The first week in December of this year was all about America’s apparent inextinguishable love for the state of Israel. After a short pause to exchange hostages for prisoners, the Israelis re-launched their drive to exterminate the Gazans and steal what remains of their land and property. President Joe Biden, ably assisted by his ever-present sidekick State Department honcho Antony Blinken, welcomed the Jewish state’s onslaught by pushing the pedal to the metal on aiding the loveable Bibi Netanyahu while at the same time suggesting that the twenty thousand dead Palestinians and counting just might be a tad too much. Of course, the suggestion was limited to demonstrating what a great humanitarian, who is up for reelection, now sits in the Oval Office and was not supported by any real consequences for Israel should it ignore the advice, which it did. Biden then demonstrated where his heart truly was by expediting through the State Department a new shipment of munitions, an apparent gesture that keeps on giving to help the war effort, with some reports suggesting that upwards of two hundred US military aircraft have already made deliveries of more than 15,000 bombs to help Bibi kill more Pals.
The decision to provide more weapons to Israel coincides with a recommendation from Jerusalem’s right wing deputy mayor that captured Palestinians, whom he described as subhuman, should be buried alive, which elicited no comment from the White House. The Administration explained the rush delivery of the tank cannon munitions circumventing established congressional review procedures by saying that Israel urgently required the materiel to defend itself and that complying with Israeli demands is “vital to US national interests.” A State Department press release described the unusual procedure as having been “determined and provided [with] detailed justification to Congress that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the Government of Israel of the above defense articles and services in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended. The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives. Israel will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”
As Hamas has no heavy weapons and it is not occupying or penetrating into Israeli territory, the explanation would appear to be more in the nature of another government “big” lie, somewhat similar to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech before the UN in 2003 affirming that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was preparing to use them. And it also challenges those who believe the United States is making an honest effort to reduce casualties among civilians. Josh Paul, the former State Department official who resigned to protest the provision of American weapons for use against the people of Gaza, reacted to the news with “…this expedited provision of lethal arms to Israel should cause some serious consideration of whether the secretary’s repeated assertions that the US seeks to minimize civilian casualties in Israel’s operation in Gaza are sincere.”
So, what made the first week in December different than any other in which the White House looks the other way and gives Netanyahu whatever he wants while Israel kills and kills and kills? Well, there was also more going on than just the provision of thirteen thousand nine hundred eighty-one (13,981) 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer (MPAT) tank cartridges, worth a paltry $106.5 million. There was also a bit of bother at the United Nations, where a motion came to a vote that would have demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to permit negotiations to end the genocide that Israel is pursuing to end the Palestinian problem forever. The motion had been endorsed earlier in the week, by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who invoked a rarely used article of the UN Charter to urge the Security Council to “press to avert a humanitarian catastrophe” and pass a resolution for a “humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants.” Guterres warned that the civilian death toll was approaching what he described as an “apocalyptic” level due to the bombing of infrastructure, starvation and disease. He called for the UN Security Council to stop the killing in Gaza as a basic responsibility under the UN Charter. Each day, UN officials on the ground in Gaza heroically struggled to feed, shelter, and protect the population from Israeli bombs and more than 100 UN staffhave been killed, a higher death toll than for any other operation ever. The motion would have passed unanimously but for one little problem: the United States vetoed it, clearly acting under orders from Netanyahu, who later thanked Biden. The final vote was 13 to 1 with Britain abstaining and not voting. Blinken defended the move on the Sunday talk shows, saying that Israel’s effort to eliminate Hamas was a “legitimate goal.” He added that “When it comes to a cease-fire in this moment, with Hamas still alive, still intact, and again, with the stated intent of repeating October 7th again and again and again, that would simply perpetuate the problem.”
The US deputy representative to the UN Robert Wood, clearly acting under orders from the White House and State Department, explained his veto vote, saying that “…the resolution’s authors declined to condemn Hamas’ October 7th attack that killed 1,200 people, including women, children and elderly.” Wood added that the draft also “failed to acknowledge that Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorism.” Israeli Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan thanked the White House “for standing firmly by our side.”
