Bibi Rewrites History–and Reality
Bibi Netanyahu, in a Knesset speech covered by Haaretz, announced some sweeping revisions to history and Israeli-Arab reality. For example, did you know that a Palestinian state already exists? Sure does, according to the Beeb, who said with regard to the Arab uprisings toppling dictators right and left:
We do not know what will happen to our west, and we do not know what will happen to our east, and who can determine whether the Palestinian state – in the middle of it all – will hold on?”
This reminds me a bit of Ronald Reagan who would tell convincing stories of his war experiences in the Pacific theater during World War II, which consisted of his memories of war films in which he’d acted. It’s so much more convenient for an Israeli prime minister to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state, and then turn around and tell his western critics that one already exists despite the fact that it may be in his mind only.
Oh, and don’t ya know that Turkey destroyed its relations with Israel solely by the attack of Prime Minister Erdogan on Shimon Peres at Davos?
Just as the de-facto peace relations that we had with one country – Iran – evaporated in a moment, just as the more official, more established relationship that even included joint military exercises and 400,000 tourists evaporated overnight when the Turkish prime minister attacked our President Peres in Davos…
There are a few small matters like the Mavi Marmara massacre and Ehud Olmert’s destruction of the Syrian-Israeli peace negotiation mediated by Erdogan, when he began Operation Cast Lead. Those little incidents, of course, played no role in the torpedoing of Israel-Turkey relations.
Not to mention it was Shimon Peres who sputtered with rage at Davos, violating international protocol by viciously attacking Turkey and its elected national leader in a public gathering; and that this provoked Erdogan to walk out of the meeting. And that Peres apologized afterward for his intemperance.
But hey, what’s a dose of reality among friends? And who needs reality anyway when you can have such a delightful delusional alternate universe all for the asking? When you’re a Likud prime minister, anything’s possible. Next thing you know, pigs will fly and maybe even be kosher.
As I wrote in a recent post about the bloody mess unfolding in Tripoli, such mayhem is good for the Occupation business. Proof lies no farther than Bibi’s speech to the Knesset, where he finds succor in the bloodbath, because it gives him an out as far as negotiating a peace with the Palestinians:
Netanyahu also claimed that “The entire world told us the reason for instability in the Middle East is the Israel-Palestinian conflict. We begged to differ. There is a problem here that we wish to solve, but we must take the Islamic extremists – who are spreading everywhere – into account.”
Bibi, as usual, gets his facts wrong. The entire world hasn’t said the reason for Middle East instability lies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has said that the reason for the popularity of Islamist extremism like Al Qaeda lies in the lack of resolution of the conflict. Perhaps as a corollary, many of the toppled and toppling autocrats have looked favorably on Israel. This may have played some role in their lack of popularity. But these leaders have done far more damage to their reputations by harming their own citizens directly.
Of course, what really worries Bibi, and what he can’t say to his fellow Knesset delusionals, is that the rising democratization of the Arab world means that new governments will be listening to the will of the people and pursuing new foreign policy goals accordingly. Thus, the free ride Israel enjoyed from regimes like Egypt, Turkey (pre-Erdogan) and Jordan may be a thing of the past. Israel henceforward may have to create support in the Arab world the old- fashioned way–by earning it.
10 thoughts on “Bibi Rewrites History–and Reality – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Is it possible Bibi’s worrying about his own future? Might the revolutionary moment just spread to Israel? Now that would be poetic justice.
From your lips, etc.
I keep hoping that some nation will (soon) organize (maybe by UNGA emergency special session) a BDS-like movement aimed at compelling Israel to remove the settlers, settlements, wall, and siege: a BDS-like movement with real “teeth”.
But who would lead the charge? Might Egypt do so, in spite of its treaty (whose provisions I confess I do not know), on the basis of the requirement of Fourth Geneva Convention that signatories (like USA and Egypt) “ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances” (even in the circumstance, as the USA fatuously suggests, that there is an on-going peace-process).
Reading your first paragraph, I thought for a second Bibi was repeating the old right-wing canard that “Jordan was the Palestinian state”. But obviously he means the future state whose creation he and western governments keep paying lip service to, even while doing his damndest to prevent it.
Obviously he envisions a Palestine along the lines of most of the other Arab states (now minus Egypt and Tunisia), a more or less benevolent dictatorship or oligarchy – benevolent of course to Israel, in the same way that Mubarak was benevolent to the US. The possibility that true democracy might break out there must scare him, for he’s well aware that the interests of the Palestinian people, as opposed to individual rulers who can be bought off, lies in the region and in working relations to all their neighbours, but not at all in the ruling ethnocrats in Tel Aviv.
“It has said that the reason for the popularity of Islamist extremism like Al Qaeda lies in the lack of resolution of the conflict”
Al-Qeada and other movement have nothing to do with Israel, it has to do with the inner conflict in the Arab worlds, and the views of the some extreme elements of the arab world of word Jewry, and the relationship between Jews and Islam.
from my favorite source wiki:
The radical Islamist movement in general and al-Qaeda in particular developed during the Islamic revival and Islamist movement of the last three decades of the 20th century, along with less extreme movements.
Some have argued that “without the writings” of Islamic author and thinker Sayyid Qutb, “al-Qaeda would not have existed.” Qutb preached that because of the lack of sharia law, the Muslim world was no longer Muslim, having reverted to pre-Islamic ignorance known as jahiliyyah.
To restore Islam, he said a vanguard movement of righteous Muslims was needed to establish “true Islamic states”, implement sharia, and rid the Muslim world of any non-Muslim influences, such as concepts like socialism and nationalism. Enemies of Islam in Qutb’s view included “treacherous Orientalists” and “world Jewry”, who plotted “conspiracies” and “wicked[ly]” opposed Islam.
That’s funny because Osama bin Laden and everyone related to Al Qaeda who make public statements seem to disagree with you. And in terms of their understanding of the views of their own organization, I think they know a bit more than you. Not only this, but most credible observers of Al Qaeda agree that the continuing conflict drives Muslims into Al Qaeda’s arms. YOu can deny it all you like, but you’re not Muslim & not an expert on Islamism.
Everything we have to know about IlanP is in his: “From my favorite source wiki”.
He doesn’t even give the link so we can verify the sources. The procedure of propagandists.
Richard is of course correct. While I/P may not be quite central to bin Laden’s thinking it plays a part, as it does, by judging clearly by their own death testimony, of many suicide bombers’. I/P almost never goes unmentioned by these people.
I believe the quote excerpt you’ve posted from Netanyahu’s Knesset speech may be inaccurate.
The same excerpt from the remarks is posted on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a slightly, though quite significantly different way.
Rather than the phrase:
“who can determine whether the Palestinian state – in the middle of it all – will hold on”
The Israeli government site’s version reads:
“who can assure us that a Palestinian state in the middle of all this would hold up”
That second version, posted on the Israeli MFA site, does not include the implication present in the other version that you’ve highlighted in this post.
Could this be a misunderstanding simply based on a poor translation?
If one of our Israeli readers can get us the original I’ll translate it. But frankly I don’t see very much diff bet the two translations. In both Bibi posits a Palestinian state that doesn’t exist.