While we're over here, stewing about our election, the Israeli government
continues to kill Palestinians and to strangle the rest economically simply
because the Palestinians have the audacity to demand an end to 33 years
of illegal and military occupation.
Let me tell you something else that's interesting: The United Nations
has condemned Israel for using excessive force. The United Nations Commissioner
of Human Rights has condemned Israel for using excessive force. The Physicians
for Human Rights, an independent human-rights organization, after examining
wounds in Palestinian hospitals, has condemned Israel for using excessive
force. Amnesty International has condemned Israel for using excessive force.
The United States secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, says, however,
that Israel is a victim of aggression and is only defending itself.
Now that lady is either nutty or evil. If she's so disconnected from
reality that she thinks that people with no army, whose dead number 250
and whose wounded exceed 5,000, are a threat to the most powerful military
state in the Middle East, she's nutty. If she's deliberately lying, she's
Furthermore, if the United States government treated American Indians
or blacks in precisely the same way in every detail that the Israeli government
treats Palestinians, people would be screaming to high heaven.
I confess I'm mystified how decent Americans can condone the brutality
and abuse that Israel inflicts on innocent Palestinians. If you're thinking
that you don't have the right to criticize a foreign government, let me
set you straight: Your government has given a cumulative total of 85 billion
of your tax dollars through the years to the Israeli government. I think
that buys you a right to criticize.
The truth is, I fear, that Palestinians won't get their independence
until Americans get theirs. The Israeli occupation forces hold down the
Palestinians, and our government appears to be the captive of the Israeli
lobby. You might write your congressman and senators and remind them that
they ran for office in the United States, not in Israel, and that they
took an oath to defend America, not Israel. You might also tell them that
it is not in our national interest to be seen the world over as a flaming
hypocrite, nor is it in our national interest to alienate 1.1 billion Muslims
who happen to control more than 60 percent of the world's oil reserves.
As an aside, let me clear up a matter. In reprimanding a politician for
a racist slur against Palestinians who had killed two Israeli undercover
agents, I suggested that he use the same slur against Israeli killers of
Palestinians. The case I cited was a man whom people in Ramallah believe
was kidnapped and beaten to death either by settlers or Israeli soldiers.
The Physicians for Human Rights, at the request of an Israeli human-rights
group, examined the X-rays and pictures, talked with doctors and family,
and came to the conclusion that his injuries were caused by an automobile
accident. All of the Palestinian doctors involved in the case, however,
disagree with the report and say they plan to issue their own report. So
there you have it: a medical disagreement.
At any rate, examples of Israelis killing Palestinians are plentiful
enough. There are the children shot to death, not to mention the 28 Palestinian
men and women killed by a Jewish settler in Hebron a few years ago. When
the Israeli terrorist paused to change magazines in his weapon, surviving
Palestinians overpowered him and beat him to death with his own rifle.
The other Israeli settlers who were mighty proud of their mass killer
turned his grave into a shrine.
But if he did not want to forgo the unity of Israel, why did be bother
going to Camp David in the first place? If he wasn't ready to compromise
over the sanctities of Israel, what was the point of inducing everyone
to come to the rolling hills of Maryland? The only reasonable explanation
for the enigma of Camp David, and from many points of view for the enigma
of Barak altogether, would seem to lie in the fact that at some stage the
prime minister lost his confidence in Israel's ability to withdraw from
the territories it conquered in June 1967. It is difficult to believe that
there is any politician at all who does not understand that peace is contingent
on the evacuation of virtually all the territories"
This is just a sampling of the Hebrew press. Why can't Sontag login and
check out what the Israeli journalists and intellectuals are really saying.
Ignoring those voices, as well as the Palestinians', is one main reason
why Sontag's reports stand alone in creating a virtual reality of the conflict
scene, portraying Israel as the victim, and the Palestinians as the aggressor.
Stubbornly omitting the many reports issued by human rights organizations,
which condemn Israel's excessive brutality, has become a scandalous theme
in the 'coverage' (rather cover-up) of Sontag et al, but one that we got
used to. But ignoring even critical voices from inside the Israeli establishment
is truly indicative of premeditated bias, par excellence!