Liberal Finger-Wagging At Netanyahu Is A Phony, Cynical Charade

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readMar 31, 2024


Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

We’re seeing more and more of the cynical, obnoxious plan of the western liberal political-media class to try and pin the blame for the entire multinational genocidal campaign in Gaza solely on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“There is growing opposition to Netanyahu’s war machine,” reads a new tweet by Senator Bernie Sanders. “More Americans than ever are standing up against this horrific war in Gaza, which is causing tremendous suffering amongst the Palestinian people.”

This is on the same day we learned that the Biden administration has quietly signed off on the delivery of billions of dollars worth of 2,000-pound bombs and warplanes for Israel to use in its ongoing massacres of civilians in Gaza. There is absolutely no excuse for continuing to babble about “Netanyahu’s war” this far into a US-backed genocide. This is Biden’s war as much as it is Netanyahu’s — and Sanders supports Biden.

Sanders has been at this schtick for a while now, working to insert the idea into public consciousness that what we are seeing from Israel today is some kind of fluke aberration in the apartheid state’s history and not the obvious fulfillment of its inbuilt nature. The other day he publicly griped that “the Israel of today is not the Israel of Golda Meir,” falsely suggesting that there was once some kind of golden age in which Israel was not an abusive ethnostate built on ethnic cleansing, oppression, racism and injustice.

In an Al Jazeera article published earlier this month titled “This is not ‘Netanyahu’s war’, it is Israel’s genocide,” Ahmad Ibsais berates Sanders and his fellow “progressive” senator Elizabeth Warren for this pernicious narrative control campaign, saying that “Blaming Israel’s blatant human rights abuses, disregard for international law, and open celebration of war crimes on Netanyahu alone is nothing but a coping mechanism for liberals like Sanders and Warren.”

Ibsais writes the following:

“By blaming Netanyahu for the suffering and oppression of the Palestinian people, past and present, they keep alive the lie that Israel was built on progressive ideals, rather than ethnic cleansing.

“By blaming Netanyahu, they whitewash their seemingly unconditional support for a state blatantly committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“By blaming Netanyahu, and casting Israel as a progressive, well-meaning state that would respect international humanitarian law but is currently taken over by a bad leader, they are absolving themselves — and the US at large — of complicity in Israel’s many war crimes.”

But that’s exactly what the Democratic Party has been trying to do in recent weeks. A couple of weeks ago Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer drew the ire of the Israeli right wing with a speech on the Senate floor saying that Netanyahu has become a “major obstacle to peace” who has allowed “his political survival to take precedence over the best interests of Israel,” calling for new elections to oust the prime minister.

In a recent article for Jewish Currents titled “Chuck Schumer and Democrats’ New Line on ‘Netanyahu’s War’,” Alex Kane picks apart the fallacious reasoning behind this trend:

“But despite Democrats’ repeated suggestion that Netanyahu is the impetus for Israel’s war, political analysts say that in reality the prime minister’s actions are in step with Israel’s political mainstream. ‘Schumer is operating in this fantasy that if you get rid of Netanyahu, you might be able to get somebody else who’s more moderate who could then save the relationship between the US and Israel under the pretense of support for progressive values and democracy,’ said Omar Baddar, a Palestinian American political analyst. But this narrative ignores how Israeli politicians almost across the board agree with Israel’s conduct in Gaza, as do the majority of Israelis. Yair Lapid, the former prime minister and head of the Israeli opposition, supports the ongoing assault, as does war cabinet member Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s main political rival and the man who, according to polling, would become prime minister if Israel held elections today…

“Instead of constituting a substantive shift in US support for Israel, experts say, Democrats’ emboldened critique of Netanyahu should be understood as an attempt to respond to growing voter frustration without changing policy, as the Biden administration remains unwilling to use US aid and arms exports to Israel as leverage to demand a change in behavior.”

Portuguese author and journalist Bruno Maçães recently tweeted that “One possible outcome of this is 200,000 Palestinians will be dead, Gaza will be destroyed, hundreds of thousand will be expelled and everyone will blame Netanyahu and move on.”

Would it surprise you if this happened? Would it not be entirely in keeping with what we have been seeing from the US empire in recent years? Would it be very different from what happened after the US destroyed Iraq, blamed George W Bush and Dick Cheney, and then moved on without anyone having been held responsible or any meaningful policy changes implemented?

That’s the entire goal here. The empire managers want nothing to change about Israel, nothing to change about Washington’s relationship with Israel, nothing to change about US foreign policy or the US war machine in general, and for the mainstream public to be thrown some cognitive bone to chew on while the amnesia of the daily news cycle sets in.

They want everyone to pin all the blame for the Gaza genocide on Netanyahu, but this is not all the fault of Netanyahu. It’s the fault of the entire Israeli state. It’s the fault of Joe Biden. It’s the fault of the Democrats. It’s the fault of all the Israel supporters on Capitol Hill. It’s the fault of the western press. It’s the fault of the Israel lobby. It’s the fault of the unelected empire managers in US government agencies. It’s the fault of the entire US empire and all its imperial member states like Australia, the UK, the EU, and Canada.

Gaza is proof that the US empire cannot be permitted to exist any longer, and they’re trying to get everyone to ignore this fact and blame the whole thing on one guy. Don’t let them do this. Don’t let them deceive you into losing sight of what they’ve done.


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Featured image via Wikimedia Commons and Gage Skidmore.