By Ray McGovern, May 19, 2021
In Netanyahu’s own words, two decades ago. He was right then. How about now? Will he see President Biden as a wimp, with his his mealy-mouthed comment to Netanyahu that Biden “expects to see a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire” in Gaza.
If past is precedent, Netanyahu’s likely response will be a polite, “Joe, you can take that and shove it … oh, and by the way, thanks for the $735 million weapons sale you proposed a couple of weeks ago.”
But, you say, Netanyahu could not survive, were the U.S. to stop its misconceived, lemming-like support for Israel. And you would be correct. Still, the odds are against anything more than pious calls for steps “on the path to a ceasefire”, until Israeli forces accomplish what the Israelis now admit they have long planned to achieve in Gaza.
Netanyahu thought the camera/sound was off when he spoke with unspeakable candor to a small private group 20 years ago, explaining, “America is a thing that can be easily moved … moved in the right direction. They [Americans] will not bother us.”
In this 5-minute video, leaked and aired on Channel 10 News in Israel, Netanyahu in 2001 at a constituent’s home discussed the Oslo Accords, the peace process, Bill Clinton, and the United States.
Literal translation (based on the subtitles); Bibi in bold.
“The Arabs now are preparing a campaign [war] of terror, and they think that this will break us.
“The main thing is, first and foremost, to hit them hard.
“Not just one hit … but many painful, so that the price will be unbearable.
“The price is not unbearable now.
“A total assault on the Palestinian Authority.
“To bring them to a state of panic that everything is collapsing.
“ … fear that everything will collapse … this is what we’ll bring them to …
[Woman interrupts: But wait a minute. At that point the whole world will say, ‘What are you, occupiers?]
“The world will say nothing. The world will say we are defending ourselves.
[Woman: ‘Aren’t you afraid of the world, Bibi?
“Especially now with America, I know what America is.
“America is a thing that can be easily moved … moved in the right direction.
“They [Americans] will not bother us.
“Let’s suppose they [Americans] will say something to us – Israelis … so they say it … [so what?].
“80 percent of the Americans support us.
“It’s absurd. We have such [great] support there!
“And we say … what shall we do with this [support]?
“Look, the other administration [that of Clinton] was pro-Palestinian in an extreme way.
“I was not afraid to maneuver there. I did not fear confrontation with Clinton.
“I was not afraid to clash with the UN.” …
Netanyahu then goes on to explain how he exploited a loophole in the Oslo Accords (regarding which side defines what a “military site” is), and that, in Netanyahu’s words is how “I actually stopped the Oslo Accords.” (The Accords provided, among other things, for phased withdrawal of Israeli troops.)
What About Now?
We will soon find out not only if there is any “significant de-escalation”, but also if there is any significant change in who is calling the shots now — Bibi or Biden.
Those who want really significant change had better care enough to get out in the streets.
Otherwise, nothing “significant” will happen, and the Israeli military will continue to “mow the grass” in Gaza, unhindered — with a Netanyahu-type smirk on their faces. ( See: https://consortiumnews.com/2021/05/16/26686/. ) And Biden will have shown that, like his predecessors, he lacked the courage and the will to climb out of Bibi’s pocket.