Mainstream media and official government commentary on the violence in Gaza appears to have acquired a certain rhythm to make sure that everyone understands that it is the poor Israelis who are the real victims being assailed by a group called Hamas that is invariably labeled as “terrorists.”
It is absolutely obligatory in the first paragraph of an article on developments in the fighting to remind the reader that on October 7th the “terrorist” group Hamas “invaded” Israel and killed 1,400 peace loving Israelis, taking 200 additional Israelis as hostages. Israel is described as “retaliating” and it is frequently seen as relevant to state that it was the most dreadful mass killing of Jews since the alleged “holocaust.” To add a bit of current cultural and historic relevance, “9/11” and “Pearl Harbor” are often also cited to suggest that it was a both a surprise attack and a game changer in terms of how Israel now sees the external threat and will have to harden its national security imperatives. And there might even be inserted a comment from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi or Senator Chuck Schumer that “Israel has a right to defend itself!” Joe Biden was also quoted as saying it was 15 “9/11”s for Israel given the comparative size and populations of the US and the Jewish state, emphasizing the enormity of the tragedy.
And that’s just in the first paragraph to make sure that the reader gets his or her mind right. The second paragraph is the really important contribution to the discussion, raising the issue of “surging antisemitism” in the United States and Europe, frequently including a quote from the relentless Jonathan Greenblatt of the redoubtable and widely feared Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Greenblatt is cited frequently, often intoning something along the lines of “There is a growing, radical movement on many campuses in which opposition to Israel and Zionism is required to be fully accepted, effectively marginalizing campus Jewish communities.” The intention of raising the antisemitism issue is to lead the reader away from any possible perception that an apartheid Israel was attacked because of its exceptionally brutal behavior towards the Palestinians over the past 76 years and was instead a victim of vicious terrorists who did what they did largely because they hate Jews. In that fashion, the possible issue of Israeli responsibility for what occurred goes away and Benjamin Netanyahu and his fanatical and racist colleagues Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir get a pass to do whatever they want to solve their Arab problem. Both men have expressed their dream of an Israel without any Palestinians, whom they regard as not quite acceptably human, and have endorsed shoot to kill authority for policemen and soldiers who are confronted by any Arab demonstrators. More than 100 Palestinians have already been killed on the West Bank by armed settlers, police and soldiers who will not be held accountable for the murders while there have also been hundreds of arrests of protesters.
In America Fox News has been a leader in pumping out the interviews and reports suggesting that America’s Jewish students are so terrified by the threats implicit and explicit in the antisemitic rage that is manifest on college campuses and elsewhere that they have stopped eating at the university kosher dining halls lest they become the targets of a madman. And there are the inevitable calls to completely ban gatherings expressing sympathy with the Palestinians or even waving or displaying Palestine’s flag. The moaning about surging antisemitism is indeed all over the mainstream media even though there are quite a few things wrong with the narrative about Israel-Palestine and the events on October 7th and subsequently. In short, the American and European public are being subjected to the usual con job when it comes to anything having to do with Israel. And the propagandization is certainly also given additional effectiveness when it is repeated by senior politicians coming from both parties with a unanimous Senate vote of 97-0 and a House of Representatives vote of 412 to 10 on resolutions pledging unconditional and total support for Israel and whatever it chooses to do, backed up by two US carrier groups plus Marines standing by in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Colleges and universities have been particularly targeted by Israel’s many friends, with mostly Jewish alumni holding back donations from those schools that do not explicitly denounce Hamas and praise Israeli “restraint” or that permit demonstrations by students supporting Gaza. Students who sign on to protests about what is being done to the Palestinians are being identified and placed on lists that will be submitted to potential future employers and universities to make it more difficult for them to get good jobs or secure academic appointments and fellowships. Ambitious politicians out to endear themselves to Jewish campaign donors and voters, like Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, have gone to extremes, banning Palestinian political groups at state universities and considering prosecution of members of such organizations for “hate crimes” as they are automatically being regarded as motivated by “antisemitism.” DeSantis has also vowed that his state will not accept any Palestinian refugees, though it is not clear how he would enforce that, basing his decision on his judgment that they are “all antisemites,” and Florida has recently purchased $135 million’s worth of so-called Israel Bonds to help in the Jewish state’s war effort. Senator Lindsey Graham has said that there should be “no limit” on Israelis killing Palestinians while Donald Trump has called for all Palestinian students in the US to be deported. It is just one more example of how low and even inhumane our politics have become when Israel is in any way involved, but it is also interesting to note that several European countries and Israel itself are also silencing critics of the Gaza massacres, in some cases by firing them from their jobs.
Part of the problem is that the narrative of what took place on October 7th and subsequently has been so spun by the media and talking heads that it continues to be somewhat unclear regarding what actually happened. The Israelis have persistently claimed that 1,405 Jews and Asian farm workers were killed by Hamas, 386 of whom were apparently soldiers. But how they died is where the tale goes adrift. Israeli survivors of the attack have told journalists that they were treated well when captured by Hamas and that the real killing began when Israeli Army units including tanks, artillery and helicopters counter-attacked Hamas, creating a brutal cross fire referred to in the trade as “friendly fire” which killed many if not most of the civilians. Houses in one kibbutz, where civilians were sheltering, were largely destroyed by fire from heavy weapons, which Hamas did not possess.
What we now also know from a growing body of evidence obtained from the Israeli media and eyewitnesses is that the Israeli military appear to have been overwhelmed by the day’s events. The reaction may have triggered an apparently long-standing policy referred to as the “Hannibal procedure” that seeks to prevent Israeli soldiers from being taken captive due to the high price the Israeli public insists on paying to make sure that the soldier-prisoners are returned. As a result, the military command has authorization to order Israeli troops to kill fellow soldiers rather than allow them to be taken prisoner. For the same reason, Hamas expends a great deal of energy in trying to find innovative ways to seize soldiers.
