The Thanksgiving Truce

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden know that if they lose the American people they are both in serious trouble, says Joe Lauria.

Netanyahu’s Thanksgiving message to the American people.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Israel has long depended on American military aid and diplomatic support to pursue its interests in the Middle East. Without such backing, especially in a time of open warfare, it is doubtful that Israel could for long pursue its goals in Gaza.

American politicians likewise depend on support from Israel and its lobby in the United States to pursue their political careers.

But ultimately, both Israel and U.S. politicians depend on the support of the American people.

There was already a trend, especially among young Americans,  many of them Jews, to no longer lend unconditional support to Israel. This became evident with the growing popularity of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement among American youth, causing individual states to pass laws outlawing the movement.

The trend towards rejecting the mainstream media’s whitewashed history of Israel and Palestine, and the growing understanding that Israel was established in 1948 largely through the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their ancestral homes and land, has only intensified with Israel’s current onslaught against Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden know that if they lose the American people they are both in serious trouble.

Biden is already feeling the heat from American voters because of his handling of Gaza. He can pretty much kiss the swing state of Michigan goodbye with is large Arab population. But polls show many Democrats across the entire country also strongly disapprove. 

Palestinian Americans sued in federal court on Nov. 16 to immediately force Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to stop providing additional weapons, money and military and diplomatic support to Israel.

A motion from the Center for Constitutional Rights’ for preliminary injunction charges that:

“Defendants have been on notice of the risk of genocide since at least October 9, if not already on October 7, through the public and widely circulated statements and actions by Israeli officials with whom they were in close, regular contact and consultation, as well as by warnings of indicators of genocide from United Nations officials and other sources that have only increased since then.”

Israel understands that to maintain U.S. government support, without which it cannot continue its genocidal goals, it needs to keep the U.S. public on side, lest it bring pressure on Biden and Congress to finally cut off aid to stop the massacres. Right now Netanyahu sees Americans dangerously turning against Israel and the Biden administration. 

Weekly protests and American Jews taking over Grand Central Station (which the New York governor called “a major incident”) are clearly alarming Washington and Tel Aviv, (not to mention London, Berlin and Paris where it’s illegal to support the Palestinians.)  

Is it therefore a coincidence that a 4-day ceasefire allowing cameras to show food trucks delivering aid to Gazans coincides with the 4-day U.S. Thanksgiving holiday?

Thanksgiving is infamous for family fights about politics. It’s a time when overworked Americans take a breather and start reflecting on the world. They have time to watch the news criticially.

The last thing Biden and Netanyahu need during these four days are Americans being confronted with more images of genocide and deprivation as they overeat. 

Biden needs this pause during Thanksgiving as much as Netanyahu does.  They both need to stop the support of the American people slipping away. It’s no wonder then that Netanyahu issued this video message to the American people. 

Are Netanyahu and Biden really cynical enough to agree on the timing of this 4-day humanitarian pause to coincide with the 4-day Thanksgiving pause?

Netanyahu went to high school in Philadelphia. He studied at MIT and lived in New York as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. His English accent is American. He knows America, its holidays and its psychology. About Philadelphia, he said: “A pretty good portion of my intellectual capital was developed in this city.”

He knows that the power to end this war is ultimately in the hands of the American people, who he must win over.

Both Biden and Netanyahu strongly rejected any ceasefire until the timing was right. During this Thanksgiving weekend there will be no war.

The killing can resume when Americans go back to work on Monday.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe

36 comments for “The Thanksgiving Truce

  1. LeoSun
    November 26, 2023 at 13:33

    Not for nothing; but, “The Devil Wears Prada!” He’s cast his net,. Caught the biggest Catfi$h, ever!

    …. “You who,” it’s, another, WAR!!! Summarily, contradicting, $ullivan’s sentiment, 10.7.23, “The Middle East Region Is Quieter, TODAY, End of SEPTEMBER, 2023, Than It Has Been in Two Decades.” What a difference a week makes, eh?!?

