Sunday, August 22, 2010

To Haim and Gershom

I am a dedicated follower of the blog South Jerusalem, the work of two Israeli writers, Haim Watzman and Gershom Gorenberg, who decry the injustices of the occupation. In a post today, Haim Watzman presented a letter he wrote to his son on the occasion of his enlistment with the Israeli army. It is a very interesting account of his family history regarding the armed forces of both Israel and the United States. You can read it for yourself.

Haim and Gershom are good men. There are many more good men and women in Israel, but I despair of their future or their ability to alter the course the country is on. Here is my comment to Haim's post.

Haim - a moving and very informative letter, as I would expect from you.

As I've mentioned, I now have a blog that is devoted to changing the relationship between Israel and America - to distance the United States from Israel. As a result of research done for the blog, I learn more detail daily on the situation in the West Bank and I am aghast that my money and my country are shielding such gross oppression.

As I become better informed, I think to myself "Haim and Gershom have to get out of there!"

I think this because I support your effort to find justice for the Palestinians in the occupied territories. I am deeply affected by the work of the many Israeli NGOs that tireless strive to make a dent in the awful enterprise that your country drives forward with a will. In fact my blog is dedicated to those NGOs

I look at their efforts and then I look at the government of your country that flouts the opinion of the entire world due to the backing of one fail-safe source of funding - my country. Your government is a rogue. Where will it stop? Would it hesitate to start a nuclear war? That a pre-emptive strike on Iran is seriously considered makes me wonder if you are led by madmen. The surest way to dedicate Iran to the outright pursuit of nuclear weapons with no excuses is to attack it to prevent it. If they want them, they will get them.

Israel has gone from the underdog to the uber-state of the region, bristling with weapons, that feels justified in acting unilaterally. There is a disturbing parallel with the behavior of the United States during the Bush II years. It frightens me to see this because I wonder about the influences of your country on mine.

The result of the Bush policies were rapidly pushing the U.S. into the solitude that Israel has achieved.

I have found American Jews who repudiate what Israel is doing, who deny that Israel is the voice of Jewry worldwide, who resent being lumped with a militarist state bent on riding roughshod over another indigenous people.

These Jews, along with many other Americans are outraged at "standing with" a country that repudiates the liberty and justice that America is supposed to stand for, our sorry history of hypocrisy notwithstanding.

I don't see the Netanyahu supporters, the settlement supporters being restrained. This will only add to the hatred from without. There is no going back to act in a more just manner, nor will the Palestinians disappear.

Just what does Israel stand for, not in 1948 but today? Any sympathy has been lost as we see demolition, military justice, denial of property rights, even of drinking water to people who have every right to say they are native to the land. People object to what they see happening in a country of 7 million yet that country bulls on regardless, acting as if it were the superpower that protects it. Talk about power corrupting? We have the people who have done so much for the dignity of humanity through the ages now dressed in fatigues, loudly and menacingly speaking of the will of God, and bulldozing the helpless off their land. This is the dream of Zion?

I see no reason to hope for the success of the good guys in Israel such as yourself, such as those with B'Tselem, HaMoked, such as Jeff Halper. Your leaders strut with the arrogance of any ruler of ancient Rome and will march you to disaster without hesitation - with the IDF as the instrument to do so, exactly as our previous administration almost gleefully jumped into the abyss of Iraq and Afghanistan - where so many thousands of lives were and are being blown away.

I don't want to see you go down in flames or be sitting in the new South Africa. How you can see a future there in keeping with what you hold dear escapes me.


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