And Then

Time Stamp: Very early Saturday afternoon.

Far be it from me to attempt to sum up centuries of Middle Eastern history in a few paragraphs. With that said we may have just reached a crossroad in it that I’d like to explore with you today.

Since its creation the United States has been an ally of Israel; often without question. Under the extreme right wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has finally changed. A genocide against the residents of Gaza has proven one straw too many on the American camel’s back.

Americans, myself included, basically default to a pro-Israel stance. Interestingly it has been the American political left that has questioned the recent actions of the Israeli government and our support of them. Any democracy has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself, however that does not include perpetrating genocide against its enemies or using an attack, regardless of how despicable, as an excuse to do so.

I have been among the millions of Americans calling for our government to cease shipping offensive weapons used to commit genocide in Gaza to Israel. The call has been heard and the answer affirmative as evidenced by recent Biden administration announcements and actions. The bottom line is that Netanyahu pushed the American people and President Biden too far.

In the United Nations the General Assembly recognized Palestine as a state which is both a dramatic change in policy and the first step toward admission to the world body.

The student protests, mainly at America’s best universities, cannot be discounted. Back in the 1960s it was student protests that led to the change in our policy in Vietnam. To someone old enough to have lived through them the similarity is stunning.

If Israel continues on its current path, it will face isolation and whether it can survive solely on its own is very much in question. Remember that Netanyahu is more concerned with his personal political future than Israel’s. As long as he can, he will continue to act in his best self-interest, not Israel’s best interest. This is the cost of electing an extremely flawed leader. Remember that historically democracies die from within. Americans, keep all this in mind when you cast your vote for president this fall.

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