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They Tried To Make Her Go To Rehab, She Said No, No, No!
Amer Zahr
by Amer Zahr
March 11th, 2012 (7 Comments)
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I’m a Palestinian, so I watch the news all the time.  And I’ve been intensely watching for the past week. And it’s been ridiculous.

Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington, DC and had a sit-down with President Barack Obama.  They seemed happy to see each other… kind of.  Netanyahu came into town to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest and most influential pro-Israel lobby group.  Obama addressed them too, assuring everyone that he “has Israel’s back.” Kind of ridiculous.

The main issue was Iran, and nothing else.  It was all Iran, all the time.

Obama has announced that he will try diplomacy first, and only bomb if he has to.  Israel has announced that it will bomb first, and only try diplomacy if it has to.  Israel is treating this whole Iran thing the same way an Arab mother sets up her son with a wife: Shoot first, ask questions later.  Ridiculous indeed.

And I must say something here.  I have watched American presidents and politicians for a long time.  I have always accepted that they are beholden to the Israeli lobby.  But I have never seen them this subservient, this obedient, this meek.  Yes, it is an election year, and everyone is being especially responsive to special interest groups.  But this has been ridiculous.

Barack Obama has been particularly doting in his words, even expressing at times his disbelief that supporters of Israel would question his commitment to the Jewish State.  Really, Barack?  You’re a black Harvard-trained civil-rights lawyer, so you can understand racism, recognize it, and eloquently fight against it.  You’ve had Palestinian friends, so you might have heard our pitch a few times.  Oh, and you’re Muslim.  News flash, Mr. President, Israel doesn’t trust you.

Israel will probably attack Iran, but it will have very little to do with any sort of nuclear program that Iran is building.  Israel needs war.  She has an addiction, and war is the drug.  And she is a functioning addict.  War makes her get up in the morning.  War makes her look forward to the day.  War gets her high.

Like any addict, she is in massive denial.  She believes that she doesn’t have a problem.  She is arrogant, rude, impolite, vulgar, uncouth, discourteous, foul, offensive, and ill-mannered (The “Thesaurus” function on Microsoft Word is really useful).  She denies she is doing anything destructive.  But as we all know, the addict does not go through her disease alone.  Those closest to Israel are caught in her web as well.  The denial of Palestinian history, rights, and simple humanity are not evidence of Israel’s evil, just symptoms of her sickness.

America is, of course, Israel’s enabler and dealer, feeding her addiction with unconditional support, constant coddling, and an endless amount of ammunition and protection.  She needs her fix, and America helps make it possible.  America’s funding and political submission are just what Israel needs to get high.  AIPAC gets in on the act too, coming up with any and all excuses to exempt her from any responsibility.

During Israel’s visit, we Palestinians were nowhere to be found.  They didn’t even talk about us.  Not a word.  We were totally left out.  It seemed like we might be left alone for a little bit while Netanyahu dealt with Iran.  No such luck.  Immediately upon his return, he began a bombing campaign in Gaza that has killed almost 20 Palestinians in three days.  He couldn’t help himself.  When a true addict sees even the smallest opportunity, he is powerless to fight the urge.  That’s how it works.  A compulsive gambler should never hold too much cash, and Netanyahu should never hold too many M-16s.

Israel’s addiction has taken her through ups and downs, including one mild overdose (Lebanon 2006), and a few binges (Gaza 2009).  Like any addict, she will eventually experience a major overdose (perhaps Iran).  And when she overdoses, she will be left with the only two choices an addict in that position has.  She will either die… or her friends will get together, have an intervention, and push her into rehab.  The world has been trying to push Israel into rehab for sometime, but her main enablers and dealers have continued to giver her the illusion that she can handle her compulsive sickness, causing her to act more and more absurdly as time passes by.  When Israel finally does enter rehab, her formula for recovery will be simple: a complete reversal of her current approach to life.

When that happens, I’ll be the first one to hold her hand.

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* Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."

Comments (7)
  1. Hiyam Zayed Wakeem ... March 12th, 2012 - 08:48

    well said Amer.

