Former deputy national security adviser and Holocaust Memorial Museum board member Ben Rhodes made multiple comments featuring antisemitic tropes directed toward Israel, its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jews.
“Maybe [Netanyahu’s] view is, ‘Jews have been screwed throughout history by a corrupt, cruel world. And so you know what, we just have to be corrupt and cruel ourselves. That’s the only way to survive in this world,’” Rhodes said. Rhodes also accused Netanyahu of manipulating “right-wing, pro-Likud media in the United States” to “needle Obama” and “create a weeklong political story.”
“The media interest is dramatically intensified,” Rhodes said. “And that’s both a very aggressive, kind of pro-Likud media in the United States, [and] it’s also just the mainstream media that delights in Israel controversies.” Rhodes continued his screed by claiming the people who support Israel should “just be honest” about their view of Palestine.
“I wish the right … would just say, ‘We don’t believe there should be a Palestinian state, we believe in the concept of a greater Israel, we feel sorry for the Palestinians, but they’re just going to have to deal with it,’” Rhodes said. “That’s the position of the Israeli government. Frankly, that’s the position of the Republican Party, even if they’re not honest about it.”
Rhodes also attacked the communities that defend Israel’s quest to be its own state, saying they are used to exercising their influence and pushing their priorities within the federal government.
“You have this incredibly organized pro-Israel community that is very accustomed to having access in the White House, in Congress, at the State Department,” Rhodes added. “It’s kind of taken as granted, as given, that that’s going to be the way things are done.”
Because of Israel, U.S. media, and conservative influences, Rhodes concluded that Palestine has never been afforded the chance to prove a two-state solution is viable.
“Some conservative Democrats … [have] been playing these talking points around the two-state solution and then blame the Palestinians for it never happening,” Rhodes said. “I got so sick of hearing, ‘Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.’ But when did we give them one?”