The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Part 3
Why It's Time To Give the United Nations The Position and Power It Deserves
The U.S. is largely responsible for enabling Israel, particularly during the Reagan and Bush Administrations. But the U.S. has created a greedy, arrogant bully in the State of Israel with all the financial and military support of the Israeli government since 1948, pouring in billions of dollars a year so Israel could create and maintain superior military power and abuse it horribly in a myriad of ways. That has been and still is the problem, and it’s only grown worse, to the point where now the Israeli government is thumbing its nose at the whole world, doing whatever it pleases. And it will be a problem until the people of the world finally say, "Enough!"
Unfortunately, President Obama has bowed to the Zionist lobby and he has broken his word about supporting a Palestinian state. So all Americans should realize that unconditional support for Israel from America has enabled Israel’s iniquity, and it has encouraged Israel’s leadership to be blatantly arrogant and defiant in the face of world opinion.
Obama should say this: We will support Israel’s right to defend itself appropriately. However, the U.S. should not support any more inappropriate and disproportionate retaliation from Israel against the Palestinians, nor will we excuse any more illegal settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, or any more military incursions or bombardments of Palestinian territories. They are unacceptable and inexcusable, as were their previous incursions and bombardments of Lebanon. The support and financial aid from U.S. Government to Israel will be curtailed unless Israel abides by International Law.
Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen. Granted, Obama has criticize Israel's continued settlement of Palestinian areas and Israel’s refusal to hold meaningful peace talks. But he has failed to cite all of Israel’s offenses or act with firm action or resolve. Consequently, Israel concluded it could continue doing as it wished.
Consequently, Israel attacked a flotilla of ships where they killed some of the people trying to deliver humanitarian medical supplies to Gaza. Israel claimed "self-defense" and said it was the "enforcement of a blockade." But, Israel illegally attacked a ship in International waters, rather than having the cargo inspected as it was unloaded in Gaza. The Israeli attack on ships in international waters was, according to treaty, an attack on a NATO state, and in September 2010 the U.N. issued a report concluding that the Israeli military actions "cannot be justified or condoned on security or any others grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law."
Unfortunately, Israel has gotten away with it many times. Israel even committed an act of war on the U.S. in 1967. The USS Liberty, which was also in international waters and flying the flag of the U.S.A., was attacked by the Israeli air force and navy. The attack lasted an hour and a half, and it killed 34 Americans and wounded 173. And, as then Undersecretary of State, George Ball said of the attack: "If America's leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens it seemed clear that their American friends would let them get away with almost anything." And that is still the case.
President Obama probably refuses to say so because he fears the clout of the Israeli-American lobbies whose sole mission is to further the cause of Zionism and keep the financial and military assistance flowing from the U.S. to Israel.
Granted, Obama was right when he said that Israel should return to its 1967 borders to make amends and establish peace. Unfortunately, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that a return to those borders was "impossible" because the region had seen "demographic changes," and the 1967 borders would be "indefensible." And Obama caved in. But, what is indefensible is Israel’s stubborn refusal to be reasonable and fair.
American lobby groups blindly supporting Israel make things worse by enabling Israel. One of the latest is called "Z Street," which means "The Road to Zion." It was founded to counter and fight more moderate Jewish organizations, like Americans for Peace Now, progressive Jewish publications, and J Street, a moderate Jewish American peace advocacy group. Z Street founders accuse J Street of "treason" because J Street was founded to promote diplomacy, peace and security.
There are many other right-wing extremist Zionist groups, including the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA); the pro-Israeli front group Stand With Us; the American Israel Education Foundation; The Israel Project (TIP); The American Jewish Committee (AJC); and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). However; the vast majority of pro-Israel Lobbyist groups and Political Action Committees (PACs) have misleading or non-descriptive names. And apparently there are a large network of other PACs, most of them originally established in the early 1980s in their home cities by members of AIPAC’s board of directors.
That is somewhat curious, since a significantly large number of Jewish people in the West and even in Israel are not Zionists, but in fact oppose Zionism. The number of liberal progressive Jews in America far outnumber the number of right-wing Zionists.
