Over the course of the past two years, Americans should have noticed the very close similarity between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and neo-con Republicans. After lobbying for legislation to derail the United Nations P5+1 negotiations with Iran to provoke war, and then use racial animus and fearmongering to win re-election as prime minister, it is glaringly evident that Republicans and Netanyahu are only separated by nationality.
After winning re-election as prime minister, all that was left for Netanyahu was to create a coalition government many hoped would be less combative towards Muslims; that did not happen. If anything, based on Netanyahu’s government and Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon’s boasts this week, it appears Israel has no intention of scaling back war plans.
First, Netanyahu formed a government by working out a deal amounting to a coalition of far-right ideologues (Likud Party) aligned with hardline religious parties including United Torah Judaism, Shas, Kulanu, and the Jewish Home parties. The Israeli government coalition as agreed to on Wednesday was called a “national failure” by opposition leader Isaac Herzog. If by national failure Herzog meant a warmongering and human rights violating coalition waging war on the United Nations Human Rights Commission, he certainly understated the horrors awaiting Palestinians and Arabs in and around Israel. As an aside, before any Israeli sympathizer claims this column is anti-Semitic, know that the author is a Semite and is anti-any warmongers intent on massacring innocent civilians regardless of their religious or national affiliation.
This week it became abundantly clear why Republicans warmongers love Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s conservative ideologues and hardline religious groups running the government. Most Americans comprehend that Benjamin Netanyahu loves waging war on Muslims nearly as much as Republicans, but according to Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon, Israel loves attacking entire civilian neighborhoods with the express intent of “hurting civilians; including kids during ‘future’ assaults on Gaza and Lebanon.”
Yaalon was the featured speaker at a conference in Jerusalem bemoaning the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission and European nations’ charges of Israeli war crimes against Palestinian civilians. He leveled a clear threat against Arabs in the region and boasted that after “we went through a very long deep discussion about bombing entire civilian neighborhoods,” and “since we did it in the Gaza Strip, we are going to do it in the future.”
Yaalon also issued an express threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran including suggesting Israel’s intent to use a nuclear bomb. During a question and answer period on bombing Iran and how Israel will draw America into a war with the Islamic nation, he said that “when we don’t have the answer by surgical operations, Israel might take certain steps such as the Americans did in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing the fatalities of 200,000.” This is the kind of warmongering that incites Republicans to wet their knickers and celebrate like drunken frat boys, and why they are so intent on derailing the United Nations P5+1 negotiations with Iran; causing the fatalities of 200,000 innocent Muslim civilians.
The Israeli defense minister’s pledge to kill innocent civilians in “the next assault” on Gaza and Lebanon is not a new threat. He promised the exact same war atrocities to United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2013 when he pledged that Israel would bomb the entire Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya despite the fact it was a densely populated urban area. True to his word, the Israeli attack known as the Shujaiya massacre was considered among the most brutal examples of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s vicious attacks on the Gaza Strip because criminals killed two teenagers.
Besides pledging to massacre innocent civilians, Yaalon also promised to begin an Israeli war on the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission and world courts after Israelis killed 2,257 mostly innocent Palestinians, including 563 children, during its 51-day assault last year. Yaalon is very angry because he faces being arrested for suspected war crimes under universal jurisdiction law in many European countries. Because they have thus far never been challenged for killing innocent civilians, Israelis have already had about enough of human rights’ groups and world courts around the world calling attention to their record of war crimes. Israelis are particularly fed up with a global movement to hold them accountable for killing civilians known as boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).
Always portraying everything in war parlance, and persecution against Israel, Yaalon casts the world’s grassroots BDS movement and human rights’ courts as another military front in the continuing war against Israel. Yaalon said that Israel’s enemies are using “delegitimization, BDS and lawfare as weapons in the war against Israel.” Israel’s enemies are any people, human rights groups, courts, or nations that oppose Israelis massacring innocent civilians and they are not going to take it any longer. Yaalon even complained bitterly that he was unable to freely visit European countries because of the possibility he could be arrested for suspected war crimes under universal jurisdiction law; universal law he considers warfare against Israel. He also warned Israeli soldiers they would have to forego ever traveling abroad because they would be killing innocent Arab civilians.
To combat opposition to Israelis killing innocent civilians, including the United Nations, a group of Israeli lawyers known as Shurat HaDin is attempting to use courts around the world to defend Israeli war crimes and attack human rights’ groups simultaneously. Shurat HaDin is alleged to have close ties to Israel’s “deadly overseas spy agency and acts as a proxy group for the Mossad.”
Justifying Israeli attacks on civilians was a primary theme of the Jerusalem conference Yaalon convened, including lining up speaker after speaker reinterpreting international human rights laws as allowing Israel to legally kill Palestinian and other Arab civilians. In that sense, conservative Israelis are no different than the American religious right movement or armed militias reinterpreting the U.S. Constitution to allow religious tyranny against Americans and threats of armed revolution against the government.
Israelis may rue the day they turned out to vote for Netanyahu and his more ideologically conservative government than they already had in place because they chose a path to war. Netanyahu is expected to retain Moshe Yaalon as defense minister, and with a coalition of ultra-right wing conservatives and hardline religious groups running the government it is doubtless Israel will ramp up its warmongering against Arabs around the region. Now that it appears Republican warmongers cannot derail the U.N. P5+1 negotiations with Iran, coupled with the Israeli defense minister’s claim it is considering using a nuclear bomb on Iran as well as massacring innocent Arab civilians, the prospect for peace in the Middle East is looking very remote indeed; which is what Netanyahu and Republicans lusted for all along.