Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time Profiles a World Class Thug

by Stephen Lendman

Time magazine's May 28 cover features "King Bibi: He's conquered Israel. But will Netanyahu make peace - or war?"

Managing editor Richard Stengel titled his profile "Bibi's Choice."Readers got him sanitized, not accurately presented. Omitted was what they most need to know.

Time included, America's scoundrel media feature managed news and information. Truth and full disclosure are excluded and prohibited.

Netanyahu heads Israel's worst ever government. Bipartisan MKs are racist, hardline rogues. What little opposition exists is weak-kneed. Most go along to get along.

Netanyahu exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon and previous hardline leaders. He's an embarrassment to democratic governance.

Israel is more hypocrisy than democracy. Few benefit. Most don't. Arab citizens are entirely denied. Arundhati Roy calls India a "limbless, headless, soulless torso left bleeding under the butcher's clever with a flag driven deep into her mutilated heart."

Netanyahu's Israel replicates it. Rogue government rules. Official policies reflect belligerence, violence, racist hate, exploitation, occupation harshness, neoliberal rapaciousness, and war when Israel chooses.

Netanyahu deplores peace. Negotiations were always stillborn from inception. Writer Henry Siegman once called them "the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history."

Netanyahu calls them "a waste of time." Palestinians can't negotiate without a legitimate partner. Talks every time reflect tragedy and travesty. Israel's all take and no give. Oslo was unilateral surrender, a Palestinian Versailles.

Israel got what it wanted. Palestinians got nothing for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks.

Nearly two decades later, they're still unresolved. They include an independent sovereign Palestine free from occupation, the right of return, settlements, borders, water rights, and East Jerusalem as Palestine's future capital. 

Israel yields nothing. Netanyahu won't give an inch. He doesn't negotiate. He demands. He also spurns peace and social justice.

Last summer, unaffordable housing prices sparked weeks of nationwide protests. Other issues were raised. 

They include high food and energy prices, low wages and eroding social benefits, onerous taxes on working households, weak labor rights, education and healthcare deficiencies, as well as other ways neoliberal harshness harms most Israelis.

Netanyahu turned a blind eye. Wealth transfers from Israeli workers to privileged elites and corporate favorites is policy. In early May, public anger again erupted. Expect another long, hot summer.

Perhaps he plans more war to shift public attention. He threatened Iran for months. At issue isn't its nuclear program. It's unchallenged regional hegemony. 

The alleged Iranian threat is baseless. It's program is peaceful, not belligerent. It conforms to Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) provisions. Nothing proves otherwise. It's well known but not acknowledged. 

Israel's a nuclear outlaw. It spurned NPT. It prohibits IAEA inspections. It threatens the region menacingly. Neighbors know the threat. Iran hasn't attacked another country in over 200 years. 

War is official Israeli policy. So is state terror. Fear is stoked to enlist popular support.

Most Israelis oppose attacking Iran without US support. Given administration and congressional hawkishness, expect it after November elections. 

Israel's Likud/Kadima unity government increased chances for what will inflame the entire region and threaten general war beyond it.

Netanyahu, Obama, and officials in both countries have greater aims than world peace and sparing humanity a potential holocaust.

No matter. Time gave "King Bibi" top billing. Stengel anointed him rock star status. He's:

"poised to become the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel. He has no national rival." 

"His approval rating, roughly 50%, is at an all-time high. At a moment when incumbents around the world are being shunted aside, he is triumphant."

"Like his father, he sees Jewish history as a succession of holocausts. Like his father, he has an almost mystical belief in the abiding power of anti-Semitism, as though it were more biological than cultural."

He has "a governing coalition that will not leak or collapse if he opens negotiations. He will no longer have to look over his shoulder." 

"He will not have to call elections at the drop of a hat. He has not had that before, and it gives him room to maneuver and room to compromise."

Abbas said: "Now he is the emperor....he can do anything."

He always took full advantage. Imagine what he'll do now. Imagine the regional consequences. Imagine how much more Palestinians will suffer. Imagine the threat to world peace.

Israelis watch and wait. At best, they express luke warm support.Haaretz contributor Bradley Burston says they're "exhausted by war, graft, bureaucracy, failed ideologies, the compendium of false promises," and major unaddressed issues.

For years, thousands of Israelis voted with their feet and left. Many others consider going for good reason. Like America, Israel increasingly isn't fit to live in. For Arabs it's hell. For Jews, promised land illusions vanished long ago.

Netanyahu ignores public needs. War is prioritized. Removing a nonexistent Iranian threat is planned. He'll risk a potential holocaust for Israeli hegemony and personal ambitions. That elevates rogue status to a higher level.

Is there reason to think he wants peace with Palestinians? He favors hardline persecution instead. He threatens war on Gaza. Another potential Lebanon conflict looms. He's involved with Western-generated insurgent violence in Syria.

He's a regional menace. Yet he had the effrontery to tell Time that Palestinians "will never have a better partner than me....I can make (peace) happen and make it stick."

His agenda excludes peace in our time. He deplores it like US administration and congressional hawks, as well Knesset hardliners.

Like Obama, Netanyahu's a war criminal multiple times over. Peace isn't on his mind. Neither is compromise. He spurns democratic values and rule of law principles. He practices state terror. He's more rogue than statesman. He's a destroyer, not builder or visionary. 

In June 1996, after being elected prime minister for the first time, Time's cover story headlined "Can He Make Peace?" 

He spurned it then and does now. As long as he leads Israel, peace in our time remains illusory, not real. The region's fate hangs in the balance, and maybe a lot more.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at 

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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