The Moral Bankruptcy Of The ‘Amen Corner’ – OpEd


The third Republican presidential debate once again showed the ugly side of the Republican candidates. When the rest of the world, including millions of Americans here in the US, are appalled by the brutality of the Israeli Occupation Forces in Gaza and condemning the apartheid state, these individuals were in a competition to score and prove their naked support for its ongoing  genocidal crimes.

“I’d be telling Bibi: Finish the job once and for all with these butchers,” Florida Governor DeSantis said, referring to the Israeli prime minister by his nickname.

“The first thing I said to him when it happened was, I said, ‘Finish them (the Palestinians),’” former US Ambassador Haley said moments later.

On Israel, Ramaswamy said he would encourage Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “smoke those terrorists on his southern border” while the presidential candidate would be “smoking the terrorists on our southern border.”

Not a single word of concern, let alone condemnation could be heard from any of those debaters about gruesome Israeli barbarism that has already resulted in the deaths of more than 11,000 unarmed civilians, including nearly 4,500 children (i.e., a child killed every ten minutes), plus another 1,500 missing children, let alone the targeted killings since October 7 of scores of journalists, aid workers, medics and those working for the UN. To them, apparently, the history of the region started only on October 7, 2023. 

Are those candidates going to be any better than their predecessors once voted to power when we are reminded by genocide watchers that all the US presidents, with rare exceptions, since the days of Harry Truman, have been mass-murderers? 

Thanks to the veto-wielding powers like the USA, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has done more to provide cover for mass murderers than to stop mass murderers like Netanyahu who have been given a sense of impunity from international intervention, let alone punishment. What an abuse of the highest world body by its Brahmins!

The leaders of the US and the EU have the audacity to preach to the rest of the world about democracy, freedom, and free speech. And yet, they have no qualms about denying the right of the Palestinian people to choose their own reps, let alone having an independent state of their own. They allow the burning of the Qur’an but ban pro-Palestine rallies and won’t tolerate any free speech that criticizes the apartheid Israel. 

The US House of Representatives voted 234-188 on November 7 to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., over her remarks “from the river to the sea” is a plea for peace — not violence. Tlaib herself said the phrase is “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate. My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.”

The measure, sponsored by Georgia Republican Rich McCormick, accused Tlaib of “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” 

Such McCarthyite actions by the House to silence a bold and courageous voice should not surprise anyone who is familiar with the long history of bipartisan Congressional support for Israel. It led former Secretary of State James Baker to call the Congress “The Little Knesset” after Israel’s Knesset (parliament).

The U.S. Capitol Hill has long been known to be mortgaged to the apartheid state. On October 3, 2001, I.A.P. News reported that according to Israel Radio (in Hebrew) Kol Yisrael an acrimonious argument erupted during the Israeli cabinet weekly session between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Peres  warned Sharon that refusing to heed incessant American requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger Israeli interests and “turn the US against us.”  Sharon reportedly yelled at Peres, saying, “Every time we do something, you (Peres) tell me Americans will do this and do that. I want to tell you something very clear; don’t worry about American pressure on Israel; we, the Jewish people, control America …”

As a matter of fact, the influence of Israel in the Congress is much older. Late Senator Fullbright, Chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on 10/07/1973 on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program, “The Israelis control the policy in the congress and the senate.”

Similar was the view of John Foster Dulles who served as the U.S. Secretary of State between 1953 and 1959. He was quoted on p.99 of “Fallen Pillars” by Donald Neff as saying, “I am aware how almost impossible it is in this country to carry out a foreign policy [in the Middle East] not approved by the Jews… I am very much concerned over the fact that the Jewish influence here is completely dominating the scene and making it almost impossible to Congress to do anything they don’t approve of. The Israeli embassy is practically dictating to the congress through influential Jewish people in the country.”