    IMO, “Bibi’s & Joey’s” mutually assured deception, destruction, death aka MADness, netting RESISTANCE, from all sides; therefore, the War, in Jake $ullivan’s “QUIETER” Middle East is, temporarily, @ “pause.” The net sum, Hamas’ got ‘em, the moral mon$ters, by the gonads. Some hostages have been released.

    IMO, “the killing will resume when,” the moral monsters’, “individuals whose lives are characterized by immoral action, i.e., mass repression, ethnic cleansing, wide-scale deportation, famine,” the killers in high places decide the WAR, resumes. “Live patiently in the world, knowing that those who hate you are more numerous than those who love you.”

    Maybe, one day, “Paz En La Tierra” will rule the day! Ciao.

  2. Thomas
    November 25, 2023 at 14:40

    Sadly, there is not much one can do. I did make a contribution to the United Palestinian Appeal which has gotten good marks for appropriate use of funds received. I have and will continue to write my senators and representative reminding them of their responsibility for genocide. It would be wonderful if the pope were to go to Gaza. It would make me proud to be catholic. I feel that the church has neglected its responsibilities in the Holy Land. In 1096, a pope energized the faithful with “Deus vult” (God wills it) a call to crusade It is appropriate for this pope to make a call for a new this time humanitarian crusade. A catholic prayer, Lord, distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy and deliver my life from the hands of violent men.

  3. Share
    November 25, 2023 at 09:36

    This Michigander is not Arabic, and Genocide Joe won’t get my vote. Third party is the way to go this next go round if one wants to keep one’s self-respect. I can’t believe I voted for that MFer last time. Ugh.

  4. James White
    November 25, 2023 at 09:28

    Israel has already lost the American people, as well as most of Europe and the BRICS. Conversely, only members of Congress, well funded (i.e. bribed) by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Military Industrial Complex are still in favor of sending more deadly, genocidal weapons and munitions to Israel and to Ukraine. House Speaker Mike Johnson has so far successfully cut off further debt spending on forever wars. He cleverly passed a bill to fund Israel’s Gaza genocide, knowing that all of the idiot Democrat Senators would vote to defeat it. The war mongers can’t accuse him of being a Hamas sympathizer after he passed that funding bill. While Johnson ignores the Biden Regime and the MIC’s demands for more funds to pour down the black hole that is Ukraine, the prospects for peace in Ukraine have drawn ever closer to being realized. Expect Johnson to continue to ignore Biden’s shrill demands for more insane spending on forever wars, for as long as it takes.

    • J Anthony
      November 26, 2023 at 07:05

      As long as Biden is president he will, should a Republican gain the office next year, you can bet it will continue. Johnson isn’t refusing war-funds out of any altruistic motive, it’s partisan, as always with these tools.

      • James White
        November 26, 2023 at 10:08

        Bet how much? Trump is already on record that he would end the Ukraine war immediately. Ron DeSantis also opposes more funding for the Ukraine war. Those are the two most likely Republicans to receive the party nomination for President. Nikki Haley is a common RINO, Uniparty war monger. But she has no chance to win the nomination. Fine to cast doubts on what motivates Mike Johnson. But the fact is that he has single-handedly shut down the forever war spending, at least for now. He has done so despite the demands of the powerful Military Industrial Complex lobby, AIPAC and the DNC. It takes guts to stand up to the forces that have corrupted a majority of members of Congress and the Senate. Kevin McCarthy couldn’t do it. And that was why he was ousted as Speaker. Each day that passes without more funding for Ukraine is a day closer to a settlement of the conflict. That is, the end of war and human carnage in Ukraine.

        • Piotr Berman
          November 26, 2023 at 17:55

          “Fine to cast doubts on what motivates Mike Johnson. ” The only hope is that opportunists in Congress will spot opportunities of sanity. Poison pill in the bill to send 14.3B USD to Israel could be very hypocritical, given how Johnson professed to Christian Zionism, although Bible says nothing about the duty to increase funding of Israel, so biblical conscience of Speaker Johnson may be clear. And the hypocrisy of the poison pill is remarkable too. But what Johnson documented is that there is no clamor among the voting public to send a huge amount at “this most difficult hour”.

