The AIPAC Afterparty

Posted on May 22, 2011

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Few probably thought that anything revolutionary would be said at Obama’s AIPAC speech today. Honestly, it gets boring noting that this traditional pilgrimage to worship at the coffers of the Israel lobby is simply the recitation of a laundry list of endless and ever-greater financial support for the state of Israel.

But it is interesting to observe just what pure ass-kissing nonsense,  hypocrisies and mendacity such speeches are composed of:

So we will continue to work to prevent these actions, and will stand up to groups like Hezbollah who exercise political assassination, and seek to impose their will through rockets and car bombs.

There is perhaps no state that carries out political assassination with such reckless disregard and consistency as a policy, as Israel. Israel attempted to assassinate the political director of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal in Jordan, in 1997 and [succeeded in assassinating] Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai, to note just two in which there is absolutely no doubt of the use of the term “assassination”. There are, of course, dozens of others, euphemistically termed “extrajudicial killings”.

So when the Durban Review Conference advanced anti-Israel sentiment, we withdrew. In the wake of the Goldstone Report, we stood up strongly for Israel’s right to defend itself. When an effort was made to insert the United Nations into matters that should be resolved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, we vetoed it.

Now, I have said repeatedly that core issues can only be negotiated in direct talks between the parties. And I indicated on Thursday that the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas poses an enormous obstacle to peace.No country can be expected to negotiate with a terrorist organization sworn to its destruction.

This is a pretty neat pivot. After claiming that the US prevents international arbitration of the conflict in the UN, because the parties should be left to sort things out on their own, Obama then claims that Hamas should be prevented from being one of those parties. So much for “matters that should be resolved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians”.

There was also this nugget, in the midst of Obama’s tile-scraping apology for having said something aloud which could be used as fodder for the right-wing noise machine’s propaganda mill:

Obama: […]It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.

This is almost word for word the same formulation that Netanyahu insisted on in his press conference, after his meeting with Obama earlier in the week.

Netanyahu: […]it cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible, because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.

Those demographic changes  include the imposition of Israeli colonists in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a number which only became a legitimate demographic issue since the Oslo period beginning in 1993, during which time it has more than doubled through relentless settlement building of the kind Washington pretends to oppose.

But what I found most notable was Obama’s continuing rhetorical device of depicting Palestinian efforts for recognition in 1967 borders, which, are and have been the basis of the autonomous Palestinians state envisioned by Israel and US negotiators for nearly two decades, as ” de-legitimizing Israel”He referred to the current efforts by the Fatah led Palestinian Authority to declare a Palestinian state on borders that the international community, including, ostensibly, the US, agree are not under the sovereignty of Israel, three times:

[…]You also see our commitment to Israel’s security in our steadfast opposition to any attempt to de-legitimize the State of Israel.

As I said at the United Nation’s last year, “Israel’s existence must not be a subject for debate,” and “efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the United States.”

[…]These are the facts. I firmly believe, and repeated on Thursday, that peace cannot be imposed on the parties to the conflict. No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state. And the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the UN or in any international forum. Because Israel’s legitimacy is not a matter for debate.

This has become the US preferred way of referring to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to declare a state. Obama made similar comments during his speech earlier in the week:

For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state.

Perhaps noting that he hadn’t yet issued a hair-blazing, teeth-rattling blatant and hysterical hypocrisy of the kind for which true connoisseurs of US rhetoric hunger, Obama brought it all home in his closing remarks:

For so long as there are those, across the Middle East and beyond, who are standing up for the legitimate rights and freedoms which have been denied by their governments, the United States will never abandon our support for those rights that are universal.

And so long as there are those who long for a better future, we will never abandon our pursuit of a just and lasting peace that ends this conflict with two states living side by side in peace and security. This is not idealism or naiveté.

No, it isn’t idealism or naiveté. It’s laughable bullshit.