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‘Netanyahu at War’: An engaging but deeply flawed documentary
Initial excerpts from an article By Lisa Goldman
Italicized commentary by Jerome S. Kaufman
Internet page +972
January 5, 2016
“Netanyahu at War,” a PBS Frontline documentary about Benjamin Netanyahu’s rise to power and the background to his now infamous, ongoing feud with Barack Obama, opens with the controversy surrounding the Israeli prime minister’s address to Congress last March 3, 2015 (see it in full below) which one of the Israeli prime minister’s former advisors frames as a Churchillian attempt to warn the world about the dangers of a nuclear deal with Iran. “Netanyahu,” says former advisor Eyal Arad, “has a messianic notion of himself as someone called to save the Jewish people.”…
( … And also the American people and the people of the Free world. Subsequent history has proven Netanyahu completely correct in his evaluation and the predictions made in his speech. The Iranian Mullahs are literally spitting in the face of the world at this very moment, flagrantly testing missiles and continuing the production of centrifuges and nuclear fissionable material, without interference. Obama and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), supposed surveillance group, are doing exactly nothing to contain them – quite the opposite. There is no question Iran will shortly have complete nuclear capability, not unlike North Korea. The only difference is that the Iran mullahs are dedicated to destroying Israel, the US, Western civilization and its Arab rivals and has thousands of brain-washed people willing and able to commit suicide in the process. Think: Twin Towers Nuclear — World-wide suicide.
But it’s not just the obvious spin that undermines the credibility of this elegantly produced Frontline blurb attempting to destroy Benjamin Netanyahu and defend the obscene destructive policies of Obama, it is also the dubious political analysis that is left unchallenged.) LG & jsk
PBS Frontline gives us hand picked personal insights into the hostile Obama-Netanyahu relationship from no less than 10 name-brand experts, besides Eyal Arad — most of whom that have been hostile to Israel their entire careers): Ari Shavit, , Far Left Haaretz correspondent Chemi Shalev, Ronen Bergman, Sandy Berger, David Baker, Aaron David Miller, Likud parliamentarian Tzachi Hanegbi, New York Times‘ White House correspondent Peter Baker, Dennis Ross and David Axelrod (Obama’s Chief of Staff until he assumed running Obama’s re-election campaign). Most of their comments were totally predictable. They “described Netanyahu’s meddling in U.S. foreign policy as “audacious” and “unprecedented.”
(But, how was Obama’s meddling into Israel’s affairs described when he regularly ordered Israel to stop building in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan, retreat to the pre-1967 Auschwitz borders, recognize and support a Palestinian State, limited the amount of military support to Israel. Was that also described as “audacious and unprecedented meddling?”
Netanyahu is called a right wing extremist, difficult and uncooperative in helping Obama dismantle Israel due to Obama’s own lifelong animus toward Israel and his support of Islam in numerous speeches supporting the Arabs). No rather Netanyahu should help Obama destroy Israel and the US so that he is not a “right wing extremist.”
PBS Frontline chosen “Expert” Sandy Berger says the speech was a “direct attack” on Obama’s foreign policy legacy – which it was and should have been. Chemi Shalev (Haaretz “expert”) observed that Netanyahu was “ready to undermine Israel’s relations with the U.S. in order to fight off the Iranian challenge.”
(Incidentally, Sandy Berger was the former Clinton Administration National Security Advisor, who said he made a “mistake” and was just “sloppy” when an FBI investigation revealed that he had stolen Top Secret memos and documents from the National Archives relating to his mentors’ involvement in al-Qaida attacks on America during the 1990s and in the year 2000. Archive security people notified the FBI when they discovered documents missing, and saw Berger stuffing papers into his pants, socks, and a leather briefcase. (Berger was thus the perfect observer from whom anti-Israel, anti-Netanyahu PBS Frontline could obtain “reliable” information)
Over the next third of the documentary we learn about Netanyahu’s background. His illustrious combat career as an officer in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and his involvement in the mission to release the hostages during the 1972 Sabena Airline hijacking. The years are noted that he spent in the United States — first in high school, and then as an Israeli diplomat when he built his strong relations with leaders in the Jewish community. Then, on to his return to Israel in the late 1980s and his rise to leadership in the Likud party during the Oslo period, leading up to Rabin’s assassination in 1995.
What is most shocking about the supposed documentary is the way Arab multiple wars were glossed over and their continuous attacks upon Israel, killing innocent civilians. At its very re-birth, five fully prepared and waiting armies attacked Israel in its War of Independence in May, 1948 with only one goal – to kill the Jewish State immediately. Only through G-d’s miracle and with a few thousand barely alive survivors from the Nazi Holocaust to defend it, was Israel able to survive the onslaught.
II A condensed list Israel/Arabs wars from Wikipedia follows:
Israeli war of independence (November 1947 – July 1949) – Started as 6 months of virtual war between Israeli citizens and Arab militias immediately attacking them at the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. It quickly turned into a genuine war after the declaration of independence of Israel with the intervention of regular Arab armies.
