Posted on August 8, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
Historian Ilan Pappe spoke in South Africa recently and shared an experience he had with Desmond Tutu. Desmond Tutu told Ilan Pappe, after seeing the conditions Palestinians were living under in the West Bank, that the Palestinians were living under harsher circumstances than black South Africans had to endure under apartheid. Desmond Tutu considered West Bank Palestinians’ living experiences bleaker than lives of blacks under apartheid. Mr. Pappe then told the audience that, if Desmond Tutu thought conditions in the West Bank were far worse than apartheid in South Africa, then what would his perception of conditions in Gaza be? – because conditions in Gaza for Palestinians are far worse than conditions in the West Bank.
So, while the men, women, and children of the Gaza Strip – under an apartheid system far, far worse than which existed in South Africa – endure survival-threatening military assault from land, sea, and air for 30 straight days, the United States Senate voted a unanimous 100-0 to give hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military hardware to Israel, on top of the over $3 billion annual aid the U.S. provides.
What is absolutely baffling about the debate over possible solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has existed for some 60 years now, is the virtual complete unwillingness of U.S. elected politicians to come near to discussing the legitimate grievances of Palestinians. Especially in the past month, one becomes stopped by the silence of U.S. politicians on compassion or empathy for innocents dying in Gaza, as if just giving innocent killed Palestinians’ surviving family members condolences for their loss was crossing an un-crossable line.
Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison, yet no U.S. lawmaker says it. Israel has for decades forcibly removed Palestinians from their homes and confiscated their land, yet no U.S. lawmaker speaks about this. Israel has consistently been building illegal settlements – apartment buildings, homes, businesses, infrastructure, etc. – on occupied land taken from Palestinians, yet U.S. lawmakers have for years said nothing. Israel is an apartheid state, yet no U.S. lawmaker will admit the truth. The truth…
Now, Israel has inflicted harm of such measure that men and women can’t come up with words to adequately describe the extent of destruction of Palestinian lives, homes, businesses, vital infrastructure, and physical/psychological health.
Reporters and diplomats break down in tears while on air, millions around the world have protested Israel’s war crimes, and the internet has become flooded with horrific facts, photos, and video of Gaza; Israeli bombs destroying lives by the hundreds. Millions of men, women, and children over the Earth become more and more shocked, saddened, and angry over what they read and see, as the barbarous nature of Israel’s destructive military campaign has long since passed any sense of proportion or rationality. Millions around the world are coming around to the understanding that what is being forced upon Palestinians in Gaza is beyond injustice, cruelty, and racism – war crime in the form nearing genocide; the systematic killing or extermination of a whole nation or people.
In the following video from Press TV’s program “The Debate”, one finds a version of far too common kinds of discussion on Israel-Palestine. Readers can come to their own perceptions, but when the woman guest blames Hamas for the deaths of close to 1,900 Palestinians in Gaza – “why didn’t Hamas build bomb shelters for their people?”, one can only resort to attempts at thinking like Rod Serling of “Twilight Zone” fame or George Orwell of “1984” fame to make sense of it all. Like U.S. Senators who voted 100-0 for Israel apartheid, the women guest never once expresses any discernible concern or compassion for innocent people fighting for their very survival in Gaza, or anything remotely approaching an accurate description of the catastrophic destruction that has placed thousands and thousands of lives at risk.
With regard to indescribable military destruction experienced by the people of Gaza in the last 30 days, U.S. lawmakers are silent. This while the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has reached a catastrophic reality.
Men, women, and children in Gaza are facing difficulty of historic magnitude, yet, from the almost total absence of expressions of compassion for the surviving, devastated, suffering innocents in Gaza by U.S. lawmakers and others, one has to wonder if caring about one’s fellow-man has dropped down on the list of important human qualities.
Humanity is so much better than this.
“What will people say – in these words lies the tyranny of the world, the whole destruction of our natural disposition, the oblique vision of our minds. These four words hold sway everywhere.”
– Berthold Auerbach (1812-1882) German novelist
(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)