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America the Liberator

Now is the time to recall what happens when America comes to the aid of other nations with military action

A star is born: U.S. President Donald Trump. One missile strike and the man the whole world feared became its great hope overnight. Yesterday’s Satan is tomorrow’s God. From German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel’s own Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes, and of course, Yair Lapid, they’re all cheering him. Savior of children, humanist, man of conscience, modern-day Janusz Korczak, who, shocked and saddened by the dead Syrian children, bombarded their killers.
If his Tomahawks saved even one Syrian child, dayenu, it would be enough. That’s already more than his predecessor did. But we must spoil the party, it’s premature and over the top. The Nobel Peace Prize can wait.
Now is the time to recall what happens when America comes to the aid of other nations with military action: It always ends badly, usually in a Holocaust. The last time the United States saved the world through war was in 1945. That was the last just war. Since then, the United States, the greatest perpetrator of massacres since World War II, has caused the deaths of millions in wars meant to rescue and liberate them.
When America liberates, it sows death and destruction and causes endless sorrow. Ask the Iraqis. What wouldn’t they give for America not to have come to their aid and free them from their tyrant. Their country would have been a safer and much less bloody place had the leader of the free world not decided to liberate it in a war that was dubbed, naturally, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Ever since, Iraq has known very little freedom and much more bloodshed. The U.S. occupation of Iraq was also the catalyst for the Arab world’s implosion. The poison gas of Syrian President Bashar Assad is an indirect by-product. The people of Libya will never forget their rescuer. The U.S. intervention in their civil war led to the removal of their dictator but also to the destruction of their state, which persists to this very day.
America’s wars of liberation resemble, if not in their death tolls, those of Israel, its ally. In 1967, Israel liberated the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and ever since the inhabitants of these territories have been dumbstruck with appreciation for and gratitude to the liberator of Jerusalem and Palestine. They have never known such freedom. Before that, Israel liberated Jaffa and Haifa, Ramle and Lod, in a war that, naturally, became known as the War of Liberation. The United States liberated South Korea — two and a half million dead — and South Vietnam — four million dead. Together, six and a half million people killed in vain. And behind each such war against communism stood lofty causes and mass bloodshed.
So it might be better were America not to come to the aid of Syria’s children, especially if the finger on the trigger is Trump’s. On the other hand, they must be rescued, whatever it takes, and the United States is the only one that can do the job. After years of vicious warfare in Syria, there is no magic cure. Some analysts suspect, in light of the results, that Trump’s Tomahawk missiles were coordinated in advance with Russia and, through Russia, with Syria, and that the strikes were in fact meant only to serve the president’s domestic political goals.
But this could be a blessing in disguise. If the president sees the world cheering him for the first time in his first 100 days in office, perhaps he will persist. Perhaps this acclaim will lead to a new era, an era of action after his predecessor’s beautiful, high-flown rhetoric.
Trump must turn first to Jerusalem, whose institutions do not need to be bombarded in order to exert pressure on the government. The president can achieve in Jerusalem what no missile could achieve in Syria. A reminder: The only time the United States was a partner to genuine success in uprooting an evil regime was in the face of apartheid South Africa. America did not fire a single missile. A diplomatic Tomahawk on Jerusalem would bring Trump more gratitude than did the 59 missiles of his nighttime strike on Khan Sheikhoun. Perhaps it would also save even more children.

Gideon Levy

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.782389Schermata 2017 04 09 alle 09.34.58

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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