At its conclusion, a set of agreements were signed between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, called the 1949 Armistice Agreements, which established armistice lines between Israel and its neighbors, also known as the Green Line. (This was an Armistice Line and not presented as any form of permanency since, to the Arabs, the only permanency ever acceptable has always been Israel’s destruction)
Reprisal operations (1950s – 1960s) – Military operations carried out by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1950s and 1960s. These actions were in response to constant fedayeen incursions during which Arab guerrillas infiltrated from Syria, Egypt, and Jordan into Israel to carry out attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Suez Crisis (October 1956) – A military attack on Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel, beginning on 29 October 1956, with the intention to occupy the Sinai Peninsula and to take over the Suez Canal. The attack followed Egypt’s decision of July 26, 1956 to nationalize the Suez Canal after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam. Although the combined invasion of the Sinai was successful, the US under Eisenhower and USSR forced the three nations to retreat. Israel did manage to re-open the blockaded Straits of Tiran and quiet its southern border.
Six-Day War (June 1967) – Fought between Israel and Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The nations of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, and others also contributed troops and arms to the Arab forces which were massed on Israel’s borders with again only one plan in mind – Israel’s destruction.
Following Israel’s G-d given amazing victory in this war over these far larger armies with superior equipment, the territory held by Israel expanded significantly. It now included the West Bank with East Jerusalem from Jordan (which had no rights to that land in the first place. It had never been Jordan. They were, in fact, the “occupiers” who seized it during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948), the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt.
War of Attrition (1967–1970) – A limited war fought between the Israeli military and forces of the Egypt, the USSR, Jordan, Syria, and the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by the Egyptians as a way of trying to recapture the Sinai from the Israelis who had been in control of the territory since the 1967 Six-Day War. The hostilities ended with a ceasefire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers remaining in the same place as when the war began.
Yom Kippur War (October 1973) – Fought from October 6 to October 26, 1973 by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria trying to recapture part of the territories which they lost to the Israelis in the Six-Day War. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Egypt and Syria crossed the cease-fire lines into the Sinai and Golan Heights. In a relatively short time Arab forces were defeated by Israel with no significant territorial changes.
Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon (1971-1982) – PLO relocated to South Lebanon from Jordan and staged attacks on the Israeli Galilee and as a base for international operations. In 1978, Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Litani – the first Israeli large-scale invasion of Lebanon to expel PLO forces from the territory. Continuing ground and rocket attacks, and Israeli retaliations eventually escalated into the 1982 War.
1982 Lebanon War (1982) – Began in 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon to expel the PLO from the territory. The Government of Israel ordered the invasion as a response to the assassination attempt against Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov, by the Abu Nidal Organization and due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel made by the Palestinian guerrilla organizations residing in Lebanon. The war resulted in the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon and created an Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon.
South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000) – Nearly 20 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese Christian proxy militias assisting against Lebanese Muslim guerrillas, led by Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within the Israeli/Christian “Security Zone” within South Lebanon.
First Intifada (1987–1993) – First large-scale Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Second Intifada (2000–2005) – Second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified violence, which began in late September 2000.
2006 Lebanon War (summer 2006) – Began as a military operation in response to the abduction of two Israeli reserve soldiers by the Hezbollah. The operation gradually became a wider confrontation. The principal participants were Hezbollah terrorists and paramilitary forces and the Israeli military. The war resulted in the pacification of southern Lebanon and in the great weakening of Hezbollah, which suffered serious casualties but managed to survive the Israeli onslaught).
Gaza War (December 2008 – January 2009) – Three-week armed conflict between Israel and Hamas during the winter of 2008–2009. In an escalation of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Israel responded to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with military force in an action titled “Operation Cast Lead”.
Operation Pillar of Defense (November 2012) – Military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Operation Protective Edge (July-August 2014) – Military offensive on the Gaza Strip as a response to the collapse of American-sponsored peace talks, attempts by rival Palestinian factions to form a coalition government, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the subsequent kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager and increased rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants.
PBS Frontline barely touched upon all of the above in their supposed “documentary”. The fact that Israel had been fighting every hour of every day since the Jews returned to their G-d given land sacrificing thousands of their young people just to exist, never surfaces in the “documentary.” The fact that there are now 21 Arab nations with about 390 million people is not enough for them. They had to invent yet another people — the Palestinians to live in an invented nation — Palestine — that had never existed in previous world history.
The sole purpose of this invention was as simply as a ploy to try and get rid of Israel and the Jews. Now, unfortunately, the invention has developed a very real existence of its own. And … the uninformed viewer of this diabolical fairy tale will come away believing only that the Jews came out of Europe and stole Arab land. No one seems to know or care that this beautifully developed and marketed propaganda was invented out of thin air.
Jerome S. Kaufman
Publisher/Editor Israel Commentary
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