Gaza War Proved That US Remains Netanyahu Territory


For those of us who have spent years, if not decades, trying to make Americans understand the horrors of the Israeli occupation, this should be a time for some serious re-thinking. There is no evidence whatsoever that Americans (led by Jewish Americans) reacted to the Gaza war any differently than to any previous war involving Israel.
The media (with a few notable exceptions like Chris Hayes on MSNBC) propagated the Israeli line while mostly ignoring what the IDF was inflicting on the civilian population of Gaza. The President had nothing to say about the innocent Palestinian dead except in the vaguest and most balanced tones. If he felt any outrage about the dead children in Gaza, he kept it to himself. As for Congress, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, came together as one to reduce the leveling of Gaza to the simple issue of Israel’s “right to defend itself.” As for the organized Jewish community, it backed the war as stridently as ever, with even J Street intimidated into support for it. A notable exception to all this was Tikkun which, consistent with its principles, vocally opposed the killing.
In short, nothing has changed. The White House, Congress and the media is in the Israeli government’s pocket, kept there by the lobby which (in all its various incarnations) keeps America in line behind Netanyahu.
The implications of all this are pretty frightening. After all, it is not as if the anti-occupation and anti-war left has not been active over the past decade. Although J Street consistently joins Team Netanyahu in times of crisis, it certainly has brought valuable attention to the anti-occupation cause, more than it ever received in the past. So have Peter Beinart, Walt & Mearsheimer and a host of others who have both explained the evils of the occupation and the way it is sustained by the Israel lobby here.
And yet there was little, if any, evidence that anything has changed since the last Gaza war or even since the Lebanon war of 1982.

AIPAC Secretary Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with AIPAC leaders. Credit: Creative Commons / US Department of State

One might argue that this only proves that BDS is the answer, something that is more difficult to dispute than before the latest war but I doubt it. Given the political situation here, the United States Congress would surely find a way to compensate Israel for any losses BDS might inflict on it. Isn’t it clear by now that there is virtually nothing the United States will not do for Israel in order to please the AIPAC-organized fat cat donors?
The bottom line is that without changing our political system, it is unlikely that the United States will ever do anything to end the occupation. This is not to say that the occupation won’t end. It very well might but through actions on the ground in the Middle East, by Palestinians themselves, rather than due to anything our government does. With even progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren giving full throated support for Israel’s actions in Gaza, who exactly could we look to to change US policies? AIPAC’s own Hillary Clinton?
In short, the Israel issue is like the gun issue. Just as the slaughter of the children of Newtown, Connecticut led not to more gun control but to less, so will the slaughter in Gaza lead to not less support for Netanyahu but more. Powerful lobbies use moments of crisis to galvanize support, to raise more money, to get more politicians to swear allegiance. Until we get money out of politics, this is how it is going to be.
And not just on Israel or guns either, but pretty much on every issue. Our democracy has become a tragic joke.

8 thoughts on “Gaza War Proved That US Remains Netanyahu Territory

  1. MJ — nowhere do you acknowledge the obvious: terrorism unites the right and left among Israelis and their supporters. Even peace activists like Amos Oz supported the Gaza war. You need to give that some thought. It may not be fair, but the reality is that Hamas will need to go, and terrorism needs to really become a thing of the past, for there to be any chance of ending the occupation.

  2. It’s all death and destruction caused by the determination of Hamas to inflict pain o Israel, while drawing the sympathy of the world. WIth the exception of the extreme left, it did not work. Much of the world would not buy it. [Personal attack removed]
    1. Hamas had a chance for a cease fire early in the conflict and rejected it
    2. Hamas invested hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete to tunnel into Israel with the intent to inflict pain on Israeli civilians
    3. It is well documented that Hams rockets were shot from the roofs of hospitals and schools in Gaza. That’s a war crime.
    4. Arab countries, with the exception of Qatar, did not support Hamas’s efforts. Egypt supported Israel’s efforts because they do not want Hamas militants coordinating efforts with known militants in Sinai.
    5. Since Hamas seized power, it has done nothing on behalf of the people of Gaza. No schools power stations destination plants or other types of infrastructure was built.
    6. Gaza is no more than a launch pad for Hamas
    6. The leaders of Hamas sat on the safety of Doha, Qatar during the war
    But continue your finger pointing. I light of the evidence, it does not reflect well on you.

  3. It is noteworthy that the August 23, 2014 statement by 400+ survivors of the Holocaust and their direct descendants, which I am one off, did denounced categorically not only the recent horrific massacres by Israel but as well all the other ones going back to Deir Yassim in April of 1948, not to mention all the other crimes against the humanity of Palestinians and the international law violating occupation.
    The underlying ideologues and perpetrators of these atrocities are extremist Zionists which until recently were supported by, inter alia, the extremist right-wing Evangelist Zionists who are now beginning to pull back. This is progress and may eventually lead to further disintegration of the mentality that somehow perpetrators can camouflage themselves as “victims” and sustainably pursue their self-defeating destructive path.
    Another sign of progress has been the first National Summit for the Reassessment of the U.S. “Special” Relationship which took place at the National Press Club earlier this year on which I reported in the Argentum Post (
    I congratulate you, Mr. Rosenberg, for your principled, courageous, informative, and inspiring work !

  4. Excellent points you have made here, Mr. Rosenberg — disheartening, frustrating, maddening — but so true. Until our Congress and State Department (and the Oval Office pretenders) free our nation from the insidious control of AIPAC we are doomed to continue the downward spiral of what is left of the greatest ‘experiment’ of democracy in history.

  5. The cause of the violence is the illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (yes, Gaza is still occupied given that its entry and exit points are fully controlled by Israel.)
    Other than the pull of ethnic ties, I can imagine no reason whatsoever for taking Israel’s side in the struggle with the Palestinians.
    When the occupation ends, I will fully support Israel’s “right to defend itself” from within its legitimate (pre-’67) borders.

    • Know your geography. Israel conrols its own border with Gaza. The other border is controlled by Egypt. Egypt shut off smuggling routes, but not before Hamas replenished it rocket supply and built its tunnels. Gaza is occupied ,but not by Israel. It’s being held hostage by Hamas. All I ask for here is a little honesty.

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