Furthermore, many Zionists are not even Jewish, and many are secularists. Many are members of what I call the U.S. Religious Military Industrial Complex — leaders of the Christian Right, businessmen, oil company executives, bankers, financiers, and speculators. It leads one to wonder if Zionism is about more than just a "Jewish Homeland."
Even the Jewish Anti-Defamation League has become radicalized by the right-wing rhetoric. It now belies its mission, which is supposed to be "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all." It claims to be "the premier civil rights/human relations agency," and it claims to fight "all forms of bigotry." But, in fact, over the last 50 years it has become more and more bigoted, and it ignores the civil rights of Arabs. It goes along with the idea of Jewish Israeli supremacy over Arabs, and it condones Israel’s abuse of military power, military occupation, and enforced apartheid.
Some might find all that merely ironic, but it’s not. What’s ironic is that the American "Christian" Right blindly supports the Israeli government too, in spite of Israel’s record of religious bigotry even against Christians who happen to be Arabs or Palestinians.
Since 1948 the population of Christians in the Mid-East has been shrinking, and many Arab Christians there are persecuted. For instance, there is a Palestinian Christian organization called Sabeel, founded by a refugee dislocated in 1948 by Israelis. Still, Sabeel promotes a theology of liberation based on justice, peace, non-violence and reconciliation with all people, regardless of their religion or nationality. But Sabeel is persecuted by the Israeli government’s "defense" forces because most of Sabeel’s members are Palestinian Christians and not Christians from America or Europe.
Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarseh, a retired physician and a Christian, has said: "When the [Israeli] occupation is ended there will be peace. If the world boycotted Israel for six months they would comply with the UN Resolutions, which is all we want! There is state terrorism and Israel must be forced to recognize our right to exist." ... "Israel is a state built on religious beliefs. The US and EU and all the free world are against theocracies. But Israel has the right to do anything! The world needs to wake up!" ... "If there is no peace in the Holy Land there can be no peace anywhere."
We all need to realize that the Palestinians and Arab Christians deserve to have their grievances redressed, and the U.N. needs to step in to stop the madness and violence, and establish justice. The people of the world need to ensure that Israel makes amends and provides adequate compensation to the Palestinians who have had so much taken away from them.
Unfortunately, the U.S. is still part of the problem. Passed in May 2012, U.S. House Bill 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act, calls for the United States to significantly increase provision of sophisticated weaponry to Israel to “help Israel preserve its qualitative military edge” in the region. It provides $1 Billion for Israel to upgrade its missile defenses, and that’s in addition to the $3 Billion Israel already receives per year along with numerous defense co-production programs that it benefits from.
An Outrageous Zionist Statement
A recent outrage came in an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, written by five right-wing Israeli Zionist rabbis who warned that the "wrath of God" would befall all those oppose Israel’s actions and goals.
The rabbis condemned any peace agreement that would establish a Palestinian state on the West Bank. They also rejected the establishment of an Arab capital in Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority (PA), now chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, and they rejected Kerry’s proposal to have Israel withdraw to the 1949 Armistice lines.
The five rabbis --- Gedalya Axelrod, emeritus head of Haifa Rabbinic Court; Yisrael Ariel, chairman of the Temple Institute; Ben Tziyon Grossman, a rabbi in Migdal Haemek; Shalom Dov Wolpo, dean of the Institute for Complete Code of Maimonides; and Yigal Pizam, head of the Yeshiva of Kiryat Shmuel --- warned that “the destructive fate that has met past enemies” of Israel would meet anyone who carried out Kerry’s plan, saying it amounts to a “declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe.”
In fact, the rabbis' letter open with this statement to Kerry:"Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe. For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time."
The rabbis also wrote: “By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements -- in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved."
Such statements reveal that these rabbis are ethnocentric, arrogant, proud, militant and malicious. And they simply ignore important truths of the Hebrew Tanakh. The rabbis conveniently forget or ignore the fact that God, according to Moses’ account of the voice of God’s word, said the nation of Israel could be “holy nation,” but only if the Jewish people obeyed the Mosaic covenant, which was conditional upon their behavior and the behavior of the nation of Israel.
