AIPAC applauds Netanyahu genocide

Benjamin Netanyahu and Joe Biden, seated, with US and Israeli flags behind them

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden oversee Israeli apartheid in this September 2023 meeting before conducting a genocidal onslaught in Gaza.

Cameron Smith The White House

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Tuesday by video link to an AIPAC summit taking place just outside Washington, DC.

AIPAC attendees applauded his pursuit of genocide in Gaza, where tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, neighborhoods wiped out, and the Israeli military has overseen starvation policies now taking the lives of Palestinian children.

Netanyahu has received staunch support from President Joe Biden. The American president has noted some reservations at times, expressing consternation at Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing” and “over the top” conduct in Gaza.

But so far Biden has kept the weapons flowing to Israel.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is most unlikely to stop the delivery of weapons now that Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, has signed a letter to the Biden administration with empty assurances that the weapons will be used in accordance with international law and that US humanitarian aid will be allowed into Gaza.

This was, after all, already supposed to be the case.

According to The Washington Post, the US has approved and delivered “more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel” since 7 October, including “thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms and other lethal aid.”

For re-election purposes Biden understands to say one thing, while quietly belying the words with actions facilitating Israel’s war crimes.

Biden’s weekend comment about a “red line” on an Israeli invasion of Rafah, the last so-called safer area for Palestinians in Gaza, appears meaningless. He immediately self-corrected to note, “I’m never gonna leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still critical.”

Netanyahu, for his part, wasn’t having even a little of it, declaring, “We’ll go there.” He added, “You know, I have a red line. You know what the red line is? That October 7 doesn’t happen again. Never happens again.”

Red lines about Israeli apartheid and war crimes, however, are scarcely broached by mainstream western media.

Netanyahu to AIPAC

The Israeli prime minister continued with a similar line of thinking at AIPAC, pocketing Biden’s support and indicating he would nevertheless do what he wants with American weapons.

“I deeply appreciate it, the support we’ve received from President Biden and the administration and I hope it will continue. But let me be clear, Israel will win this war no matter what.”

The key words, though unbelievable, are these: “We will finish the job in Rafah while enabling the civilian population to get out of harm’s way. We’ve taken measures to minimize civilian casualties that no other army has taken in history.”

Yet those supposed measures involve the killing of well over 12,000 Palestinian children, even if CNN couldn’t bring itself to note clearly and repeatedly that Israel is the power killing them in a recent segment on Palestinian children.

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, also speaking Tuesday, said that the path to securing stability for Israel “does not lie in smashing into Rafah, where there are 1.3 million people, in the absence of a credible plan to deal with the population there. And again, as things stand today, we have not seen what that plan is.”

But he refused to speculate on whether the US would condition military aid to Israel if Netanyahu disregards Biden’s mealymouthed warning and attacks Rafah and the Palestinians seeking limited safety there.

In other words, if hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have faced five months of bombing and deprivation are not moved out of Rafah before an Israeli offensive, then the Biden administration may or may not take action regarding weapons to Israel.

It’s all words with no meaningful consequences as of yet – except that key constituencies are abandoning Biden and the Democratic Party.

And if Palestinians are moved to the north, where the bombed and destitute are starving, the Biden administration is signaling that would be acceptable in the midst of what the International Court of Justice has deemed a plausible genocide by Israel.

CODEPINK confronts AIPAC lobbyists

AIPAC lobbyists spent part of their day Tuesday pushing for additional military aid from the US in order for Israel to prosecute the Gaza genocide unencumbered by a weapons shortage.

CODEPINK activists were there to challenge them.

At least one irate AIPAC lobbyist ripped up a photo of starving Palestinians.

Another argued that Israel could have turned Gaza into a “parking lot” had it wanted to do so and was rightly told that it had done so. Congressman Max Miller, in fact, early on in the assault on Gaza called for turning it into a “parking lot.”
An AIPAC lobbyist attempted to get CODEPINK activists thrown out for exercising their First Amendment rights in trying to stop a genocide.
CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin told The Electronic Intifada that while they weren’t thrown out of the Capitol Building, they were forced from the grounds.

“There is a vast chasm between what the President says and what he is doing, just like – thanks to AIPAC – there is a vast chasm between what the American people want (a ceasefire and no more weapons to Israel) and what Congress is doing,” Benjamin wrote in a message.

“AIPAC is making our democracy less and less representative and we were glad to be in congress to call out their support for genocide.”

The response to CODEPINK activists made clear that genocide promotion in Gaza is ongoing and being pursued by AIPAC lobbyists seeking more US weapons for Israel’s ongoing bombing and decimation of the coastal strip of territory and its people.

Yet many Democratic candidates continue to embrace the financial support of AIPAC’s super PAC, United Democracy Project, and are likewise complicit in Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Even Politico – apparently beholden, though not yet pledged, to a code of conduct supporting “the right of existence of the State of Israel,” even as an apartheid state that is carrying out genocide in Gaza – has acknowledged that “AIPAC is expected to spend $100 million across its political entities in 2024, taking aim at candidates they deem insufficiently supportive of Israel.”

In 2024, many Democrats are proudly taking AIPAC’s money to undercut candidates who would actually do what Americans want: Back a ceasefire.

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Why do we still have Western countries involved in genocide? It would seem the Holocaust was all the reasons why the peoples of the West would never again commit, fund, facilitate, support or be complicit in this the darkest of all crimes, and yet here we are. When I was a young student a psychology lecturer asked our class, "who of you think they could kill a child in some circumstance?" i thought for a moment and raised my hand; I was one of six among one hundred and thirty. "Wel at least six of you are honest with yourselves." the professor said. You see, it is within all of us to commit horrible evil acts, we all are capable, and have within us the depravity to do bad things. Only by knowing this do we have the faintest possibility of preventing ourselves from becoming the monsters of our own nightmares. After World War 2 there was considerable research into why humans have this trait, and how it can be triggered. Many of the studies would be considered rather unethical these days, but all showed it was frighteningly easy to provoke groups of otherwise reasonable people to murder and oppression. These women are demonstrating that seemingly decent men have closed their minds to the possibility of wrong doing, they have given themselves to the crime, and are encased in their own dark rationalism. Democracy helps us only if we are ready to listen to those who dissent and accuse us. Once our minds are closed anyone can commit genocide. For those of us who resist there is the harsh duty to bring all of our fellows to confront their crimes and face justice.

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Michael F. Brown

Michael F. Brown is an independent journalist. His work and views have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, TheNation.com, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.