Top 5 ways Netanyahu sabotaged US and Israel Interests

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) –

Binyamin Netanyahu is fighting the most difficult political battle of his life. His party seems likely to come in smaller than the center-left coalition of Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni– though in parliamentary systems what really matters is who can put together a majority after the election. Netanyahu still has some possibility of succeeding in that regard. On Sunday, in a rare public display of his unhinged paranoia, he opined that foreign governments were sending money into Israel to his rivals, conspiring with “leftists” to unseat him. Famously, Netanyahu’s campaign is the one with the foreign money– that of Sheldon Adelson and other sketchy American billionaires.

But whether he gets another term or not, Netanyahu will be remembered for the damage he did to US interests, and those of Israel itself.

1. Netanyahu scuttled the George Mitchell peace process initiated by President Obama when he first took office in 2009. He pledged a freeze of squatter settlements on Palestinian territory for 6 months in spring of 2009, then just as negotiations with the Palestinians were to begin in earnest, Netanyahu abruptly cancelled the freeze, ensuring that the talks would fail. (There is no reason for the Palestinians to negotiate for their share of the cake if Bibi is going to gobble it up in front of their eyes while they are talking to him.)

2. Netanyahu scuttled the 2013-14 Kerry peace talks. He allowed one of his cabinet members to smear Mr. Kerry as having ‘messianic’ pretensions. He kept announcing increased new squatter settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, aiming to drive the Palestinians away from the negotiating table. Then he started demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ even though over a fifth of Israelis are not Jews (most of them are Palestinian-Israeli).

3. When the peace talks predictably failed as a result of his machinations, Netanyahu launched a brutal assault on the Gaza Strip in which his indiscriminate fire killed nearly 2000, mostly non-combatants, and wiped out entire neighborhoods. Every time the Israeli government does something like that before the cameras of the world press, much of the world starts to hate the United States.

4. Netanyahu involved himself in US domestic politics, campaigning for Mitt Romney in 2012 and giving President Obama unseemly lectures when they were both on camera at the White House..

5. Netanyahu conspired with John Boehner to undermine the president’s negotiations with Iran by giving a speech to Congress only two weeks before his own election. This blatant interference in US foreign policy is not unusual for other countries, but most of them aren’t honorary members of the Republican Party such that they can sabotage as insiders.

Related video:

Wochit General News: “Trailing Before Election, Israel’s Netanyahu Accuses Foreign Powers of Trying to Topple Him ”

20 Responses

  1. The root of the problem lies in the (spiritual) heart, whether one is a simple-minded peasant in Peru, or a politician. When it reflects the higher attributes, such as love, peace, generosity, forgiveness, humility, not doing unto others what one doesn’t want done unto oneself, seeing no ‘other-ness’, selflessness, service to others with no expectations, lack of desire for power, control and resources, etc., human action will yield positive and peaceful results. Otherwise, …, well, we’re seeing a lot of that off late, aren’t we?

  2. “This blatant interference in US foreign policy is not unusual for other countries…”
    Was this supposed to say something else?

    • No, other countries try to interfere in US foreign policy goals all the time. They mostly aren’t considered our allies and we don’t pay them billions a year for the privilege.

      • Dr. Cole:
        It is my understanding that there is a distinction between the colonialist politics of Zionists, such as Netanyahu and his fellow travelers, and the entirety of “the country” of Israel; a distinction that is comparable to the prevailing political division in the U.S., which is also founded upon the conflation of pseudo-religious rhetoric with political reasoning.
        As Usual,
        EA

        • Mr. Allen,
          Such a distinction might be useful in genuinely democratic countries, but in the case of Israel it is not so easy. Behind the green line she has institutionalized racism in the form of fifty statutes which discriminate against a despised ethnic minority (Adalah explains it) and beyond the green line is an occupation which is looking more and more totalitarian and is obviously intended to be permanent even though the senior leadership never comes clean with its plans for the imprisoned Palestinian people. It is sui generis and can’t be be seen as analogous to the U.S. or any other western democracy. It is better described as a rogue state.

        • Hunter: there’s a very apt comparison to the situation in the state of Israel today in apartheid South Africa. Which was much more complicated than most people remember today, and involved all kinds of fake window-dressing “democracy”. The Afrikaaners even tried to claim that they were an oppressed minority, just like the upper-class Ashnenazi elite who run Israel try to claim that they are.

