Sandy Hook and Netanyahu’s Victimization Philosophy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Video grab, file)

By Matt Moir

It was intended to be thoughtful and compassionate, but it came across as something far different.

In his letter of condolences to President Barack Obama over the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu deliberately referenced Palestinian attacks in Israel.  He didn’t actually write ‘terrorism’ or ‘Hamas’ or something else incendiary because he didn’t have to; the implication was clear.

The letter reads:

Dear President Obama,

I was shocked and horrified by today’s savage massacre of innocent children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring.

I want to express my profound grief, and that of all the people in Israel, to the families that lost their loved ones.

May you and the American people find the strength to overcome this unspeakable tragedy.

With my deepest condolences,

(Signed) Benjamin Netanyahu,
Prime Minister of Israel

It would be deeply cynical to suggest that Netanyahu consciously saw a massacre of innocent children as an opportunity to make a political point about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. In fact, there is no doubt that the Prime Minister’s sympathies are genuine.

But that’s just the point. The line about Israel having ‘experienced such cruel acts of slaughter’ gives us a telling commentary on the way Netanyahu sees the world, and, more specifically, the way he sees Israel’s relationship with Palestinians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu identifies Israel with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza with the gunman. According to Netanyahu’s worldview, any violent interaction between Israelis and Palestinians will, without fail, be an example of evil Palestinian terrorists preying upon Israeli innocence.  To wit, even after the formidable Israeli army pounded Gaza City last month, Netanyahu, displaying a stunning nerve, declared that Israel would not be bullied by the Palestinians.

It’s this perverse victimization philosophy that drives Israeli foreign policy, and, according to Israel’s hawkish officials, it is what should form the framework of the United States’ national conversation about the Israel-Palestine conflict. According to Netanyahu, however, that framework has begun to crack under the Obama Presidency.

Though Obama has repeatedly reaffirmed the ‘special relationship’ the US has with its Middle Eastern partner, the President’s administration has had the temerity to chastise Israel for some of its particularly extreme policy decisions, such as the approval of the construction of thousands of apartment buildings the day after the United Nations voted to upgrade Palestine’s diplomatic status.

Netanyahu has found it intolerable that Obama is either unable or unwilling to entirely accept (to the Prime Minister’s standard) the Israeli narrative on Israel-Palestine relations, and has struggled for a way to help the President understand what the Palestinians truly represent.

The shooting in Connecticut was his chance, and he took it. In Netanyahu’s mind, comparing the state of Israel to the victims of the Sandy Hook slayings wasn’t a crude and awkward attempt to portray the Palestinian struggle for statehood and dignity as a cold-blooded attack on school children. It was an opportunity to show Obama just how evil the Palestinians really are.

He just couldn’t help himself.

– Matt Moir is a Journalism graduate student and former history teacher in Toronto, Canada. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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10 Comments

  1. Matt – I don’t think that Bibi was generalizing. His words were “We in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter” which would refer to specific deliberate acts of murder by Arab terrorists against children.

    • Ah Mo, you’re back. I’m assuming that the “we” to which you refer is all Israeli’s, is that correct? And that you’re justifying Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians (which many of us see as blatant racist treatment), am I correct? And saying that Palestinians have no right to resist such behavior, or defend themselves agains it; am I correct? Gee, that’s the kind of thing we in the US used to say about Black people, especially in the South. We also said it about our indigenous people (also known as American Indians). So please explain to the author, to me and to others just what kind of moral system might fit your position. Personally, I’m having difficulty thinking of one I would subscribe to.

      • The absolute bottom line in this Mo….which I am sure you will agree with…is that all children are innocent. Or maybe you think some children are more innocent than others—-this is the only way to rationalize the death of 300 Palestinian children during “cast lead”, compared to what …two or three Israeli kids killed during the same operation??? Netanyahu’s letter in this context can only be described as a monstrous obscenity since he and his government are directly responsible for the deaths of all these children and more.

    • Mo(she), Terrorist and future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin bragged that Zionists had brought terrorism both to the Middle East and to the world at large. That is how “Israel” was borne. A true terrorist entity.

    • Mo,
      I might agree with you, if you and Bibi( he is so cute) have mentioned or told the whole story. Your choice and your sweet Bibi’s total omission to mention the crimes/occupation of and against the palestinians , then your choice of words in how you and him ,are describing them is very telling about your disregard to their lives, their right to defend and resist you, their right of a home land, and the suffering that Israel and Bibi has inflicted on them for the last 65 years ,or more. If you want to explain things nowadays , you have to be careful and just. People are becoming very aware of Bibi’s /Israel lies, and crimes. They know insincerity when they smell one. Watch Bibis video, where he was speaking in Hebrew to a Jewish settler’s family, as he said; I have America in my pocket, I know how to deal with them,to have them do what we want. It’s on Youtube, look it up.

  2. “It would be deeply cynical to suggest that Netanyahu consciously saw a massacre of innocent children as an opportunity to make a political point ”

    Cynical? Virtually nothing in criticism of this socio/psychopath could be cynical, because he fails by every measure of decency.

  3. Moshe, how ironic, your Israeli President Shimon Peres recently “applauded Hollywood’s influence on youth”. This “influence” is nothing short of pure evil, comprised of sex, violence, drugs and immorality – all pointing to the destruction of Christian culture. As in the time of Christ on Earth, your words and your actions are two different things. The fact that your Prime Minister said “Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter”, shows his complete and utter disregard for the deaths of Palestinian children slautered by Israeli forces under his command. How can you stand up for such action?

  4. If you want to understand the Psyche of the Israeli Mentality, including Netanyahu, I would recommend to you reading a great book, that shed tremendous light to my 45 years attempts to understand/rationalize the Zionist/Israeli/Jewish behavior. The book is written by an Ex Israeli/Jewish, who lives in England; Gilad Atzmon. The title of the book is The Wandering Who? In it you will find through history, that most Jews preferred to live in segregated communities separate from the “OTHERS”. That has not faded with time but slightly, then Now, or 1948 was stressed back, or reborn with the state of Israel. The Gothou mentality that goes with it. Look at the Huge wall that they are building around themselves, 27 or 29 feet tale on stollen land. They restrict Journalists, Archeologists, or any one who does not subscribe to their Hasbara Fabricated stories, past and present from entering the country or even write a story about what is going on. If they have too much to hide and look at all people as” OTHERS” How do they expect others to look at them? They are in Israel-even on individual bases, not all ,but the majority-are self centered egotistical maniacs. Read and watch videos about their behavior, specially the Settlers on stolen land toward all others who are not Jewish. It is very telling, and sad in the same time. Nathanyahu, is not any different, he follows one of the old Rabbi advice to his people, Be a Jew at home, and a Goy(non Jew} in the street. That is why, most Jews have a double standard when they judge, One for them, and one for all others, including the Palestinians.

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