At his blog “Wallwritings,” Christian Century contributing editor James Wall continues his descent into anti-Semitic paranoia in his latest screed entitled “Why Was This Man Standing At A Podium Before the US Congress?” In it, he rants about the supposed control of the United States government by Israel, and offers some whoppers along the way:
This picture of Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu laying down the law to the US Congress is not just a portent of things to come. It is, in fact, a portrait of who really runs US foreign policy.
While many Americans were watching Oprah or worrying about steroids ruining baseball, Israel assumed control of our government. The picture (above) of Bibi lecturing Congress was orchestrated by Republican House Speaker John Boehner with the help of all those other Zionist politicians we elected to office in campaigns financed by the Israel Lobby.
It’s certainly true that Boehner would have had to agree to have Netanyahu address a joint session, just as he does when any foreign leader addresses such a session. Back in March, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia did so. Does that mean that Australia runs U.S. foreign policy in the South Pacific? Of course not. But that’s why Wall uses sinister-sounding words and expressions like “orchestrated,” “Zionist politicians,” and “campaigns financed by the Israel Lobby” (that last being especially laughable, considering that the biggest givers to last year’s congressional candidates were labor unions).
In case you were watching American Idol during the speech, you should know that this intruder to the podium of our Congress was actually cheered when he asserted that:
There is no occupation of Palestinian land because “in Judea and Samaria [better known except to biblical literalists, as the West Bank], Israelis are not foreign occupiers”. They are, Bibi obviously wants us to believe, the native inhabitants.
Wall sneers at Netanyahu’s statement at the same time that he misquotes it. This is what the Israeli Prime Minister actually said:
Now, this is not easy for me. It’s not easy, because I recognize that in a genuine peace, we’ll be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland. And you have to understand this: In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.
We’re not the British in India. We’re not the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers, the land of Israel, to which Abraham brought the idea of one god, where David set out to confront Goliath, and where Isaiah saw his vision of eternal peace. No distortion of history — and boy am I reading a lot of distortions of history lately, old and new — no distortion of history could deny the 4,000-year-old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land.
Unless Wall buys into the anti-Semitic trope that most modern Jews aren’t really descendants of ancient Israel (they’re supposed to instead be the descendants of a Turkic people called the Khazars), or believes that the Old Testament history is a fabrication to create an ancient Jewish connection to the West Bank, then his rejection of Netanyahu’s argument is simply incomprehensible. And the stupidest thing is that the PM offers this defense of Jewish connection to the West Bank in the context of a recognition that the Palestinians “should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people living in their own state.” But when the anti-Semite is convinced of some Jewish evil, nothing–not truth, not reality, not even correct quotations–will stand in their way. Wall goes on:
Would that explain Israel’s building of that Great Wall to separate Israel Proper from the land of Judea and Samaria? That wall looks biblical. Bibi cited Abraham in his speech to the Congress as a rationale for Israel’s claim on occupied land. Could that Wall come tumbling down with a few well placed toots on a horn?
I have no idea what he’s talking about, but to answer his question: it is terrorism, plain and simple, that explains the building of a separation barrier. It’s prevented terrorist infiltration into Israel, and reduced Israeli casualties from terrorism by 95%. I’m sure he’s terribly disappointed by that.
The sight of a right-wing Zionist leader standing at the podium normally reserved for American presidents, and harshly repudiating the current president, was sad in the extreme.
Of course, we all know that conservative Israelis have no place “standing at the podium normally reserved for American presidents.” It is true that over the last ten years Congress has been addressed from the “podium normally reserved for American presidents” by the presidents of Mexico, France, Latvia, Liberia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Spain, the prime ministers of Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Iraq, Italy, and India, as well as the King of Jordan. The “right-wing Zionist leader” of one of America’s strongest allies, however, has no place there.
Wall then rambles on about a book of revisionist Israeli history he’s read, and then comes back to the theme of Israeli control of America:
Of course, since Bibi is not a native-born American citizen, he cannot be elected president of the United States. But there are a few notable candidates from both American political parties ready to swear their dual allegiance to the US and Israel and run for the office of the Leader of the Free World.
There is Sarah Palin, who is easily manipulated by advisors. She loves Israel. And there is a more serious Democratic candidate, the newly-elected Mayor of Chicago, a fellow named Rahm Emanuel, whose parents are native-born Israelis. Emanuel, himself, has a American birth certificate, so he is good to go in 2016.
Rahm Emanuel, the most unlikable man in American politics, is going to run for president? In what alternate reality?
I ran across Emanuel one day in Washington while he was still President Obama’s chief of staff. I was walking on the north side of the White House, going to meet my brother, when I spotted Emanuel coming the other way. Being the good citizen that I am, I looked at him, smiled, and nodded. He glared at me with an expression that said, “who gave you permission to walk past my place of business?” At that moment, I realized that there is one place, and one place only, where a guy like Rahm Emanuel could run for public office and win, and that’s Chicago. There is less likelihood of Rahm Emanuel running for president, and far less likelihood of him winning, than Oprah Winfrey.
James Wall, however, has convinced himself that, since the Israelis would love to see one of their own in the big chair, it just might come to pass because of the almighty influence of the Israel Lobby:
[A recent Emanuel column in the Washington Post] will serve as a reminder to those generous donors who share his love for Israel. Those names are, no doubt, nestled safely in Emanuel’s Blackberry. It was in 1983 that I first saw an early version of those names. Rahm kept them in an ancient device we called the Rolodex.
At the time, I was Paul Simon’s campaign manager in his first US Senate primary race. Rahm was our campaign’s resident AIPAC representative, paid, not by AIPAC (which, as a non-profit organization, does not make direct financial political contributions) nor by the Simon campaign, since I had refused to authorize payment, but by some of those generous donors whose names were in that Rolodex.
And now, just think, the journey that started in the Simon 1983-84 campaign office, could finally end with Rahm Emanuel standing where Bibi Netanyahu stood during the 2011 surrender ceremonies. Ain’t history grand?
Ain’t bigotry and paranoia ugly?