Frustrated by the US veto in the Security Council, on December 12th the UN General Assembly voted on the same resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel/Gaza conflict. The result was an overwhelming Yes: 153; No: 10; Abstain: 23. The US was again a “no” vote, together with Israel and the usual “associated” south Pacific island territories and Austria, Papua New Guinea, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Liberia and Paraguay . The vote took place at an “emergency special session” under a “Uniting for Peace” resolution introduced when the Security Council fails to act due to the veto of a permanent member, and there have been legal arguments made that such votes, like Security Council votes, can be construed as legally binding. Of course, that may be viewed as irrelevant, since Israel has rarely if ever complied with any UN resolution that it opposed, whether of the “binding” variety or not, and also since Israel’s effective control of the US government has guaranteed that its defiance will not produce any adverse consequences.
It was, reportedly, the forty-fifth time that Washington has used its veto to protect the state of Israel in the UN, which is why the Jewish state has never been held accountable for anything. Nor has the United States, which has started more wars against countries that did not actually threaten it than anyone else since the founding of the UN and, presumably, it could always use its veto to block such a motion against itself. The result is that the United Nations Security Council only exists to take action against countries that are not one of the permanent members of the Council or against Israel, which is protected by Washington.
One would think that all of the above would constitute a far above average week from hell, but there’s more, including yet another sustained attack on freedom of speech being mounted by politicians, the media and Jewish billionaires to block all and any criticism of Israel. The attacks started several months ago when students at a number of public and private universities began protesting over Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians, leading to a death toll that is almost certainly currently approaching or exceeding 20,000 when all the corpses are dug up from the rubble of bombed buildings. Some politically ambitious scumbags like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis immediately declared that pro-Palestinian student groups were “antisemites” and banned them from Florida state universities while also declaring that no Palestinian refugees should be admitted to the US because they too were “Jew haters.”
As the anti-Palestinian narrative took shape in political, media and Zionist circles, it adopted a familiar line, which goes something like this: Israel is the Jewish state. If you criticize the Jewish state and/or Zionism you are therefore by definition an antisemite. Antisemitism is a “hate crime.” If you advocate or argue for any Palestinian group like Hamas, which the US government has labeled “terrorist,” you are providing “material assistance to terrorism” which is a crime for which you can be fined or imprisoned. Even if you merely criticize Jewish groups supporting Israel you are likewise an antisemite and have committed a “hate crime.” Neat, isn’t it? and the end result is that Israel, which is immune from the consequences of its actions internationally, also increasingly cannot be criticized at all without serious consequences for the critic. In other words, freedom of speech in the United States only exists, insofar as it does, if you are not disparaging Israel or even its friends due to their demonstrable behavior.
Some of those consequences were experienced recently by three presidents of prominent American universities, responding to a congressional grilling that was set up by allegations that colleges are hotbeds of antisemitism and are responsible for major increases in incidents targeting Jews. There is a certain irony in the allegations since Jews in America are the wealthiest, best educated, most politically powerful, most prestigiously employed and most protected by Homeland Security of all ethno-religious groups. And there is not much real evidence that Jews are in any way increasingly “victims” in the United States or in Europe. The antisemitic incidents that are “surging” are frequently based on criticisms of what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians and often consist of a Jewish college student being offended or annoyed by a poster or a speaker criticizing Israeli behavior. Instances of actual physical confrontation are few and far between and are immediately reported in the accommodating mainstream media to heighten the sense that Jews in America and even worldwide are threatened. Certain groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) are heavily into the promotion of the narrative of Jew hatred as it is in their bottom line to do so given their donor base which likes to hear exactly that. In other words, it is all largely a contrivance to obtain political and economic benefits as well as a free pass on bad behavior that might not otherwise be forthcoming.
The three university presidents, all of whom were women, represented Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and MIT and all three were highly respected in their respective professions prior to their presidencies. They did not anticipate New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a Jewish Harvard product, who was out to nail them and make the case that academia hates Jews and is encouraging antisemitism. Stefanik was backed up by Jewish oligarchs who have threatened to sharply cut donations to the respective universities that do not toe the line, doing what Jews are often accused of doing, i.e. using their money and the power that it buys to stop all discussion on subjects that they find troubling.
