Israel Gives Chutzpah New Meaning
December 5th, 2012
byÂ Stephen Lendman
The Yiddish word derives from the Hebrew hutspa. It means insolence or audacity. The Urban Dictionary adds âunmitigated effrontery or impudence.â
Leo Rostenâs âThe Joys of Yiddishâ calls it âgall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption plus arrogance such as no other word and no other language can do justice to.â
Rosten said it embraces âthat quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.â
Israeli extremism matches these definitions and then some. For decades, itâs been the tail wagging the US dog. The so-called special relationship is more liability than benefit.
Rights afforded Israel do more harm than good. US interests are sacrificed. America loses more than it gains. World peace is threatened. Both countries threaten humanity. Serious reassessment of this hellish relationship is long overdue.
Washington does more than let Israel get away with murder. It actively aids and abets it. It concurs on virtually everything Israel wants. Media scoundrels approve. They turn a blind eye to Israelâs worst crimes.
Rare criticisms are muted. A December 3 New York Times editorial headlined âMr. Netanyahuâs Strategic Mistake,â saying:
He âdug inâ his heels. Heâs âescalat(ing) a crisis.â Heâs increasing settlement construction and withholding tax revenues collected for Palestine. He threatened more punitive measures.
He âma(de) it nearly impossible to restart peace negotiations.â He âthreaten(s) to crush the Palestinian Authority, and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, whoâŚ.represents the only credible peace negotiator.â
Palestinians have endured crisis conditions for over 64 years. Besieged Gazans are being suffocated. Decades of Israeli settlements are illegal.
Abbas has no legitimacy whatever. Israel rigged his election. His term expired in January 2009. Heâs still there. Heâs Israelâs useful puppet. He helps enforce occupation harshness.
Hamas is Palestineâs legitimate government. In January 2006, Palestinians overwhelmingly elected its candidates. Israel pressured Washington to declare it a terrorist organization.
Its political legitimacy is solid. Denying it doesnât wash. Times editors omitted these and other inconvenient facts.
At the same time, they criticized Iranâs peaceful nuclear program. They urged Obama to revive peace talks. They ignored decades of Washington and Israel subverting them.
They want Abbas to âforgo applying for Palestinian membership in United Nations affiliates or trying to bring cases against Israel in the International Criminal Court.â
In other words, they want Palestinians to sacrifice their legitimate rights and surrender to Israeli authority. Itâs been that way at least since Oslo.
This is what passes for opinion in Americaâs ânewspaper of record.â Times pro-Israeli bias is uncompromising. Palestinian rights donât matter.
Haaretz goes both ways. It largely supports Israeli policies. At the same time, legitimate criticism is published. Sometimes itâs in editorials. They go so far but no further. Stopping short spoils otherwise good comments.
On December 4, Haaretz headlined âReckless behavior,â saying:
E1 Maâaleh Adumin settlement housing construction and withholding Palestinian tax revenues âis nothing less than reckless behavior.â
International outrage followed. âThis policy is seriously threatening Israel.â
Netanyahu crossed the line. âThis is a heavy price that cannot be explained away as an investment in national security.â
âRather, it is a whim that might plumb new depths for Israelâs international standing.â
âNetanyahu and his ministers have no right to make Israel an international pariah.â
At the same time, unjustifiable comments spoiled these legitimate criticisms. Iranâs peaceful nuclear program was called threatening. Haaretz editors know otherwise but donât say.
Lawless settlements werenât discussed. Nor were daily attacks on Palestinian civilians. Dozens of weekly incursions continue. Nonthreatening Palestinians are accosted, arrested, shot, injured, or killed. Overnight another man was shot.
On December 4, Israeli soldiers demolished a south Hebron Hills mosque. It was destroyed in 2011 and rebuilt. Palestinians are denied their right to worship.
Israel plans to demolish eight West Bank villages to provide land for a military training zone.
Haaretz reported none of this. No outrage was expressed. Ongoing crimes against humanity go largely unmentioned.
In March 2010, 1,700 East Jerusalem Ramat Shlomo settlement housing units were approved. Netanyahu wants construction expedited.
By mid-December, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee will discuss whatâs next. Hundreds more Givat Hamatos units will be approved. Many more are planned for Gilo and Givet Zeâev.
Theyâre part of Netanyahuâs E1 corridor expansion. Accelerated Palestinian home demolitions are expected. Netanyahu thumbed his nose at world opinion. Donât bet he wonât get away with it.
He sees settlement construction as good electoral strategy. Despite international criticism, he wonât back down. His office said:
âIsrael will continue to stand by its vital interests, even in the face of international pressure. There will be no change in the decision that has been made.â
âThe Palestinian unilateral move at the UN is a blatant and fundamental violation of agreements to which the international community was a guarantor.â
âNo one should be surprised that Israel is not sitting with its arms folded in response to the unilateral Palestinian steps.â
So-called international outrage is more rhetorical than real. Washington did little more than call Netanyahuâs announcement âcounterproductive.â Added comments called âcontroversialâ construction âcontrary to US policy.â
Settlements arenât âcontroversial.â Theyâre illegal. Most Israelis support them. World leaders do nothing to stop them. They have plenty of muscle but wonât use it.
Iranâs been unjustly punished with multiple rounds of sanctions. Israel deserves harsh punishment but stays free to operate lawlessly. Double standard hypocrisy is glaring.
