I want to comment on Dr. Chuck Ormsby’s Valley Patriot column from last month titled, “I’m A Pro-Semite.” I often find myself in agreement with Chuck’s Libertarian views and I enjoy reading his editorials each month, but I must disagree with his analysis of Israel’s elections as I have written and published two books on this subject. In his column, he ridicules President Obama and some members of Congress for boycotting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech. It is not often that I agree with the President, but he is right on this one.
Dr. Ormsby writes, “Indeed it is the responsibility of every member of Congress to listen to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who probably knows more about this issue [Iran’s alleged Nuclear Weapons Program] than any world leader, because it threatens the very existence of the nation state of the Jewish people.” I beg to differ! The United States Congress is under no such obligation. By the way, why is Israel permitted to have nuclear weapons? How quickly some of us forget that Israel stole nuclear secrets from the United States. Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard is currently serving a life sentence in Federal prison for sending U.S. nuclear secrets to Israel.Is this not a double standard?
Benjamin Netanyahu is an international war criminal and should be treated as such. Article 8.2 (b) (viii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states: “The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” is a war crime. I commend the members of Congress who boycotted his speech and President Obama for refusing to meet with him. This bigot and war criminal Netanyahu should not be allowed to enter this country. In addition, I will take this a step further and suggest that the United States should suspend its $3+ billion per year that it gives to Israel as long as Netanyahu is at its helm. These are strong statements. Let me explain.
First, in examining the title of Dr. Ormsby’s article, what is a Semite?
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary offers a definition: “a member of any of a group of peoples of southwestern Asia chiefly represented now by Jews and Arabs…” On March 17th, the day of Israel’s Election, Bibi Netanyahu played the race card. Netanyahu stated on his Facebook Page, “Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses.” Although Netanyahu has since apologized, the damage was done. Can you imagine an American politician saying the same about Blacks, Latinos, or any other minority group in the United States?
The fact is that Bibi Netanyahu is the real Anti-Semite! He is an Arab-hater and Arabs are by definition Semitic. After reluctantly agreeing to support a two-state solution that allows a Jewish state in Israel an Arab state in Palestine 6 years ago, Luke Baker and Jeffrey Heller of Reuters News Service reported on March 18th, “In the final days of campaigning, Netanyahu abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state – the basis of more than two decades of Middle East peacemaking-and promised to go on building settlements on occupied land. Such policies defy the core vision of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict embraced by President Barack Obama and his Republican and Democratic predecessors.” Thus, it is important to note that the two-state solution has been supported by Republican as well as Democratic Presidential Administrations, the United Nations, and the international community. Bibi Netanyahu has rejected this, made racist comments, violated international law, and should thus be rejected by the United States and the entire international community until he makes a meaningful effort to reverse course.
Former President Bill Clinton once described Bibi Netanyahu as the most dishonest world leader he has ever dealt with. A September 22, 2011 New York Times editorial commented that Netanyahu “refuses to make any serious compromises for peace. He appears far more concerned about his own political survival than his country’s increasing isolation or the threat of renewed violence in the West Bank and all around Israel’s borders…”To make matters worse, the Wall Street Journal reported on March 24th that Israel spied on Iran’s nuclear talks with the United States and was using the information to undermine President Obama’s efforts to reach a diplomatic deal with Iran to abandon uranium enrichment.
The United States has an important diplomatic role to play in helping to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This requires a two-state solution in that region: Israel as a Jewish state and Palestine as an Arab state with both countries affording rights to both Jews and Arabs who choose to reside in either state. The other option (not supported by most) is for Israel to grant all Palestinians the right to vote in Israeli elections. This would in essence mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state as the Arab population would outnumber the Israelis. The only alternative is that Israel remains the Apartheid state that it currently is under Netanyahu denying basic human rights to its Arab Christian and Muslim residents. This status quo arrangement should not be tolerated by the United States or any other country in the international community. Let’s isolate Bibi Netanyahu and make him irrelevant in the months to come unless his government starts to get serious about making peace and ends its spying espionage spying operations against the United States. Being a “Pro-Semite” means recognizing that Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live in a safe and secure independent state recognized by the international community.
D.J. Deeb is a Methuen resident and member of the Methuen School Committee. Deeb is an Adjunct Professor of History/Government at Bunker Hill Community College and an Adjunct Political Science Instructor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He teaches Social Studies full-time at Reading Memorial High School. He is the author of Israel, Palestine, and the Quest for Middle East Peace (University Press, 2013) and The Collapse of Middle East Peace (IUniverse, 2003).