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Netanyahu's Dream-come-true Kingdom

B. Michael
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An Israeli protester at a demonstration against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before his flight to the U.S. to sign an accord with U.A.E, near Tel Aviv, Sept. 13, 2020
A protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before he departed for Washington to sign the accords with the UAE and Bahrain, on Sunday.Credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters
B. Michael

Despite all the superlatives being lavished upon it, the hoopla in Washington is nothing more than a double campaign ad by two unbridled narcissists. Both are currently suffering some election anxiety, and so they fabricated a “historic event” to please their base. It wasn’t hard. A pair of tyrannical emirates – no bastions of human rights – were persuaded by Uncle Sam’s purse-strings and weapons store to expose their shadowy ties with a third tyrannical state. What was kept hidden under the rug for years has now been pulled out to be shown off for all to see. This is the whole reason for the big fanfare.

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The festive signing of Israel's new agreements with the UAE and Bahrain will not bring about any significant benefit, will not lead to any important change, will not solve any problem. Some tycoons will get a little wealthier, some arms dealers will get fatter on more blood money, and some tens of thousands of Israeli tourists will have yet another destination to which to flee from their dying homeland. There, in the sparkling shopping malls of the UAE, their money will help to “oil the wheels of the local economy.” What greater joy can there be?

In short, these agreements are as important and historic as a normalization agreement signed between Israel and the Azrieli Mall.

Still, there has been something instructive about the whole thing, too. As we’ve learned, Benjamin Netanyahu is a complete cynic without a drop of empathy in his soul, which is entirely dark, cold, twisted and selfish. Witness the family trip he arranged for himself to America while millions of Israelis are struggling to put bread on the table and to keep healthy. But something amazing happened here:

Amid all the cynicism and the spin, there was a glimpse of something human, something real, almost touching, in the way Bibi has referred to his new friends. You could tell that he genuinely likes them, genuinely respects them – maybe even envies them. And it seems that he likes their kingdoms even more.

It’s not hard to see why. These rulers and their countries represent his dream come true. This is exactly the sort of kingdom he envisions. It is just what he wants – a feudal, fawned-over family regime that controls an entire country. Rule that is forever held by one family. A kingdom in which a chosen people that is the minority rules over a majority whose rights are trampled. And in which halakha (traditional Jewish law) is the law of the state and is used to keep the subjects in line and to stamp out any enlightenment.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and White House adviser Jared Kushner make joint statements about the Israeli-United Arab Emirates peace accords, in Jerusalem, Aug. 30, 2020.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, with White House adviser Jared Kushner, at a press conference in Jerusalem about the Israel-UAE accords, on August 30.Credit: Debbie Hill/via AP

And that’s not all: At the head of this state is the omnipotent Emir. He appoints judges, certifies police officers, selects generals, controls the media and chooses most of the members of “parliament.” All the state coffers are at the disposal of the Emir and his family, and they can use it to buy themselves yachts and planes, to build lavish mansions, and to purchase as many cigars and as much ice cream as their hearts desire. Needless to say, the Emir and his family don’t have to ask twice to get a tax refund.

Is it any wonder that Bibi’s eyes gleam with admiration and envy when he speaks about his new partners in normalization? Partners whose countries are also under investigation for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity? And who make their in-house enemies disappear while scoffing at the critics outside?

So it is in Abu Dhabi, in Bahrain and in the country of Bibi’s dreams – the Abu-Yair Emirate where he is the absolute ruler. No joke. This is where we are headed.

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