by Samah Jabr
The President of the United States wants a legacy
and for whatever reason, he has chosen Middle East peace. He is, I'm
afraid, as blind to the essentials of peace as he was in the private
affairs that defamed him. Evidently, he is a man who has no
understanding of truth. After three weeks of the Israeli militarized
atrocities against distraught stone throwing Palestinian boys, Mr.
Clinton calls on the Palestinians to stop the violence. I wonder as
I hear his statement if he actually means to say that Palestinians
should stop dying.
Under the cover of diplomacy, he asks Palestinians
to bring hatred to an end. Yet he has failed to criticize Israelis,
who act against Arab Israelis, and against Palestinians they once
claimed they could not see. Rarely, if ever, is criticism launched
against the Gush Emunim, the Jewish settlers who use their version
of God's right to take whatever they've decided God has given them.
There are individuals waging that now famous Arab word,
"jihad" on all sides of this issue.
Clinton supported Mr. Barak who is quick to
"punish" any Palestinian deemed radical. Yet I don? recall
hearing of an Israeli settler jailed or moved from his or her
illegally acquired home or punished for waging a provocation against
a Palestinian. While the settlers swim in their backyard pools and
water their lawns, we barely have enough water to take a bath. When
Israelis send their children to well-funded, well-staffed Hebrew
University, we have to go through check points manned by Uzi
carrying Israeli soldiers to get to our Palestinian schools, most of
which are ill-equipped.
Our three great monotheistic religions, Judaism,
Christianity, Islam, have given us all much of the secular and
religious morality most of us follow today. Human interpretations of
the three great monotheistic religions have left us with the scene
on the Holy Land's streets today. Does Mr. Clinton, a Southern
Baptist, side with those who use religion for good or those who
conceive the evil that harms us all? The United Nations
condemned Israeli use of heavy weapons against the unarmed. The
United States objected. If it did not carry out evil, it just held
the door open for those who would.
Clinton publicly denounced the killings of the two
Israeli soldiers, and along with the American media, depicted them
as having made a ?rong turn.?Yet this peculiar story of two soldiers
?ost in Ramallah?was never questioned, even though Ramallah is very
small. Only the blind or mentally disabled could get lost in
Ramallah. And the world did not question why these two Israeli
soldiers, who came dressed in Palestinian garb, were driving a car
with Palestinian plates with a trunk full of weapons.
A US congressman recently said, "We provide aid
if the Palestinians to promote peace, but we give nothing for their
violence." His remarks are not too different from those of his
president. It indicates a bribe, an insult to any Palestinian,
because we all know the "peace" Israel and America want
for us is actually systematic oppression.
Was it the need for Israeli "security"
that Mr. Clinton so often mentions that made settlers open fire at a
Palestinian family picking olives in their own groves? It is
painfully evident that many Zionist and even now, many secular Jews
around the world deny Palestinian suffering because they believe
they have the copyright on that.
If Mr. Clinton was living in my home now, would he
be saying "God willing" and throw up his hands while
glancing the other way, or would he have the courage to leave a
great inheritance, the gift of truth, for all of us?
Consider if Mr. Clinton chose the latter he would
leave a tainted office with a new virtue, with the stature of a man
of grace, and his legacy would be the greatest of all, love. That
would be revolutionary, wouldn't it?
(Samah Jabr is a freelance
writer and medical student in Jerusalem. This article was written
with the assistance of Elizabeth Mayfield.)