The situation has become far worse. These days, the apartheid Israel has more staunch supporters and sponsors outside its own community – amongst the Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is, and Zoroastrians who identify themselves as Zionists. The Indian government of Narendra Modi has joined the ‘Amen Club’ ensuring that anyone waving a Palestinian flag is detained

Within the Christian evangelicals, the support for Israel’s ever expansionist and apartheid policy is seen as a religious duty, despite the fact that such support results in death, destruction and dispossession of many Palestinians, including the Christians who are seen as collateral casualties.  Settler-colonization is seen by them as a fulfillment of God’s plan for a Jewish return to Israel — one of a sequence of biblical prophecies that culminates in the Second Coming of Jesus.

All these  Zionists – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – do not like to see a Palestinian state existing side by side the Jewish state. Thus, the psychopathic mass murderers like Netanyahu and the Likudnik extremists are their desirable leaders and partners-in-crime to ensure that the robbed Palestinians are further marginalized and do not get to live in an independent Palestine. After all, it was the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that said in its original party platform in 1977 that “between the Sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.” 

Let us not forget that such exclusive views of Netanyahu and his patrons and supporters are against the very spirit of the international law and many UN resolutions. Let us also not ignore  what that blood-sucking and land-grabbing ‘Israeli sovereignty’ had meant for every native Palestinian since the unholy birth of the Zionist state in 1948.

So, when Rep. Rashida Tlaib is censured for using the same phrase with an inclusive and noble aspiration of seeing Palestine free of an evil and unjust apartheid system, one is only reminded of the utter moral bankruptcy of the ‘Amen Corner’ and the US government. Simply shameful! 

Through their censure, these lawmakers have unveiled their hideous selves. Their voting history also suggests that eliminationism of Palestinian people has actually  become integral to their brand of politics. They cannot escape from being accused of  approving and promoting mass murder, child-killing, and of being opposed to true freedom, peace, and justice for all. Their unwavering support for the apartheid state of Israel, sadly, has only emboldened its leaders to commit genocidal crimes against the native Palestinian people with impunity.

Scholars of genocide studies tell us that genocide and mass elimination are always preventable and always result from conscious political choice of a handful of powerful people. These leaders (often politicians) mobilize others into killing by tapping into latent prejudices and simmering hatreds (often resorting to dehumanizing and demonizing caricatures) to create supportive eliminationist milieus. 

What is happening in Gaza since October 7 is a textbook case of genocide of the Palestinian people. It is not self-defense. Period. (Just read or listen to the dehumanizing and demonizing remarks of the members of Netanyahu government to see the relevance here.)

The powerful world leaders could have prevented this genocide, or at minimum, chose to remain on the sideline. Instead, what the leaders like Biden and Sunak have done are ignoble and criminal. They bolstered the apartheid state with arms and ammunitions. They sent naval ships and nuclear submarines to the region to deter others from coming to the aid of the victims of mass murder. They provided the protection at the UNSC to let the Israeli genocidal campaign proceed unhindered. They opposed the repeated calls of ceasefire at the UN. They visited Israel personally and sent their high ranking emissaries to warn its neighbors of any interference while empowering and reassuring a government that comprises psychopathic mass murderers. 

With such overt gestures, they cannot expect the civilized world to condemn the Hamas’ attacks on October 7 when war criminals like Netanyahu are treated as heroes while Tlaib is censured. 

Dr. Habib Siddiqui

Dr. Habib Siddiqui has a long history as a peaceful activist in an effort towards improving human rights and creating a just and equitable world. He has written extensively in the arena of humanity, global politics, social conscience and human rights since 1980, many of which have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals and the Internet. He has tirelessly championed the cause of the disadvantaged, the poor and the forgotten here in Americas and abroad. Commenting on his articles, others have said, "His meticulously researched essays and articles combined with real human dimensions on the plight of the displaced peoples of Rohingya in Myanmar, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo and Palestine, and American Muslims in the post-9/11 era have made him a singular important intellectual offering a sane voice with counterpoints to the shrill threats of the oppressors and the powerful. He offers a fresh and insightful perspective on a whole generation of a misunderstood and displaced people with little or no voice of their own." He has authored 11 books, five of which are now available through His latest book - Devotional Stories is published by A.S. Noordeen, Malaysia.

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