The Gordian Knot was too great a tangle for Alexander of Macedonia to untie; he simply took out his sword and sliced through it. This is a parable for the complex situation in the Middle East.
Do not try to untangle the intertwined ropes of invasion, occupation, attempts to justify each, and the constant atrocities and vengeance. We, who live at a distance, may “slice” through this convoluted hate.
This most recent Israeli bombing and invasion has thus far killed over fifty children, maimed over 600 of over 300 Palestinian deaths (mostly civilian). There is no justification for knowingly bombing children; none; not ever. No country should ever in anyway support or condone this behavior; it is contrary to the Geneva Convention and every moral teaching. The UN reported"...U.N. announced that 57,900 children would need psychological support after experiencing death, injury or being forced from their homes. The number of people who needed shelter had swelled to 94,400."
Looking objectively at this “knot,” the three strands cinching it most tightly are:
• The “stop/go” thinking of people who cannot speak out against these brutalities for fear of being perceived as prejudiced. Inhumanity is not okay, ever, by anyone, under any circumstances; neither by friend nor foe.
• The astronomical profit to international, interlinked arms ($1739 billion in 2013 alone) and related military industries made not only in the consumption and use of the goods, but also the constant fear from this war and “terrorism” increasing sells.
• The interlinked world of fossil fuel driven industries and interests. The map showing the loss of land by the Palestinians since 1945 looks like the map of Native Americans land taken by the Europeans. Looking at this map, and the map of Palestinian oil and gas both off shore and on land, I believe, the Israeli Government will not stop until they have decimated the Palestinians and completely occupied their land and resources.
The sanctioning of state violence against children and their parents cannot do anything but terrorize our own children and add to their growing sense of danger of being unprotected by the adults around them (consider the rising gun violence in our country in schools and other public places). We are all suffering traumatic stress from this ongoing and increasing violence and inhumanity. Additionally, constant images of killing, and those who celebrate these acts, desensitize many and teach that the solution to problems lies in violence, killing, and threats.
David Harris-Gershon, an American who is Jewish wrote this week:
“As an adult, I’ve learned about the cleansing of Arab villages which took place from 1947-1949 to make way for the Jewish state. I’ve learned about the ongoing settlement enterprise, the appropriation and bifurcation of Palestinian lands. I’ve learned the horrors of Israel’s decades-old occupation of the West Bank, about the suppression of basic human rights and the atrocities committed…
After the funeral for the three slain Israeli teens on July 1, angry mobs of hundreds began roaming the streets of Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs,” attacking Palestinians and promising blood by nightfall…Chemi Shalev of Haaretz, witnessing the genocidal chants from Israelis and reading reports of Israeli police saving Palestinian citizens from the mobs, wrote the following:
Make no mistake: the gangs of Jewish ruffians man-hunting for Arabs are no aberration. Theirs was not a one-time outpouring of uncontrollable rage following the discovery of the bodies of the three kidnapped students. Their inflamed hatred does not exist in a vacuum: it is an ongoing presence, growing by the day, encompassing ever larger segments of Israeli society, nurtured in a public environment of resentment, insularity and victimhood, fostered and fed by politicians and pundits.
By nightfall, with the ink of Shalev’s pen barely dried, horrific news came that a Palestinian teen from East Jerusalem had been abducted and killed by Israeli settlers in an act of revenge, with reports revealing the unspeakable: he was likely burned alive.”
I am asking you, as my Congressional representative, to join or begin a movement with other nations to stop the terror of our world by pulling the funding out of military support for any “side.”
The United Sates should not spend billions in the slaughter of innocents. The United States should sit at the table in the United Nations and join in the true and genuine support of peace, not bark demands of other nations as though they were ours to order about.
Further, Rabbi Michael Lerner states that “Israel must end the invasion, stop its bombing of Gaza, free the Palestinians it has arrested in the past years, and abandon its insane policy of seeking security through domination…Instead, Israel needs a generosity strategy, not only agreeing to a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the release of all Occupation-related prisoners, getting the US and its Western allies to provide a massive reparation fund to support the new Palestinian state till it achieves economic and political parity with Israel, share Jerusalem as the capital of both an Israeli and Palestinian state, an end to teaching hatred and racism in its schools and media in exchange for Palestine doing the same…”
I am eager to learn what actions you take for peace now in Israel, Palestine, and all nations.
The author of this piece is Bellingham teacher and local Occupy activist Carol Follett. She is also an Associate Member of the CPL Jonathan Santos Memorial Veterans For Peace Chapter 111. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with sister, Thelma, and mother, Pearl, also long-time peace and justice activists.