          • James White
            November 27, 2023 at 08:25

            Speaker Mike Johnson presented Democrats with funding for Israel that was ‘paid’ for by cuts to Federal spending in other programs. A perfectly rational and sensible approach to our growing national debt problem. It was only a ‘poison pill’ to Democrats because Johnson did not acquiesce to their demands for further Ukraine funding as a package deal. Democrats fear spending cuts since they demonstrate to Americans the wastefulness of Federal spending. Democrats use Federal spending to buy votes for Democrat candidates. There is nothing hypocritical about exposing this cynical game for what it is. It was a very astute political maneuver by House Speaker Mike Johnson. The result is that the U.S. has not taken on additional debt to fund wars in Israel or Ukraine. While the Congress needs Senate and White House approval to pass any spending bill, Mike Johnson can unilaterally block any bill that expands our absurd national debt. The sooner the aid to Ukraine is stopped, the sooner the war will end. Piling on more debt to fund a cause that is already lost is irrational. A majority of the U.S. voters oppose the debt spending on forever wars. But a majority of elected representatives want more debt spending because lobbyists pay for their votes on further spending.

        • J Anthony
          November 27, 2023 at 06:30

          You’re right, I don’t care who stops it as long as it’s stopped. Just saying, I’ll believe it when I see it. P:ols have the tendency to change their minds once they gain higher office.

    • November 26, 2023 at 17:19

      James is right . The polls show 65-70% of voters from all parties want a ceasefire, and oppose the war crimes in Gaza. So the only problem is that AIPAC has more say than the US voters. Ok its a serious problem and should be an international embarrassment . We have 2 peace candidates, Cornell West and Jill Stein, Jill is a better debater and has better instincts on how to communicate on the big issues.

  5. Susan Leslie
    November 25, 2023 at 06:56

    A “four day pause” so as not to upset the American public? It’s all such a bloody farce – literally…

  6. irina
    November 24, 2023 at 23:12

    Here is a link to a Jerusalem Post article about Netanyahu scolding the UN
    (which has lost some 100 workers in Gaza so far to his bombing campaign)
    for not ‘putting up more tents in the safe zone’. It goes on to quote him saying
    things which make it sound like he is the boy with his finger in the dike, holding
    back the flood. At least in his autocratic, tyrannical and delusional mind.


  7. WillD
    November 24, 2023 at 21:17

    Both men care little about human lives or the immense suffering they cause directly and indirectly. They embody everything that is wrong and evil about the human race.

  8. November 24, 2023 at 15:22

    Why aren’t there massive US/NATO/EU air lifts to drop far more food, medicine, water, and critical supplies than can be provided by a handful of trucks?


    • J Anthony
      November 26, 2023 at 07:08

      I would think because the pause and the showing of aid-trucks is more a publicity campaign than anything else. Do they really intend to consider stopping the madness? Or is the idea to just appear as if they are while the madness continues?

  9. mr bog
    November 24, 2023 at 14:15

    Biden is far more in line with the republican party on this issue.
    FOX has zero tolerance for any dissenting opinion. Their comment sections are remarkably homogeneous in opinion.
    The democrat party invariably forces through the most right wing possible candidate for president.
    So biden is the the right wing of an already right wing party. There’s very little dissent in the party when it comes to slaughtering innocents. Usually they’re all gung ho on crimes against humanity in the name of rich people, including Bernie Sanders who brags about what they did to Serbia and said he can’t wait to do it again.
    Are there any members of congress or the senate who are not bonafide war criminals?

  10. Joy
    November 24, 2023 at 14:04

    This few-days pause is the perfect time to make it permanent. Now is the time for Pope Francis to go to Gaza, and plan to stay for a while. I have made a petition calling on him to go to Gaza. Please support it and share.

    We must change the current dominant narrative that leads to more death and destruction, and benefits no one but a handful of weapons manufacturers and far-right politicians.

    • Renate
      November 24, 2023 at 19:01

      Even a ceasefire does not stop the killing due to a lack of medical care food and shelter. The dying goes on, how many babies has Genocide Joe killed today? Why has Pope Francis not excommunicated him yet? Why would anyone with a moral compass vote for a demented war criminal?

