Rembrandt van Rijn Old Man Sitting 1631
Benjamin -Bibi- Netanyahu has always been a warmonger. He thinks he, and his people, are superior to the Palestinians, and come to think of it, to Muslims in general. And when he first appeared on the scene some 30 years ago, he might have had a point, at least from a military point of view.
But he does not today, and that is very dangerous for his people. Bibi lives in the past, because he liked that past – he could feel superior. He does not recognize to what extent the world, including his, has changed. But change it did, while he was dreaming of winning warfare.
He is not unique in this. The entire US political system suffers from the same “affliction”. There has never been a better reason to introduce term limits in Congress and the Senate. Politicians like Pelosi and Feinstein are just about crying out for help: please get me out of here! Enter Joe Biden stage left. At least Joe has the excuse that he can’t find the exit.
Bibi is not 85 or 90 yet. He’s “only” 73. But he’s been around long enough to get stuck (rusted) in his own preferred ideas and view of the world. Bibi thinks he can do with the Palestinians whatever he sees fit. But, again, the world has changed. And Israel’s alleged military superiority has changed with it.
It didn’t have to be this way. Bibi is more or less the successor to Yithzak Rabin, who was elected PM in 1992 (he had earlier been PM from 1974-77) , and murdered in 1995. Rabin had entirely different ideas about his country. He rejected the use of force in favor of peace negotiations with the Palestinians (1993 Oslo Accords, 1994 Nobel Peace Prize).
That’s why he was murdered. Bibi first became PM in 1996. He had several stints in the job and kept floating to the top. And now Bibi threatens to raze the Gaza strip, and potentially kill 100s of 1000s of civilians. But there is no place in the world for people like him.
The Arab world around Israel has become much stronger and richer and more united. If Israel attempts to kill that many Muslims, it’s not just the Gaza strip that is under threat, but Israel itself is.
The Saudi’s have started talking to Iran, and there are many more such initiatives underway. Dividing the Arab world is no longer a feasible plan of action. Watch Turkey! But exactly like Bibi, the US political system doesn’t understand that either.
They could have though; the Ukraine war could have told them that. But Washington does not want to face its own diminishing role in the world any more the Bibi wants to in his part of it. Russia and China have advertized it loud enough through the BRICS, but the old US system wants nothing to do with multipolarity. They want things back to what they were 30 years ago, when those in charge today could still understand what was happening, and were the “masters”.
It’s not just Pelosi and Biden, Donald Trump doesn’t get it either. If he gets re-elected, he’ll move another embassy to Jerusalem. Bobby Kennedy also has a blind spot on Israel. They are all blind. They should go talk -a lot- to Putin and Xi. If there is to be peace in the Middle East, it will come from them.
Xi Jinping is 70, Putin is 71. Not the youngest either. But there is one main difference. They did not grow up in positions where they were kings. China and Russia 30 years ago were poor countries, perhaps desperately so. Therefore, the architects of the multipolar world have seen the changes they implemented, come to fruition.
That makes for a completely different world view from the Bibi’s and Pelosi’s etc etc who’ve only seen their positions shrink, and are trying to deny and counter that development. Growing at 70 is not the same as shrinking at 70. Or 80.
Yes, Bibi might well be crazy enough to drop a nuclear bomb. It’s up to Israel to get rid of him, and that threat. And it’s up to Xi and Putin to help them do that.
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