Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of the US congress yesterday. This is an honor granted only to the most despicable butchers, Churchill having given one of the most memorable. And the similarities don't end there. Netanyahu is trying to hold on to and expand possessions for which time has clearly run out. The pipe-dream of a two-state-solution, which everyone says they agree with at the same time they sap its foundations, is far behind us; Netanyahu's course, that of a majority of Israel's rulers at the present conjuncture, is to talk up such a solution while making it politically and geographically impossible. Churchill, attempting to hold together a much larger but no less bloody system at home and abroad, was also a last-ditch fighter.
And the congressmen applauded both, rising up on their hind legs. But Netanyahu had better think about the lesson Churchill's actual progress teaches. Perhaps call Churchill biographer and Israel booster Martin Gilbert for some clarity. By the time Washington and Wall Street got done with th English bulldog, he returned to London wearing a wooden barrel with suspenders. Colonial possessions would be either devolved to local bourgeois forces as part of a commonwealth system, or were turned over outright to the United States.
Right wing congressmen love Netanyahu and Israel for the same strategic imperial reasons Obama does: Israel is a garrison outpost full of exploited Jewish workers and farmers who have been sold a bill of goods that the "world is theirs" if they are willing to fight for it. That the local inhabitants have no right to their land, and have since 1948 been relegated to refugee status, dispossessed like the aboriginal inhabitants of the Americas and Australia.
But in 2011 it is easier than ever to see the future outlines of a democratic, secular Palestine. The Arab masses have returned to center stage of their own drama for the first time in decades, upsetting a system of oppressive bourgeois cop apparatuses in Tunisia and Egypt, both of which were keystones to a relationship of forces in the reason that also kept Palestinian victory in the distant future. WikiLeaks and the Palestine Papers, which reveal the level of collusion between Israeli and Palestinian leaderships, has also cleared the air pf a petty bourgeois nationalist funk inhiniting consistent struggle since Oslo.
A footnote for Netanyahu himself: be careful of the friends you make among US congressmen. Like a Buggs Bunny cannibal, their friendly embrace may simply serve to measure you for the stew pot. A lot of these congressmen believe the Biblical wiping-out of the jews, put in harm's way in Palestine, is a prerequisite for their own salvation. They cannot wait for ruin being prepared for Jewish workers and farmers by the government of Israel. While the theology might not be any more than pandering to the most squalid aspects of electoral cretinism, I am sure this is nothing new to Netanyahu. His own arrogance is a true measure of the consciousness of Israel's ruling families, who realize time is not on their side.