Friday, July 16, 2010

The author of this blog

I am a 61 year old American male who, as a teenager, cheered on the Israelis in the 1967 war.

What changed my views on Israel? I lost my ignorance of both history and current events in the Middle East.

I decided to educate myself instead of forming my views from received wisdom. Though I knew (and know) many Jews, I did not know one Palestinian. I made it my business to discover the truth of the Palestinian situation for myself as can anyone who has access to the Internet.

There were many peculiarities about America's relationship to Israel. I had noticed that the United States position in the Middle East was one-sided. The uniform portrayal of the Palestinians as terrorists and madmen made me suspicious, because uniform descriptions of a people are a sure sign of bigotry as I knew from the bad old days of race relations in the United States. There was never any debate about Israel in Congress, nor even a hint of a question about anything Israel did, despite billions of dollars and weapons flowing there regularly.

I kept hearing about Israel's right to defend itself, when it was obvious that the country was a regional superpower able to dictate to its neighbors and strike them whenever and wherever it wanted. I wondered how the Palestinians could continue to oppose Israel decade after decade if there were no case to be made for them.

I noticed that there was criticism of Israel everywhere else, especially in Israel, but not in the United States. I noticed that American-made weapons were being used on Palestinians and that Palestinian civilian casualties consisting of men, women and children were several times that of Israel's armed forces, yet this was never questioned.

Americans I talked with knew nothing about the situation beyond Israel = good, all others = bad. This did not make sense and was not in accord with any other situation I knew about anywhere in the world. I noticed that Israel was a fairly rich country whose citizens lived very well while Palestinians were very poor and lived in squalor by comparison - yet Israel was considered the underdog under constant threat of annihilation.

I realized that "the underdog" had either taken or was taking all the land away from people who were largely defenseless. Despite excited cries of another Holocaust, it became clear that it was the countries surrounding Israel that had taken the overwhelming number of casualties since Israel came into existence in 1948. Not just for the Palestinians but for the area as a whole, the coming of Israel had truly been a catastrophe, for which the Arabic word is nakba. I knew that home-made rockets were fired into Israel and this seemed a strange source of outrage when no outrage was expressed over 43 years of land appropriation and attacks with F16's, helicopter gunships and a modern army and navy. With no Palestinian defense against any of this high-tech weaponry and virtually continuous surveillance by drone, it was clearly a turkey-shoot at any time and place of Israel's choosing.

In short - too many things made no sense, in fact seemed upside-down. I have learned quite a bit in my reading and this website is to be a source for other Americans to learn for themselves and act accordingly to change the shameful behavior of the United States in regard to the Palestinians. There will be no rants here. There will be lots of links to excellent sources of information. Click and see for yourself what the evidence shows then take action.

I am ashamed to say an entire people have been suffering for decades while I lived comfortably and in ignorance with my tax money aiding their oppression.

1 comment:

  1. Found you! Nice blog. I hope you'll visit mine. I blog mainly on gender stereotypes (against); separation of church and state (for); and the occupation (against).