Friday, January 9, 2009

Gaza 2

Over 800 Palestinian deaths, half of them civilians, many children. In Israel 13 deaths, 3 civilians. That’s the news—800 to 13. But every news report mentions Hamas rockets as if they had some kind of equivalence to the slaughter achieved by Israeli weapons funded by American taxpayers.

Again, the Senate and House passed resolutions of support for Israel, overwhelmingly, their usual knee-jerk dance following the slaughter of innocent Palestinians. Senate majority leader Harry Reid defended it as expressing “the will of the State of Israel and the will of the American people." Notice which came first, and we need to tell Congress that it’s not our will!

There are cracks in the formerly impenetrable wall of support for Israel. Read Few speak up in Congress for hopeful developments. Here’s a short excerpt. Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat and Lebanese-American, told Reuters:
When these events occur, there's almost a knee-jerk reaction of Congress that endorses 1,000 percent what Israel is doing.
Israel is our ally. ... It always has been, with which I perfectly agree. But I don't believe in allowing that to blind us to what is in our best interests, or giving knee-jerk approval to anything Israel does. We don't do that with any other ally.
I assume my readers are driven by the same passion for justice and integrity that drives me. We have a chance now to educate Congress. Insist on a complete and immediate ceasefire to stop the one-sided slaughter in Gaza. We the people have to educate members of Congress.

January 14--Gaza again
Gaza’s death toll passes 1000, according to Al Jazeera English; Israeli deaths are less than 20. The Israeli military’s claim that it doesn’t target civilians rings hollow because people are trapped with no place to go when they’re told to leave. Phosphorus bombs dropped over heavily populated areas burn people below indiscriminately, down to the bone. Many heartrending burn patients are children.

Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton says the incoming administration commits to a new era of diplomacy. But she ruled out diplomacy with Hamas unless it stops fighting. This is “absolute,” she said. So it looks like we can expect the decades-old U.S. position to continue—one side gets almost all the weapons and the other side almost all the casualties.

I don’t advocate arming Hamas. Quite the contrary. Disarmament should apply to BOTH sides. U.S. Cold War policy chose sides to arm, favoring any dictator or scoundrel who claimed to be on our side. This led to proliferation of weapons around the world, which lays the blame on us Americans for much of the weaponry threatening ourselves and everyone on the globe. The reason Iran seeks nuclear weapons is that Israel secretly acquired them, violating international agreement. The reason Israel got by with that is total U.S. support for its actions, no matter how outrageous.

The powerful Israeli lobby has controlled our government—Republican, Democratic, no difference—to ridiculous lengths, pulling the tails of administration officials, members of Congress, and aspiring politicians. Anybody who dares express sympathy for Palestinians is labeled “anti-Semitic.”

That’s up to this point. Will it change? Signs are not good. What gives me some hope is Jewish peace groups in Israel and in this country, and international outrage over America’s unconscionable support for Israeli actions. I urge readers to work for real change over this issue, a change of conscience in our nation.

I was just alerted to a powerful article in The Nation. Naomi Klein says the best strategy to end the bloody occupation by Israel is a boycott of the kind that ended apartheid in South Africa.

March 27
Soldiers in the Israeli military are exposing the truth about war crimes committed in the Gaza offensive. Israeli soldiers speak out. What's the message from religious Jews in Israel? Rabbis told them to get rid of Gentiles.

Seven Jewish Children
Caryl Churchill composed the poem, "Seven Jewish Children," which is also a play of only 10 minutes in length. It rouses our conscience about Gaza and all Palestinians and all Jews. A masterful creative accomplishment made available without charge, this is also a cry for peace and justice. Seven Jewish Children, a play for Gaza (in its entirety)

3 comments:

Anders said...

One of the reason young children are killed is because Hamas uses human shields (read post below).

Israel targetets the life-hating terrorists of Hamas and you call it slaughter; that implies you support the Hamas terrorists.

Read more here:
http://bloganders.blogspot.com/2009/01/hamas-use-of-humans-shields-and-many.html

From Anders Branderud
Geir Toshav,
Netzarim (www.netzarim.co.il)

Jeanette said...

Those of us who sympathize with Palestinians do not condone Hamas violence as we do not condone Israeli violence. We are sick of our government's unconditional support of Israel, without which many of the clashes in the past decades would not have happened.

A book would not begin to uncover the atrocities committed by the Israeli military on innocent Palestinians day after day, ceasefire or no ceasefire, in Gaza and in the West Bank. Until justice comes to Palestinians we cannot expect an end to groups like Hamas. Read more from Jewish voices for peace at http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/

ddjango said...

Anders:

Although I also do not condone Hamas violence, I need to point out that less than 10% of Palestinian deaths in Gaza were Hamas combatants.

The Israelis used Palestinians as human shields as well.

The Israeli onslaught is genocidal. I think you both know that and condone it.