May 24, 2024

The Washington Post’s Mouthpiece for Israel: David Ignatius

Photograph Source: U.S. Department of State – Public Domain

The Washington Post’s David Ignatius has always been an apologist for the Central Intelligence Agency; then he added the Pentagon to his list for institutional apologies.  But now Ignatius is going much further; he has become the mouthpiece for both the administrations of President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  His most recent editorial (“The U.S. is assembling the pieces of a Gaza war endgame”) foresees the “contours of a possible exit ramp” in Gaza that is constructed out of sheer fantasy.

First, let’s examine the bizarre support for President Biden.  Ignatius argues that Biden “rightly called” the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor’s support for arrest warrants for the top Israeli leaders as “outrageous.”  No one in the U.S. government or the mainstream media is questioning the war crime charges against the Hamas leadership, and there is no reason to question comparable charges against Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

In fact, Gallant’s very words offer the best explanation for charging the Israelis with war crimes and for supporting arrest warrants for Israeli leaders.  On the third day of the war, it was Gallant who offered this: “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip.  There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed.  We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”  For the past seven months, the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Forces have done everything possible to carry out Gallant’s orders.

As part of this campaign, the Israelis have done their best to make Gaza uninhabitable.  They have destroyed farms, schools, libraries, mosques, and essential infrastructure.  Some of Israel’s worst crimes are the destruction of the health care infrastructure of Gaza, and the killing of more than 200 courageous Palestinian aid workers.  The latter went largely unnoticed until six international workers for the World Central Kitchen were killed in an operation that Israel said was the result of a “misidentification.”  This was the same explanation that Israel offered 57 years ago, when the Israelis attacked the U.S.S. Liberty and killed 34 sailors and wounded 171 others.  I’ll be writing about the Liberty next week in order to demonstrate that Israeli duplicity over the years has destroyed any possibility for accepting Israeli claims.

Ignatius believes that “some clarity is emerging about the shape of a possible endgame,” which is outrageous in view of Netanyahu’s unwillingness to accept any discussion of the so-called “day after.”  Ignatius sees a “gradual end to Israeli combat operations” in Gaza, and the “beginning of a still-fuzzy ‘day after’.”  He offers the West Bank as a “model for how Gaza evolves going forward.”  If the West Bank is a “model,” then it can only be a model for Israeli fascism and terrorism.  The war crimes in Gaza are so overwhelming that the war crimes committed in the West Bank are largely ignored.  Fortunately, a long essay in the New York Times’ Magazine last Sunday exposed the violence and terrorism that Jewish ultranationalists with the support of the Israeli Defense Forces have been conducting without notice over the past several decades.

If there is some change in Israeli conduct in Gaza and the West Bank, it will not have anything to do with the Biden administration or the occasional criticisms of Israel in the mainstream media.  If there is a change, it will be because the Israels are “unequivocally losing” the struggle.  These were the words of a former Mossad deputy chief and member of the Knesset, Ram Ben-Barak, who identifies Israel’s losses on the international scene, the deterioration of U.S.-Israeli relations, and the economic problems that the war has created.

It has been conventional wisdom that the October War in 1973 and the Hamas invasion in 2023 were intelligence failures because the Israelis had premonitory intelligence months in advance of the attacks and were still totally unprepared.  No, these were not intelligence failures; these were political and strategic failures.  The United States has stood by and fed the Israeli war machine, ignoring the violent system of Israeli oppression in the West Bank and Gaza as well as the system of apartheid that has compromised Israel’s claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East.

In 1969, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger offered a description of the U.S. failure in Vietnam that is applicable to the Israeli failure in the occupied territories: “We fought a military war; our opponents fought a political one.  We sought physical attrition; our opponents aimed for our psychological exhaustion.  In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla war: the guerrilla wins if he does not lose.  The conventional army loses if it does not win.”

Tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese died after these perceptive remarks from Kissinger, a war criminal himself.  How many Palestinians will have to die because Israel will not stop the ethnic cleansing of Palestine?

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