Published on Counterpunch on July 31, 2015
How the mighty have fallen! Was it really such a short time ago that Israel could demand that the United States jump, and the U.S.’s immediate response was ‘how high’? Was it in just the last year, that whatever Israel wanted from the U.S., all it had to do was hint at it, and the desired prize, whatever it was, would be immediately delivered? From vetoes in the United Nations, to bombs to kill Palestinians, to lies about Israeli security risks, to defending genocide, if Israel wanted it, the U.S. delivered it.
During the 2014 bombardment and invasion of Palestine, some small, barely discernable cracks were seen in the universal, unquestioned support that the U.S. gave Israel, despite its flouting of international law, and its constant, atrocious human rights abuses. The U.S. timidly suggested that perhaps Israel shouldn’t bomb United Nations refugee centers, but said nothing about the bombing of residences, schools, mosques, hospitals and press buildings. And, of course, it financed all that carnage.
Now, after months of diplomatic efforts, the U.S. and five other nations have reached an agreement with Iran regarding that nation’s nuclear ambitions. This agreement will not only reduce sanctions on Iran, sanctions that hurt the populace but have little or no impact on the government, but will also go a long way to prevent war. It would seem that this is a good thing; the U.S. is almost always involved in a war, and one would think that the citizenry has grown tired of it by now.
But this agreement is not sitting well in Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu is seriously displeased, and his minions in Congress are paying attention. It is said that Jewish members of Congress, some of them holding dual citizenship, U.S. and Israeli, are being diligently courted by the various Israeli lobbies to vote against the agreement. Some pundits are commenting darkly about divided loyalties, but this writer sees no conflict: Congress members’ loyalties are, first and foremost, to whomever writes checks to their re-election campaigns, and the Israeli lobbies have deep pockets. So their goal now is to purchase sufficient votes to override a presidential veto, should the agreement be voted down in Congress.
But it is an uphill battle. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who relied on those donations during his many terms in the senate, and did as he was told in that role, garnering a 100% voting record for Israel, has begun to push back. In a talk in New York City on July 24, he said this about the agreement with Iran: “I believe Israel is safer, I believe the region is safer.” Yet he also issued a veiled warning to Israel. He further said that, if Congress defeats the agreement, “friends in Israel could end up being more isolated and more blamed.”
This warning from the U.S. comes at a critical time for Israel, and is certainly an unwelcome development. Israel and its various international lackeys are making a concerted effort to counter the increasing boycott, and resulting isolation, of that country. The Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement is ever growing, and taking both a financial and emotional toll on Israel; more and more people around the world are recognizing it as an apartheid regime, committing abominable human rights abuses and spitting in the face of international law. And they are asking why it is that this is allowed, a question not spoken for decades.
So what is it that the Israeli Prime Murderer is so concerned about? For him, it’s the usual argument: anything Israel doesn’t like is an ‘existential’ threat to that rogue nation. So if Iran has a nuclear program, Israel is threatened. If anyone dares suggest that the blockade of the Gaza Strip be ended, Israel is threatened. If the International Criminal Court investigates ‘possible’ Israeli war crimes, Israel is threatened. For pity’s sake, if the international soccer association questions Israel’s behavior, Israel is threatened!
Israel previously had two methods of dealing with all these ‘threats’: 1) it could tell the U.S. to take care of them, or 2) it could drop U.S. bombs somewhere. Now, unfortunately for Israel, option 1 seems to be off the table. This is a two-edged sword: it’s certainly good news that the U.S. is doing some minor re-evaluation of its support for Israel, but it does open the door to more bombing by Israel. Iran must beware; Israel wants to be the only nuclear-armed country in the region.
So what if Israel decides to bomb Iran? In May of this year, an aide to the leader of Iran said that Hezbollah in Lebanon has some 80,000 rockets aimed toward Israel, to be used in the event that Israel attacks Iran. So, while the U.S. is uncharacteristically working to prevent a war, Israel is using the typical U.S. saber-rattling to imply that Iran may soon be its next victim.
Just for the fun of it, let’s consider how such an event would play out. The U.S. Congress is unsuccessful in overriding a presidential veto of its rejection of the Iran nuclear agreement. Israel, confident that its very existence is in danger (Mr. Netanyahu says so, and one must remember his oh-so-accurate prediction to the U.S. Congress in 2002 of what a boon to peace in the Middle East a U.S. invasion of Iraq would be), bombs Iran. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that he really wishes Israel hadn’t done that, but that the U.S. will continue to send it all the weaponry it wants. Hezbollah starts shooting some of those 80,000 missiles into Israel, destroying Tel Aviv and other cities, as Iran, defending itself from Israeli bombs, also shoots rockets into Israel. Israel drops nuclear bombs on Iran and Lebanon, killing millions of people and rendering much of the Middle East a wasteland. Mr. Kerry says that Israel has a right to defend itself. The United Nations Security Council issues resolutions condemning Israel for the initial attack on Iran, and the subsequent nuclear bombing of Iran and Lebanon. The U.S. vetoes both resolutions. Russia, China, all the countries in the European Union and South America severe ties with Israel, causing an economic crisis. Mr. Netanyahu demands additional aid from the U.S., to deal with the failing economy, which the U.S. provides, as its own cities continue to decay. Unemployment in the U.S. skyrockets, with only those states with weapons manufacturing still employing many citizens.
Where it all goes from there is anyone’s nightmarish guess.
Now let’s look at the alternative. Congress, doing Mr. Netanyahu’s bidding, overrides the presidential veto, and voids the agreement. All other nations dealing with the U.S. now know that U.S. diplomatic agreements are not worth pursuing. Iran continues to develop its nuclear power program. Mr. Netanyahu declares that he was right all along, sees yet another ‘existential threat’ and bombs Iran. For what happens next, please see above.
One might hope this to be all fantasy, but one must not dismiss it out of hand. The U.S. is currently negotiating with Israel to increase the amount of aid it receives, in payment for the U.S. displeasing Israel with the Iran deal. Israel, of course, will be in no way constrained. If it chooses to bomb Iran, it will, and the U.S. will do nothing to stop it. U.S government officials will proclaim that Israel has a right to defend itself. After all, if ineffectual ‘rockets’ shot into Israel from the Gaza Strip constitute a threat to the very existence of Israel, certainly Iran’s desire for nuclear power is also such a threat, at least to those in U.S. governance who are bought and paid for by the Israeli lobby.
The multitudes currently vying for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations fall all over themselves to be the first to kiss the backside of the various Israeli lobbies, AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee) being chief among them. And none of them have the same level of animosity toward the Israeli Prime Murderer that President Obama seems to have, so while he is willing to dole out U.S. largesse unrestrained, one can only imagine what his successor will do.
Of course, Israeli continued missteps will keep taking a toll. Because of the carpet-bombing of the Gaza Strip last summer; Mr. Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in March; continued illegal settlement building; proclaiming that there will never be a free and independent Palestine as long as Mr. Netanyahu is Prime Murderer, people are beginning to be fed up. While this hasn’t yet translated into Congressional action, it is only a matter of time before it does. The clock is ticking, and for Israel to become a respected part of the international community, time is running out.