Posted on July 25, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.”
– LEO TOLSTOY
The number of Palestinian men, women, and children who have died in the 20 days of Israeli bombing has reached over 1,000 and those injured over 6,000. The great Russian writer of “War and Peace” Leo Tolstoy considered war “the naked, criminal business of murder”. Tolstoy, who spent time in the military and directly experienced war, was entirely correct.
Millions of people around the world have taken to the streets in public demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people and are saying what no United States Congressman or Senator has had the courage to say: Israel is an apartheid, terror state. Since the state of Israel came into existence in 1948 after the military displacement of 750,000 indigenous people from their ancestral lands, Palestinians were subjected to increased confiscation of homes and property, tightening of restrictions on movement and efforts to raise their standard of living, and perpetual placing of roadblocks in attempts to create a sovereign nation.
Although on a smaller scale, the history of Palestinian people mirrors the history of Native Americans in the United States, the genocide of which – perhaps 100 million killed – represents the largest in human history. The West Bank and Gaza (described as the world’s largest open-air prison/concentration camp) could be described as modern-day equivalents to Native American reservations, and some call the situation for Palestinians much worse than that experienced by black people in South Africa before world public opinion and economic sanctions ended apartheid there.
While American elected representatives spend Sunday July 27, 2014 doing a variety of things with their families and friends, attending campaign events if running for re-election, or reading for knowledge of current events, there is one thing none of them are doing: speaking out or writing about the over 65-year-old Israel-Palestine conflict. The silence, as they say, is deafening.
And what exactly is the reason for silence on Gaza by America’s elected representatives – or those who are running election campaigns against them? Some suggest that American politicians, if they speak critically of actions by Israel – the destruction of property and deaths being carried out against people living in Gaza – will certainly decrease in large measure chances for either getting re-elected or defeating their incumbent opponent. Cutting to the chase on this issue for elected politicians and candidates running to become elected, the greatest question regarding Israel-Palestine is: “are you more concerned about getting (re)elected or ending the violence, injustice, and literal apartheid conditions for Palestinian people?”
Heartbreaking events are occurring in Gaza – both America’s elected representatives and candidates for office need to issue public statements addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The American people can not tolerate their politicians’ continuing silence and turning away on this urgent issue, and the people need to demand that their politicians go on record with their views, options, and proposals for not only bringing about a ceasefire but resolving the decades old conflict once and for all. Elected representatives, those vying for re-election, and those who have decided to run for national office would be wise to understand that every day the Israeli military kills more innocent Palestinian people – every day that apartheid lives in Israel – politicians who decide to remain silent will remain remembered for that inaction – in the voting booths during the next election and far into the future.
To Americans holding or seeking national office, innocent men, women, and children in Gaza are having their homes and communities destroyed, suffering physical and psychological injury of soul-shattering extents, and dying the worst imaginable deaths. For the love of humanity, forget your voter opinion surveys and market research, your campaign fundraising events, your hired consultants and speechwriters, and tailoring your messages to extract the greatest number of votes according to your district’s “demographics”.
Become totally aware how sad, pathetic, and unimportant are those matters you presently direct your attention and focus toward in comparison to real, life and death situations/events you can help resolve in the best possible ways. To the men and women of America’s political class, end your silence on Gaza and other war-torn lands around the Earth, tell the American and world’s people the truth you know but have been afraid to share, and raise the level of discussion with your fellow politicians to the highest possible human limit of morality, integrity, and ethics.
Besides Gaza and the West Bank mirroring conditions for Native Americans on small, poor-land reservations, they also share the conditions of Jews during World War II in the Warsaw Ghetto. Jews who rose up in protest in the Warsaw Ghetto were never labeled as “terrorists”, but were in fact heroic freedom fighters – no different from Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Eighty percent of Palestinians are unemployed, 80% live on an average of $1.50/day, 80% of children suffer malnutrition or are undernourished, and 80% are refugees driven into Gaza.
Gaza is 25 miles long by 4.5 miles wide, one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, and the people living there have experienced decreasing levels of living standards until some now consider conditions far worse than black South Africans experienced during apartheid. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said recently that “Israel is under siege from Hamas” – Palestinians “die” while Israelis are “killed” – Israel’s operation is “against militants” while 25% of those killed are women and children, and corporate media spins the Gaza story in ways that seem almost beyond Orwellian (Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery, War is Peace).
Before typing the word “Israel”, journalists are aware that they’ll face an onslaught of criticism and outrage, so coverage of Gaza is almost fully one-sided, especially in the U.S. and western media. Tens of thousands took to the streets in Britain in the past few days, but the “great” broadcasting organization BBC, whose main offices are located only a short distance away, reported zero, nada, zilch about the Palestinian solidarity demonstration on air. No western media has reported the facts surrounding the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens – blamed by Israel on Hamas – which set off 21 days of high levels of violence, nor interviewed any of many men and women who tell a version of facts that contradicts Israel’s.
To this day, Israel has presented no evidence to back their allegations against Hamas.
Media, politicians, and Israelis know that world public opinion has changed in profound ways, even though they neither report or speak about it. Israel has become the most unpopular nation on Earth, the true reality of the situation is known by leaders, and must become known by the public – the time for world statesmen/states women has come.
Statesmen like British MP Gerald Kaufman.
(Thank you to Molucca Media at YouTube)