Commentary: We are partnered with the wrong side in the Middle East

There seems to be a mindless philosophy that, because the Jews have historically suffered so much, we must never criticize them.

(Adel Hana | The Associated Press) Palestinian medics evacuate a wounded youth during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Friday, May 4, 2018.

Well folks, we don’t have to worry about Freddy Krueger or Chucky. We have our own real monsters to deal with.

Whether it’s a passive complicity or active participation, our country is partnered with one of the worst human-rights violators in our world. There’s a very logical reason The Donald has wooed Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. Oh, sure, it’s partly our president’s narcissistic need to cultivate anyone who’s willing to tell him he’s wonderful. But it’s equally probable that Trump has noticed the Israeli leader’s strategic positioning in fomenting, even at the price of outright lies, a more precipitous situation with Arab nations.

Netanyahu’s recent hornet-nest-stirring has a déjà vu ring to it. His latest claim — that Iran is hiding its military might from multinational inspectors — is an echo of the “weapons of mass destruction” fabrication that plunged our country into a futile attempt to bring democracy to Iraq, promoting 15 years of hopeless military operations and endless suffering for millions of innocents, including our own servicemen and contractors.

Netanyahu is the focus of long-running corruption investigations, and he seems to idolize the devious example of his American counterpart. Both are adept at pointing fingers and creating diversions when they are personally under attack. Think about it; what could be a better distraction from their own bad behavior than another war? Brilliant. (I have just a sneaking suspicion that Ancestry.com can make the genetic connection between the two. My guess: first cousins.)

I hate Israel — not, of course, its many innocent citizens, but its inhumane and murderous government. Lately we are inundated by news of the Palestinians’ protests, a brutal Israeli Defense Force, and thousands of unarmed demonstrators, sequestered behind the border wall, being picked off by Netanyahu’s crack snipers. So far this year, 47 unarmed Palestinians have been killed and another 3,500 have been wounded by bullets and shrapnel. Cruelly, these snipers have, with their “Annie Get Your Gun” precision, taken the legs and mobility of a high percentage of the victims. Human-rights organizations around the world have demanded investigations, but Americans sit in their easy chairs and watch pro sports.

Can the power of the U.S. Jewish lobby really be so strong that we are blinded to Israel’s atrocities? Aside from the votes that are paid for by that lobby, there seems to be a mindless philosophy that, because the Jews have historically suffered so much, we must never criticize them. Even Dr. Spock would frown on this type of parenting. It doesn’t make a naughty child any better when parents decline all discipline, just because little Suzie had a nasty owie two weeks ago.

The U.S. has always been on the wrong side of this conflict, allowing unlimited military might to Israel, while ignoring its endless human-rights violations against its neighbors. Unfortunately, a misguided world inserted a Jewish state into an area that had plenty of other legitimate claimants. The reality is that the world had no right to do it. Though the 1947 gift seemed a very human response to Jewish suffering, Israel has acted badly ever since, polarizing the region and bringing widespread hate toward its barbaric policies. Its disregard for the rights and lives of those around it doesn’t just create hate for Israel; it has made our own country, as its continual benefactor, despised by virtually all Arab nations.

The Palestinians have every right to their unarmed protests. Israel has created a veritable concentration camp for them, withholding water, electricity, freedom to travel, and the right to work. Oh, yes, the Jews know all about concentration camps, but they seem unable to muster any human compassion for the suffering of their neighbors. Instead of a normal and healthy outgrowth of empathy, Israel has instead become the monster.

In its efforts to cultivate the powerful Jewish lobby, the U.S. has become Israel’s partner in crime. We bear much of the responsibility, if not all of it, for creating the imbalance that plagues that part of the world and incarcerates the Palestinian state.

The U.S. has spent decades meddling in our world. The problem is that we’re not always on the right side. Since “regime changes” have been one of the preferred devices in eliminating international threats in other countries, there are many good reasons that strategy should be employed in Israel. If you see this the way I do, scream. Tell our congressmen and our president that it’s time to call a spade a spade. It’s time to end Israel’s atrocities, eliminate its sense of unfettered entitlement, and bring new hope for peace in that region.

Michael S. Robinson, Riverton, did both undergraduate and graduate journalism studies at the University of Utah. He served in the U.S. Army public information officer during the Vietnam War. He is now a retired businessman, professional writer, novelist, poet and musician.