  2. interesting analogy, I enjoyed reading!

  3. bo bolander ... March 15th, 2012 - 10:12

    syria has killed 8000 of its own, but its Israel that needs rehab. right.

  4. theyre all gonna laugh at ewe ... March 17th, 2012 - 02:25

    Bo: addicts point to other addicts with different problems. Part of the process. Somewhere, right now, a recovering alcoholic is realizing she’s actually been enabling that crackhead who she always talked trash against.

  5. Hi Amer, this is Christine M. in NYC – bravo! really great analogy….

  6. Friends, here’s a copy of an email I sent to Amer addressing the issue of the power of the Israel lobby which he alludes to in this article.

    Amer, I started reading some of your other articles in addition to the most recent one on O’Reilly and the “moderate” Jews, You may recall I commented on it and you responded and thanks for your response.

    There are a number of things you write I agree with, some strongly, and so far I came across one that in my view is indicative that like thousands of others you are convinced that when it comes to the relationship between the U.S. and Israel it’s one of the “tail wagging the dog rather than the dog wagging the tail.”

    Like thousands of other Americans you seem to be convinced in the awesome power of the Israel lobby, namely AIPAC. To quote from one of your articles:”

    “I have always accepted that they [American politicians] are beholden to the Israeli lobby… America is, of course, Israel’s enabler and dealer, feeding her addiction with unconditional support, constant coddling, and an endless amount of ammunition and protection. She needs her fix, and America helps make it possible. America’s funding and political submission are just what Israel needs to get high. AIPAC gets in on the act too, coming up with any and all excuses to exempt her from any responsibility.”

    In my view nobody understands the “myth” of the awesome power of the Israel lobby as well as Noam Chomsky. And the “lobby” (AIPAC) is quite good in propagating precisely that myth of its awesome power, something which they want you to believe if for no other reason than as a form of intimidation. While I’ll grant you that they make a lot of noise and are quite good in throwing mud in people’s faces, and perhaps even influence the result of a local election (Congressman/Senator), I have no doubt that the U.S,. policy toward Israel, both diplomatic, economic and military would for the most part be exactly the same without that awesome powerful lobby.

    Should that lobby dare do anything or attempt to do when the U.S. feels that those policies no longer serves “US power interests”, the lobby will go into hiding and almost quiver in fear. The best example I can think of was when President George Herbert Bush wanted to deny Israel the 10 billion loan guarantees and the lobby indeed went on the attack. President Bush’s response I think is the finest example as to who is really running the show. You may recall that his reaction was: “I’m one lonely little guy” up against “some powerful political forces” made up of “a thousand lobbyists on the Hill.”

    Bush would have us believe, and undoubtedly convinced thousands of Americans, that while he may be president of the world’s superpower, he is a powerless “little guy” and hence is utterly impotent to stand up to the awesome power of the Jews who control the country and indeed the entire world. Perhaps it’s not quite right out of the antisemitic rag “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, after all with his distinguished education he’s more sophisticated, but to me it smells the same. Had he said that a couple of times more he could have whipped up very real violent antisemitism in this country. (As indeed, thousands of quite antisemitic letters were sent to the news media)

    AIPAC is powerful as long as they align themselves with power interests of the U.S. Once the US feels that their interests are no longer the same, the powerful lobby goes into hiding, again, as indeed it did after Bush’s comments about the loan guarantees.

    Ask yourself the following question. When the U.S. supported Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor and continued to provide military support as the genocide of the East Timorese continued by Indonesia and continued to support Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor for many years, and finally had to tell the Indonesians to get out only when the US felt the “game was up”, was it because there was “some powerful political forces” made up of “a thousand Indonesian lobbyists on the Hill.”? Even if there were some powerful Indonesian lobby throwing its weight around, I have no doubt that we continued to support Indonesia because we perceived that it was in our interest.

    I read Mersheimer and Watts book on the Israel lobby with an open mind willing to be convinced on its awesome power. After reading it quite carefully, and going over the evidence they presented, I was convinced more than ever that the power of the Israel lobby is all smoke and mirrors.

    Shifra Stern


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