Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy

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NEW ZEALAND’S GOVERNMENT faces a difficult choice between doing the right thing and the expedient thing over Israel’s latest outrage. This country has a proud record of lending its voice to the United Nations’ condemnation of the Israeli state’s repeated violations of international norms in its treatment of the Palestinian people. In the current international climate, however, upholding that proud diplomatic record risks making New Zealand politicians targets for Israeli destabilisation.

The latest, and potentially one of the most dangerous, Israeli threats to the Palestinians has been issued by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. His proposal is, in essence, to annex the entire Jordan Valley to the Israeli state. Were he to be in a position, following the pending Israeli elections, to implement this promise, all hope of a “two state solution” peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would evaporate completely.

For those readers of The Daily Blog who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of Israeli destabilisation, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention.

Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and organised one of their most shameless interventions, ever, in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation.

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Utilising every individual, group and institution responsive to Jerusalem’s guidance, the Israeli national security apparatus first redefined and then weaponised the concept of antisemitism, unleashing it upon Corbyn and his supporters with unprecedented political fury. Challenges to the foreign and domestic policies of the Israeli state – such as Corbyn has made for the past 30 years – are now routinely presented as incontrovertible proof of his antisemitic prejudice.

Such a self-serving redefinition of antisemitism would, almost certainly, have been laughed off the political stage had it not been for the extraordinary support it received from the mainstream British news media.

It is no accident that the two media organisations responsible for prosecuting Corbyn’s “antisemitism” most forcefully are the BBC and The Guardian. Had these two leaders of liberal opinion refused to buy into Jerusalem’s campaign, the attack would have had to be carried out by all the usual right-wing media suspects. That apparently “left-wing” journalists and columnists were willing to brand Corbyn an antisemite was crucial to the campaign’s impact.

So, how does the definition work? The proposition advanced is a very simple one.

The State of Israel represents the last, best hope of protecting the Jewish people from persecution and genocide. To suggest that the Jews can rely upon anybody but the State of Israel in this respect is to wilfully misread the lessons of history. To undermine in any way the strength and coherence of the Israeli state is, therefore, a hostile act. Those who do so represent a clear and present danger to the Jewish people’s sanctuary. Only those who seek to do the Jews harm could countenance such a policy. They are, ipso facto, antisemites.

That this simplistic formula actually works on well-educated and otherwise progressive individuals is explicable in no small measure by the identity of those who have, over the course of the last 70 years, made no secret of their wish to destroy the State of Israel. Journalists over 60 recall the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and ask themselves what would have happened had the Israeli Defence Force not prevailed. Younger intellectuals remember the terrorist campaigns of the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah, and ponder the ethics of “ proactive self-defence”.

“If you’re looking for a good reason to stand with the Jewish people,” say Israel’s defenders, “just take a look at who’s standing against them.”

The Israeli case is strengthened by the geopolitical considerations that have never ceased to drive the policies of both the United Kingdom and the United States – especially when it comes to oil. The repeated trashing of the Middle East by the UK and the USA, from the end of World War II to the present day, has, among many other effects, increased immeasurably the military and economic strength of Israel. All three states have a powerful vested interest in keeping the balance of power firmly tilted in Israel’s favour.

Such are the considerations that New Zealand’s diplomats must weigh before responding to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s incendiary promise. Our convalescing Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, will, therefore, be asking himself two vital questions.

Dare we remain silent in the face of a policy that can only lead to the wholesale ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Israeli-occupied territory?

And.

Will Jacinda thank me for adding the fearsome capabilities of the Israeli national security apparatus to a plate already piled high with troubles?

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. The announcement as to the Jordan Valley came after a poll showing the blue and white party ahead. So it’s part of a bidding war to win support from eretz Israel nationalists.

    It reveals a clear tacit albeit unspoken agenda to end the possibility of the West Bank being part of a Palestinian state (and reduce this to Gaza) – thus the policy of imprisoning young Arabs protesting the loss of village land to neighbouring settlements (pushing those born after “1993” to migrate abroad, while waiting the for the last of the “1948” refugees to die off).

  2. The Israeli state has long practiced a pernicious “creeping genocide” on Palestinians. From the original expulsions and destruction of villages, encroaching settlements, the open air prison of Gaza, and the structural elements–including walls and caged checkpoints–of a full blown Apartheid State, the inhumane goal of destroying the Palestinian homeland will have essentially been achieved if this outrageous annexation took place.

    The majority of the world long ago took a position on Chris opening line–“between the right thing and the expedient thing”. I and many other dedicated people however, will continue to support BDS and other Palestinian Solidarity measures while we have breath, to fight one of the great injustices our lifetime.

    All it would take is international pressure to open up the blockade on Gaza, or for the likes of Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn to be elected to put this issue back at the forefront of world affairs. The Israeli State and Military would not survive five minutes if US Arms and Dollars were turned off, or even threatened to be, or if there was some practical solidarity shown by neighbouring states.

