Will Benjamin Netanyahu’s drama over Iran ever end?
Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu is a drama queen like no other. His song and dance reminds one of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s histrionics or Muammar Qaddafi’s menopausal approach to digress into the mundane – never addressing what matters the most.
There is no right way to explain Bibi’s behaviour, but he is a typical opportunist, an attention seeker, a sensationalist – one who excels in the art of tomfoolery and throwing tantrums. His popularity, even amongst the greatest of his supporters, is on the decline because he is a power-hungry predator trying to gain political mileage from situations that normally wouldn’t be termed ‘momentous’ enough be blown out of proportion.
Bibi skilfully demonstrated his talent when he blasted the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG), Ban Ki-Moon, for his remarks on Israeli settlements in the West Bank area. Ban Ki is a respected statesman, one who has made a name for himself in global politics as a strong advocate for his failing organisation – one who could well be South Korea’s next president.
On January 26, while speaking at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting, Ban Ki questioned Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements in the disputed West Bank region and its commitment to peace. Ban Ki contended that Israel’s relentless occupation policy will only lead to ‘hatred and extremism’. Netanyahu was quick to pounce on Ban Ki and branded his remarks as counter-productive, providing an excuse to extremists to liberally carry out terrorist acts.
This twirling and twisting of facts is typical of Bibi, a master schemer who has no scruples and only knows how to score political points.
What the UNSG gave was a straight-up, no frills attached statement raising a red-flag about Israel’s extreme policies vis-à-vis handling the Palestinian territories and people. The perpetual inconsistencies and maltreatment of Arabs in the occupied lands by Israeli security forces has only festered animosity in the hearts and minds of the younger generation forcing them to take up arms, resorting to extremism and committing violent crimes – a sad depiction of natural human behaviour, whereby one reacts spitefully when shown the stick unnecessarily and is pushed against the wall by those several times more powerful and politically well-connected.
While the state of Israel remains committed to the well-being of its citizens, including the large Arab Muslim population, the Palestinian issue has been a super-duper disaster under Netanyahu. Netanyahu crushes any voice of sanity or dissent, manipulates the Western countries and ensures that free money and the military industrial complex stay on his side – all a ploy to hang on to the reins of power and make sure there is no peace with countries in the Middle East. Case-in-hand is Netanyahu’s scared reaction to the Iran nuclear deal, asking for more assistance to protect Israel’s frontiers.
Whereas the expansion of Israeli settlements is a cause of tragedy, it is also the failure of the Arab powers to curb extremism. The presence of terrorist organisations helps Netanyahu make hay while the sun shines. Until the day the Arab countries adopt prudent and practical policies, Netanyahu will continue to grab land, bulldoze people’s homes, bomb schools and hospitals, and succeed in portraying Israel as one being perpetually caught in the eye of the storm.
I want to add something truly critical here and say that I love my Jewish friends. They are like family to me. They’re hospitable and treat me as their own when I visit their country. In fact, one of my mentors happens to be a rabbi who I hold in highest respect and esteem. The beauty of my relationship with my Jewish acquaintances is that we all agree that,
1. Just like everyone else, Israel must obey international laws
2. Israel is an undue burden on the US taxpayer’s pocket.
To understand Netanyahu’s irrational mind, all one has to do is compare his saying that Ban Ki’s comments ‘give terror a tailwind’ and his own policies of divide and conquer.
Most unfortunately, we are also cognisant that the UN has no enforcement powers. Ban Ki’s remarks may have enlightened a few gullible souls, but will not help improve the ground situation. Bibi will stay well-entrenched and continue to cry hoarse.
Simplifying a complex problem
How can that be achieved?
Perhaps we could start by giving recognition to Israel as an independent state?
Why can Muslim majority countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan not embrace the people of Israel and start talking peace? Will such a gracious act not take the wind out of Netanyahu’s sail and put him to shame?
Why can the Arab states not come forward and help Israel and the Palestinians to rehabilitate displaced people? Everyone needs a home and so do the Israelis. Why not let them have a home, recognise their existence and work at creating a home for the Palestinians?
We are all well aware that Israel is not the only ‘evil occupier’ in town. The Arab leaders are equal partners in crime. Even Palestinian leaders in the West Bank have swindled and stolen tonnes of dollars from international aid meant to help alleviate unemployment and poverty. No one is above board.
Just like the US Republican presidential candidates, Netanyahu knows how to exploit religion for political advantage. Netanyahu’s war propaganda, spewing hate speech and look-West policy is not winning Israel any friends in its immediate neighbourhood. When saner elements like the UNSG are compelled to speak out, the people of Israel must pay attention and understand that Netanyahu is a self-aggrandising brute. He is the same person who believes that the Palestinians killed the dinosaurs. If that’s his calibre of thinking, he deserves to be identified as an extremist along with the ones that have held the entire world hostage with their nefarious ideals.
Netanyahu’s views are as out-dated as those who think that Sharia is still implementable in the modern world. Remember it’s not about welfare, religion or faith. It’s all about power, control and money. At the end of the day, what matters is people’s hearts and minds and their willingness to come together. All else is meaningless hot air that has no value.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.