Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hitler, Obama, and Netanyahu

President Barack Obama's call for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders provoked an infantile response from Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel. Republican politicians, always eager to snatch Jewish political donations from the hands of Democrats, frothed at the mouth against Obama's message as if they were getting ready to develop land in the West Bank themselves.

That is the way the State of Israel and its Jewish supporters in the United States have always (since 1946) worked. No American taxpayer subsidy to the wealthy Jewish settlers in Palestine is every enough. No peace is possible. The Jewish state of Israel will not be complete until the (probably imaginary) vast empire of King David is restored.

The goal of Israeli policy is simple: no Palestinian state.

Hitler is the model for all modern Israeli right-wing politicians. Of course he hated Jews the way they hate non-Jews. There the dissimilarity ends. Screaming and frothing at the mouth is a given. Taking Palestinian private property is no different than Hitler's taking Jewish property in his day. Nazi's beating up Jews is no different than Jews beating up Palestinians.

There are Israeli Jews and American Jews who see that in asking to be treated respectfully themselves, they are obligated to treat Palestinians with respect. That includes returning to them that which has been stolen since 1946. That includes land. If someone has land returned to them, they should have the option of living on it, without further harassment. If they are residents, they should have full citizenship rights, regardless of their religion and ethnicity. Any backing off these basic principles amounts to endorsing crimes.

The Republican Party likes to proclaim that it upholds private property rights. It should uphold the private property rights of Palestinians. The Tea Party in particular should uphold the private property rights of Palestinians. Instead, in response to President Obama's remarks, have said that Israel's borders have been set by the right of conquest.

What is the right of conquest except the "right" to take private property by force? What distinguishes the Republican Party from organized crime, or Hitler's National Socialist Party, when they promote such ideas?

Barack Obama's position is only a baby-step in the correct direction. If the State of Israel does not agree to a Palestinian state soon, the U.S. at the very least should cut off all funding to Israel.

Jews should have the same civil and property rights that every human person in the world deserves. They should not have ever had to move to Israel to feel safe. But if they want respect, they should respect other people's rights as well. If Jews want to settle in the West Bank, they need to let Palestinians settle on the East Bank. That is what is fair and just.

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