The most recent episode of Israel’s bi-annual atrocities in Gaza has faded from the news. How can that be? An estimated 2106 citizens of Gaza were killed! Israel admits that “as many as 72% were civilians.” That means that 1516 non-Hamas men, women, children and babies were killed by rockets and bombs launched from American made Apache helicopters and F-16 jets.
Here are some important things to remember about this whole sordid affair:
1. It did not begin with three teen-age settlers being killed by Palestinians. It did not begin with a Palestinian teenager being burned alive by Israeli forces. It did not begin with the 6 day war in 1967 or any of the other events that may come to mind. It began with the brutal ethnic cleansing of hundreds of Palestinian villages by radical Zionists in 1949. So whenever you hear about a recent attack on Palestinians by Israel that “Israel is merely responding” to some Palestinian action or other, remember that it’s the other way around. Since the beginning, on May 1, 1949, the original unacceptable action was Israel’s killing and forced eviction of a majority of the Palestinian people.
2. There is only one occupier. Of equal importance, there is only one occupied people. Jews and Palestinians had been living together peacefully for thousands of years in the Holy Land. Then, following the Holocaust, the world and especially Great Britain and guilt-burdened America searched for a “homeland” for the followers of Abraham. Interestingly, most Zionist leaders favored the West Coast of Africa at the time. But no, England decided it should be what was then known as Palestine. A cynic might say that was because they knew a lot of cumbersome political questions could/would be blunted by the “Jews are the chosen” argument.
3. According to the United Nations and the International Court of Law in The Hague the Occupation is ‘illegal.’ I would add to that, ‘grossly immoral’ and ‘unsustainable.’ Jeremy ben Ami who heads J Street, the powerful Jewish and pro-Israel lobbying organization in D.C. says Israel cannot and will not survive if it continues to build more settlements and continues to extend the Wall.
On July 18—only 216 Gazans had been killed at that point—our Senate voted 100 to 0 to support Israel’s attacks. All 100 of them! The day before, Benjamin Netanyahu had admitted that many of those killed were women and children. How often does our US Senate vote as one? This time is was because each and every one of them will benefit financially from their vote. Every Senator, including our two left leaning Oregon Senators, along with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren rushed to support the attacks, as if to say “see, I deserve my check again this year.” Not one of them abstained. Not one of them was sick. Ask me some time about AIPAC, second only to the military lobby’s influence in Washington.
Here is an article by my friend Jeff Halper: Globalizing Gaza
I hope you will read it. It’s a shot across the bow of our political complacency.
Will you be at the CPC UCC Annual Meeting in Pendleton this weekend? If you want to we can chat there.