Council for the National Interest

Protecting Israel Is Washington’s Number One Job

May 10 2024 / 2:24 pm

The White House and Congress rally around the Star of David Flag

When, as expected, President Joe Biden signs off on the Antisemitism Awareness Act the Department of Education will be empowered to send so-called antisemitism monitors to enforce civil rights law at public schools as well as at colleges to observe and report on levels of hostility towards Jews. The monitors’ reports will eventually wind up in Congress which can propose remedies as required, including cutting funding and recommending civil rights charges in extreme cases. One of the more regrettable features of the act is that it accepts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism as it applies to the state of Israel, making criticism of the Jewish state ipso facto antisemitism. Its text includes the “targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity” as an antisemitic act. In reality, however, actual antisemitism is not as prevalent as Israel partisans claim. Most of what they call antisemitism is simply criticism of the legally self-proclaimed apartheid “Jewish State” and most of the animosity Israel experiences is opposition to its brutal treatment of the Palestinians. Giving legal sanction to that presumption that Israel must be protected from bigots means that the United States is well on the way to forbidding any criticism of Israel at all. Americans can criticize their own country or nations in Europe, or at least they are able to do so currently, but bad-mouthing Israel could soon constitute a criminal offense.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act is just one aspect of how the power of organized Jewish groups over the government and media is shaping the kind of society that Americans will be living in in the near future. It will be a society devoid of several fundamental constitutional rights, like free speech, due to deference to the preferences of one tiny demographic. And the one most interesting aspect of that power is how it has successfully hidden the fact that it even exists while also propagating the myth that Jews and Israel are especially worthy of special consideration because they are frequently or even always perceived as victims, an extension of the holocaust myth.

Indeed, Israel is recently always in the news and most often completely protected by the media and the talking heads elements, particularly true if one sinks to watching Fox or reading the Wall Street JournalNew York Times or Washington Post. Even the loathsome Benjamin Netanyahu frequently gets good press while nonviolent student peace demonstrators are invariably described as anti-Israeli or pro-Hamas terrorists even when they are assaulted by Zionist thugs led by an Israeli special ops officer and funded and armed by Jewish billionaires as occurred recently in Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, sometimes something slips through the defenses that reveals all too clearly what is going on. In responding to a question from a journalist, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a claim recently that absolutely no one who has spent any time in Washington will believe. The journalist had asked whether the Federal Government in making its foreign policy decisions tended to favor and/or excuse the behavior of some countries while condemning others for exactly the same actions. Blinken replied “We apply the same standard to everyone. And that doesn’t change whether the country in question is an adversary, a competitor, a friend or an ally.”

Everyone in the room understood very clearly that Blinken wasn’t telling the truth and was trying to preserve the fiction that the United States holds allies and clients to the same “rules based international order” standard that it uses for others, most notably competitor nations like Russia and China or adversaries like Iran. No one takes what Blinken says seriously in any event, and it does not help his general credibility when he feels compelled to lie for no reason whatsoever.

Would that someone in the room had had the temerity to cite one of Blinken’s most egregiously partisan comments, his greeting to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the airport tarmac of Ben Gurion airport shortly after the October 7th Hamas attack. He said “I come before you as a Jew. I understand on a personal level the harrowing echoes that Hamas’s massacres carry for Israeli Jews – indeed, for Jews everywhere.” It prompted one to mutter, “No Anthony, you are the Secretary of States of the United States of America. You are there to represent American interests in avoiding a major war in the Middle East, not to represent the interests of your tribe by declaring yourself one of them.”