  3. As far as Jordan Valley Palestinians are concerned the Valley has already been annexed. The Israelis have control of ALL WATER resources. So called settlers are free to violently attack Palestinians, , while IDF soldiers look on. The possibility of a ‘Two-State Solution’ died many years ago.
    The actual situation is a ‘One-State Reality’.
    The shame of the West, including New Zealand, is its continued silence as Israeli skilled snipers kill and seriously maim, with illegal ‘dum-dum’ bullets, Gazans: men, women and children..including medics and journalists, regularly demonstrating, on Fridays, trying to tell the outside world that they are ‘still here..please help’. The South African government showed courage to expel the Israelis. New Zealand should too, should have in March of last year. As for opponents of Zionism, a settler-colonial agenda, being ‘anti-Semitic’, the most articulate, informed, passionate opponents of Zionism are Jews..many examples including the American group Jewish Voice for Peace. Zionists are supported in the US by more so-called ‘Christian Zionists’ than by Jews.
    Yes the Israel Lobby is powerful.
    The issue is one of humanity. We should remember that Palestinians are our fellow human beings.

    • It is a shameful, and frustrating situation alright for those that give a damn. Hundreds of UN resolutions totally ignored etc. New Zealanders that have tried to practically support beyond solidarity measures, such as Kia Ora Gaza–delivering humanitarian aid–were met with the force of the Israeli military and lucky not to pay with their lives; for delivering medical equipment! Israelis have become the monsters they initially ran from.

      I used to make a distinction between the Israeli people at large and the State and Military. That seems pointless now given the way most of them vote and what they support in reality.

      And the Israeli troll farms are another vicious force that many would not immediately get when they look at social media. An inkling of this was the reaction Lorde got for cancelling a show, some of the Israeli student arseholes followed me on line for weeks after I supported Lorde’s stance.

    • Even though Israel is being evil we can not be pushed into a frenzy that will consume us as it consumes the Israeli Government. As compelling as it is to engage The State of Israel they have been on the edge since the beginning.and may well just fall over with no help from anyone. Among the many reasons of reasons, among them is that the Israeli State fears its neighbours. And in annexing The Jordan Valley Israel’s neighbours will find it difficult to maintain the previous calm. Even more we will all be consumed with despair. My simple solution for avoiding all this would be to get the annexation done and over with. And even more slyly, it should be done, with UN troops.

    • Hi Lois.

      The peace process has been dead for yonks. Just nobody wants to admit it.

      I stood up along with you in the letters to the Editor of the Press a few months ago when David Zwartz(?) called out responses to an ad placed in The Press.

      Israel needs to go back to the pre 1967 borders recognized by the United Nations and stop pretending it has sovereignty anywhere else.

      • “Israel needs to go back to the pre 1967 borders recognized by the United Nations and stop pretending it has sovereignty anywhere else.”

        100%!!

        Otherwise its time for NZto breaK off diplomatic relations with the worst rogue state in he world

    • Murray McCully took a brave stand at the United Nations telling the Israeli’s what we thought.

      And true to form, it was decided by Israel that our diplomatic relationship status should be downgraded. Whilst stamping their feet and crying “Anti-semite”, “Anti-Israel”.

      Yes, Jerko is right. It is time we made another stand.

  4. From the above:

    Utilising every individual, group and institution responsive to Jerusalem’s guidance…

    pretty much says it all about Mr Trotters perspective. Along with Trump he recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Well done Chris. At least you’re being honest anout where you come from now. Stuff the Palestinians. Better to bow and scrape to Israel cause otherwise we might have to suffer slings and arrows for our principles…

    • Pfft I bath in it if I like. Y’know an alternate path would be to introduce democratic reforms beginning with annexing Jordan, correct? Typically first on the agenda would be to hold elections. In fact why not encourage the annexation of 5 million Palestinians by 5 million Isrealis and all having an election to celebrate. Does that sound fair?

  5. If you got into politics for the right reasons, it’s not a choice at all. Netanyahu and his coterie of right-wing xenophobes should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. If you’re there for the sake of expediency, then perhaps you shouldn’t be there at all. In other news, the term ‘anti-Semitism’ has almost lost all meaning, primarily thanks to Netanyahu and friends trotting it out every time they’re criticised for their atrocities. The next time some shill for the Israeli war-machine calls you an anti-Semite, just roll your eyes and laugh. It’s the only response warranted.

  6. Winston and Jacinda have no choice. BALFOUR (The Crown) explicitly agreed “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

    Any argument annexation will not negatively impact the ‘non-Jewish Communities’ living there ?

