The virulent hatreds – not to mention rank bad salesmanship from a hasbara point of view – routinely spewed out by Israel’s far right are not the voice of that country as a whole. If they were, there’d have been no need for Likud fanatic Itzik Zarka to scream at liberal protestors this July:
That said, as their country rains down genocide on Gaza, it’s hard to fault Caitlin’s post today on that way Israelis have of shooting themselves in the foot, PR-wise. How? By being honest about what they really think.
Israelis Keep Hurting Their Own PR Interests By Talking
As Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
One problem Israel keeps running into is how the institutionalized dehumanization of Palestinians which keeps the apartheid state operational also causes Israelis to say things that non-Israelis will find extremely shocking, which hurts Israel’s PR interests.
We saw this illustrated in a recent New Yorker interview with Daniella Weiss, a leader of the push to build illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Weiss stated frankly and unapologetically that she supports apartheid, that she doesn’t believe Palestinians should have any sovereignty anywhere, that she doesn’t believe Palestinians should have voting rights, that she wants the population of Gaza to be replaced by Israeli settlements, and that she is untroubled by the killing of children in Gaza because she feels it’s being done in the interests of Israeli children.
Asked where the Palestinians in Gaza should go, Weiss replied, “To Sinai, to Egypt, to Turkey.” When the interviewer said the Palestinians are not Egyptian or Turkish, she contended that “The Ukrainians are not French, but when the war started they went to many countries.”
To the question “When you see Palestinian children dying, what’s your emotional reaction as a human being?”, Weiss answered, “I go by a very basic human law of nature. My children are prior to the children of the enemy, period. They are first. My children are first.”
Asked if she believes human rights are not universal and should not apply equally to everyone, Weiss replied “That’s right.”
But perhaps the most revealing statement Weiss made was her entirely truthful explanation of what drives the Israeli push to colonize Palestinian land:
“In Israel, there’s a lot of support for settlements, and this is why there have been right-wing governments for so many years. The world, especially the United States, thinks there is an option for a Palestinian state, and, if we continue to build communities, then we block the option for a Palestinian state. We want to close the option for a Palestinian state, and the world wants to leave the option open. It’s a very simple thing to understand.”
That one paragraph right there will teach you more about the present-day realities of the Israel-Palestine conflict than an entire year of watching CNN. It’s horrid, and it’s jarring to hear it spoken out loud in a favorable way… but it’s true.
This sort of thing has been happening for years. Israelis who’ve been marinating in a self-validating echo chamber of Zionist ideology which dehumanizes Palestinians and normalizes oppression and abuse don’t think twice about saying things that make Israel look bad on the world stage, because to them it’s just the standard status quo way of looking at things.
Meanwhile, apropos another WW3 flashpoint near you …
Vilifying Russia, no matter how contrary to facts and reason, is de rigeur for Western elites but that doesn’t always mean they have nothing of importance to say. Andrew Korybko, also writing today, does a good job – and not for the first time – of sifting wheat from chaff, realpolitik from rhetoric, in a Bloomberg piece this Saturday by a former NATO Supreme Commander, Admiral James Stavrides: South Korea’s Lessons for Ukraine’s Reconstruction.
Over to Andrew Korybko, on the subject of why the Western public …
Although writing in a private capacity, he’s still perceived by the targeted Western audience as speaking from a position of military-strategic authority owing to his former role as NATO’s Supreme Commander.
Former NATO Supreme Commander Admiral James Stavridis published a concise piece at Bloomberg over the weekend about “South Korea’s Lessons for Ukraine’s Reconstruction”, which is paywalled for some but can be read in full here. These lessons are to: “find the funds for reconstruction as rapidly as possible; construct real and enduring security guarantees; and be willing to negotiate a land-for-peace conclusion to combat.” All three should be heeded by the Western public as soon as possible.
The failure of Kiev’s over-hyped and ultra-expensive counteroffensive over this summer led to fall’s growing Zelensky-Zaluzhny rivalry over the future of this conflict, in between which US aid for Ukraine was impeded by congressional dysfunction and officials reportedly pressing for resuming peace talks. Zelensky outright refuses to countenance this and even declared that he’ll continue fighting without American aid if it comes to that, but the US is unlikely to allow him to do so in that scenario.
Rather, it’ll almost certainly force him to do their diplomatic bidding or replace him with Zaluzhny if he still remains obstinate. Way too much has been invested in reconquering some of that country’s previously lost territory and holding the Line of Contact (LOC) up until now to risk a Russian breakthrough that could reverse those costly achievements. The US would have to either accept a decisive defeat in this proxy war or gamble that a direct NATO intervention doesn’t spark World War III.
No policymaker wants to be placed in that dilemma, hence why the US is gradually disengaging from the conflict after losing the “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” to Russia and realizing that more on-the-ground losses are inevitable unless it freezes the LOC to safeguard its aforesaid costly achievements. Therein lies the reason why they’re reportedly pressuring Zelensky to resume peace talks, with this emerging diplomatic context explaining the timing of Stavridis’ piece.
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