The possible reality that the Israeli military killed many of its own soldiers and civilians is, of course, being suppressed in the mainstream and by politicians eager to assist Israel in the Gazan genocide, but it is nevertheless out there. There is, however, another part of the story that is devastating in terms of its implications, and that is the immediate response to the crisis by offering to send Israel $14.5 billion to help in its defense, an incomprehensibly large figure that appears to have been pulled out of some lobbyist’s behind, which translates to performing genocide in Gaza and committing a host of war crimes along the way. The tribute payments, as some have described it, was approved by a party-line 226-196 vote in Congress last Thursday. The vote would have been closer to unanimous but for a partisan dispute over the funding of the measure. If Joe Biden and Congress are not aware that genocide is a big time crime against humanity as defined by the United Nations charter and by the Geneva Conventions and most international lawyers would agree that arming and funding an organization or state that is exterminating a nation or identifiable ethnicity is complicity or even participation in the crime.
Biden and Blinken may not have any idea of how much money Israel gets from the American taxpayer at all levels of government in a year beyond the $3.8 billion per year that it gets in direct “military assistance,” a gift from Barack Obama. Additional money flows from joint military projects, through dubious charities and via state and even local level development boards that bring the total up to roughly $10 billion. That contributes to making Israel a wealthy country which can afford to give its Jewish citizens free health care and college education as well as subsidized housing and it does not need additional US support to fight its wars.
And, by the way, that brings us to the final issue, Israel’s secret nuclear program which certainly should be of concern to US policymakers confronted by an exploding conflict that could engulf the entire Middle East and even spread beyond that area. The fact that Israel uniquely has the nukes in the region, numbering more than 200 by some estimates, is significant. In the United States government there exists a so-called “legislative rule” that no federal employee can confirm that Israel has nuclear weapons. The rule is ridiculous as the existence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal is well attested, including by Colin Powell, who once confirmed that “Israel had over 200 nuclear weapons pointed at Iran.” Powell made the statement when he was out of office but even prominent Israel-firster Senator Chuck Schumer has confirmed the existence of the arsenal.
The reason for acute sensitivity by the Israel Lobby and its bought-and-paid-for politicians over its nukes is the Symington Amendment in Section 101 of the US Arms Export Control Act of 1976 which bans foreign aid to any country that has nuclear weapons and has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Which means that Israel’s annual $3.8 billion in aid would be in jeopardy if Washington were to enforce its own laws, though one cannot imagine that President Joe Biden or the Attorney General Merrick Garland, both fervent Zionists, will take the necessary steps to do so.
Another sticky bit of law consists of the so-called Leahy Amendments, which prohibit the US Department of State and Department of Defense from providing military assistance to foreign security force units that violate human rights “with impunity.” Israel’s numerous brutal assaults on Gaza, including the current one in which it is targeting hospitals and churches, bombing and killing helpless civilians, half of whom are children, is a textbook case for when the Leahy Amendments should be applied, but, of course, they never will be. That reality illustrates once again the actual political power of the Jewish Lobby in the United States backed up as it is by Christian Zionists like the new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson.
Finally, one must take a look at the Israeli nuclear arsenal itself coupled with the country’s reckless and aggressive leadership and what that represents, a subject that no one currently is even considered as a factor in what the expanding Gaza war might lead to. Twenty years ago, when the United States President George W. Bush initiated his disastrous neocon devised “war on terror” Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon saw the war as an opportunity and Israel as a major beneficiary, poised as it was to draw the US into the much-desired attack against Iran coupled with a renewed drive to terrorize the remaining Palestinians into fleeing into the neighboring Arab states. Israel clearly intended its nuclear capability to be used against its neighbors if needed, as described in the 1991 book by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, entitled The Samson Option. The book’s title refers to the Israeli government’s nuclear strategy whereby Israel would launch a massive nuclear retaliatory strike if the state itself was under threat from outside forces and was in danger of being overrun, just as the Biblical figure Samson pushed apart the pillars of a Philistine temple, bringing down the roof and killing himself and the thousands of Philistines who had gathered to see him humiliated. One of Hersh’s sources in the Israel intelligence service reportedly told him “We can still remember the smell of Auschwitz and Treblinka. Next time we’ll take all of you with us.”
When Sharon was queried about how the rest of the world might respond to Israel using its nukes to effectively wipe out its Arab neighbors, he responded “That depends on who does it and how quickly it happens. We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: ‘Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.’ I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
So, there we are, poised on the edge of what might plausibly be the second avoidable nuclear war mishandled by Joe Biden and the muttonheads that he has chosen to “advise” him. Colonel Douglas Macgregor is rightly referring to the exploding crisis that contains a nuclear threat as an “Armageddon War.” Few Americans know that Israel only has nuclear weapons because it stole the enriched uranium and triggers from the United States with the cooperation of a Jewish industrialist Zalman Shapiro, owner of the NUMEC plant in Pennsylvania and a Jewish-Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, neither of whom has ever been seriously held accountable by the US government. So, we have an Israel with a secret nuclear arsenal that no American official can even mention and that it currently is at “war” and is in theory prepared to use the weapons, most likely against an arch-enemy like Iran, but if threatened, to “take the world down.” As for the mostly silent majority of us Americans who would like to see a government that actually tries to do good for the people who live here and pay taxes, having a world at peace where Washington leaves everyone alone and is in return left along by others, is an aspiration whose time seemingly has expired.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Titanic Lifeboat Academy or its Board of Directors.