The Blinken meeting with Netanyahu was particularly telling as few in Washington would doubt that the Joe Biden White House and Congress have totally surrendered to Israeli interests rather than serving the needs of their constituents in the United States. Paul Craig Roberts describes it as “The US Congress has become an extension of the Israeli government.” To answer the journalist’s question honestly Blinken should have admitted that the Biden government is fully committed to protecting Israel and even its perceived interests when they conflict with normal US policy. On Wednesday the Biden administration indicated that it has indefinitely delayed a required report investigating potential Israeli war crimes in Gaza that was supposed to be released by the US State Department. If the report had concluded, which it should have, that Israel violated international humanitarian law, the US would have to stop sending foreign aid due to the Leahy Law, which makes it illegal for the US government to provide aid to any foreign security forces found to be committing “gross violations of human rights.” So Joe Biden and Anthony Blinken decided to deep six the report instead to protect Israel by breaking US law, though they have reportedly delayed one shipment of bombs lest they be used on civilians in Rafah. Nevertheless, Biden clearly means what he says when he repeatedly stumbles to confirm that US security guarantees to Israel are “ironclad.” Indeed, the tie with the Jewish state goes well beyond what is generally due to anyone even described as an ally, which Israel, also no democracy, is not in any event, as an alliance requires both reciprocity and a precise understanding of the red lines in the relationship.

Nothing illustrates the total subservience of Washington to Israel better than how the United States is unnecessarily getting itself involved in an argument that might well prove to be a major embarrassment as well as trouble in America’s relationship with many foreign states. And, as is often the case, it involves Israel. There have been confirmed reports that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague is preparing to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and two other senior Israeli officials in connection with war crimes related to the ongoing genocide directed against the Gazans. Netanyahu is reportedly reaching wildly out to his many “friends” to prevent such a development. And, in line with Washington-Jerusalem thinking that every good crisis deserves an excessive use of force or even a military solution, there are already reports that pressure, including threats, is being exerted both by Israel and the US against the jurists on the court and even directed against their families. The Israeli government warned the Biden administration that if the ICC issues arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, it will take retaliatory steps against the Palestinian Authority that could lead to its collapse, further destabilizing the region. Israel is also conducting a parallel diplomatic channels outreach in Europe to convince the local governments to advise their representatives on the court that it would be desirable to squash its investigation.

Netanyahu, who called President Joe Biden and asked for help, has in response to news reports tweeted that Israel “will never accept any attempt by the ICC to undermine its inherent right of self-defense. The threat to seize the soldiers and officials of the Middle East’s only democracy and the world’s only Jewish state is outrageous. We will not bow to it.” Netanyahu also denounced the possible warrants as an “unprecedented antisemitic hate crime.” As ICC deliberations are secret it would appear that an American or British jurist must have leaked the story to enable Netanyahu to mount a campaign against it. The White House and Congress are already moving full speed ahead to make the warrants go away and are exploring options to directly confront and discredit the court if the Israelis are actually punished.

The US has nothing to gain and much to lose in confronting the ICC as the court is generally well respected. And more might be coming. There are reports that prosecutors from the ICC have interviewed medical staff at two of Gaza’s largest hospitals in their investigation of other possible war crimes committed by Israel in connection with the mass graves recently discovered. ICC was founded in 2002 as a last resort court to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity that were not addressable otherwise. The court was established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute). Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute and does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction. However, should a warrant in Netanyahu’s name be issued, his travel could be restricted, as the 123 countries that recognize the court may consider themselves obliged to arrest him.

As of March 2023, there were 123 member states of the Court. The United States is no longer a member because on May 6th, 2002, the United States, having previously signed the Rome Statute, formally withdrew its signature and indicated that it did not intend to ratify the agreement. Another state that has withdrawn its signature is the Sudan while some states that have never become parties to the Rome Statute include India, Indonesia, and China. United States policy concerning the ICC has varied by administration. The Clinton administration signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but did not submit it for Senate ratification. The George W. Bush administration, which was the US administration at the time of the ICC’s founding, stated that it would not join the ICC. The Obama administration subsequently re-established a working relationship with the Court as an observer. There has been no change in the status since that time, but the relationship is regarded as inactive.

What will the United States do to bail out Israel one more time? It has already made its position known. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre stated “We’ve been really clear about the ICC investigation. We do not support it. We don’t believe that they have the jurisdiction.” Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel doubled down on that declaring “Our position is clear. We continue to believe that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the Palestinian situation.” The White House was joined by leading congressional Republicans. Zionist Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has pressured the White House and State Department to “use every available tool to prevent such an abomination,” explaining how conceding the point to ICC “would directly undermine US national security interests. If unchallenged by the Biden administration, the ICC could create and assume unprecedented power to issue arrest warrants against American political leaders, American diplomats, and American military personnel.”

