• Ignoring the truth
    August 06,2014

    Ignoring the truth

    Pernille Ironside, a UNICEF officer in Gaza, told PBS recently: “We’re now over 1,100 (Palestinian) children who have been seriously injured, maimed and even terribly burned. The physical and psychological toll that this is having on people is — it’s truly — it’s almost indescribable. … The fact of the matter is that there is no safe place here.”

    The U.S. Senate, on the other hand, is a very safe place while children in Palestine are being killed with weaponry paid for with our tax dollars.

    It’s also a body that, where Israel is concerned, reflexively conflates acts of belligerent aggression with self-defense.

    On July 17, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders joined in the unanimous passing of Senate Resolution 498, which expressed the Senate’s unqualified support for Israel’s war against Gaza.

    There is no mention of Israel’s occupation, its settlements or its eight-year blockade of Gaza.

    Our senators should have taken counsel from Um Al Ramlawi of Gaza, who said: “They are killing us all anyway — either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose — we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”

    Do Leahy and Sanders truly not know Israel provoked this crisis by arresting hundreds of Hamas members and killing several others, shattering a cease-fire in effect since 2012?

    Shmuel Zakai, a retired Israeli brigadier general, observed in 2009, “You cannot just land blows, leave the Palestinians in Gaza in the economic distress they are in and expect Hamas just to sit around and do nothing.”

    Tragically, Leahy and Sanders are content to let Israel land blows and to cast votes in Israel’s favor that amount to an endorsement of war crimes.

    Mark Hage


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