US President George W. Bush visited Israel this week. This time he addressed the Israeli Knesset, wishing Israel a “Happy Independence Day”.
Just before George Bush took the stage, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke of a two-state solution, a Palestinian State living in peace next to Israel. When he said this, there was a “nervous laughter” in the Knesset chamber, and several right-wing members got up and walked out.
But when Georgie took the stage, there was nothing but cheers from the Israeli right-wing. Arab members of the Knesset left the meeting as soon as George Bush took the stage, to protest Bush’s position of blatant bias toward Israel and rejection of the historic rights of the Palestinian people.
And George didn’t disappoint. He said nothing about a two-state solution, or any solution at all, but spoke only about Israel and about the great Jewish victories.
Bush’s firm stance on a Zionist Israel, and his total failure to even mention the Palestinians, led some right-wing Knesset members to say that “Bush is more Zionist than Olmert”. Some even jokingly proposed that they replace the Israeli Prime Minister with George Bush, in order to more quickly achieve the Zionist dream.
In his speech, George did not mention the Palestinians at all — well.. except when he spoke about “terrorism”. He added that the United States is proud “to be the closest ally to Israel and its best friend”, adding that the two nations have “an unbreakable bond”.
He also expressed his religious fervor, sermonizing about Abraham and the land of the Jews – but failed to even mention the Palestinians. The Palestinians whose homeland is the land that is now Israel. He failed to mention that they were massacred, and expelled so that some Zionists could achieve their dream – a dream that begins with the creations of a Zionist state in Palestine, and then expands outward with imperial ambition.
He told the Knesset that the United States stands with Israel and said that “Masada will not fall again”. This is a reference to the historic mountain fortress of Masada, where the Jews took refuge from the onslaught of the Roman empire in 70 BCE, and committed suicide rather than submit to Roman domination. Georgie obviously didn’t make any parallels between his current Pax Americana and the historical empire of Rome. Masada has taken on major cultural, religious and political significance for the Jewish state, and a religious pilgrimage across the desert to reach the mountain stronghold is part of the training of every Israeli soldier.
Mr. President did not forget to mention his belief that religious liberty is fundamental to any civilized society, but he did forgot to mention that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians cannot make it to Al Aqsa Mosque or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in East Jerusalem… after all the Palestinians do not count in any discussion of religious freedom. Not to mention the fact that Israel calls itself the Jewish state, and openly discriminates against non-Jews in both law and in practice.
George proudly stated that Israel “is the freest democracy in the Middle East”. Of course, he managed to ignore the fact that Israel is still occupying Palestine, still killing Palestinian civilians on a daily basis, still refusing to set a border for its nation — while at the same time stealing more and more Palestinian land, still refusing the Palestinian people’s internationally guaranteed Right of Return, and still constructing a massive Wall that annexes more than half of the remaining Palestinian land.
Bush also said that his country firmly stands with Israel against a nuclear Iran, but forgot to mention that Israel is also a nuclear power.
Wow, Mr. President, I am really amazed by your knowledge of history and global politics! I mean, who cares if the Zionist gangs stole the Palestinian land, who cares if they massacred tens of thousands of people and expelled the rest, who cares about the moral outrages and criminal atrocities and massive deportations…
So, yay!, happy …. Happy Independence …. for Israel. But for the Palestinians, happy Nakba, happy dispossession, happy Diaspora, happy massacres..
I guess it is ok that the Palestinians get massacred and expelled, that their lands and homes get stolen, that their villages get wiped out so that the Zionists can have a homeland atop the ruins of Palestine.
I guess it does not matter that there are an estimated 6.000.000 Palestinian refugees (or only 4.5 million by the UN estimates). It doesn’t matter that these refugees are scattered all over the world, that 2.4 million refugees are living in the West Bank and 1.4 million in Gaza, nearly 3 million in Jordan, nearly half a million in Syria… It just does not matter.
It just does not matter that Israel still ignores the United Nations General Assembly Resolution number 194 which was passed on December 11, 1948 and calls for the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees.
It does not matter that Israel still refuses to recognize the UN General Assembly Resolution 3236, which was passed on the 22nd of November of 1974 declaring the Right of Return as an "inalienable right". It does not matter that Israel still ignores the Palestinian people’s rights, even though those rights are supposedly “guaranteed” under international law.
It’s OK! I mean, who cares what happens to them? Who cares if the state of Israel was built on their lands, homes and even their graves and the graves of their ancestors. None of that matters! Because, as Georgie has so kindly reminded us, this is the Independence Day of the great nation of Israel!
Oh, but don’t worry…long after the speech was made public, George’s minions in the White House issued an afterthought….I mean, a statement, that he didn’t mean to ignore the Palestinians, and he’ll deal with them on Saturday, when he meets the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.