Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Blog

Remember Jim Marshall? He was a football player with the Minnesota Vikings, who in 1964 became famous for making a 66-yard dash in the wrong direction, scoring an illusory “touchdown” against his own team before throwing the ball in the air in celebration. Well, in this scenario, Marshall is the Republican National Committee, and Israel is the Minnesota Vikings. Let me explain:

Israel doesn’t like that it’s under global pressure for its illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. It often flexes its Washington lobby’s muscles try to get (with an impressive success rate) American politicians to come to its defense despite its flagrant violations of human rights and international law. But sometimes, politicians pull a Jim Marshall, as the RNC just did with the resolution they just passed which says:

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people”

These geniuses at the RNC think they just did Israel a favor by whitewashing the illegality of its occupation of the Palestinian territories, but failed to notice that they just demanded that all these Palestinians living under occupation be granted equal rights as Israelis. In effect, the RNC just endorsed the maximalist position of the most ardent supporters of Palestinian rights: the one-state/one-man/one-vote solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Republicans’ friends on the Israeli right must be mortified!

Rick Santorum made the same exact same mistake several weeks ago, saying all Palestinians were in fact Israelis. Gingrich, who is clearly better versed in shameless pandering, denied the existence of a Palestinian national identity without accidentally suggesting that Palestinians deserve the same rights as Israelis. But the prize for the best show of leadership in the GOP field has to go to Mitt Romney, who suggested that his role as President would not be to show leadership, but to simply do what Israel recommends he does. Now, here is an attitude that Israeli leaders are bound to love in an American President.

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