There is a precedent to the US taking action against the ICC. On September 2, 2020, the United States government imposed sanctions on the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, in response to an investigation by the court into US war crimes in Afghanistan, so there is some sensitivity to the fact that as the US is the world’s leading source of war crimes, it would be wise to delegitimize agencies that would look too deeply into that fact. But the ICC sometimes has its uses as when the Biden administration publicly welcomed a war crimes investigation by the ICC against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine. Asked why the United States supported an International Criminal Court investigation into Russian officials, Patel declared that “There is no moral equivalency between the kinds of things that we see [Russian President Vladimir Putin] and the Kremlin undertake in comparison to the Israeli government,” once again demonstrating that what Blinken said to the journalist was nonsense.

The Republican Party is seeking to outdo the White House in demonstrating its love for Israel. A letter signed by twelve GOP Senators was sent to Karim Khan, chief prosecutor on the ICC. The letter threatens members of the court over the possible indictment of Netanyahu and company. The group of 12 Republican senators who I like to refer to as the “Dirty Dozen” due to the large political contributions they receive from pro-Israel sources, sent a letter to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan that threatens “severe sanctions” if the court goes ahead with the plan to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, his Defense Minister and one other senior official. The letter, dated April 24, referenced the American Service-Members’ Protection Act, a law that authorizes the president to use any means to free any US personnel detained by the ICC even though it does not apply to Israel. It says, ridiculously, that “If you issue a warrant for the arrest of the Israeli, we will interpret this not only as a threat to Israel’s sovereignty but as a threat to the sovereignty of the United States” and goes on to deny that the ICC even has jurisdiction to issue warrants since Israel is not a member of the court. The apparent drafter, Senator Tom Cotton, was seemingly unaware that Palestine is a member of the ICC and the arrest warrants would be based on war crimes committed by Israel on its nominal territory, Gaza and the West Bank.

The letter concludes with a heavy-handed threat: “The United States will not tolerate politicized attacks by the ICC on our allies. Target Israel and we will target you. If you move forward with the measures indicated in this report, we will move to end all American support for the ICC, sanction your employees and your associates, and bar you and your family from the United States. You have been warned.” A few days later, the ICC issued a statement condemning the threats made against the court and said attempts to “impede, intimidate, or improperly influence” ICC officials must “cease immediately.” The 12 Republican senators who signed on to the letter include Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, Katie Boyd Britt, Ted Budd, Kevin Cramer, Ted Cruz, Bill Hagerty, Pete Ricketts, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, and Tim Scott. Only Lindsay Graham was missing and he was probably busy drumming up support for his plan to “destroy the enemies of the state of Israel.” Cotton, who has recommended that people who are inconvenienced by protesters should confront them and beat them up, has also introduced legislation denying college loan relief to students who faced state or federal charges while demonstrating against the deaths in Gaza. Some other Republican congressmen who are short on brain cells but strong on Israel are seeking to have protesters “convicted of unlawful activity on the campus of an American university since October 7th 2023” deported to do six months community service in Gaza, though how that would be implemented is not clear. Congressman Randy Weber of Texas explained “If you support a terrorist organization and you participate in unlawful activity on campuses, you should get a taste of your own medicine. I am going to bet that these pro-Hamas supporters wouldn’t last a day, but let’s give them the opportunity.”

So the United States will again go to bat for Israel and Israel will ignore what comes out and dodge any consequences. The real losers in the process will be the American people, who more clearly than ever will see and hopefully recognize that they have a government that spends an awful lot of time and money on Israel and doing things that are being promoted by Jewish groups. We have a legislature and executive branch that have been corrupted and compromised from top to bottom, always doing what is wrong for the most selfish reasons, often out of loyalty to foreign governments like Israel that could care less. The United States was once a symbol of freedom and opportunity. Now it has become an international embarrassment.

Posted by on May 10 2024 . Filed under CNI Authors, Commentary & Analysis, Philip Giraldi . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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