policy objectives and undermine those of their own.
It ought to be disturbing, and alarming, even from the point of view of America’s own national interest, that the leader of a nominal ally would be prepared to do this, and would receive support in doing so. It ought to provide pause for thought as to why this has happened and what its potential ramifications are, and whether this relationship is entirely healthy. But none of this is likely to come from those who participated in the weird spectacle that took place yesterday, who showed no evidence that they were capable of thinking anything at all, beyond what the Great Liar wanted them to think.