‘Tis said that good things come in threes. I believe the converse is also true – bad things also come in threes! In the face of the overwhelming bad news coming out of Palestine/Israel this week, three stories – for me – stood out:
|Mufti Amin al-Husseini
The first was a report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken to blaming the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem for the Holocaust, claiming that, starting in the 1920s, Mufti Amin al-Husseini told Hitler to kill the Jews that he was planning to expel from Germany rather than evicting them, because the latter course of action would send them to Palestine (http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/10/26/netanyahus-outrageous-lie-palestinian-grand-mufti-hitler-column/74487550).
Now, let’s never mind that this conversation never happened. Historians and scholars far more knowledgeable than I have reported that while al-Husseini did, in fact, talk to Hitler, it was in November of 1941, well after the Holocaust was under way and al-Husseini’s meeting with Hitler was to ask for support for an independent Palestinian state (remember, this was during the British Mandate period).
While it is clear that Netanyahu’s motive for making this ridiculous claim is to gain support for the increasingly aggressive Israeli campaign of violence against the Palestinians, it also demonstrates the lengths to which the right-wing Zionist government will go to rationalize what an increasing number of people are recognizing as an Apartheid state. And that is bad news – for both the Israelis who are hearing shades of “Holocaust denial” in their elected leadership – and for the Palestinians – the perpetual “victims” of this conflict no matter who is holding the weapon!
|Why "punish" Abbas but not Netanyahu?
The second story that made me angry was that the US Government has voted to decrease aid to Palestine by 22% as a “message” to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to stop the escalating violence in the West Bank (http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/10/abbas-netanyahu-palestinian-authority.html#). I am outraged that my government – and my tax dollars – not only to continue to fund the violence by generous gifts to the Israeli government (which far exceed anything that goes to the Palestinians!), but has, once again, unilaterally accept the Israeli rhetoric that blames the Palestinians for all of the evils in the region! If the US truly wanted to bring peace to the region – they would cut off aid to all parties concerned unless and until not only the violence, but also the human rights violations, have ended!
Finally, and this is also related to the US’ ongoing “love affair” with Israel – I was horrified to hear that a forum will be held in Jerusalem, providing US Presidential candidates an hour each to “present their views on U.S. foreign policy, US-Israel relations, threats affecting US allies in Europe and Asia, the instability in the Middle East, terrorism, and solutions to increase the economic well-being and security of Americans in the US and abroad.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natasha-srdoc/firstever-us-presidential_b_8367160.html.
|Should US Presidential Candidates debate here?
First, I am categorically stating here and now that I will not support any candidate – of either party – who participates in this event. Israel is NOT our 51st state, and while there well may be issues about our foreign policy that affect Israel (as, indeed, they affect the rest of the world!), there is no earthy reason to stage such an event abroad – much less is one of the most contentious places on earth! As it did when Netanyahu invited himself to speak to Congress, this is a clear case of another country attempting to influence our foreign policy – and I would hope that all serious candidates will distance themselves from this spectacle!