The Sound of Silence: Furious Bibi Tries To Stare Down U.N. For Refusing To Go to War Like He Wants
In a long speech full of his usual bellicose theatrics - cartoon bombs! - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excoriated members of the U.N. General Assembly for accepting the international nuclear deal with Iran and thus lessening his chance of going to war with what he persists in calling "a rapacious tiger." Never one to miss an opportunity to use the memory of the Holocaust, Netanyahu defiantly intoned, “The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies (are) over...Seventy years after the murder of 6 million Jews, Iran’s rulers promise to destroy my country, murder my people - and the response from this body (has) been absolutely nothing. Utter silence. Deafening silence.” Evidently to hammer home his point - silence, get it? - he proceeded to spend 45 tense weird seconds mutely glaring at the half-empty chamber, where a sprinkling of diplomats fidgeted, talked, checked their Twitter feed and wondered if he'd forgotten his next line or had a brain freeze or wtf?
Media responses to his stink-eye routine varied, from "powerful" and "chilling" from fansof Zionism to "creepy," petulant," "pathetic," "laughable" and "weird" by others. Online critics aware of Netanyahu's own genocidal tendencies over the years were particularly harsh: "Satan is on CNN now... What exactly is the diplomatic advantage of sneering at the entire world?...He was trying to figure out how to phrase 'murder all of them' without sounding like a dick...He should be arrested and charged with ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity." Several others filled in his melodramatic silence with what they deemed appropriate musical interludes.
To be clear: Netanyahu deserves all of it, and more. For the the raging, tone-deaf, clueless hypocrisy of his declaration that, "When bad behavior is rewarded it only gets worse" - thus, the roughly $10 million a day, or $3 billion a year, Israel gets from the U.S. for its ever greater arsenal of weaponry. For his blindly arrogant view of Israel as the "normal" country besieged by the barbaric Iran. For his decades of crimes against Palestinians, barely mentioned in the Iran rant. For the grief and rubble that is Gaza. For the three-year-old girl just shot in the face in Hebron and the 12 kids recently arrested in East Jerusalem. For the hundreds of angry, hopeless, homeless kids in the campswho "have nothing except stones," and so they throw them, or did until last month, when Netanyahu announced, "We are declaring war on stone throwers" and authorized snipers to shoot them.
And now this sociopath who is threatening, "Whoever tries to attack us, we will hurt him,” is claiming the moral high ground, any moral high ground on God's green earth? No. He is preaching against those who would seek to "destroy my country, murder my people" as though they, we Jews, belong to him? No. The great Edward Said on the fundamental and flawed tenet of imperialism, colonialism, Zionism: "They weren't like us and for that reason deserved to be ruled.” No. The rest is silence.