Ok Johnny B, you have several mistakes in your piece so I must respond.
First of all, I think the tragedy of the Nazi Holocaust and Germany’s attempted destruction of not only German Jews but of European Jewry altogether was a dark moment in human history. Of course, there have been other genocides, some worse in number and proportion than Germany’s genocide of the Jews. My chief problem with evaluating historically the 1948 establishment of Israel at the expense of the indigenous Palestian people is that one sees one injustice (Nazi genocide of Jews) fueling another injustice (the dispossession and displacement of Palestinians) The factual record on this is quite clear. And if you read on these issues deeply, I mean books not articles, you will see that the historical interpretation of what happened to the Palestinians in ’48 and ’67 specifically has been transformed from a rosy, romantic pro-Zionist perspective to the one today that basically regards the Palestinians as having been ethnically-cleansed so that the Zionist goals could be achieved. There was a time when this version was attacked, (read Beyond Chutzpah and Image versus Reality on the I-P Conflict) but now it is not so much questioned, not by serious scholars at least.
So if I don’t think one injustice should fuel another, I cannot have an existential problem with Israel. I accept Israel as a state, and even though its history is about as illegiimate as a nation’s history can be, I do not support calls for its destruction.
However, I think that Israel should be held accountable to the same UN measures and same standards of international law as every other member nation of the UN. Currently they are not. Israel has been historically the most egregious violator of UN resolutions, and gets away with it habitually because of US veto power in the security council. There is a reason Israel has been permanently banned from ever sitting on the security council, and that’s because of its history on non-compliance with UN resolutions and its behavior in general, and not due to some grand anti-semitic conspiracy that some Israel apologists claim.
Hopefully that clears up one of your comments.
Secondly, regarding Hamas first :
Hamas was engaged in a cease-fire before its rise to power by way of internationally-monitored elections.
For 17 months, both before and after its election victories, Hamas did not order any attacks on Israel, civilian or military targets. Hamas did abide by this cease-fire even when Israel continued to punish the Gaza militarily. Hamas broke its cease-fire only after repeated attacks by the IDF inside of the Gaza, culminating in an Israeli shell killing an entire Palestinian family on a Gaza beach. What was Israel’s justification for its continual punishment of Gaza? Israel argued that thousands of Qassam rockets were flying into Israel. Let’s look at the facts for a very specific period :
In a debate on Democracy Now Norman Finkelstein had with a rep of AIPAC, some numbers were discussed. From September 05 – March 06 (approx) , Israel fired between 7,000 – 9,000 heavy artillery shells into the Gaza, like the one that killed an entire Palestinian family having a picnic on a beach. In this time period, more than 80 Palestinians were killed. The time frame was a little over 6 months. Let’s look at the other numbers : In the previous 5 years, about 1,000 Qassam rockets were launched into Israel by Palestinian militias. Exactly 8 Israelis were killed by these instruments in a 5-year span, not 6 months. The numbers do not lie, and are reported by mainstream human rights groups like Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, B’tSelem, etc.
Where is Israeli accountability in all of this? There is a huge disparity in number of projectiles fired and huge disparities in deaths and casualties, and yet the US gov and press is quick to lend moral support to Israel because it is fighting “terrorists” . The question is thus begged “who is the terrorist” ?
Secondly, US Congress did away with Palestinian aid after the Hamas victory, so the US does not support Palestinians with aid.
Hamas does not refuse to recognize Israel ; get it right ; Hamas refuses to recognize Israel WHILE IT ILLEGALLY OCCUPIES THE WEST BANK , EAST JERUSALEM, AND FORMERLY THE GAZA STRIP, which is the really crucial qualification that reverberates from UN 242, a resolution Israel has defied for 39 years !!!!!!!!!!
A little difference between your statement and their actual stance ….
Hamas has never targeted Americans, and even though Hamas pops up as a “terrorist” group by our state department, please realize that in the international community the CIA is regarded as the biggest terrorist group of all time, and if you would like to discuss some of the CIA’s many contraventions of international law, so be it.
On to Hezbollah :
Hezbollah only exists because of Israel’s illegal invasion and occupation of Lebanon. Their inclusion as a terrorist group I do not dispute at all, because they did bomb the marine barracks in Beirut killing 234 or so US Marines.
But as a resistance group they certainly have the right to defend their interests in south Lebanon.
Now in terms of a big picture, pro-Israel think-tanks in Washington DC and AIPAC and Neo-Cons in general are trying to get the US to fight a wider war against not only terrorist groups targeting the US but also those targeting Israel, which I have huge fundamental issues with.
Many people have huge issues with this scenario.
Sadly, Israel would have its peace if it would release the Golan Heights to Syria, would abandon its colonization of the West Bank, would tear down their ILLEGAL apartheid fence, 85% of which is inside the West Bank, would abolish torture of Palestinians, would stop extra-judicial assassinations, would stop destroying Palestinian infrastructure in the Gaza, would abandon Sheba Farms in Lebanon, would stop killing Palestinians in huge disproportion, and somehow make amends for the death and destruction and mayhem created by their actions , which was their choice endorsed by the US, in Lebanon. 700 dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, infrastructure destroyed, and all for 2 Israeli soldiers, captured by Hezbollah inside Lebanese territory. That is, of course, if you believe that vast propaganda that masquerades as news or scholarship concerning Israel and its immoral behavior.
These things Israel could do if it really wanted peace, but it doesn’t and it won’t until the US starts to question its unconditional support of that bellicose state. The hope of balancing the same foreign policy mentioned in my blog by Gov Keane, which was effectivley written out of history, is something the American people need to address, and until they do and until they hold our corrupt leaders accountable for this disastrous foreign policy, they will remain American Sheople.