While you watch the video above pay particular attention as the camera zooms back into Mike Pence’s face following the altercation. The crucial segment you want to scrutinize starts at about 50 seconds in. Notice what appears to be the faint trace of a smile on the vice president’s face. I don’t think I’m exaggerating by describing it as a “smirk.”
What you’re looking at is a portion of Pence’s speech before the Israeli Knesset on Monday, January 22. As the US vice president begins his remarks, Palestinian members of the Knesset attempt to protest, but are forcibly removed from the chamber. According to a report at Al Jazeera, they were shouting “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” and attempting to hold up pictures of Al Aqsa Mosque.
“We oppose the policies of Mr Trump. He is not only the enemy of Palestinians, he is the enemy of peace,” said Jamal Zahalka, one of the protesting MKs.
Just like the Jewish Knesset members clapping their hands, Pence seems to have been very happy to see the Palestinians thrown out.
Some of Pence’s remarks before the Knesset are quoted in a Jerusalem Post report here. They make for a study in Orwellian doublethink.
“We stand with Israel, because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny,” he said.
The vice president is in essence saying that Palestinians are evil, while Israel is the embodiment of all that is good in the world. There are not many other ways you can interpret this. After all, we’re talking about a conflict between two people that has been going on for most of the past century. The side that has launched missiles into hospitals and schools is the “good” side. The side that has resisted the theft of its land is “evil.” Or at least this is the way Pence sees it. The side that locks people up indefinitely in administrative detention and operates the world’s largest open-air prison represents “liberty,” while the side that has protested encirclement by an apartheid wall is viewed by the vice president as “tyrannical.”
No wonder people have little respect for America when we have leaders who utter such nonsense.
During his speech, Pence of course also talked about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, saying he anticipated the move will be completed sometime in 2019.
The speech naturally was lauded by Israeli leaders.
“Pence will head back to America on Tuesday having gotten at least one thing he came for: affirmation that the Israeli government is delighted with the Trump administration,” reports The Atlantic.
Of course, one way of evaluating a nation’s propensity for good or evil is by examining how it treats children.
Pence doesn’t strike me as particularly bright or informed, but I’m reasonably certain that he must have heard something, somewhere, regarding Israel’s treatment of Palestinian child prisoners, for the issue has gotten a huge amount of attention, and has even been criticized by the UN among others.
Last year, a member of the British Parliament got a sobering, eye-opening epiphany on this issue during a trip to the West Bank. Sarah Champion is a member of the British Labour Party who spent a day observing proceedings in an Israeli military court as Palestinian child detainees were brought in one-by-one before a judge. Her account of the experience was published by the Huffington Post, and reading it today adds something of a new light to the words of our smirking vice president. Here in part is what she writes:
In the cramped confines, I almost didn’t notice the two little boys, little in age and in stature. At first sight I thought they were disabled as they both appeared to have a similar facial palsy and were sitting in an awkward manner. A side door was thrown open and a man in jeans and a sweatshirt entered, which seemed odd as everyone else I had seen was in uniform. As he strode in, to shake hands with the judge and slap the clerks on the back, the two little boys instinctively flinched away from him. As they cowered, they turned in my direction and I got a proper look at their faces; they didn’t have a palsy, they had been beaten.
“That man is the interrogator” whispered my chaperone as the judge fixed his gaze on us, got up and then left the room.
A charming, uniformed woman walked over to us.
“The judge has decided that we will try this case tomorrow” she said.
As the children were led out, I just sat there, staring ahead, simply trying to process what I had seen.
What on earth is going on in this country, and how is the world just letting it happen?
The answer to that should be abundantly clear to anyone that can ascertain the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, and liberty and tyranny…but of course a sizeable number of humans lack that capability. And as is the case in other areas, Jews seem to be disproportionately represented in this category as well.