    • foster
      November 25, 2023 at 00:48

      couldnt find the petition.

    • bobok
      November 25, 2023 at 08:34

      How about taking the Pope aside and explaining to him how he might be able to stop a large portion of the slaughter by calling out Biden’s sinful actions by simply excommunicating the Catholic president. Shake up the political world, or just go back to pressing his rosary beads.

  11. Selina Sweet
    November 24, 2023 at 13:52

    Both. Utterly repulsive.

  12. Karin Lorenz
    November 24, 2023 at 13:42

    Brave Bibi is bombing babies and his courageous soldiers are conquering defenceless hospitals!
    Support the Troops!

  13. Frank Stands
    November 24, 2023 at 12:42

    Thank you: excellent and brief. I have voted Democratic Party all my life and I am 83 and will not vote for Biden next year. He is a dangerous Zionist. I will not vote for Trump and never would have. So I shall not vote for President. So let us hope that most Americans see the truth and both Biden and Netanyahu lose most of us.

    • Renate
      November 24, 2023 at 19:09

      I am with you, I am 83 years old and will not vote for a war criminal for any elective position, regardless of party. No way will I vote for the lesser of two evils again.

  14. mary-lou
    November 24, 2023 at 12:35

    the hypocrisy of this “truce” makes it difficult to stomach thanksgiving. a 4-day respite after which….what….continued carnage?!

  15. November 24, 2023 at 12:30

    Netanyahu’s policies has done as much harm to the Israelis as to the Palestinians. The departure of the extremists Zionists in his government could possibly be seen as positive step towards a peaceful settlement.

  16. Lois Gagnon
    November 24, 2023 at 12:23

    Funny how all the US officially designated enemies are always compared to Hitler, yet a real fascist Hitlerian leader in the act of committing genocide is supported to the hilt. Words fail.

  17. Vera Gottlieb
    November 24, 2023 at 11:49

    Netan-yahoo’s picture…THANKS for ruining my Thanksgiving.

  18. Taras77
    November 24, 2023 at 11:07

    Looking at nitenyaahoo can only register a deep revulsion, how one can be so evil, so cynical, so maniacal at the prospect of mass murder in gaza, yet this is our key “ally.”

    How far America has fallen to be shipping non stop the tools and weapons for this mass murder.

  19. Liz
    November 24, 2023 at 11:05

    I don’t know what Netanyahu is talking about wrt Philadelphia. Anyone who grows up is innoculated with our Quaker history and culture — the whole brotherly love and sisterly affection thing — and the lessons we are taught absolutely do not include the legitimacy of genocide. He is the very opposite of a Philadelphian. And anyway he lived in Cheltenham, which is a suburb north of the City.

  20. gcw919
    November 24, 2023 at 10:45

    It is hard to fathom that in 2023, we Americans are financing, and actively supporting, genocide. What will it take to wake up this country?

    • J Anthony
      November 26, 2023 at 07:12

      Apparently nothing short of either an alien invasion, or a massive meteor heading straight for our planet (like in the movie “Don’t Look Up”, though I imagine the public reaction would be similar to the movie, where half the public refuses to look up and see the reality of what’s about to happen.)

  21. Alessandro
    November 24, 2023 at 10:30

    Biden (o chi per lui dato che non sembra molto lucido) sarà sicuramente colpevole, ma anche gli ultimi presidenti (compreso il premio Nobel per la guerra Obama) dal 1946 ad oggi sono perlomeno complici.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      November 24, 2023 at 11:50

      TUTTI SONO COLPEVOLI….TUTTI!!! Disgraziati.

    • Rex dunn
      November 25, 2023 at 18:35

      You are so right Joe Lauria. Somehow we have to build a movement if resistance to the whole dam system!

  22. November 24, 2023 at 10:26

    Boycott US/Europe/Israel

    “In Egypt and some Persian Gulf states, once-bustling Starbucks and McDonald’s outlets sit empty thanks to a boycott of U.S. brands.”


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