Netanyahu’s Racism Won The Election And Destroyed Ties To The White House

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netanyahu victory

Benjamin Netanyahu revealed his true self in the final hours of his campaign with a blatantly racist appeal to the Israeli electorate. It worked in Israel, but for President Obama, it was a step too far.

The prime minister used fear mongering tactics that targeted Arab-Israelis and Palestinians in order to rally right-wing voters. The White House has let it be known that not only would Netanyahu’s comments limit his access to the President, but the United States might no longer automatically back Israel in the United Nations.

On election day, Netanyahu posted a video warning on Facebook and wrote:

The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them in buses.

Arab citizens of Israel have every right to vote in elections and had a special investment in voting this year. A newly formed coalition of Arab parties was on the brink of becoming the third largest party in the country. A member of the Knesset, Dov Khenin, accused Netanyahu of crossing “a red line of incitement and racism” in his remarks.

The day before the election, the prime minister reversed himself on Palestine. While he has previously voiced support for a two-state solution, he declared on Monday that there would never be a sovereign Palestinian state as long as he was in office. This is a complete betrayal of the negotiations that the United States has sponsored for years.

Not that the announcement was a total surprise. Many familiar with the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel already believed that Netanyahu’s true intent was to sabotage the process. Why else would he repeatedly announce approval of new, illegal settlements on Palestinian land at critical moments.

The crass ‘coming out’ of the real Netanyahu was too much for the White House. Press secretary Josh Earnest made this statement to reporters:

The United States and this administration is deeply concerned about rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens. It undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.

A variety of administration officials have stepped forward to make the point that Netanyahu’s comments are a game-changer. Significantly, a State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, indicated that a reevaluation of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel might include a change in policy at the United Nations. She avoided assuring Israel that we will continue to vote in accordance with their wishes. She said:

 There is, of course, a lot of sentiment building among member nations that is favorable to Palestine. Only a U.S. vote has kept many supportive actions at bay.

A recent warning had already gone out to Israel from a former negotiator that a failure on Israel’s part to return to the table for talks could result in the process passing out of their hands entirely. The U.N. Security Council is likely to come up with the terms of a settlement on their own. In view of Netanyahu’s ill-considered statements, the U.S. could very well go along.

A lot of Americans have passed beyond the point of patience with the prime minister. Their tolerance was stretched thin over the prolonged attack on Gaza last summer. It virtually snapped in two over his speech to Congress, a collaboration with Republicans to undermine the President’s peace negotiations with Iran.

For many in this country, the White House change in attitude lags that of popular opinion. Standing up for the  human rights of Palestinians over the faux-friendship of Israel’s prime minister would be a great relief for most Americans — particularly those who are not Republicans serving in Congress.


Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info


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