Monday, January 2, 2017

Israel's Apartheid

I am an American woman and U.S. citizen – a staunch supporter of Israel. 

I’ve admired the Israeli people for years -- long after I got over my teenage infatuation with Ari ben Canaan (Exodus, 1958).  I fervently believed in the courage and fearlessness of the Haganah (now, the IDF), the inherent romantic ideal of the Sabra and the immensely sensible structure of the Kibbutzim.  

The Israeli people brought forth a veritable garden from the dry and rocky Negev Desert. They elected the miraculously astute Golda Meir as their Prime Minister long before most countries would take their women seriously as political leaders. And, they allowed their women to fight!  This is a country to be proud of, I remember thinking – they were resourceful, brainy and courageous.

But then, they elected Benjamin Netanyahu as their Prime Minister and I began to doubt. Netanyahu appears to have no desire for the peace process.  I believe he descends from an innate hatred of the Arabs and thinks the only thing they understand is force; to wit, the long-standing wars and the continued illegal settlements or “outposts” on Palestinian land.  

He is taking the two state solution down the tubes and his answer to Kerry’s reasoned speech on December 28, expressing sentiments that most of us agree with, is to have a temper tantrum and behave like a child.

Of whom does he remind me?   

With doubts about the myriad financial conflicts with our own president elect, we now hear that Prime Minister Netanyahu may himself have been involved in inappropriate financial dealings – graft – which is currently being reported in Israeli newspapers.

He is not satisfied with the newly published newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson blaring support for him and given away for free seven days a week; he is said to have been recorded in an attempt to “negotiate” with the editor of Adelson’s major competitor to be less critical of his administration.  

It is a sad thing to see this brave and exceptional country with a history of brainy and gutsy leaders, languish in the devious grasp of this pompous prima donna.  I have come to despise his muscle-flexing and his interminable fear-mongering over Iran, his lack of respect for our current president Obama and his underhanded attempts to influence our president-elect.

Bradley Burston, an English language journalist for Ha’aretz says of Netanyahu, “. . . he has poisoned his country. Israel is broken and battered and weak with fear . . . His legacy is decay."
Not only that, but in 2015, this same respected newsman wrote that the Israeli policy now amounts to apartheid, stating: "I used to be one of those people who took issue with the label of apartheid as applied to Israel. . .Not anymore . . . Our Israel is what it has become: Apartheid."

Apartheid!  And blatant apartheid supported by the Likud government and many readers of Adelson’s free Israel Hayom.  

We Americans will never be far from our greatest ally – Israel.  However, Benjamin Netanyahu and his extreme right-wing government are a plague to our long-standing positive relationship. I sincerely hope that he is forced to resign as it would not only be a blessing for Israel, but for the U. S. as well.    

May God bless both countries today, the second day of this new year and beyond. May we remain watchful that our Democracies do not descend into autocracies, led by spoiled and pampered demagogues, whose own self-interest is their number one goal.  

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