  3. Why can’t non-Republicans ask Americans how much more war can we afford, and how much more do we want?
    Why can’t non-Republicans demand that the warmongers explain (using facts, not opinions) the supposed strong evidence that Iran is: seeking to destroy Israel (as if that is America’s primary responsibility); seeking to destroy America, and seeking to rule the world?

    • “Why can’t non-Republicans ask Americans how much more war can we afford, and how much more do we want?”

      Network ratings, huge corporate profits, and assorted socio-economic-political pathologies that effectively strangle any such complex dialogue and serious questioning and criticism in its cradle. Next question. (Also see my recent post under Juan’s take-down of Tom Cotton).

  4. All five points clearly shows Netanyahu has shown absolutely no respect for President Obama/The US Presidency, and that he has all along acted arrogant, dishonest, and manipulative.
    President Obama has been extremely supportive of Israel, increased aid, gives it unwavering support at the UN, vetoing resolutions against Israel, and has been generous with US weapons, and yet Netanyahu has deceived him when it comes to illegal settlements, and false promises of giving those peace talks a chance. It makes me wonder if US officials are that naive, when we all know Netanyahu has absolutely no interest in ending the occupation, nor stopping the stealing of lands for illegal settlements. It is a waste of valuable time.
    There is only one way to stop the violence and military occupation, and that is if the US stops the aid and weapons, from going into what the rest of the world now considers an apartheid state, that continues it’s brutal occupation of the Palestinian territories. No change in their leadership will end the Palestinian suffering.

    • American officials are not naive. They are afraid for the future of their careers and social situations. Being accused by Jews of being anti-Semitic is a kiss of death in the United States.

      • Given that racist right-wingers who claim to be Jewish have been accusing anyone and everyone of being “anti-Semitic” just for things like opposing mass murder, I don’t think that is doing to be true for much longer. People are sick of the false accusations.

  5. Watching Sen Tom Cotton get his a$$ handed to him by Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation was a bright spot in my day. That’s what he gets for blindly following the advice of neocons.

    Sen Cotton quoting Netanyahu’s moronic bargaining stratergy “The alternative to a bad deal is a better deal” shows what a Manchurian Candidate Tom Cotton is. Of course Bloody Bill Kristol did raise a million bucks for Cotton’s campaign.link to mondoweiss.net

  6. Netanyahu scuttled the 2013-14 Kerry peace talks. He allowed one of his cabinet members to smear Mr. Kerry as having ‘messianic’ pretensions.

    What does that say about Kerry that he allowed himself and his office to be treated with such contempt?

    When the peace talks predictably failed as a result of his machinations, Netanyahu launched a brutal assault on the Gaza Strip in which his indiscriminate fire killed nearly 2000, mostly non-combatants, and wiped out entire neighborhoods.

    And, what does that say about the United States that the White House and Congress (with very few exceptions) not only approved this crime against humanity but also rushed to replenish the munitions expended in this slaughter?

  7. And for the first time the mainstream media covered Israel’s massacre in Gaza last summer. Generally if not always the MSM barely touches the crimes that Israel has committed against the Palestinians

  8. Can he even BE ‘covered,’ i.e., taken at his word? This is how Netanyahu backs and fills when he is caught in a fundamental contradiction:

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that [in light of] the situation that has arisen in the Middle East, any evacuated territory would fall into the hands of Islamic extremism and terror organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will be no concessions or withdrawals; they are simply irrelevant.” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

    There is, of course, no reason why a two state solution can not include security for the borders of a new Palestinian state. And then there is his thoughtless use of the word ‘irrelevant’.

  9. Bibi has harmed America in my opinion; but you have to admit that he has played his cards brilliantly. The ultimate goal for an emperor is to keep his empire.
    He still has to assemble a coalition government. But this brilliant politician will get that done too.
    His heavy hand against the Palestinians (and tough talk about Iran), his virtual trashing of any settlement with the Palestinians, and his remarkable play to the American Congress—all proved to be winners for Bibi. Now Israel can continue to expand empire, with the knowledge that America is strongly behind Israel.
    I hate saying any of this. But I don’t see how anyone can deny it.

    • His heavy hand against the Palestinians (and tough talk about Iran), his virtual trashing of any settlement with the Palestinians, and his remarkable play to the American Congress—all proved to be winners for Bibi.

      In the past there were others just as euphoric about Napoleon’s, Hitler’s, Mussolini’s prospects and those of other kindred spirits.

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