A Letter from Michael Moore to President Joe Biden in Israel
Dear President Biden:
As I write this, you are in Israel to meet with their indicted and soon to be criminally-tried prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. A man you despise. A prime minister who last month, when he was in the U.S., you refused to grant him the traditional White House visit. You have expressed your distaste with how he has spent most of this year trying to destroy the Israeli Supreme Court, leading to millions of Israelis taking to the streets to demand that Netanyahu end his move toward fascism.
Mr. President, as I see it, you have five jobs to accomplish in the few hours you are in Israel:
1. Comforter-in-Chief: Please let the Israeli people know that you and we grieve with them over those who were killed, that no Jew should ever have to fear for their lives anywhere on this planet — and that we promise them we will fight to make sure what happened to them at the hands of White Christian Fascists during the Holocaust shall never happen again. NEVER.
Also, please reiterate that the world demands the Israeli hostages taken on October 7th must be released unharmed, and that you agree with the vast number of Israelis who are angry over the fact that their right wing leaders did nothing to protect them from this attack — and that hundreds died due to their negligence and distracting themselves by spending so much time this year on neutering their Supreme Court and deploying military assets to support Israeli settlers killing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
2. Be Your Best Jimmy Carter: Tell Netanyahu that we and all freedom-loving people will not stand for Israel committing any acts of mass slaughter or genocide on Palestinian civilians. Killing for revenge, “an eye for an eye,” is not how we are going to get through the 21st century. Tell the Israeli government it must sit down with the Palestinians and a respected mediator and resolve this conflict once and for all — starting with an end to the Occupation of Palestine by the Israelis — and including an end to their illegal settlements. Both sides must agree to end all violence. Gaza must cease to be a prison. Stating the obvious, Israel not only exists, it isn’t going anywhere. If you can’t see that, get over yourself. Andrew Jackson in the 1800s took Toledo from Michigan and gave it to Ohio. We got over it. (OK, bad example. We didn’t want anything Ohio wanted anyway. Plus all this land was already stolen from the Indigenous Peoples of the Great Lakes.)
President Biden, you know what is fair. You represent the Bank that can fund this peace, just as we have funded the Occupation and planted the seeds for more war. C’mon, man — what would the Pope you love so much do?
3. Here Come the Yanks, Bearing Gifts Better than Myrrh: Tell Netanyahu to turn the water and electricity to Gaza back on. Tell him the U.S. and the British (who started this whole mess with their occupation and then redrew one of those nutjob maps of theirs), we and they are going to deliver mass shipments of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the West Bank. We are going to rebuild the hospitals Israel has bombed (for the complete list, see: United Nations/human rights violations). We will also rebuild the kibbutzes destroyed on October 7th, communes which had been filled with scores of peace-loving, communal-living progressive-minded decent souls whose lost lives now makes the world that much less of a better place for the rest of us.
4. Come Clean, Joe: You’re a straight shooter, a no bs kind of guy. In fairness to the Israelis and Palestinians, why don’t we admit publicly, that while we talk a good line about our “support for Israel,” the fact is that for 75 years we have funded and built the nation of Israel as our own personal base of operations to “protect” our “interests” in the Middle East. Of course those interests are oil, occupation, more oil, invasions, intelligence gathering, even more oil, and the containment of Islam, brown people and other forms of life we consider “sub-human.” We’ve let Israel possess nuclear weapons (is that a good idea?). Of course, we’ve set the template for Israel. Shoot first and ask questions (or cover up) later. Invade for revenge, even if that country had nothing to do with 9/11. Let the oil companies and Wall Street call the shots. And as the last remaining “superpower,” let us continue to do our job as the world’s puppet master. We and our billionaire class pull the strings, we shout, they jump.
It’s a bitter pill for the poor and ravaged to swallow, but isn’t it at least more honest and fair to them that we just fess up to what we’re up to — and how the chaos and conflict that’s taking place now (and for decades) in Israel and Gaza is good for us, good for the weapons manufacturers, good for the oil we claim as ours? I think most in the world would appreciate a moment of honesty.
5. Meet with the Palestinian and Arab Leaders: Oh, never mind. That ship sailed. After the Palestinians decided “hey, let’s bomb our own hospital!”, the Arab leaders decided there was no real point to meet with you. That’s too bad — maybe try again later.
I just watched your remarks about how you will be sending a hundred million dollars to help the people in Gaza and the West Bank. I hope it can be more. You’ve also just said that Israel has agreed to let a truck convoy carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza. So let’s hope this happens soon. Nothing about ending the occupation, or de-escalating the violence or preventing the next round of madness.
Well, President Biden, they’ve just announced that you may not spend the night in Israel and instead you may just fly back home right now. It’s easy for me to say, but it might be nice if you went and spent a night or two in one of those kibbutzes and talk to the young Israelis who are sick and tired of violence and war and Netanyahu. Just a thought.
Yours for peace,