As Palestinians continue to endure unspeakable suffering at the hands of Israelis, there are some old bromides that are constantly being hurled at an unsuspecting public by elected U.S. officials, in order to justify U.S. financing of that suffering. Let us look at just a few:
Israel has the right to defend itself. This writer cannot count the number of times this ridiculous statement has been made. Can we all just take a minute to investigate it? Israel, we are told, has the right to use the most advanced weaponry available on the planet, some of it banned by international law, to ‘defend’ itself against an occupied, rock-throwing population. Yes, occasionally Palestinians are able to smuggle in enough supplies to make ‘rockets’ that author Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors and an outspoken critic of Israel, refers to as ‘enhanced fireworks’. In the minds of the Israeli-lobby-controlled U.S. government, those fireworks are sufficient to justify the carpet-bombing of homes, mosques, hospitals and schools. Need we mention, again, that bombing these sites is a violation of international law? Oh, and let’s not forget that the U.S. finances it all.
President Obama, in 2008, made this amazing statement: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.” If someone, heavily armed, was stopping his daughters on their way to school every
morning to search their backpacks, would he do everything in his power to stop that? If the First Lady was constantly spat upon when going to the local store, would he stop that? If one or both of his daughters were at risk of being shot at point-blank range and left dying in the street, would there be any limits to his efforts to stop that? Or if representatives of a foreign nation showed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with bulldozers and began razing the White House, claiming that it was sitting on land that God promised to them, would he stop it? If his daughters were arrested for throwing stones at someone who had bulldozed their house, would he prevent that? This writer would love to hear Mr. Obama say this: ‘If somebody was brutally oppressing my loved ones, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. I would expect Palestinians to do the same thing.”
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It isn’t surprising to hear U.S. politicians say this, since most of them have only the vaguest concept of what ‘democracy’ means, never having experienced it, but hearing about it once or twice in some high school civics class. It seems that, in their view, if a nation holds elections, it is a democracy. Never mind that there are separate laws for Africans and Arabs living within Israel’s borders. Forget about the fact that Palestinian men, women and children can be arrested and held indefinitely, without charge or contact with legal representation, or even family members. Don’t bother even considering the fact that, in the Israel-occupied West Bank, there are separate, and far inferior, roads for Palestinians, and that they are not allowed to drive on, or even cross over, the superior Israeli roads. But hey! They have elections! Therefore, Israel is a democracy!
Israel is the U.S.’s only friend in the Middle East. This one is almost too much for this writer to bear; it is all he can to do keep from screaming every time he hears it. Israel continually slaps the U.S. in the face, refusing to halt illegal settlement activity; demanding that the U.S. protect it from United Nations criticism; committing the kinds of human rights abuses that cause the U.S. to bomb other nations, all the while receiving $10 million dollars a day from the U.S. This doesn’t sound like friendship; it sounds like services bought and paid for by the various Israeli lobbies.
What, one wonders, does the U.S. get from this one-sided ‘friendship’? Other nations in the Middle East despise the U.S., at least partly because of its financing of the oppression of the Palestinians (constantly bombing them doesn’t help much, either). Perhaps, just perhaps, the U.S. might have some real allies in the Middle East if it stopped funding ongoing genocide.
What, one further wonders, is in store for Israel after a new U.S. president is inaugurated in January of 2017? Mr. Obama is said to detest Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu, yet he jumps through whatever hoops the Prime Murderer puts in front of him, like an obedient dog performing at a circus. All of the major party candidates seeking the U.S. presidency fawn all over Mr. Netanyahu as if he were some international hero, and not a mass murderer.
Although the struggle of the Palestinian people has lasted since 1948, let us look at the death toll for them, and the Israelis, just in the current millennium. Approximately 1,200 Israelis have died in this conflict (this writer does not call it a war; it is genocide, pure and simple), including about 130 children. In that same time period, at least 9, 150 Palestinians have been killed, and this number includes over 1,500 children.
So one might ask Mr. Obama how he feels about Israel preventing the firing of ineffective rockets by the use of mass murder. What would he say to the parents of those 1,500 children, slaughtered in their homes or schools, with bombs he provided?
The U.S. was one of the last nations in the world to condemn South African apartheid; never a leader in the fight for freedom, or in assisting oppressed people to gain their basic human rights, the U.S. will again follow in Palestine. Israel will either implode from the weight of its own internal and external oppression, or will find itself so ostracized by the world community that even the mighty U.S. can’t save it from itself. In time, the people of Palestine will experience the freedom that the U.S. pays cheap lip service to, but does not practice. They will live on their ancestral lands, despite all the opposition from the United States. The day of their liberation cannot come soon enough, but it is coming.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).