Bennett and Netanyahu: same evil, different face
Why Washington is mocking the new Israeli government
When former US President Barack Obama used an old cliché to denigrate his political opponent, the late US Senator John McCain, it sparked a multi-day political controversy.
“You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” Obama said at a campaign event in 2008. The maxim states that superficial changes don’t affect results, and that changing our facade doesn’t change who we really are.
American politicians are the authority on the matter. They are experts in artificial, rhetorical and, ultimately, superficial change. Once again, Washington’s political makeup artists are busy.
Since the dramatic ousting of his former mentor, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is now presented as the alternative to Netanyahu’s right-wing, chauvinistic and rowdy political style. However, for this to happen, more makeup is needed.
A lot can be said about Bennett and his party of ultra-nationalists and right-wing extremists known as Yamina.
Yamina is a decidedly racist political party. Their meager seven seats in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) were won thanks to their constant appeal to Israel’s most violent and racist constituencies, whose oft-repeated chant “Death to the Arabs” is a daily reminder of their grim political rhetoric.
Bennett is often quoted for this famous statement from 2013:
“I have killed a lot of Arabs in my life and that is no problem.”
Yet there is more to the politics of man than such an odious statement. Since the Israeli leadership (including Netanyahu) does not perceive any form of Palestinian resistance as legitimate, and in their eyes Palestinians are either terrorists or potential terrorists, consider the following “solution” proposed by Bennett to address the problem. of .’
As Israeli Minister of Education in 2015, Bennett proposed the construction of a wall of “deterrence”, which
“Demands that incitement end and terrorists be shot before they have a chance to injure innocent people.” This means that a terrorist who is shot at will be dead and never walk again. This means that Israel retains control of its homeland forever, immune to terrorism. “
So why does the Biden administration want us to believe that Bennett is different from Netanyahu?
Immediately after his inauguration, President Joe Biden was the first world leader to call in and congratulate Bennett on his new post. This act has a deeper symbolic meaning compared to the fact that it took Biden three whole weeks to phone Netanyahu, after the first was inaugurated in the White House in January.
A close associate of the new Israeli prime minister explained the nature of the friendly telephone conversation between Biden and Bennett in an interview with the Axios website:
“The White House wants to have close and regular consultation and engagement with Bennett and his team on the basis of a frank exchange of views, respect for differences, a desire to work for stability and security.”
In addition to the emphasis on frankness and “respect” in reference to the future US-Israel relationship, there has also been an equal and consistent emphasis on the need for confidentiality in dealing with differences between the two countries. “Unlike its predecessor,” The Times of Israel reported with reference to Netanyahu, the Bennet government “would voice its criticisms (of Washington) in private.” For months, the United States pleaded with Netanyahu to tone down his attacks on Washington, to no avail.
Now that Bennett is in charge, he’s clearly ready to play the game. And why shouldn’t he? He is eager to present himself as the antithesis of Netanyahu. By making such a “concession,” he would surely expect Washington to return the favor. For Bennett, it’s a win-win.
Bennett understands that US policy towards Israel is not determined by the attitude of the Israeli leadership. For example, in comments made last May, Biden rejected any suggestion that the United States will hold Israel accountable during its tenure in power.
There is “no change in my commitment, my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No change, not at all. If this strong pledge was made while the noisy Netanyahu was still in power, no change should be expected, now that the so-called sympathetic Bennett is Israel’s new prime minister.
American politicians are laughing at Bennett and his main coalition partner and future Prime Minister, Yair Lapid. They are eager to turn a new leaf and move forward after Netanyahu’s tumultuous years.
Bennett is expected to visit the United States in July, while Lapid has previously been invited to Washington by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Meanwhile, a large Israeli military delegation headed by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi is already expected to be in the United States to discuss various topics including Iran, Hezbollah and for ” to negotiate even more American gifts to Israel in the form of military equipment.
The United States is keen to redefine its relationship with Israel, not because Israel has changed, but because Washington has suffered repeated humiliations at the hands of ousted Netanyahu. Under Netanyahu, the United States has often found itself accused of not doing enough for Israel.
Even Obama’s annual military aid of $ 3.8 billion has not spared him repeated verbal assaults from Israel. Biden is ready to do anything to avoid this sordid scenario.
Biden’s doctrine on Israel and Palestine is simple. He does not want to make a concrete commitment to relaunch the peace process, for example, nor to be placed in a position where he is forced to make demands, and even less to put “pressure” on Israel.
Given that Biden has little to no expectations of Israel, Bennett seems willing to play the role of the easygoing and sane politician. It would be foolish not to do so, because according to his own political “vision” he simply wants to manage the conflict and prolong the occupation while, like his predecessor, continuing to promote his own version of the misleading notion of “peace.” economic .’
While Americans and Israelis are busy engaging in the ever-familiar ritual of “putting lipstick on a pig,” Palestinians remain irrelevant in all of this, as their political aspirations continue to be ignored and their freedom delayed.