We have watched a joint Republican-Likud Party coup attempt to take over President Obama’s negotiations with Iran completely backfire, with the result that through his own actions, Benjamin Netanyahu has seen his popularity crash both here and at home. This in turn has prompted a complete right-wing meltdown in Israel, with Netanyahu seeing plots everywhere.
In all, it was a classic, textbook case of cause-and-effect.
Republicans, however, tend to be like the ideologically-blinkered actor Jon Voight, father of Angelina Jolie, who is buying into Benjamin Netanyahu’s paranoia about a leftist plot to unseat him.
On Sunday morning, Voight released a video of support for the embattled prime minister and to the people of Israel, claiming that President Obama “doesn’t want Bibi Netanyahu to win this upcoming election,” and that “America has not been the same since his presidency.”
Hasn’t been the same? You got that right: Thank you Change We Can Believe In!
Seriously, could you blame Obama if he didn’t want Netanyahu to win? Not only on a personal level – The Israeli prime minister just came here and dissed our president at the invitation of his enemies in the GOP, the men who have done everything in their power for six years to bring his presidency to a screeching halt.
But a defeated Netanyahu would serve Obama’s interests on a professional level as well – an Israel governed by a more level-headed, pragmatic leader, would be less likely to draw the U.S. into a war it does not want, and cannot afford. That sort of Israel would be less of a strain on Obama’s pragmatic approach to diplomacy.
Voight, meanwhile, wasn’t talking to a chair, but his address was strange enough regardless. Check it out courtesy of Arutz Sheva TV:
“I love Israel. I want to see Israel survive and not be overtaken by the madmen of this world,” he begins.
Great. Power to you, Jon. I don’t want Israel to be destroyed either. Neither do I want to see Iran destroyed. Or, more critically, the country I am actually citizen of, the United States of America.
It’s a shame Voight doesn’t feel the same concern for his own country, which has a Congress controlled by madmen eager to dismantle the world’s first modern liberal democracy and fight a few more destructive wars along the way.
Well, to be fair start a few wars other people will have to fight before they are denied treatment for their wounds, physical and psychological, and cast, discarded as of no further use, into the streets.
Voight presents the same tired appeasement spiel we have heard from so many others who want other people to die in their wars so the demands of ideology can be satisfied:
I beg everyone, all of you, to understand the truth: those – like Yitzhak Herzog – who believe that deal-making is the solution to what Israel faces are as wrong as Neville Chamberlain believing he made a peace deal with Hitler. We must learn from history where the true danger lies.
Reversing the facts, and thus failing to understand the truth himself, he then claims, “President Obama does not love Israel and his whole agenda is to control Israel, and this way he can be friends with all of Israel’s enemies.”
Of course, the truth is, Republicans are more than happy to hand control of U.S. foreign policy over to their fellow right-winger Netanyahu.
Yet Voight, somehow with a straight face (credit his acting experience here, I suppose), claims that Obama “in this way…can be friends with all of Israel’s enemies.” Which is a bizarre claim to make because the United States is all on its own Israel’s best and most loyal friend, and no president more so than Barack Obama.
There is nothing – no treaty or agreement – saying the United States is not allowed its own list of friends and enemies, that our foreign policy must align itself completely and totally with Israel’s own. Again, this is giving Israel control of U.S. foreign policy, not the other way around.
Given that the U.S. will be expected to back up any action Israel takes, the United States has a vested interest in who Israel attacks. We’ve already destabilized the region by attacking Iraq. Attacking Iran, the Islamic State’s staunchest foe, would give the entire Middle East to ISIL on a platter.
And ISIL, not Iran, is Israel’s real enemy.
Honestly, listening to the Republicans and Netanyahu, and now Voight, I think up until now we’ve been appeasing the wrong people, and Benjamin Netanyahu is at the head of that list.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.