Wednesday, November 22, 2006
How Can We Allow This to Go On?
A Courageous Piece
By KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
"How can we Americans ignore this? How can we bear it? How can we bear to continue paying for Israel's atrocities? How can we possibly allow this inhumanity to be perpetrated in our name without crying out in horror, without bringing down our own government that sits by doling out the money and the weapons to keep this horror going, without severing altogether any ties with Israel's Nazi government? The horrors are unspeakable; I'm not making this up. Nor is Levy.
How can we possibly allow this to go on, blithely ignoring it, blithely affirming Israel's "right to defend itself," ignoring the absence of any actual threat to Israel, blithely assuming that it is right and proper to murder, starve, imprison, deny medical treatment, deny water to an entire people simply because they are not Jews and are resisting Israel's domination?
How can we allow this to go on? C-SPAN is asking this week for one-minute video-taped statements, which it will begin airing on Thanksgiving, answering the question "what does being an American mean to you?" I have no video camera and no intention of submitting a tape, but the invitation got me thinking. Does being an American mean that I must sit back and quietly allow my government to starve the entire Palestinian people, in the name of some kind of dedication to a flag and a bill of rights that applies only to white people? Does it mean that I must approve, or even merely accept, the subhuman behavior of my government's closest ally, Israel?
Or does being an American mean that I must do something -- at least speak out, scream out -- to stop the bleeding inflicted on innocents by America and Israel? And does not being an American mean that I must challenge my fellow Americans to speak out as well? Here is the challenge: any Jew anywhere who allows Israel to commit these acts and pursue these policies in the name of all Jews -- for Israel does claim to act in the name of Jews everywhere -- without speaking out against Israel, without screaming protests, must be ashamed. Any American who allows the United States to support Israel -- to support it militarily with infusions of arms in the billions of dollars every year and to sustain it morally and psychologically -- without loud protest should be ashamed. The time has come to stand up and be counted as Americans truly interested in justice and human rights and humanity.
Can we not match Gideon Levy's courage in speaking the truth? Palestine is the conscience of us all."