Listening to Bibi Netanyahu’s speech – OK, not really listening to it, just listening to stuff about it like Congress fawning over him – just puts me in a rage. I grew up in a family that thought Israel was the greatest. Bringing democracy to the heathens, making the desert bloom, blah, blah, blah. I am not sure when I started to think that Israel was doing evil – maybe it started when I realized that Making the desert bloom. was another way of saying that We are using everybody’s water, including the Palestinians, it was almost certainly by the time I learned that Palestinians children were being killed at a rate of over seven times that of Israeli children1 – but I do now. And I don’t use that term lightly.
For sure, I don’t use that term lightly. Using it opens me up to too many charges. Charges of being a self hating Jew; charges of being an anti-Semite. Because anybody who disagrees with Israel must be an anti-Semite. It puts me in the company of alot of haters that I find abhorrent. But – the bottom line is – what Israel is doing and what they have been doing is evil.
I don’t think that Americans have any idea what is going on with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and I don’t think we want to know.
It’s not just that the Israelis are building settlements in the west bank, it is – to protect those settlements – that they have to control Palestinian movement and access in the West Bank. Like all occupiers, to stay safe, the Israelis have to completely dominate and control the Palestinians. They have to maintain a full press occupation of the West Bank. Of course that leads to harassment both institutional and ad-hoc. Alain Salomon and Katia Solomon have a Op Ed in the New York Times that gives a chilling description of going through an Israeli checkpoint near Ramallah. They say As we entered this narrow space I looked at the barbed wire further on. We are Jewish, and began to weep. How was it possible that our own people, who have gone through such suffering, can inflict this ordeal, intended to humiliate and intimidate another people?
Towns like Hebron have been turned into virtual jails.
And – very importantly – what Israel is doing will lead to failure for Israel. Thoughtful Jews like Emily Hauser and Rabbi Brant Rosen know that as do a huge number of Israelis in Israel. It is sad that our Congress doesn’t seem to.
1. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Interestingly – but depressingly – the American Press reports those killings at a ratio of about seven times – for the New York Times – to twelve times – for ABC Television -more for the Israeli children so we dobn’t know more Palestinians are being killed.