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Israel’s blameless rhetoric reaches new heights in a joint press conference

President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu cranked up the bandwagon of hypocrisy in a joint press conference on Feb. 15.

Trump led the conference with an opening statement touting the United States' unbreakable bond with Israel, while exalting the claim that war efforts have advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace.

"These are the building blocks of democracy," said Trump as he belted out Israel's signature "woe is me" rhetoric.

"I can think of no other state that's gone through what they've gone," he added, "We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured."

But is there no other state that has endured genocide and bigotry? Surely, the leader of a nation born in genocide and slavery can think of a few.

Take Palestine for example. Since Israel's invasion in 1948, millions of Jews migrated to Palestine to partake in illegal land-grabs and slaughter of the Palestinian people.

Israel's supporters justify their illegal invasion of Palestine by claiming that since Palestine was a tribal land with no dominating authority, Palestine never existed and can rightly be invaded. Israel's logic has since pushed the Arab world into a frenzy of panic to establish a dominating authority so as to prevent further invasions.

Trump went on to condemn UN actions against Israel as "unfair and one-sided," in response to UN criticism over Israel's slaughter of Palestinian children and continued construction of settlements on occupied territory.

Israel's ongoing attempt to rewrite history upholds that anybody who can prove Jewish ancestry has more rights to the land than those who were born there and whose ancestors lived there for millennia.

"Jews are called Jews because they come from Judea," said Netanyahu, "Palestinians not only deny the past, they also poison the present."

But Israel's Law of Return denies the true history of millions of Jews who converted to Judaism in the nearly 2,000 years since the fall of Rome.

In fact, the Law of Return uses the same definition of Jewish ancestry that was drawn up by the German Council of Jews to help the Nazi government promote Jewish nationalism and the colonization of Palestine.

Netanyahu repeatedly insisted that he prefers substance over labels in negotiating a deal with Palestine, but what substance is there in the Jewish Law of Return? The concept is entirely derived from a label that puts Jewish rights before all others.

When asked to lay out some specific compromises that should be enacted by both Israelis and Palestinians, Trump vaguely suggested that Israelis will need to show some flexibility. He then stated that Palestinians must get rid of the hate they are taught at a young age, and that they must recognize Israel.

Netanyahu's prerequisites for peace included Palestine's recognition of Israel, and Israel's control of the entire area west of the Jordan River. But neither Trump nor Netanyahu asserted resolve over Israel's continued construction of settlements on occupied territory, or Israel's plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

According to Amnesty International, human rights violations by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) include, but are not limited to, home demolitions and the forced eviction of Palestinian families; punitive arrests, unfair trials, ill-treatment and torture of detainees, and the use of excessive or lethal force to subdue nonviolent demonstrations as well as the use of restrictive legal means. Amnesty International is also concerned about discriminatory policies affecting access to water for Palestinians.

Netanyahu called for boycotts against Israel to be resisted by the "power and moral position of the United States of America." Israeli democracy clearly has different views of what is "fair," but the standard of freedom in the US generally frowns upon government dictating what people can and cannot boycott.

Netanyahu lauded Trump for his commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal. Israel's long-standing feud with Iran is muddled in hypocrisies too numerous to weigh in on. At the tip of the iceberg, Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, according to National Intelligence Estimate. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and is being closely monitored. But the US insists on pushing further sanctions and threats of war. Israel, however, refuses to have its nuclear weapons program monitored, or to be brought within the framework of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

Iran's recent missile tests were fired only after the US approved $38 billion in military aid to Israel. The Islamic republic said the exercises were aimed at demonstrating Iran's "complete preparedness to deal with the threats" and "humiliating sanctions" from Washington.

And finally, Trump sidestepped a question regarding a sharp rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States. He was also asked if his administration is playing with xenophobia and racist tones. Rather than addressing the issue, he congratulated himself for receiving 306 Electoral College votes, reminded the audience of his daughter's Jewishness, and said Jews are going to see "a lot of love."

With Israel's continued hypocrisy and refusal to answer crucial questions, it is unlikely that the fervor of animosity brewing in the US and beyond will simply dissipate with a ranting tweet and the swipe of a pen. 

This article was a rewrite assignment for Editing and Copyediting about Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel in Joint Press Conference

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