Netanyahu insists on Israeli control west of the Jordan River

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu, both seated, lean toward each other with American and Israeli flags behind them

US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have worked together to devastate the Gaza Strip and its population.


For weeks, Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have received rushed US weapons to slaughter Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Thursday, Netanyahu, having pocketed those weapons, and not fearing the loss of future deliveries, said Israel would control everything west of the Jordan River.

“In any arrangement in the foreseeable future – with an arrangement or without one – Israel must have security control over all the territory west of the Jordan.”

This means control of both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

President Joe Biden didn’t get played; he was a willing participant. This was the obvious outcome.

Netanyahu can say what Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib cannot – and much worse.

When Congresswoman Tlaib this fall included a chant of “from the river to the sea” in a video, while insisting on human rights for all in that area, she was quickly censured by her colleagues, including some Democrats.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu pushes Israeli apartheid in the same territory, throwing into question the American preference for the so-called two-state solution. In reality, the much-trumpeted Palestinian state would likely be little more than disconnected bantustans.

Noa Tishby, former “Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization of Israel,” lambasted Tlaib over the chant, while hypocritically wearing a necklace indicating apartheid Israel includes the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

It’s shameless but largely passes without media comment.

Netanyahu further claimed on Thursday that “the prime minister needs to be able to say no, even to our best friends.”

The Democrats never learn. Most of them don’t want to learn – and their Republican colleagues across the aisle are much the same.

Senate ignorance

The same insistence on ignorance played out in the US Senate this week.

US Senators voted 72-11 against a resolution from Senator Bernie Sanders seeking from the US Secretary of State “all available credible information concerning alleged violations of internationally recognized human rights by the Government of Israel” both in Gaza and the West Bank.

Shortly before the 16 January vote, Sanders summed up the see-no-evil mentality of many of his colleagues.

“A vote against this resolution essentially says: ‘I don’t want more information. I don’t want to know how US military aid is being used. I don’t want to know what responsibility the US may have in this humanitarian disaster. I want to bury my head in the sand.’”

The resolution sought “a certification that no unit of the Israeli security forces receiving United States assistance since January 1, 2018” had “committed any gross violations of human rights.”

It would not have cut weapons to Israel immediately, though Sanders surely hoped it would provide evidence to give more Democrats pause over Israel’s actions.

Within days of South Africa arguing compellingly at the International Court of Justice that Israel may be committing genocide in Gaza, most US Senators don’t want to know anything about it.

They are complicit.

The ICJ should take note as the US continues to send weapons to Israel even as Biden has noted – while further aiding – Israel’s use of “indiscriminate bombing.”

No place for children

None of this is a surprise from a country where thousands of children are killed each year by guns with elected US officials, generally Republicans in this instance, unwilling to take sufficient measures to stop the carnage.

If they’re unwilling to protect children in the US, there’s very little reason to expect members of the US Senate to seek to protect – or gather information about – why Palestinian children are being killed by US weapons employed by Israel. Many simply blame Hamas rather than reckon with the outcome of an American 2,000-pound bunker buster bomb being dropped on a densely crowded refugee camp.

The US was and remains a profoundly violent country both at home and abroad.

And this year, the presidential choice is expected to be between a Democrat now being called “Genocide Joe” or “Butcher Biden,” as he was memorably termed days ago by Clare Daly, an Irish member of the European Parliament, and Republican Donald Trump, a former president, who employs racist rhetoric akin to that of Adolf Hitler.

Palestinians, however, are not without solidarity. South Africa has reminded the world of what international solidarity can do by bringing a genocide case against Israel to the ICJ. Perhaps Israel is paying a cost for its long years of support for South Africa’s apartheid leadership.

The move by the country that brought the world both Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu will certainly incline students to get more involved.

Now Mexico and Chile are referring Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories to Karim Khan, the feckless prosecutor for the International Criminal Court. The actions of Hamas have also been referred to the ICC by the two countries.

Perhaps Chile, much like South Africa, is recalling Israel’s long years of military support for right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet.

International solidarity with Palestinians is spreading from South Africa to Namibia to Chile and elsewhere.

Simultaneously, Biden is losing his 2020 coalition in the US over his anti-Palestinian support for Israel’s genocidal actions.

Actions have consequences, especially genocidal actions.

Expecting all Democrats to look away from genocide – “because Trump” – isn’t a convincing argument for many voters on the progressive flank of the Democratic Party.




Mr Netanyahu is acting like a tyrant, just the same as a bully in the school yard.
Being a spoiled brat has its consequences, and they're playing out right now.
Mr Netanyahu, I WILL take you to the ICC at the Hague...and you will be in chains, I guarantee.
My children will grow up knowing a despot is controlling Israel....just like Adolph Hitler!!!

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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,, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The News & Observer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and elsewhere.