Stefanik and company were particularly incensed by student pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanting “Intifada” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” She interpreted both expressions being calls for the destruction of Israel, which they are not. Intifada is “shaking off” in Arabic and is a call for liberating the Palestinian people and their land from the Israeli tyranny. The “river to sea” is somewhat similar, a call for a Palestinian state with actual sovereignty and neither is an explicit call for killing Israelis or Jews. They are generic cries for freedom. Stefanik curiously, though not surprisingly, did not mention the concurrent actual demands by senior Israeli government officials to displace or kill all Palestinians, something that they actually have the power to do and which might be regarded as a threat.
The university presidents were pilloried by congress, the White House, the Israel Lobby and the media by refusing to label all criticisms of the Zionist project and Israeli behavior as unacceptable “free speech” and through their assertion that the meaning of political slogans often depends on the context. For something or someone to qualify as a source of harassment, which is forbidden at the colleges in question, there has to be a direct threat made to another person. When that is present, it is harassment. When it is not, it is protected speech on a university campus, even if it is critical of group behavior or even racist. That is as it should be.
And if you thought that the week’s nastiness ended there, you would be wrong. There was also some disgraceful action during the week from Congress which rejected a Senator Rand Paul motion to withdraw US troops from Syria by a vote of 13 votes in favor and 84 votes against. Ironically, on the same day December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, US bombers committed a war crime in killing 36 Syrian villagers in retaliation for a series of attacks on US bases. American soldiers are in Syria illegally basically to bring down the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad, though they claim it is to confront ISIS terrorists. They are also sitting on Syria’s oil producing region and stealing the oil. Both Syria and neighboring Iraq would like to see the “Yankees go home” but the Pentagon alleges that the attacks on the bases have been carried out by groups affiliated with Iran, Washington and Israel’s prime enemy in the region, so the White House has decided that killing Syrian farmers is justifiable reciprocity. Meanwhile, Israel is bombing Syrian airports in Damascus and Aleppo on a regular basis, arguing that they are being used by the Iranian military and Revolutionary Guards.
During the week the Congress also passed a motion which partly explains why US foreign policy in the Middle East region is so incoherent. Congress declared by way of a GOP drafted and backed resolution that antizionism is to be considered antisemitism by a vote of 311 to 14, drawing the support of all but one Republican. Ninety-two Democrats voted “present” — not taking a position for or against the measure — while 95 supported it, paving the way for more hate crime persecutions and increasing legal liabilities for critics of Israel. Antizionism is, of course, not antisemitism as Zionism is a political movement and Judaism is a religion. In fact, many religious Jews reject the idea of a Jewish state and many secular Jews are currently active and even prominent in the humanitarian protests against Israel’s massacre of the Gazans.
Finally, the week also saw presentations by Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, both of whom explained their view of why Congress must pony up multiple billions of dollars for Ukraine. Biden warned explicitly and almost certainly incorrectly that “If Putin takes Ukraine, he won’t stop there. We’ll have something that we don’t seek and that we don’t have today: American troops fighting Russian troops.” Austin doubled down on the warning, telling members of Congress that he will send “your uncles, cousins, and sons to fight Russia if aid to Ukraine is not approved.” Biden and Austin’s delusion centers on a presumption that Russia’s Vladimir Putin will move to reconstruct the Soviet Union by taking the Baltic states, which are NATO allies, after he gobbles up Ukraine. It is a scare tactic based on no evidence whatsoever and Russia does not even have the desire or ability to take all of Ukraine, let alone recreate the USSR, which its leadership clearly recognizes. Fortunately, few in Washington and Europe have been buying the bullshit and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who made a surprise visit to Biden a few days later to plead for money, went home basically empty handed.
There probably is still more from that action packed week if I dig a bit deeper, but I am sure that readers get the point. It was a disastrous week for genuine United States’ interests and I don’t see anything that benefits the average American, quite the contrary. But this has been the pattern for a whole series of US administrations that have unfortunately done their best to destroy the United States as it once was along the lines of George W. Bush’s pledge to be the new sheriff in town ready and willing to engage in warfare against the whole world. Who will rid us of these monsters or are they too deeply entrenched in the system to be removed? That is the real question.
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 and its email is [email protected].