By Philip Giraldi
Israel and the United States continue to be subjected to legal challenges, both internationally and in the U.S., over their carrying out of a policy in Gaza that many, including the International Court of Justice in The Hague, might eventually consider to be genocide, a crime against humanity. The focus is on the two countries because of the widely held perception that Israel keeps getting away with murder, literally, and Washington is the accomplice in the crime, using its power and United Nations veto to avoid holding the Jewish state accountable for its misdeeds.
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Ironically, Israeli behavior often negatively impacts on the actual interests of the U.S. to include killing American citizens without there being any consequences for the perpetrators. This recklessness has recently been on display not only in Gaza but also in the occupied West Bank where another Palestinian-American has been shot dead in what appears to be something like a vigilante killing.
The fatal shooting of a Palestinian-American teen, Tawfic Abdel Jabbar, 17, a Louisiana native, who was driving a pickup truck near his village Al-Mazra’a Ash-Sharquiya in the Israeli-occupied West Bank was completely unprovoked, according to a passenger in the vehicle who survived the killing. Without any warning, a volley of Israeli gunfire struck the back of the truck, hitting Tawfik in the head and killing him, resulting in the out-of-control vehicle turning over several times on a dirt road. Family members who rushed to the scene were confronted by Israeli soldiers at gunpoint, who blocked their access to the truck.
In an initial statement, Israeli police admitted that the shooting targeted Tawfic, but claimed the victim was “purportedly engaged in rock-throwing activities.” Police would not identify who fired the shots but did describe the incident as “ostensibly involving an off-duty law enforcement officer, a soldier, and a civilian,” suggesting an armed settler was involved.
The U.S. Embassy has demanded an explanation, but Israel never convicts Jews who kill Palestinians. That is what is expected in this case, which recalls the May 2022 killing by an army sniper of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh at a demonstration which she was covering at the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. She was wearing a clearly identifiable journalist’s jacket. No one was ever held accountable and even the Zionist-dominated U.S. State Department eventually believed she had been targeted and deliberately executed. Indeed, there is currently a law pending in the Knesset that blocks prosecution of any Israeli soldier or policeman who kills an Arab.
So once again the gloves are off in terms of the abuse that the U.S. has to take at the hands of its “best friend” Israel, particularly now that Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and a group of extreme ultra-nationalists have formed a war cabinet that is intent on driving out or exterminating the Palestinians. Both in Gaza and the West Bank, any living Palestinian is little more than target practice for the Israel Defense Forces, half trained thugs in uniform.
And Netanyahu is not even trying to hide what he wants to do to Palestine, even though he is now running into concern from President Joe Biden who apparently is afraid that all the bloodshed in Gaza being endorsed and enabled by Washington will damage his re-election prospects. Netanyahu has made some significant comments over the past few days, one of which directly rejects a Biden call to look at options for reviving the so-called two state solution that would give the Palestinians a mini-state that has actual sovereignty at some level, unlike the almost total military and police occupation by Israel that prevails currently.
Speaking at a press conference recently, Netanyahu insisted that he “will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of the Jordan River.” His statement also prefigures an assault on the West Bank and the seizure of all Palestinian-held territory. War would “continue until the end, until the victory, until the elimination of Hamas” Netanyahu vowed, declaring that “nothing will stop us.” Ending the war prematurely “would harm Israel’s security for generations,” he said, suggesting this could mean military action continuing until next year.
Netanyahu has said that there will be no Palestinian state and that Israel will control all of historic Palestine “from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” Yes, Netanyahu is using the very words that Israel’s friends have condemned as “anti-Semitic” when used by Palestinian demonstrators in the U.S. objecting to the slaughter in Gaza.
Meanwhile, a number of Israeli cabinet and other senior officials have indicated clearly that achieving the goal of an Israeli state incorporating the whole area into what will legally be defined as a Jewish state will be achieved no matter what will have to be done to the Palestinians. This will all start with the ethnic cleansing and resettlement of Gaza by Jews, no matter how long it takes to accomplish, and then will proceed to the West Bank. The displacement of the Palestinians is being justified by claiming that that population is not redeemable as they are nothing but “terrorists,” to include incitement from government officials with comments suggesting Israel will have to “kill the children otherwise they will grow up to kill Jews.”
To be sure, there has been some pushback against the Netanyahu revelation coming from many dissatisfied Israelis and even originating within the normally massively pro-Israel U.S. Congress. Calls have come for a cease fire and 15 Jewish Democratic congressmen have supported a two-state solution with a Palestine state having true sovereignty. They issued a brief statement saying, “We strongly disagree with the prime minister. A two-state solution is the path forward.” And there also has been something of a rebellion from the civil service in Washington, where there was a walkout of employees rejecting the Biden administration’s Gaza policy.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and some others in Congress have repeated calls to stop funding what Israel is doing, particularly as the war is already spilling over to Yemen, Iraq, and Syria where illegal U.S. military bases are under attack producing casualties, possibly leading to further escalation, though a withdrawal from those bases is reportedly under consideration by the Pentagon. Biden has not helped the situation by suggesting that if any American military personnel are killed in Iraq or Syria there would have to be some major retaliation directly against Iran, which he blamed for sponsoring the incidents though he provided no evidence.
Biden also followed up on the Netanyahu statement with what was reportedly his first phone call with the Israeli leader in nearly a month, after which he suggested that Netanyahu might consider some “type” of two-state solution. But Netanyahu’s spokesman dismissed Biden’s claim on the following day, saying that, “In his conversation with President Biden, Netanyahu reiterated his policy that, after Hamas is destroyed, Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, a requirement that contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty.”
Netanyahu then personally expanded on the message, saying how he “emphasized to President Biden our determination to achieve all the goals of the war, and to ensure that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.” Under his leadership, Netanyahu pledged that Israel would go beyond that to wage a far wider regional war “on all fronts and in all sectors.”
“We are not giving immunity to any terrorist: not in Gaza, not in Lebanon, not in Syria, and not anywhere,” Netanyahu declared.
Netanyahu and his generals have repeatedly stated that Israel is waging war not just on the Palestinians but also against Iran and its allies, with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant explaining that Israel is confronted by a war on seven fronts: Gaza, the West Bank, and Iran and its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen. Replying to a question from a reporter asking why Israel is not attacking Iran directly, Netanyahu responded, “Who says we aren’t attacking Iran? We are attacking Iran.”
Indeed, Israeli forces have repeatedly bombed Syria’s capital, Damascus, targeting Iranian forces allied to the Syrian government. In the most recent incident, Israeli missiles fired from the occupied Golan Heights killed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Syria intelligence chief and four more IRGC members.
As a final observation, Netanyahu and his supporters appear to be using the prospect of a Donald Trump victory in the U.S. presidential elections in November to put more pressure on Biden to make him back off from supporting any concessions over Gaza and a Palestinian state. Bibi is also intent on extending the war until the end of 2024 to make his domestic opponents who are demanding his resignation appear unpatriotic, many of whom believe that the Israeli actions vis-à-vis Gaza have been motivated by Netanyahu’s own political and personal interests.
As Netanyahu might well otherwise be in jail currently due to corruption charges, many critics now support the theory that Gaza may have been a false flag setup with the prime minister himself giving the green light to an operation that would open the door to keeping himself in power while also destroying Gaza and ridding Israel of the Palestinians forever. If Netanyahu plays his cards right with the clueless Biden, he might also be able to convince the U.S. to attack Iran, something that he has been seeking for more than 20 years. That may be what is coming next.
Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.