Dec 12, 2006

Washing the blood from our hands

The solution to the violence in Israel/Palestine is so glaringly obvious and yet fear blinds the Israeli people. Some of them, anyway. What will it take for Israel to waken from its violence-glutted stupor? Will they, like the Koresh followers, end up creating their own armageddon by refusing to come to grips with reality? Will their continual acts of violence eventually lead Americans to give up on aiding them?

This is a new America. One that is in the process of waking to the blood on our OWN hands. It does not wash easily, but it is a task that must be done in 0rder to salvage our future. History is clear on this fact. An empire who rules by force alone eventually falls as a direct result of that abuse. A nation that can achieve peace lasts far longer. Americans, even the most simple of the pro-war crowd, are beginning to comprehend what our military might and our use of military power has "achieved" this past four years. Nothing.

We also watched Israel's failed excursion into Lebanon, lobbing stones through beehives. Some Israeli hardliners say the IDF didn't drop enough bombs, they didn't kill enough civilians to drive home "the point". It is these people who fail to see the real point. You cannot kill enough to achieve peace. Every child Israel kills is a blow to its own peace. Every innocent who dies from an IDF missle is another blackmark against them. No longer are they "defending" their country. And more and more of the world's community understand this. More and more Americans, fresh on the heels of our own "Peace by force" experiment- know how guilty we are for not doing more to stop our government's actions.

We strive in the ways that we each feel may be the most effective. Jewish peace activists wage their own battles, by voicing their concerns and speaking out against the self-destructive policies that the violently-inclined Israel government promotes. On Alternet today, Orit Weksler writes of her own tribulations, as she watches the government of her homeland commit atrocities that ultimately, only the people of Israel can stop...

War Crimes: How Israeli Soldiers Kill and Civilians Grow Numb


Then the war started. The way I saw it Israel was showering Lebanon with bombs, spraying it with artillery. My friend J said Hezbollah had too much ammunition. We had to destroy it sooner or later, this is as good a time as any, he said. Fine, I argued, I could see the need to destroy weapons that are aimed at civilian targets inside Israel, but why bomb Beirut? Why bomb civilians? Everyone does that, said J, the trick is to kill them three by three, not in big numbers. That way the world doesn't even notice. Israel's summer adventures in Lebanon left the region with more grief, vengeance and hate.


I know he thinks his service in the Israeli Intelligence saved lives. Perhaps it did. Still I think nothing can justify civilian killings- neither mass killings nor killings that are done one by one. For those families it really doesn't matter if their children were all killed on the same day or during a course of a whole month. Those of us who are lucky not to be living in fear, those of us who know this kind of life is possible, are obligated to stand up against war crimes that are committed in the name of fear and in abuse of peoples inability to see their neighbors' pain.

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