Golda vs. Goldstone: A Cultural Evolution of Getting Away With Murder
The date when the United States became Israel’s unquestioning benefactor can the fixed with precision: June 8, 1967, the fourth day of the six-day 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
It was on this day that Israel’s air and naval forces attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 US Navy sailors, in what is still the worst loss of naval personnel due to hostile fire since the end of WWII. It was on this day that the Johnson Administration aborted a rescue mission in the process of being mounted by aircraft of the US Navy’s 6th Fleet. With the cooperation of the US Congress, the Johnson Administration put into motion a series of responses and non-responses that cumulatively resulted a complete whitewash any serious investigation into the question of whether not Israel deliberately chose to attack a neutral US naval vessel sailing in international waters, 14 miles off the Sinai Peninsula. To date, the Liberty incident is the only major naval disaster that has not precipitated an in-depth investigation by the US Congress.
Bear in mind, the Liberty was no ordinary Naval ship; she was a very important, highly classified signals intelligence ship, capable of delivering intercepted radio communications of both Israelis and Egyptians in real time to the cryptologists of the National Security Agency in Washington.
Moreover, the question of deliberate intent was self-evidently pertinent because (1) the Liberty was flying a large American flag and, being festooned with a large number of huge electronic antennas, had a very distinctive profile; (2) the attack was preceded by at least eight Israeli reconnaissance over flights beginning six hours before the attack; (3) the air attack was prolonged, systematic, and competently executed, lasting about 20 minutes, with many low level passes, and the resultant battle damage suggested Israel concentrated on taking out the electronic antennas and cryptology equipment; (4) the air attack was followed by multiple Israeli naval attacks where three Israeli gunboats machine cannoned survivors in life rafts, resulting in 25 of the 34 deaths among the Liberty’s crew; and (5) while the attack was taking place, an airborne rescue mission in the process of being launched from a carrier in the 6th Fleet was aborted by a still unexplained order from the White House.
In short, on June 8, 1967, Israel got away with murder, but Israel’s primary benefactor, the United States, like a rich albeit injured parent intent on spoiling a child, rather than lowering the boom, became ever more indulgent over time.
Since then, the United States has showered Israel with aid money and state of-the-art, hi-tech weapons; the United States has twisted its foreign policy to serve the needs of Israel’s foreign policy and Israel’s wars of aggression. The United States has also tolerated, and even condoned, Israel’s meddling in US domestic politics.
It therefore should not be surprising that, like any spoiled child, Israel has perfected all sorts of ways to induce and manipulate her over-indulgent parent or benefactor into spoiling her further. See, for example, Uri Avnery’s brilliant dissection of how Israel influences US presidential politics here.
The score card is still out on President Obama, and hopefully, the mutually reinforcing interaction between the United States and Israel reached its apotheosis with the blank checks issued repeatedly by the administration of President George W. Bush. That is because, as Gideon Levy vividly illustrates below in Ha’aretz, a highly respected Israeli newspaper with a liberal bent, the predictable result of our unrestricted benefactions is now a spoiled brat.
Mr. Levy describes a self-pitying, morally challenged, self-righteous bully, full of internal, contradictory, delusional, and self-destructive impulses — a bully that is now a danger to herself, her patron, and, I would add, to the entire world, because this particular bully is armed with 80 to 200 nuclear weapons. Yet Israel still refuses to sign, and Mr. Obama has reportedly agreed not to pressure Israel to sign, the non-proliferation treaty even though Israel maintains nuclear ongoing weapons production facilities that have never been subject to the kind of inspections imposed on and agreed to by its putative existential threats, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or Iran under the mullahs.
The Golda wars
Sept 16, 2009
Those who are to blame for everything have been found: the “Goldstoners.” Not the occupation, the settlements, Israeli aggressiveness or brutality; just Goldstone. According to Ari Shavit (Haaretz, October 8), the spirit of Judge Richard Goldstone will bring the next war upon us, and it will be called the Goldstone War.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week reiterated that sentiment in amazingly similar terms this week in his speech to the Knesset. Not since Golda Meir said she would never forgive the Arabs for making us kill their children have such self-righteous, infuriating and damaging statements been made.. . . . . . .
To the Goldas we say: Every shell that lands on a house in Gaza causes more damage than any report. Those who have isolated Isael are the government, the Israel Defense Forces and their demagogic cheerleaders.
Yes, we Goldstoners want a different Israel. One where war is its last option, one that puts an end to the occupation, that wants to be a source of pride to its citizens and not of terrible shame. If only there were more Goldstoners here and less Goldas, it could be possible.
Phi Beta Iota: Zionist Howard Bloom, in The Global Brain, nails it. We must raise an entire new generation of both Israelis and Palestinians that do not learn from the age of speaking that the “others” are pigs and monkeys. In our view Jerusalem needs to be an international city with no sovereign state presence (including Embassies), there needs to be a two-state divide with Gaza and access to the sea assured for Palestine, and the USA has got to stopt funding the militarization of the Middle East and instead devote all of that money to waging peace. As Gandhi said, Palestine is to the Palestinians as France is to the French. The Israeli’s have become delusional, deceptive, and turned into the Nazi’s of our time, the ends justifying any means. The USA must cease its support of dictators generally, and Israel in its present incarnation specifically. We praise Ha’aretz for its integrity.