by James M. Wall
On Sunday, June 16, leaders of the nationalist bromance between Israel and the Trump government took one small step for tyranny and one huge step for “in your face” diplomacy.
In case you missed it, UPI circulated the story that Israel had ceremoniously named a small Golan Heights future settlement, “Trump Heights”, to honor the best friend Israel has ever had in the Washington, D.C. White House.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was joined in the naming ceremony by U.S. Ambassador David Friedman. (The picture above is his.)
The UPI story received scant attention in U.S. media outlets.
It deserves further attention. As anyone with even the slightest grip on reality is aware, the as-yet-undeveloped settlement of “Trump Heights” is not in Gaza or the West Bank, where Israel has spent decades developing settlements on stolen Palestinian land.
It is on occupied Syrian land. UPI quotes President Trump as he ignores that reality: “Trump said the United States’ recognition of Israel’s sovereignty of Golan Heights ‘was a long time in the making’ and should have occurred decades ago.”
The Golan event is just the latest “in your face” diplomatic step Trump has taken. He also recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017 when he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, a step Democratic and Republican candidates routinely promise but never implement.
The 2020 reelection of Donald Trump would result in many more such perverse diplomatic steps that would further spiral down this nation into nothing less than a dictatorship of the rich riding on the ignorant prejudices of white nationalism.
What other option awaits us in 2020?
This moment in the political calendar, when the Democratic National Committee is putting on a series of debates to showcase more than 20 candidates for the nomination in 2020, we have another option.
On the issue of Israel’s wholesale theft of Palestinian (and Syrian land), our choice at the ballot box in November, 2020 is between Trump’s “in your face” ignorant Zionist-dictated diplomacy and the 20 plus Democratic presidential candidates whose street creed is built entirely on “weasel words” designed to protect vote-seekers.
First. we need to explain how we are using “weasel words” to define political evasiveness.
With due respect to one of God’s creatures, the weasel follows its instincts to survive and exist from generation to generation. A weasel does what a weasel does. If a hungry weasel enters a hen house in search of sustenance, it will steal eggs.
Google offers this definition:
“Weasel words” are a colloquial term for words or phrases used to avoid being forthright. Weasel words are used when the speaker wants to make it seem like they’ve given a clear answer to a question or made a direct statement, when actually they’ve said something inconclusive or vague.
The Times asked many questions. Israel’s human rights question was answered by most of the candidates in “weasel words”. Click on this link and watch, at the very least, how your favorite candidate dances around the issue of human rights and Israel.
The attitudes of Democratic voters toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have become decidedly more balanced in the past two decades. Favorable attitudes toward Palestinians are up while attitudes toward Israel appear to be in decline. While, overall views of Israel remain positive, substantial numbers of Democrats are opposed to Israeli policies – namely settlement construction and violations of Palestinian rights. Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is also viewed negatively by most Democrats.
These shifts in opinion have placed many Democratic presidential candidates in a bind – especially those who have served in Congress or as Governors. As conscious as they may be of their base’s changing mood, they have also been schooled not to alienate pro-Israel donors or cross Israel’s lobbyists, who can, if aroused, distract their campaigns with a barrage of protests.
It was against this backdrop that I watched the results of a months-long New York Times’ project in which they interviewed 21 of the Democrats running for president on a range of foreign and domestic policy issues that will confront the next president. There were questions on Afghanistan, handguns, health care, immigration, and the death penalty.
Most intriguing to me was question #4: “Do you think that Israel meets international standards of human rights?” because it was deeply revealing about each of candidates’ principles, their understanding of, and readiness to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Beginning in Iowa in February, 2020, voters will have a choice: Vote on the issue of Israel and the Palestinian occupied people for the “in your face” candidate now in office, or the “weasel words” candidate who emerges with the nomination.
Trump is currently in power and he uses that power to satisfy Zionists. The absurdity of his current economic plan, designed to buy off the Palestinians’ quest for freedom, was a non-starter. That is the best we are going to see from his “in your face” diplomacy.
The other option for Palestine will be the Democratic “weasel word” nominee. We know what we get from Mr. “in your face” Trump.
The “weasel word” Democrats have until November 2020 to give us their best. Maybe they will surprise us. We can only pray, work and hope.