The malicious rabbis are also hypocritical, conveniently forgetting or ignoring that God, according to Isaiah’s account of the voice of God’s word, said that before the new covenant is finally established (as prophesied by Jeremiah), the nation of Israel would be a rebellious and defiant people who betrayed God and "practiced the ways of war."
That is why it was written that Israel has received and will receive much punishment from God, for her “iniquities have separated her from God. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness. None call for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” (Isaiah 59:2-4)
This iniquity has increasingly gotten worse, and since Pope Francis has shown sympathy for the Palestinians, proud and militant Jewish Orthodox leaders have gotten almost rabid in their response, revealing how ignorant they are of the true message and intent of their scriptures. (Click here to read an article revealing how and why they have even gone to such extremes of advocating killing all Christians and Muslims who do not accept Judaism as the supreme religion.)
Like the radical Dominionists on the American “Christian Right,” and like the radical “Muslim Jihadists” who also betray God/Allah, the right-wing Jewish Rabbis claim that God is on their side. And they even closed their letter by quoting Isaiah 9:5 to suit their purposes, warning that those who: “conspire a plan it will be frustrated; talk the talk and it will not be fulfilled, for God is with us."
It's a typical tactic of zealots on the "religious right" to claim God is on their side. But, unwittingly, “religious” zealots like these, who claim to be authorities, are part of the problem. They betray God and humanity and yet claim to serve God, thus exposing themselves as the hypocrites and bigots that they are.
When Things Will Change
When the Israelis and the Palestinians and other Muslims and Arabs know that the people of the world through the United Nations will act to stop both sides from waging offensive war, things will change.
Things will change especially when the Palestinians know that the U.N. will stop both the overt and covert Israeli aggression and violence, establish a Palestinian State of ample size, establish land reform and property rights for Palestinians, establish social justice, and bring Israeli war criminals to justice, it will greatly reduce the conflict. It will reduce support for Hamas and Hizbollah, and the so-called "Jihadist" hatemongers and warmongers who have committed indiscriminate mass murder will lose followers.
Unless and until that happens, we will see more terrorism, and the False Jihad will keep escalating because the terrorists cannot fight the U.S. and Israeli military forces any other way. We will see more indiscriminate mass murder by terrorists, and more war crimes committed by U.S. and Israeli military forces who excuse them as "collateral damage."
As soon as the United Nations becomes actively involved, with trained troops and the best intelligence operatives from all participating nations, they will gradually become better able to identify, deal with, and bring the Israeli war criminals and the criminal terrorist guerilla leaders and their die-hard followers to justice.
As the wisest military leaders have been saying for many decades, you cannot defeat or get rid of guerilla fighters who have the support of the people. Bombing does not work. Conventional warfare does not work, because while you can destroy buildings and kill a lot of people, you cannot destroy the will of a people who crave equal rights, freedom and justice. Any peoples who are unfairly treated, displaced and oppressed, especially by occupying military forces, will always support guerilla fighters who are on their side.
Therefore, we, the rest of the people in the world, must be on their side and against the abuse of power by the government of Israel – even as we are against terrorists who commit indiscriminate mass murder. We must assert that two wrongs do not make a right, and we must stop the wrong.
The only way to resolve the conflict and deal with the problem will be with reconciliation, compromise, administration of justice, and making amends. Otherwise, the proud, militant hardline leaders on both sides will keep fighting to the death, and taking a whole lot of innocent people with them.
Listen to an Israeli Peace Activist Who Knows
Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist with inside knowledge of the Zionist cause. His grandfather was one of the Jews involved in the original Zionist movement, and his father Matti Peled was a member of one of the Jewish Militias in 1947 when the original atrocities were committed against Palestinians, and was a general during the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, and Sinai. Following that war Matti Peled resigned from the Israeli Army and became a peace activist because he was disgusted with the Israeli government’s actions.
Miko was deeply moved by his father's decision. Then in 1997, after his niece was killed by a suicide bomber, rather than seek revenge Miko sought to understand, and he has since become an effective speaker teaching the truth about the history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and delivering a scathing indictment of Zionism.
Miko has written a book titled The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. And on May 14, 2014, Miko spoke in Geneva, and here is a video of the speech he delivered: