“Nothing Will Stop Us”
By Ralph Nader
December 22, 2023
The unstoppable Israeli U.S. armed military juggernaut continues its genocidal destruction of Gaza’s Palestinians. The onslaught includes blocking the provision of “food, water, medicine, electricity and fuel,” openly genocidal orders decreed by Netanyahu and his extreme, blood-thirsty ministers.
The stunning atrocities going on day after day is being recorded by U.S. drones over Gaza and by brave Palestinian journalists directly targeted by the Israeli army. Over 66 journalists and larger numbers of their families have been slain. Israel has excluded foreign and Israeli journalists for years from Gaza.
This no-holds-barred ferocity came out of the Israeli government’s slumber on October 7th which allowed a few thousand Hamas and other fighters to take their smuggled hand-held weapons and attack soldiers and civilians before being destroyed or driven back to Gaza.
Seventy-five years of Israel military violence against defenseless Palestinians and fifty-six years of violently and illegally occupying their remaining slice of the original Palestine provides some background for Israel’s Founder, David Ben-Gurion’s candid statement: “We have taken their country.” (See, his full statement here).
The overwhelming military superiority of Israel – a nuclear armed nation – in the Middle East has produced a more aggressive Israeli government. Being more secure than ever before doesn’t seem to temper the expansionist missions of right-wing Israeli colonies in the West Bank.
Presently, the narrow Netanyahu majority in the Parliament believes that “nothing can stop us.” Presently, they are right.
Joe Biden and Congress are vigorously enabling the annihilations. The UN is frozen by the Joe Biden administration’s vetoes in the Security Council against ending the carnage in Gaza. The Arab nations either lay in ruins – Syria, Iraq – or are too weak to cause Israeli generals any worry. The rich Arab nations in the Gulf want to do business with prosperous Israel and, other than Qatar, care little about their Palestinian brethren.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) are no obstacle. Israel, along with Russia and the U.S. do not belong to the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority is a party, but the practical difficulties of investigating Israeli war crimes in Gaza and apprehending the accused are insurmountable. The ICJ’s jurisdiction requires a country to bring Israel before the Court for war crimes or genocide. In any event, the Court’s lead-footed procedures trespass on eternity. So much for international law and the Geneva Conventions. Netanyahu rejects the moral authority of seventeen Israeli human rights groups, including Rabbis and reservist soldiers. Their open letter to President Biden in the December 13, 2023 issue of the New York Times on “The Humanitarian Catastrophe in the Gaza Strip” was ignored by the media despite the truth and courage it embodied.
In the U.S., protests and demonstrations are everywhere. Many are organized by Jewish human rights groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, Standing Together, Veterans for Peace and various student organizations. Everywhere Biden travels there are people from all backgrounds protesting.
A few days ago, the first protests by labor union members occurred in Oakland, California. Union activists could turn their attention to why, for years, union leaders put billions of dollars into riskier lower-interest Israeli bonds rather than U.S. Treasuries or bond funds investing in America. Like U.S. weapon deliveries, purchases of Israeli bonds by states, cities and unions have surged since October 7th.
Pope Francis, informed of the Israeli attack on the only Catholic Church and Convent in Gaza, which housed people with disabilities, killing and injuring Christians sheltering there, sorrowfully said: “Some would say, ‘It is war. It is terrorism.’ Yes, it is war. It is terrorism.”
In 2015, over 400 Rabbis from Israel, the USA and Canada called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop the practice of demolishing hundreds of Palestinian homes as being contrary to international law and Jewish tradition. Their successors Rabbis for Human Rights are being ignored by the regime.
The Head of the U.S. Bishops Conference and the National Council of Churches, representing millions of parishioners, condemned the bombings but received little coverage.
There is only one institution that could stop Netanyahu’s mass military massacres of the Palestinian people. That is the U.S. Congress. As long as over 90% of the politicians there automatically support AIPAC, the Israeli Government Can Do No Wrong Lobby, even a peace-loving Joe Biden cannot deter Netanyahu. Bibi (his nickname) could simply say to a hypothetically transformed Biden “Joe, take it up with OUR Congress.”
How has AIPAC achieved such domination on Capitol Hill? By years of relentless lobbying and the smear of “anti-semitism” to anyone defying them. AIPAC and its chapters don’t bother with marches or demonstrations. They personally focus on the legislator – one by one. Carrots or sticks. Praise, PAC money and junkets are the Carrots. The Sticks are smears and money for selected primary challengers in their Districts or States. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) called AIPAC “a Hate Group.”
There are about 300,000 citizens spending significant time back in the states working Congress in AIPAC’s favor. They know the doctors, lawyers, accountants, clergy, local politicians, donors, golf champions and other friends of the Senators and Representatives, and forcefully promote Israeli expansionism backed to the hilt by the U.S. government.
AIPAC is proficient in part for lack of any organized opposition. It is also practicing state-of-the-art non-stop grassroots lobbying.
Congress is poised to send $14.3 billion to Israeli militarism – a “genocide tax” on U.S. taxpayers – without public hearings. While growing public opinion in the U.S. is against unconditional backing of the Israeli regime, it has not changed a single vote in Congress. Someday, more organized support for America’s national interest will.
(For calls to your legislators, the Congressional switchboard is 202-224-3121.)