Another gem from Ben-Gvir’s party: Minister of Heritage Amihai Eliyahu compares the occupied West Bank to a prison but insists that prisons are not apartheid. Are you convinced? pic.twitter.com/AfYAMvtbgZ
— Nimrod Flaschenberg (@Nimrod_Flash) August 27, 2023
Bibi Netanyahu’s government is a clown car full of half-wits, thieves, goons and grifters. The latest embarrassment comes in a TV interview with “Heritage minister,” Amihai Eliyahu, who is also a protege of Itamar Ben Gvir and his Religious Zionism party. His heritage? Apartheid, West Bank prisons, land theft?
Here he’s defending a prohibition against traveling on “Jewish roads” in the West Bank. He explains why it’s cool to refuse the Palestinians a right to travel:
Eliyahu: When a person [Palestinian] threatens my right to life I limit his civil rights just a little bit to allow a normal person to live.
Interviewer: Limit just a little bit? It’s called apartheid. I think it’s in the dictionary. But I don’t know, we can check on Wikipedia.
E: Why [is that] apartheid? Does a prison constitute apartheid?
I: What are you talking about? Wait a minute. Let’s define Judea and Samaria. Is it a prison?
E: When you put a prisoner in a prison you limit his rights. A prison is apartheid?
Yes indeed. This is a bright bulb in Bibi’s firmament. A minister who actually tries to argue that “Jewish only” roads are not apartheid. And then doubles down on his metaphor saying the West Bank is like a prison, and the Palestinians prisoners in it. That, he declares, is not apartheid. If he was just a backbench MK it would be bad enough. But he is actually a minister. In an Israeli government.
Donald Trump was bad enough. But can you imagine if all of his cabinet members were as stupid as this? Say if Rudy Giuliani was attorney general. Bernie Kerick ran the FBI, Michael Cohen (before he flipped) chief of staff, and Sebastian Gorka secretary of state. That’s what this Israeli government is like.
Protests erupted in Libya after the recent meeting between FM Najla Mangoush and her Israeli counterpart in Rome.
With no formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, Mangoush has been suspended pending an investigation. pic.twitter.com/UH2Bu5Uxv6
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) August 28, 2023
Libyans raise the Palestine flag in response to the meeting of Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush with the Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen and the rejection of normalization between the two countries.#Libya #Palestine 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/kv18nHgpFG
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) August 28, 2023
The foreign minister’s big mouth got Libyan counterpart fired
Eli Cohen is Israel’s foreign minister. But in reality he’s Bibi’s bellboy. He carries his baggage. Now he’s become baggage of a different kind.
Cohen barely speaks English. He’s a nonentity. No one had ever heard of him before his appointment. No one will remember him when this government falls (may it be soon). Not the brightest bulb, he held a “secret” meeting with the Libyan foreign minister in Italy. But he must’ve forgotten that it was supposed to be secret. Because as soon as he saw a microphone he boasted about the meeting, violating basic diplomatic protocol. He offered her a few trinkets in return, if her country would just sign on the dotted line, recognize Israel, and hop on the normalization train.
There was one problem. Libya not only does not recognize Israel, but it declared it a hostile state. Cozying up to Israeli ministers is not only frowned on, it gets you fired. That’s just what happened to Najla al-Mangoush. Her prime minister suspended her from her duties pending an “investigation.” Following an eruption of anti-Israel violence, she was sacked.
Barak Ravid reports that Biden administration officials (undoubtedly in the State Department) have severely reprimanded Israel for revealing the secret meeting. This and the firing of the foreign minister have, according to US officials, damaged US security interests:
…The disclosure of the meeting by Israel caused damage to US efforts to promote normalization between Israel and Libya and other Arab countries, and even caused destabilization in Libya and damage to American security interests.
Eli Cohen claims there was no U.S. protest. U.S. officials tell me: “You bet there was!” https://t.co/wWwPFYIJZF
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) August 28, 2023
Cohen’s response has only made things worse. He claims that he didn’t leak the news of the meeting. “Someone else” did. The Americans don’t believe it. Then he claimed the State Department didn’t criticize his actions, and merely asked that he tone things down. And the State Department took the unprecedented step of saying that what Cohen claims was false. Governments are not in the habit of saying foreign ministers of another country are lying. It’s just not done. But given how stupid Cohen is, they figure: the dude deserved it. And he sure did!
The worst aspect of all as far as Israel is concerned, is that Eli Cohen will become a pariah. No US official will place any faith in him. He will be a dead man walking as far as the State Department is concerned. Just what Bibi needs is yet another of his ministers (eg. Smotrich and Ben Gvir) to become persona non grata with the Americans. Not to mention that Cohen is Israel’s foreign minister. The supposed point man for Israel’s foreign policy and its interlocutor on the world stage. Now he and Bibitoons will be even more of a laughingstock than they ever were.
So congratulations, Eli Cohen, you’ve done what a thousand BDS demonstrations could not. You’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest of anti-Israel hatred; along with a reaffirmation of Libyan solidarity with the Palestinian cause. If Libya ever was going to join the Abraham Accords, the chances are nil now. Not to mention, this fashla and the fiery response on the Libyan street demonstrates what awaits any other Arab country that contemplates joining the Abraham Discord. Well-played.