“The only thing missing is the sign Arbeit Macht Frei,” said an English friend as we watched a British-made documentary on the children of Gaza.  My wife, a German, winced.  I did not.  Watching a Palestinian father break down and cry while an Israeli official refuses him an exit permit so his seven-year-old son can have a cancerous brain tumor treated makes one’s blood boil.  The boy had lain in his father’s arms in the hot son for seven hours, and then the family had been told no dice.  Par for the course, was all I said.  I’d seen such treatment of Palestinians before, in the West Bank and in Gaza, and that is the reason I will never set foot in Israel and the occupied territories again—except, of course, if the stolen lands are ever returned.  The horror of what the Israelis are doing to a people, under Uncle Sam’s benevolent gaze, is so shocking and dispiriting that there is only one thing to do: Put it out of one’s mind and hope for divine revenge.

Since June 1967 Israel has murdered, jailed, killed, bombed, and expelled thousands upon thousands of innocents, starting with the attack on the USS Liberty, the observation ship she strafed and bombed on June 6, 1967.  Lyndon Johnson, under pressure from the Israeli lobby, hushed it up.  I have no space to list the outrages committed by Israel against all and sundry, such as the recent assassination in Dubai or the massacre of June 18, 1996, at Qana, where Israeli jets bombarded a U.N. base in southern Lebanon, killing more than 100 civilians.  Gaza is Israel’s best imitation of the Nazi state’s concentration camps.  Last year’s attack on innocent civilians in Gaza made the siege of Sarajevo seem like child’s play; an American government bombed the Serbian state defending itself for 73 days but secretly encouraged Israel to invade and kill more than 4,000 innocent Palestinian civilians.

Israel has always operated under a plan of deception where the United States is concerned.  She relies on the power of the lobby to influence politicians and foreign policy and to discredit anyone who dares criticize her policies.  She also spies on her benefactor and controls the media via the most successful Fifth Column ever—the neoconservatives, the Podhoretzes, Kristols, Perles, Frums, Abramses, Kagans, and Pipeses of this world.  Violations of human rights by Israel are overlooked behind claims of antisemitism the moment any individual or group points them out, while past persecutions of the Jews are dredged up when license is needed to flout international law.  Uncle Sam, alas, has been complicit since the Kennedy administration, writing a blank check to the Jewish state and turning a blind eye to its outrages.

So what is to be done about the rogue state of Israel?  Not much, I’m afraid.  With her stranglehold on the American media, she now threatens to become, in Tony Judt’s words, “the first modern democracy to conduct full-scale ethnic cleansing as a state project.”  Judt went further, contending that Zionism has, “for a growing number of Israelis, been corrupted into an uncompromising ethno-religious real estate pact with a partisan God.”

Judt, who is dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, has been called a self-hating Jew by such vile characters as Leon Wieseltier, a Washington-based self-publicist and professional Jewish person.  Which, again, is par for the course.  The latest brouhaha is over Israel’s plan to build 1,600 new homes in Arab East Jerusalem, but what surprises me is that the plans surprised the Obama administration.  The cat-and-mouse game has been played by Israel from the start.  Commit a brutality, grab some land, assassinate a “terrorist” (any freedom fighter is a terrorist), then set the Fifth Columnists on those who protest and move on to the next phase of ethnic cleansing.  David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin aside, almost all of Israel’s leaders have been thugs whose plan has always been for a greater Israel—i.e., kick out the Palestinians to Jordan and Syria and take over the whole West Bank.

America’s “inalienable commitment” to Israel and its pouring of $29 billion into the country in the last decade alone have obviously returned little as far as peace is concerned.  The Israelis continue to toy with American presidents, saying one thing but always doing another.  Like appropriating Arab lands, which for the Israeli right, religious or secular, is the sine qua non.  Israel’s remorseless, cynical scattering of the Palestinian people into enclaves makes a farce of any talk about statehood.

There is no genuine desire for peace by the Israeli thugs, the Netanyahus and Liebermans, in the Israeli government.  The last one who desired it, Yitzhak Rabin, was murdered by an Israeli.  And the “existential threat” to Israel is the biggest joke of all.  Armed with nuclear bombs and American-supplied superweapons, Israel is the bull in the Middle East china shop.  Think of all this and weep while the neocons are laughing.