I fervently hope that the Israeli people soon hold new elections and find someone less loathsome than Benjamin Netanyahu to be their leader. He is extremely aggressive about making us stupid in appearance and in reality. I believe he could have stated that Mongolia is actually part of historic Israel and still gotten a standing ovation from our moronic Congress. Netanyahu is asking us to adopt a position on the Israeli-Palestinian question that is not accepted by any country in the world. It’s not even accepted in Israel, or, at least, it never has been until now. Whether you call it ‘Judea and Samaria’ or you call it ‘the West Bank,’ it’s still not territory that was set aside and approved by the United Nations for the State of Israel. It’s territory that belonged to Jordan (or Transjordan) until the 1967 war. Jordan doesn’t want it back, but there has been a process in place since the Camp David Accords to create a Palestinian homeland on the West Bank.
I understand that Netanyahu was speaking historically. If we go back nineteen hundred years things are a bit different. But when he goes before a Joint Session of Congress and says, “You have to understand this, in Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers,” and he receives a standing ovation, you have to wonder what the hell is going on. The Israelis (those Jewish people that Bibi was talking about) who are living in the West Bank and serving there in the armed forces, are illegal occupiers under every description of that term that you can devise. Ariel Sharon was not confused about this matter:
“You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation — to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians.”
I don’t think I’m just bitching about semantics here. Sure, it wouldn’t be as bad if Netanyahu has simply said that the Jewish people in Judea and Samaria are not strangers to the land. I understand that his overall point is that it’s politically painful for him to give up any land in the West Bank because of the historic ties of that land to the Jewish people. I get that. But the way he put is not just offensive and detached from reality, it’s patently false. And his reward was foot-stomping applause from our cheerleading Congress.
I mean, let’s be honest. The equivalent speech by a Palestinian leader would argue that the Israelis have no right to be on a single inch of historic Palestine. It would be like Congress giving an ovation to a grumpy leader of Hamas or President Ahmedinejad. Think about it.