If I have learned anything about Blogging, it is “never mention Israel”. So…Israel. Or specifically Prime Minister Netanyahu (I am far too lazy to look up the correct spelling) and that curious invitation from Congress to address them on Capitol Hill. An address which was missed by President Obama and his entire cabinet. They all had somewhere else they would rather be. It was a snub for a snub as Congress had issued the invitation without bothering to notify the White House.
These things are usually pretty bland affairs. “My country loves your country. Your country loves my country”. All very ritualistic.
But Netanyahu, who is facing re-election in a few weeks, used the opportunity to criticise United States foreign policy, especially in relation to Iran. Many people assume that Israel is USA’s client state in the Middle East. It is not. USA is Israel’s client state in North America. It is Israel which has been calling the shots.
Too many people jump to the conclusion that it is all about the power of ethnic lobbying. It is not. The Irish are allegedly a powerful lobby group in USA. But all the historic evidence points in the opposite direction. The “special arrangement” is between USA and Britain. USA has done nothing for Ireland. Nobody should be conned by St Patrick’s Day in the White House.
USA conducts …and indeed SHOULD consult its foreign policy in its own national interest. Increasingly USAs national interest is not to support Israel. Nor is it in the interests of USA to support the Likud Party in the upcoming election.
Bibi was not making a pitch to mainstream Jewish voters in New York City. They are not natural allies. Rather, he was making his pitch to good ole boy, Rednecks, Christian fundamentalists and crazy Tea Party types who see Israelis as kindred spirits. The Israeli made the Judean Desert blossom, as directed by GOD. The American settlers made the Arizona Desert blossom, as directed by GOD. Few outside Israel understand Israel’s Manifest Destiny. Few outside USA understand its Manifest Destiny.
But Bibi may have overplayed his hand. There is some irony. A lot of Americans believe their President is a foreign born Muslim. Yet they invite a foreign born non-Christian (oops see how I neatly deflect criticism that I am being anti-semetic) to criticise the foreign policy of the real American President. I think the word is “Chutzpah”.
But did the sight of a foreign politican making such a speech in Congress (is there a precedent for this kinda pre-Election cheek?) actually backfire? Well Bibi can go home and use the event in his campaigning. And for American neo-cons, it wont actually matter. But somehow it all left a bad taste in many mainstream American mouths.