On Monday, Haaretz headlined âUK, France may recall ambassadors to protest Israelâs settlement construction,â saying:
So far itâs not announced. Haaretz quoted an unnamed âsenior European diplomatâ saying:
âThis time it wonât just be a condemnation. There will be real action taken against Israel. London is furious about the E1 decision.â
On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister David Cameronâs spokesman said Downing Street wonât recall its envoy. âWe are not proposing to do that,â he said. âWe are not setting out any further action at this stage.â
Expect much the same from other European leaders. Policy measures with teeth donât follow rhetorical bluster. Words alone ring hollow. Washington backs Israelâs worst crimes. Itâs been that way for decades. It wonât change now.
US tax dollars and American NGOs help fund settlements. The US tax code enables donations to organizations involved in settlement construction and activities.
From 2002 â 2009 alone, dozens of NGOs, private foundations, and US corporations contributed $274 million in settlement enterprise support.
Doing so, of course, is illegal. Fourth Geneva obligates occupiers not to transfer their population to territories they control. Israelâs been doing it for over 45 years. World community outrage is absent.
Silence or muted criticism is support.
On July 5, 2010, The New York Times headlined âTax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank,â saying:
Many US groups contribute this way. On the one hand, Washington rhetorically opposes settlements. On the other, construction is facilitated âthrough (supportive) tax breaks.â
US and Israeli public records âidentified at least 40 American groups that have collected more than $200 million in tax-deductible gifts forâ West Bank/East Jerusalem settlements âover the last decade.â
Millions more are collected annually. Influential organizations and wealthy contributors are involved. Nothing is done to stop them. Tax law stays unchanged. It violates international and constitutional law.
Under the Constitutionâs Supremacy Clause, federal statutes and US treaties (like the Genocide and four Geneva Conventions) are âthe supreme law of the land.â
Religious charities are involved. Their policies are opaque. Tax law exempts them from disclosing their finances publicly. Extremists like Christian fascist John Hagee take full advantage.
He helped raise tens of millions of dollars. Heâs militantly anti-Muslim. He endorses preemptive war on Islam. He defiles Christian tenets. Heâs welcome whenever he visits Israel.
On December 4, a Jerusalem Post editorial headlined âThe logic of E1,â saying:
Building in its corridor âwould not necessarily undermine the contiguity of a future Palestinian state.â
JP editors look facts in the face and ignore them. Two states side-by-side havenât been possible for years. Netanyahuâs announcement perhaps drove the final nail in its corpse.
Not according to JP editors. At best, they suggest Netanyahuâs announcement was tactically wrong. Construction is legitimate they claim. International law doesnât matter.
âWe build in existing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem such as Pisgat Zeâev and Gilo or in consensus settlement blocs like Gush Etzion and Ariel out of a real need to supply housing for a fast-growing population.â
Theyâre in Palestinian East Jerusalem. Legal housing construction is legitimate. On stolen land itâs lawless. Perhaps JP editors forgot.
More likely they donât care. Building anywhere in Palestine âis perfectly in line with our countryâs interests,â they said.
E1 development is no different than anywhere else. Previous governments felt the same way. In October 1994, Yitzhak Rabin said âunited Jerusalemâ would include Maâaleh Adumim under Israeli authority.
Then-Jerusalem mayor Benny Kashriel got E1 annexation documents. As prime minister in 1996, Shimon Peres reaffirmed them. So did most other Israeli officials. They stopped short of proceeding with development.
On Sunday, Netanyahu declared that âthe State of Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and in all the places on the stateâs strategic map.â
JP editors believe doing so âprotects integral Israeli interests recognized and protectedâ by Israeli governments âfor well over a decade.â
Never mind rule of law principles. Forget about Palestinian rights. Whether they say it or not, most Israelis feel the same way.
A Final Comment
Obama seems heading toward full-scale war on Syria. Post-election, heâs unrestrained. Interventionists want direct US involvement. They urge decisive action.
An unnamed senior EU official said, âWe have hung back for 28 months and watched people die. That is long enough.â
An unnamed US official disagreed, saying, âAnybody who says that Western intervention cannot make things worse in Syria simply lacks imagination.â
Official comments omit explaining who bears full responsibility. Washington planned war on Syria years ago. Itâs been raging since early last year.
No-fly zone advocates know establishing it declares war. Installing Patriot missiles on the Turkish/Syrian border combined with recognizing Syriaâs illegitimate opposition perhaps is planned pretext to launch it.
Syrian chemical weapons again made headlines. Contrived US intelligence reports claim Assad may be readying them for use. On Monday, Obama said:
âToday I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable.â
âAnd if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.â
Last summer, Syrian officials said theyâll never be used internally. In self-defense if NATO attacks, anything is possible. Washington uses chemical, biological and nuclear weapons freely. So does Israel. Media scoundrels say nothing.
They prefer headlines calling naked aggression humanitarian intervention.
On December 3, The Atlantic contributor Jeffrey Goldberg headlined âIsrael Asked Jordan for Approval to Bomb Syrian WMD Sites,â saying:
Why ask Jordan? Only Washingtonâs approval is needed. At issue is some chemical sites are close to Jordanâs border. Syrians might also suspect Jordanian involvement if Israel attacks.
So far, Jordan disapproves. Amman officials said now isnât the right time.
US and Israeli drones are overflying the Jordanian/Syrian border. Goldberg said unnamed sources told him that Washington, Jordan, and Gulf state allies established a âwar room.â
Itâs âorganizing efforts to screen Syrian militants for jihadist sympathies, and to provideâ other opposition elements âwith training and equipment.â
Mission creep seems incrementally heading toward full-scale war. It could erupt anytime. Perhaps a false flag will launch it. It wouldnât be the first time Washington used this stunt.
Or Israel if it gets directly involved. It looks that way if Goldbergâs information is right.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Â His new book is titledÂ How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War
Also visit his blog site atÂ sjlendman.blogspot.comÂ and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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