The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – How it Affects U.S.

Before the events of 9/11/01, the U.S. lived in ignorance of the terrorism known so well in other countries. Indeed, for the peoples of historical Canaan, terrorism is a daily fact of life. In the U.S., our media usually portrays the terrorism of one side of the story. However, there are always two sides of a coin.

Many in the U.S. do not know that the first airplane hijacking was committed on December 12, 1954 when a civilian Syrian airliner was taken by Israel. Another invention of terrorism by Israel was the car bomb. In 1946, Zionist blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 88 people. More recent terrorism by Israel includes the killing of more than 800 Palestinians and 24,000 injuries. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and the Defense for Children International, at least 214 Palestinian children have been killed, approximately 6000 injured, and 600 arrested since September of 2000. In 2001, Defense for Children International documented 150 attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli settlers on children’s schools.

The media in the U.S. (falsely) reports of Palestinian suicide bombings, ambushes, revolts, and “suicide kindergarten camps for kids to prepare the next generation of suicide bombers”. The independent research report by Professor Nathan Brown of the George Washington University debunking the myths that Palestinian textbooks promote violence has not been addressed by the news media. Neither has the report,” Israeli Textbooks and Children’s Literature Promote Racism and Hatred Toward Palestinians and Arabs” by Maureen Meehan, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (a special report on a study of Israeli textbooks by a Tel Aviv University Professor) been made public by the U.S. media.

The bias is unprecedented as journalists write about Palestinian “militants” and “terrorists”. On December 13, 2001, an article on the front page of the New York Times told of, “Palestinian militants kill 10 people by detonating bombs underneath a bus; Hamas takes responsibility for the attack; Israeli Air Force pounds targets in Gaza and West Bank, and tanks shell Palestinian Checkpoint in Ramallah”. The article does not mention the prior Israeli attacks that killed at least 10 Palestinians or the hundreds of buildings that were destroyed including the Friends Boys School in Ramallah, one of two schools founded and operated by the Quakers in Richmond, Indiana.

In another article, the New York Times relates, “Hamas Raid in Israel Leaves Six Deadéno direct explanation for the apparent resumption of armed attacks onIsraelis”. The Kansas City Star’s headline covering the same incident begins, “Palestinian Gunman Kill Four Israeli Soldiers”, but “Their statement, faxed to Reuters in Gaza, said Israel’s seizure last week of an alleged Palestinian arms ship in the Red Sea was a main factor behind their decision to strike”. Both articles refer to a decline in violence prior to the “raid”. In a third article covering the same incident, CBC News reports,” Violence breaks Mideast calm”. Although all three articles contain the facts, they neglect the whole story. It would appear from these articles that Palestinians are unjustly attacking Israeli solders. None of the articles state the obvious: Israeli troops are continuing an illegal occupation and Palestinians continue their fight for freedom.

On NPR’s Morning Edition (January 3’02), Linda Gradstein has told host Bob Edwards that, “you know, there’s been actually three weeks of relative quiet. Only one Israeli has been killed in those three weeks, as opposed to 44 Israelis who were killed

when Zinni was here last time in November and early December”. She forgot about the 31 Palestinians, most of them unarmed civilians and 11 of them children, who have been killed by Israeli forces since December 13’01. Also, she forgot to add that she has been accepting substantial amounts of money from pro- Israeli groups for years. NPR’s “unbiased” reporting seems to be a joke.

In contrast, articles such as, “America’s Israel” by C. G. Estabrook differs from the” politically correct” news sources. His comparisons are brutality honest as he points out the similarities between the racist, apartheid policies of South Africa (from 1948 to 1991) and “Israel’s expanding moral corruption as a militarized colony, its prime ministers including men inspired by Nazi ideology (in the Jabotinsky tradition) and guilty of war crimes”. His article slams the ” Washington masters” who “permit” the occupation of Palestine.

In The Indianapolis Star, journalist Dan Carpenter writes, “Changing world meets unchanged worldview”. His tells about a public relations man for the Israeli government who wanted to discuss an article he had previously written describing the daily lives of Palestinians living under military occupation. “The very idea of this troubleshooting mission to the provinces irritated me, given the paper’s consistent pro-Israeli stance and the relentless anti-Arab propaganda pounded out by the syndicated columnists on our pages.” He adds, “About a foreign policy that might be based on respect and fair trade rather than arrogance, exploitation, threats, arms sales, and unholy alliances.”

Harper’s magazine feature of “A Gaza Diary” by Chris Hedges portrays a scene of life for the Palestinians. He quotes another reporter, Yusurf Samir, who works for the Israeli Arabic service, “The Palestinians are animals. They are less than human. They are savage beastséThey should be destroyed. We should put fire to them.” An Israeli press officer says of the reporter, “He is a great man, a poet. He is a man of peace.” Hedges continues.

It is still. The camp waits, as if holding its breath. And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker. “Come on, dogs,” the voice booms in Arabic. “Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!” I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: “Son of a bitch!” “Son of a whore!” “Your mother’s cunt!” The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks towards two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come. A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbag in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children’s slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsoséI have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.

There are people on both sides who want to end this cycle of violence. Some Israelis have refused to report to military duty and have been sent to prison as conscientious objectors, but this information is not generally known to the U.S. public. Other information not reported by the U.S. journalists includes the groups of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists who protest the continued situation by organized nonviolence. These activists, along with the foreign journalists who cover the news, suffer physical abuse as well as tear gas inhalation by the Israeli Defense Forces. One activist from Colorado stated, “It enrages me that my US government continues to veto the Security Councils resolution in the U.N. to send international monitors to Palestine. Because my government fails to acknowledge the terrible tragedy happening to the Palestinians, ordinary citizens from around the world are stepping in.”

Meanwhile in the U.S., Islamic charitable organizations have been closed for suspected involvement with terrorists and the chairman of the Jewish Defense League, Irving Rubin, has been arrested, again, for plotting to blow up a Los Angeles mosque and the office of a California congressman of Middle Eastern descent. Israeli “students” are being deported by the INS for suspected involvement in a spy ring. Lockheed and the Carlyle Group have made successful gains in the stock market lately. Israel is purchasing over fifty aircraft from Lockheed and former President George Bush, former Secretary of State James Baker, and former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci work for Carlyle. On a single day last year, Carlyle earned $237 million selling shares in United Defense Industries, the U.S. Army’s fifth largest contractor. Furthermore, the U.S. government has approved another 23 million (in aid to help the fight against terrorists) for Israel in addition to the billions already approved. Is something wrong with this picture?

The American journalists and politicians who collaborate and profit from the repression of others should be held in contempt. Indeed, we should be declaring war on the mass media machine that markets war criminals and repeatedly covers up crimes throughout the world. “Why do they hate us?” Instead of the “good around the world” that Americans blindly believe of their government achieves, the policies of the U.S. government are oppressive.

Today, Bush addressed the fresh atrocities. Either the administration is delusional or genocide is acceptable for the few to make a profit. And that, folks, is my conclusion.