|Robbery is redemption, apartheid is freedom, peace activists are terrorists, murder is self-defense, piracy is legality, Palestinians are Jordanians, annexation is liberation, there’s no end to his contradictions. Freud promised rationality would reign in the instinctual passions, but he never met Bibi Netanyahu.|
There was the tall tale told in front of the UN last month about how the last name Netanyahu is inscribed on a 2,700 year-old ring found next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem–despite the fact that the Israeli prime minister’s family immigrated to historic Palestine and changed their last name from the original Milikovsky. Netanyahu clearly needs a history tutor, and a revealing anecdote published over the weekend in the New York Times magazine shows that need more.
Here we have Netanyahu refusing to acknowledge the well-established fact that there has been an Arab and Islamic presence in Palestine for thousands of years. This comes as no surprise–of course Netanyahu has no interest in acknowledging that fact. It doesn’t jive well with the Zionist narrative of “making the desert bloom” in Palestine– effectively erasing a Muslim and Arab presence there. It’s also an expected response from the leader of a country who is physically erasing historic Muslim sites. But these explanations don’t absolve Netanyahu of the need to get some history right.
So before Israel halts cooperation with UNESCO as a consequence of the cultural body recognizing Palestine, perhaps Netanyahu should sit down with a UNESCO expert to receive some Mideast history tutoring.