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October 5, 2020

Netanyahu and Bismarck

Reuel S. Amdur

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Binyamin Netanyahu is a Jewish Bismarck. He has combined a malicious cunning with a wilful strategy and effective tactics to accomplish his imperialist aims. At one point, he promised that as long as he was prime minister of Israel there would never be a Palestinian state. So far, he has kept his word.

When he spoke before the American Congress, he said, which was of course a lie, that he favoured a two-state solution.  However, that Palestine would have to be without an army, without control of its borders, and with the Jewish colonies/settlements intact.  How do you spell Bantustan?

In conjunction with his success in preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state, he has sustained an Israel unique on the planet, a country without boundaries.  The world refers to the West Bank as the Occupied Territories.  In accord with his irredentism, he calls it the Disputed Territories. 

Netanyahu’s successful foreign and domestic policy includes playing the United States like a violin, knowing when, as in the Trump presidency, to play prestissimo. 

His skill contrasts with the pedestrian performance of his adversary Mahmoud Abbas, who is caught in Netanyahu’s spider’s web.  He cannot wiggle out.  His funds are under Netanyahu’s control.  His police force is constrained by Netanyahu to control any meaningful threat to Israeli control.  From time to time, Abbas threatens to dissolve the Palestinian government, thus forcing Israel to stretch itself to control the whole West Bank, but he never follows through.  Under threats from the United States and Israel, he fails to take Israel to the International Court of Justice or to take Israeli officials to the International Criminal Court. 

Netanyahu has been a successful Bismarck with regard to the Palestinians, less so in terms of social programs.  However, such success as his has a shelf life.  In the long run, this success will eventually fail.  The repressed will not remain oppressed forever.

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