There is an old saying: “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”
Is Israel acting out this script?
How else can one explain Israel ’s latest action of sending soldiers to a ship on international waters carrying a group of eminent people from all over the world, including a Nobel laureate, taking supplies for the relief of Gaza inhabitants languishing under a blockade since 2009? The blockade harming ordinary people for the alleged actions of the Palestinian militants was hugely unpopular. This action could have slammed the last nail on the coffin of global goodwill for Israel . Adding shameless insult to grievous injury Israel sought to justify its action by claiming that the ship’s passengers first attacked Israeli soldiers provoking them to kill nine people. What justification was there for Israeli troops to storm the ship in the first place?
This incident could be a turning point in the fortunes of Israel.
The worldwide sympathy that Jews gained after the Holocaust has all but vanished. Israel ’s goodwill account has been overdrawn. Now statesmanship demands serious measures to ensure that anti-Semitism does not spread across the world. The signs of that happening are beginning to emerge. Anti-Semitism is largely fuelled by a widely held perception that America behaves as a client nation of tiny Israel.
President Obama’s reaction to this latest incident did little to dispel this perception. He was scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. After the incident that meeting was cancelled as Netanyahu rushed back to Israel. President Obama reportedly spoke on phone with the Israeli PM. He appreciated Netanyahu’s decision to return immediately to Israel. They agreed to reschedule their meeting. The President “expressed deep regret at the loss of life in today’s incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals. The President also expressed the importance of learning all the facts and circumstances around this morning’s tragic events as soon as possible.”
What an odd reaction?
Not a word of condemnation about Israeli troops violating international waters to storm a ship. Little wonder that even in America , where people by and large had great sympathy for Israel , questions by credible personalities are being raised.
A paper that attracted wide attention entitled “The Israel Lobby” by respected academicians, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, stated:
“For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel … (It) has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state… the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’… no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of … Israel – are essentially identical.”
It is in this overall context that the latest incident involving peace loving citizens from many nations across the globe occurred. In the short term one has great sympathy for the Palestinian people. For the long term one has enormous worry about the Jewish people. Are Zionist leaders inviting a second Holocaust? The Jews are a remarkably talented people. But their leaders have often displayed great personal vanity at the expense of their followers.
The charismatic Russian communist leader Leon Trotsky’s real name was Lev Bernstein. His father with a tinge of bitterness once said: “The Trotskys get the glory, the Bernsteins pay the price.”