Dr Mohammad Makram Balawi
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi once said, “Friendship of the wise is good; a wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.” I don’t know if this applies to the current Israeli political elite, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for one. One of the things that drew my attention when I read the autobiography of Ben Gurion and Golda Meir, both former Israeli prime ministers, was their dedication to their cause.
One story that is still engraved in my memory, is of when Ben Gurion tried to enter Palestine when it was under Ottoman rule, through Beirut port. Due to an epidemic, the Ottoman authorities used to keep new arrivals in quarantine for ten days. Corrupt officers offered them an easier option of paying a small bribe. Ben Gurion preferred to stay in quarantine and not waste the Jewish Agency’s money. Something similar happened to Meir when she was appointed as the first Israeli ambassador in Moscow. In order not to waste the embassy’s money, she used to buy cheese from the local market in bulk, and keep in the cold by the window.
Of course, from my personal point of view as a Palestinian refugee, nothing they could have done would have compensated me, my family and my people for all the suffering they have caused us. Still, they were the kind of enemy you would respect. Certainly, they were made differently to Netanyahu and his elk. Bribery, fraud and breach of trust are a few of the charges levelled against Netanyahu, “the King of Israel”, by the Israeli attorney general in his draft indictment.
The most serious blow Netanyahu dealt to the Zionist dream, was his systematic undermining of the two-state solution, his earnest pursuit to pass the infamous “Basic Law” (Nation-State Law) in parliament, which exposed the non-democratic, reactionary and racist nature of Israel to the world.
He undermined the Palestinian Authority in every way possible, and deprived the Palestinians of anything useful, and at the same time blocked any way out for Israel. Instead of providing political solutions to the situation in Gaza he intensified the 12-year-blockade and killed 186 peaceful demonstrators at the fence under the watching eye of the international media, and the only lame excuse he gave for this crime against humanity, is that Israel is the only democracy in the region, as if this is what democracies do. He worked hard on spreading fear of Islam everywhere, to the extent that he became the guru of Islamophobia. He allied himself and Israel with Arab and African despotic regimes and conspired against the Arab Spring, all in the name of protecting democracy.
Not only did he adopt ultra-nationalist ideology, he also embraced full-heartedly the extremists of the Israeli society the Kahanists, and tried to bring them back in to parliament. Yael Patir, the director of the Israel Program at J Street, wrote “the fact Otzma Yehudit [Jewish Power] is a party whose ideological roots lie in the US led to great dismay and condemnation by American Jewish organisations, among them AIPAC and the American Jewish Congress, which usually avoid criticising both the policies of the Israeli government and its prime minister.” For the first time in the history of American lobbyists of Israel, AIPAC, which is considered mainly a Likud inclined organisation, directed harsh criticism towards an acting Israeli prime minister. The level of racism Netanyahu has adopted, appalled American Jewry and caused a sudden decline in the support for Israel, not only among American Democrats, but Republicans as well.
After turning Israel into the perfect manifestation of an Apartheid State, Netanyahu indulged in a fierce war against all those who dared to question or criticise this shameful situation, labeling them anti-Semites, using his connections with his American and European allies and his leverage on the mainstream media, to corner and destroy them. His attack on the boycott movement shows that this man does not understand what is really happening. For the first time in the history of the Zionist movement, both Islamists and leftists, who were considered previously antithetical, are working hand in hand against the Israeli hegemony and propaganda. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and Jews, including some Israeli Jews reject his racist endeavor. With all his attempts to brand Palestinians and Muslims as terrorists, he failed and the fingers are pointed in the direction of Israel as a state that is involved in “potential” war crimes and crimes against humanity.
His ego, his stubbornness, his self-centeredness, and his high level of narcissism, will not only lead him, but the whole Zionist project, to an inevitable doom. This is not a mere prediction, made by Arabs and extreme leftists, but a very logical premise, made by people including the notable Israeli historian Benny Morris a few weeks ago.
Palestinians be ready. It seems that time has come to go back home folks.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Times Headline.