America and Netanyahu Remind Me of Casino

I am not an expert on Israel. I have heard anti-Semitic things from people who claim to simply be against the “genocide in Gaza.”  I have also heard people of conscience complain about the crisis in Gaza.  I have heard people of decency defend the broadest parameters of Israel’s self-defense.  I have also heard people whose integrity I deeply question portray everything Israel does as part of its right to self-defense.  Twelve years ago I wrote a tweet saying that I thought the relationship between the United States and Israel was like that of Ace Rothstein (Robert DeNiro) and Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) in the movie Casino.

The implication was that there was a long standing friendship between one friend with considerable power (Rothstein) and another, smaller friend full of volatility (Santoro), but that the friendship was exploited and manipulated by the smaller, volatile friend at the expense of the powerful friend.  But now, while trying to write something within my self-imposed, New Year’s Resolution of weekly writings, I looked up and saw that 12 years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu was in one of his earlier stints as Prime Minister of Israel.  So, perhaps it is not actually Israel that is Santoro, as the country has been both bellicose, militant, self-defensive and peace-seeking during my life.  I would only be the 100 millionth person to condemn or criticize Netanyahu, but from my relatively ignorant, yet observant vantage point, it seems that he is as bad for the United States as he is for Israel and it is time for everyone to cut ties with him.  He seems to think that he, like Santoro, not only has a blank check to do what he wants, but that he is the main character in the story.

  • Hilary

    Yes, Netanhayu has lost the Israelis their previously unassailable Moral High Ground.
    Keep writing, please, J-L.

  • Jim Brey

    Yes, I agree. I think if Israel cut ties with Bibi cooler heads in their government would ultimately prevail. The US could then help get aid thru to Gaza to help end this nightmare and the world could get back to feeling how they will about Israel just as before. The same way the family behind the Tangiers got back to business once Nicky was gone. But for drama’s sake. would Dr. Jill connect with Bibi first??

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