Sunday, May 6, 2007

Nor Does the US Government Want Peace

Today is Day 14,267 of the Maintenance of the Immoral (and Illegal) West Bank Settlements and almost the 40th anniversary of the start of the immoral (and illegal) occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God
In a previous post I included an article from Haaretz entitled "Israel Doesn't Want Peace" in which the author says "But, time and time again, Israel avoids the most basic prerequisite for any just peace - an end to the occupation."

Some of you may have read the previous 5 posts describing in detail the policies of the government of Israel that lead to the demolition of houses of Palestinians.

What astounds me is that while this is just one of the many ways in which the government of Israel treats in an inhumane way the Palestinians in the occupied territories, the government of the United States, now that it is, for the first time in six years, trying to bring “peace to the area” proposes something like it did recently, that the Palestinians must do this and that and the obligation of the government of Israel is limited to easing some travel restrictions. No wonder the United States has no credibility. How absurd and ridiculous it is to propose this!! While maintaining the occupation, the government of Israel is demolishing houses, uprooting olive trees, building settlements, allowing assaults and property destruction by “deluded” Jewish Israel squatters, developing a discriminatory road regine with humiliating road closures and check-points, routinely carrying out assassinations of “suspected criminals” rather than arresting and trying them, denying access to medical care and allocating water and other resources unfairly.

And the United States proposal is “If the Palestinians will stop being violent, the government of Israel may ease travel restrictions.”. The government of the United States would like to have criticized the Palestinians’ representatives for rejecting what they might have called a “generous offer” except that, according to the Boston Sunday Globe, May 6, 2007 “The Israeli government, beset by an internal crisis, had already poured cold water on Washington's plan for steps that included Palestinian forces cracking down on rocket attacks and Israel easing travel restrictions.”

The reason that the United States is not seen as an “honest broker” is because it isn’t.

Here is an excerpt from a well thought out RSVP by Stephanie Schamess to an invitation to attend an Israel Bonds event:

“I know many Israelis have been killed by suicide bombers. I know there are many in the Arab world who would like to see Israel cease to exist. I also know there are continual raids by the IDF into Palestinian homes, where fathers, brothers, sons are seized and imprisoned in Israeli prisons. I know too that there are targeted assassinations of presumed Palestinian “militants” occurring much more often than we hear about in the US papers. The occupation has created a cycle of retaliation and revenge that has gone on for 40 years now. But in this situation it is the Israelis who have the power. It is the Israelis who can move toward a political, not a military, response and eventual solution. It is the Israelis who can stop building settlements, who can make a different set of “facts on the ground” which might lead to a just and fair solution. I am not interested in a “peace” which is only a euphemism for “quiet”, for keeping the Palestinian rockets at bay, for keeping the suicide bombers out of Israel, for maintaining a veneer of false calm that enables Israelis to get on with their daily lives while the Palestinians continue to suffer economic hardships, daily humiliations, and erosion of their human rights. That kind of “peace” is not a just or fair solution.”

With arrogance, the Israel government persists in making life less secure for Israelis and escalates the violence and increases human suffering primarily for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. What has been the effect on Israelis? David Grossman, speaking at the memorial for Yithak Rabin in Tel Aviv on November 4, 2006, said “(I)n an amazingly short time, Israel has degenerated into heartlessness, real cruelty towards the weak, the poor, and the suffering. Israel displays indifference to the hungry, the elderly, the sick, and the handicapped, equanimity in the face of, for example, trafficking in women, or the exploitation of foreign workers in conditions of slave labor; and in the face of profound, institutionalized racism toward its Arab minority. When all this happens as if it were perfectly natural, without outrage and without protest, I begin to fear that even if peace comes tomorrow, even if we eventually return to some sort of normality, it may be too late to heal us completely” He went on to suggest that the Israeli government in thinking about the Palestinians “Look at them, just once, not through a rifle’s sights and not through a road block. You will see a people no less tortured than we are. A conquered, persecuted, hopeless people.”

The Israeli government looks for a military approach as a solution and the approach to make the country secure. How tragic that President Bush has adopted the Israeli Government approach with certainty that “we are good” and made it a major principle in his foreign policy. He does not consider those he opposes as simply “the other”. Iraq, North Korea and Iran became “evil”. Gen Richard Dannatt the head of the United Kingdom Army recently suggested that the occupation in Iraq only exacerbates the situation and that it was time to leave. Compare that to what can happen after a 38 year oppressive occupation.

Yitzah Frankenthan, founder of the Parents Circle - Families Forum, a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis, on July 27, 2002, said "My beloved son Arik, my own flesh and blood, was murdered by Palestinians. The Palestinians … have been ready to make peace with us; it is we who are unwilling to make peace with them .. as an occupation force it is we who trample over human dignity, it is we who crush the liberty of Palestinians and it is we who push an entire nation to crazy acts of despair. Finally, I call on my brothers and sisters in the settlements – see what we have come to."

In the same way we should call upon the government of Israel and the government of the United States - See what we have come to.

End the illegal and immoral occupation and dismantle the illegal and immoral settlements!

Deutoronomy 16:20 – “Justice, justice shall you pursue that you may live and inherit the land which God gave you” and the footnote in the 1980 Hertz Edition “(T)here is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage.


Stef said...

One of the nice things about blogging is that it connects one with the community of like-minded bloggers. I'm glad to have learned of Judaism and Israel, and to find someone who writes with both passion and clarity about these crucial issues. And I'm honored to have been referenced in your post! Thanks.

Ron Fox said...

I agree, Steffi, about the importance and value of being in contact with others that share your perspective, both for support and to learn from them, to build upon one's knowledge base and to appreciate thoughtful comments such as yours in the RSVP.

If you have the names of other individual Bloggers with whom you have been in contact (Andrew knows I have had correspondence with Richard Silverstein) and would like to share some of the them with me (or would simply like to chat a little about Western Massachusetts - one of my closest friends grew up in Monterrey and Andrew knows about my connection with Everett and Mary Gendler) you can do so by e-mailing me at

Althought it is not a Blog, you might want to subscribe to the tikkuntalk yahoo group, which some of us started in 2002 when we formed a local New England Tikkun Community. You probably know the drill - send a blank e-mail to I am no longer active in Tikkun but still submit a post once in a while.

Thank you for your kind words.