North America plays host to the 2026 World Cup. It should collectively ban Benjamin Netanyahu.

His defiance to the actions being taken in the United States Senate several weeks ago to provide aide to Gaza and formulate a cease-fire to the conflict that began in October have solidified my belief that the man is a hellbent egomaniac war criminal, who is actively committing crimes against children and against humanity.

After support for him and his party has shifted here in the United States, Mr. Netanyahu decried that his country is “not a banana republic” and that he thought it “totally inappropriate” for the United States to “meddle” in Israeli internal affairs. Well Mr. Netanyahu – who do you think you’re calling a “banana republic” – and you know what else is “totally inappropriate” – toppling regimes and fighting wars on other continents to support your sorry ass.

Over the last six months this post has had several different titles, and I have left it on “draft” as I struggled with formulating a position after publishing “One Man’s Hope for the World” just before the kinetic conflict between Israel and Hamas kicked off its most recent chapter. The original title of this post was “On Zionism and Netanyahu” but after months of wrestling with that I decided that attempting to lay out the long arc of Jewish history in the 20th century starting with the Balfour Declaration was a great way to miss the point entirely.

After the USSR collapsed, my grandmother had a spiritual awakening, converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and moved to Jerusalem. I fondly remember spending many summers in the Holy Land during my youth, and about a decade ago when I visited last I was finally old enough to begin to see the obvious rifts in Israeli society.

One day, I met a man when I stepped outside of an Orthodox mass at one of Jerusalem’s many monasteries. He was Palestinian. He had traveled since three in the morning and crossed many military checkpoints to attend this service because it was the only way he knew he could find some money to help feed himself and his family for the week. He told me that when he was a child his family used to reside in the valleys underneath where the monastery stood.

For generations, for as long as the State of Israel has existed, the Palestinian people have been violently displaced, impoverished, and driven to the sickening belief, a madness, that acts of terrorism would somehow ease their suffering. I don’t agree with the suicide-vest bombers. I don’t believe that jihadi martyrdom is right, but I can understand it.

One of the key personal takeaways I would like to impart in my writing is a great recovery mantra by which I choose to live life. I accept the things that I don’t have the power to change, I take courage in changing the things that are within my power, and pray to God for wisdom in understanding the difference between these.

I don’t have a hotline to the State Department. I don’t have a hotline to the desk of President Biden. I can’t change the outcome of the war. I can pray that Gazans get the aide they desperately need. I can pray for a cease-fire. I can scan the future for opportunities that might carry influence over the events of today.

One of those future events is the 2026 World Cup and Seattle is a host city. So let’s ban the mother fucker.

Mr. George Artem is an America’s Future Spring 2024 Writing Fellow. Mr. Artem holds a Master of Science, Information Systems from the University of Washington, Foster School of Business and is a member of the Seattle recovery community. Mr. Artem fondly remembers spending many summers in the Holy Land. His grandmother is buried at the Mount Zion cemetery in Jerusalem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>