Another Conflict Between Israel and Palestine Means More U.S. Support for War Crimes

In the United States, you are not allowed to criticize the Israeli government, and doing so will often get charges of anti-Semitism thrown in your direction. The Israeli lobby (such as American Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC) has its hands in many things, and American politicians are under constant pressure to act in accordance with that country’s best interests. Despite the annual military aid to the tune of $3.8 billion (the $38 billion deal over ten years was signed by the Obama administration) to the most powerful country in the Middle East that also spies on the United States, the Israeli government has acted poorly in its human rights record. The Palestinians living under the occupied territories of Gaza Strip and West Bank have been subjected to what many would consider martial law and disproportionate responses against the civilian population by the Israeli military, and yet, as Americans, we still have unconditional support for a state that has committed genocide. Although the Palestinians may sometimes support terrorism in the form of the military wing of Hamas, people should consider that there are few alternatives for the people living under this sort of occupation, and desperate Americans would likely take similar actions.

Hamas has recently fired hundreds, or even thousands, of rockets into Israel (many of which have been intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system) in response to Israel’s closure of a holy site during Ramadan and subsequent raid of Al Aqsa Mosque that left hundreds of Palestinians wounded and a “legal” eviction of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem (Israel often uses these types of unethical legal proceedings, which are condemned by most in the international community, to justify evicting Palestinians from their homes). The skirmishes and airstrikes during this conflict have resulted in 192 deaths and over 1,200 injuries of Gazans, 13 casualties in the West Bank, and 10 dead Israeli citizens. The mainstream media’s historical coverage of violence focuses largely on Palestinian rockets that land in rural areas and do not often result in Israeli deaths, instead of the brutal force that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) utilizes in response that leads to several times more Palestinian deaths than Israeli ones. Although Hamas’ shooting of rockets into sovereign territory of Israel should be condemned and is an act of terror, Israel should not resort to further devastating the Palestinian civilians any more than it already does.

Although the thirteen-story residential building and the twelve-story building that housed an office for The Associated Press (perhaps this was destroyed to cover up negative coverage of the atrocities that the Israeli government is committing) that were demolished as a result of intentional Israeli airstrikes (under the guise of attempting to kill terrorists, of course) got some attention and public outcry, it should not take one abhorrent series of events for Americans to realize what is really going on in Palestine. In addition to the disproportionate force, the Israeli government has been expanding settlements in the West Bank (this includes intentionally demolishing Palestinian homes to make room for Israeli settlements to be built in their place), restricting Palestinian movements through curfews and road checkpoints, and blockades against Gaza.

If only Americans put this into perspective and tried to sympathize with the Palestinians, perhaps the attitude towards unconditional assistance towards Israel would change. If China, for example, invaded parts of the United States and destroyed whole neighborhoods to make room for Chinese settlements, which would leave the Americans previously occupying the land homeless, Americans would object to such cruelty; but when Israel commits such atrocities, we turn a blind eye to it and even condemn those who criticize it. The Israeli government not only gets a free pass to treat the Palestinians like the American government of the past treated Native Americans, but it gets rewarded with bags of cash and arms deals through the military-industrial complex that can then be used to kill Palestinians.

It seems as if the United States government will continue its unconditional support of a regime that has been accused of several war crimes, and even President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have expressed that Israel has a right to defend itself, which is really code for the idea that they do not really condemn Israel’s actions or care about the Palestinians (Israel does, in fact, have a right to defend itself, but so too does Palestine). Unwavering support of Israel is bipartisan, and President Trump’s Israeli normalization deal with United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, called the Abraham Accords (which consisted of bullying Sudan into accepting the deal in exchange for funds from IMF and World Bank and ignoring the plight of Western Sahara and Palestine), and recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital without regard for the implications showed this. Some progressives in Congress, including Representatives Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have recently spoken out about Israeli atrocities, but the overall media narrative, though less friendly towards Israel than in the past, has remained largely unchanged.

Will World War III erupt from this conflict? Conditions for it are in place, such as division over support or condemnation of Israel by the world’s nations; entangling alliances, such as the United States and Europe protecting Ukraine, Taiwan, South Korea, and Israel and China and Russia working together with Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela; and changing dynamics around the world economically and politically in the world of COVID-19. There have been potential rocket concerns from neighboring Lebanon and Syria, and the UN has warned that this could escalate to all-out war. Plus, since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing the United States towards war with Iran for years (to eliminate his primary competitor for the supremacy in the region), and the latest fiasco (U.S. ships fired warning shots at Iranian boats that were claimed to have conducted unsafe maneuvers towards the vessels) could erupt into a military engagement.

However, despite Netanyahu’s assurances that the conflict will persevere until Hamas learns its lesson not to fire rockets into Israel, it is likely that this conflict will slow down, as many nations, including Iran, are calling for an end to hostilities without escalation. In the end when this conflict does come to an end, things will likely go back to normal, and the United States will continue to send military aid and weapons to Israel to commit its war against the Palestinian people (whether through acts of aggression or the expansion of settlements into the West Bank, which is something that President Trump changed in U.S. policy to no longer be considered a violation of international law). Maybe one day Americans will wake up to what is really happening there, but by then, there may not be any land left for the Palestinians to live on for their future state under the two-state solution.

Thank you for reading, and please check out my book, The Global Bully, and website.
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Published on May 16, 2021 17:52
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