    UN Resolution 2334 on Dec. 23, 2016, condemned Israel for the settlements they’ve created in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and in east Jerusalem and we signed up to it. The ‘Hustings’ annexation threat by Netenyahu contravenes all international law .
    So. If we are a nation of law, then there is no choice. The covert war practices of Israel (‘By Way of Deception Thou Shalt Do WAR/MossadMotto) already impact our country . Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told New Zealand’s foreign minister that support for a UN resolution (2334) condemning Israeli settlement-building in the occupied territories would be viewed as a “declaration of war” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/28/netanyahu-told-new-zealand-backing-un-vote-would-be-declaration-of-war, and “If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. etc” ‘Britain Pulled the Strings and Netanyahu Warned New Zealand It Was Declaring War’ : https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-britain-pulled-the-strings-netanyahu-threatened-nz-israel-s-un-vote-battle-1.5479015
    If we bow further to that threat, then we are slave to it.
    And we are Slave enough.

  7. Tiger Mountain (and Chris),

    The US (even Sanders) won’t do anything that looks like it would fundamentally imperil the existence of Israel. So there won’t ever be a total boycott of arms sales, and the funding that goes with that. That would be the equivalent of the US declaring Israel an enemy state. Not going to happen. Not with all the history.

    But that doesn’t mean the US will always take a Trump approach either. There are are many things in between that the US can do. Be more forthright at the UN. Make some of the arms deals a bit more difficult and time consuming. Put more pressure on Israel for a two state solution. Netanyahu would respond by stoking up his US supporters, but that may not be as successful in the future as it has been in the past.

    Netanyahu says lots of things that don’t actually happen. I would suspect that this is one of them.

    The NZ government might condemn his statements, or they might just see them as electioneering, and best ignored for the moment.

    I think the latter. If the PM is asked about the issue, she can always simply state New Zealand’s long standing position. Going beyond that at the moment is pointless. Much better to see what happens in the Israel election, and then see what Israel actually does.

  8. The attitude of Israel to it’s neighbours (and it does not seem likely that a change of government will change this) is really consistent with it’s creation in the first place. Without legal or moral justification it is locked into an everlasting fight for it’s existence ; that is lasting as long as ever it does exist. It are right to recognise that it’s existence is under constant threat, it could not be otherwise and it never will be. The Jewish people do not need it. They are not vilified or persecuted in the modern world wherever they are as they were a hundred years ago. They hold many important and privileged positions far in excess of their proportionate numbers in all the countries they live in. Israel only survives as the result of those diaspora ,especially in the US, influencing their successive governments to make the protection of Israel the number one national priority. The result is that that huge nation’s vast economy is funnelled into a monstrous and vast war machine the principal function of which is to be ready to defend that little festering sore and threatening the whole of the world to do so.
    The only hope I see is that America collapses from the inside by that military monster exhausting the economy from which it derives it’s sustenance .
    I think Israel could survive if it would pull it’s head in. But it won’t.
    D J S

  9. As one who grew up with the story of brave little Israel defending itself against the evil Arabs, (and was actually in Aqaba at the start of the six day war) the realisation that Israel was built on stolen land took some time for me to understand. I still find it astonishing that a people who were persecuted as they were would seem to be happy to do the same to another group? Having read a little lately about the living conditions of some of the few remaining survivors of the Holocaust, it would appear that sometimes these days it is more of a convenient political tool than the obscene outrage it actually was. The NZ sponsored UN resolution 2334 promoted by Murray McCully( always wondered if Murray wandered in to the wrong voting booth.) Apologies, well done Murray, showed that NZ could stand for right against our american masters. Let us be serious here yankofiles winston and ron are not going to say boo unless there feet are held to the fire.

  10. Nowt high-risk about it IF ‘surface politics’ wasn’t all about bowing to prevailing winds rather than arguing your case. I’d like to see a spitting impassioned leader. What is the purpose of that pulpit but to discard lesser reasoners. And unlike the Right, vital for the weaker 90%.

  11. Chris, is that why the anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn has been so successful? Because it doesn’t blow me away, backwoods NZer though I am, so I wonder about intellectually excellent Britain? Is there an extra ingredient I’m missing?

    Jews are the best as everyone knows, and deserving of our sympathy after the Holocaust, but never to the extent of victimising another people. The beauty and ugliness of ‘stories’. Israel is a crusader state.

    They appealed to ideals and they must accept our judgements as the dividends.

    The Guardian! A good case against the MSM. And for the old adage about Liberals — at the last minute their hands leave their hearts and go to their wallets.

    • Maybe i have led a sheltered life sumsuch but have not heard that before, the old adage about Liberals — at the last minute their hands leave their hearts and go to their wallets. How true. I to am amazed that a thinking people could accept the manufactured garbage directed at Corbyn?

  12. “Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy”
    It would be if the bastards were as close to us as they are to their certainly mortified Palestinian neighbours.
    As it is? I say get fucked to them. Stay the fuck away!

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