No More Murder in Israel & Palestine – #CeaseFireNow #EndTheMoneyFlowNow

Hypocrisy, incongruity and tragedy are exploding in Gaza.

The October 7 attacks on innocent Israelis by Hamas were despicable, inhumane, tragic.

Anti-oppression editorial cartoon (artist unidentified)
Editorial cartoon circulating on social media. Caption: “The irony of becoming what you once hated…”

The bombing of innocent Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza by the Israeli government has been, and continues to be, despicable, inhumane and tragic. It’s unlikely the ground invasion that’s now begun will be much less so.

The actions are also hypocritical.

Here’s a government that represents people who somehow survived vicious oppression and racial/religious genocide only to viciously oppress and attempt to wipe out a different people for racial/religious reasons later.

Please hold the accusations of antisemitism. Supporting innocents in Israel and denouncing the Israeli government for its actions in Gaza and the West Bank are not exclusive ideas or positions. Doing so does not make one an antisemite.

Editorial cartoon (artist unknown) featuring a quote from Leonardo da Vinci about oppression and silence

It does not matter if a person is Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other formal religion. Innocents are innocents, wherever they might be, whatever religion they might adhere to or whatever they might believe.

Meanwhile, the USA’s financial support of the Israeli government for “…air and missile defense, military financing and embassy support” is despicable, inhumane and tragic, as well.

It’s incongruent, too.

Editorial cartoon by Rob Rogers
by Rob Rogers

Even as the USA condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a much stronger, better equipped neighbor, it’s paying for the invasion of Gaza by Israel, a much stronger, better equipped neighbor.

In this unfolding tragedy, we need to do some things much differently.

What Constitutes “Defense”?

Israel absolutely and unequivocally has a right to defend itself.

Meme: Make Humanity your Religion re: Gaza, Israel & religion

However, the Israeli government currently defines bombardment of innocents and its ground incursion into Gaza as “defense.”

Starving noncombatants, pushing them ever closer to terminal dehydration and denying medicine they need to care for wounded civilians – how can anyone in good conscience categorize those actions as defense?

The assertion that killing innocent people is part of a solution to anything is vile. Financially supporting nations or organizations that are doing it is not justifiable.

And yet…

U.S. President Joe Biden has asked Congress for $14.3 billion for Israel “…for air and missile defense, military financing and embassy support.” At the same time, he asked for a mere $100 million for humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. He’s since urged a “continuous flow” of humanitarian aid to Gaza, but it’s not clear what that actually means.

Quote from Spanish poet Federico García Lorca applied to Gaza

The absurdity is striking.

Nicholas Kristof, writing in The New York Times, put it best, I think:

“What are we to make of the Biden administration’s call for an additional $14 billion in assistance for Israel and simultaneous call for humanitarian aid for Gazans? … Is the idea that we will help pay for humanitarians to mop up the blood caused in part by our weapons?”

The Middle East Is Complex.
The Obscenity Now Unfolding in Gaza Is Not.

The hypocrisy, incongruity and tragedy are not new, either.

For decades, the Israeli government has exerted control over the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank by establishing what can only be described as apartheid. During the same time period, the USA has provided funding that has, if not directly then at least indirectly, enabled those efforts. We’re talking billions of dollars every single year for decades.

James Schneider appearing on TV news in London
Schneider is a former Labour Party adviser & current communications director at Progressive International. He also founded Momentum, a social-movement support & training organization.

The realization that my tax dollars have been enabling the persecution of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, the illegal occupation of the West Bank by Israeli “settlers” as part of a strategy to annex Palestinian lands, and now the bombing of innocent civilians in Gaza has made me furious with myself; I should have been paying closer attention long before now.

Those were your tax dollars, too.

And now our tax dollars are morphing into bombs and artillery shells destined to drop on innocent men, women and children in Gaza.

Before you cry naïveté, the following context is understood:

  • The situation in that part of the world is incredibly complex. It has been for centuries, and perhaps especially since the end of World War II.
  • Jewish people have been unethically and unlawfully persecuted around the world for millennia.
  • It’s understandable that the government of Israel would want to stomp on Hamas. It’s a natural and entirely justifiable reaction to the terrorist attacks of October 7.
  • There are sound reasons for the USA to be working so hard to retain its sway with Israel, which is its only solid foothold in the Middle East.
  • American citizens suffer from an enduring guilt complex related to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s refusal to accept Jewish refugees from Europe during WWII. The blood of thousands and thousands who died there are on Uncle Sam’s hands. Meaning it’s on our hands. And that’s one of the reasons U.S. politicians are gun-shy when it comes to voicing anything but total support for Israel, and why so many Americans accept it without question.
  • It’s politically safe to disregard the human rights of Palestinians – the economic have-nots have no political power, either.

And yet…

Amnesty International notes, “As Israeli forces continue to intensify their cataclysmic assault on the occupied Gaza Strip, Amnesty International has documented unlawful Israeli attacks, including indiscriminate attacks, which caused mass civilian casualties and must be investigated as war crimes.”

Does the USA really want to be a funder of war crimes?

Wouldn’t that make the USA a war criminal, too?

Logic dictates as much. And that’s why, in this unfolding tragedy, the U.S. government needs to do some things much differently.

The USA needs to:

  • Call for an immediate cease-fire.
  • Intervene to stop the Israeli government’s bombing campaign and ground attack in Gaza, and further incursions by Israelis into the West Bank.
  • Redirect funds destined for Israeli armaments to humanitarian aid for both Israelis and Palestinians impacted by recent violent events.
  • Ensure Israel removes its so-called “settlers” from the West Bank.
  • Reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to create a two-state solution, if that’s even possible any longer, or some other solution.
  • Restart talks with Arab nations for normalization of relations with Israel.
  • Continue to work with Israel, other regional allies and nations with an interest in dealing with Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations and militant groups.

Easier said than done. Sure.

Yet it bears repeating…

Killing innocent men, women and children solves nothing.

Let’s make humanity our religion. And our politics.

#CeaseFireNow #EndTheMoneyFlowNow

Featured image: Two boys were pulled out of the rubble after Israeli warplanes targeted Yarmouk Square in Jalaa Street, Gaza City on October 25, 2023. They cried out, ‘Thank you civil defence. We love you.’ [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]. View source here.

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b.f. · November 20, 2023 at 10:22 am

Well, of course i agree, since the billions we sent was used by Israel to start a war by attacking HAMAS.
Oh, wait… that isn’t a root cause, is it?
HAMAS attacked Israel.
From the area the Palestine people live in. The people that HAMAS isn’t helping. Zero. Zip.
So, the solution is taking away the possibility of Israel to defend themselves? We can’t allow self-defense.
How about the Arab people clean up their own house and stop funding terrorism? Use that money to help the Palestinians?
It won’t matter long if focus isn’t turned to the Climate. The whole area will become unlivable. And the bombs and military machine fuel is accelerating that with each day that passes.
Israel didn’t attack first.
Root causes.
Problems are solved by addressing root causes.
Nothing else works.

b.f. · October 28, 2023 at 4:32 pm

Who’s funding the bombs and ammo that HAMAS attacked Israel with?
Why isn’t that money being used to help the noncombatant Palestinian people?
To stop hostility, focus on root causes. Nothing else can work.

    Martin C. Fredricks IV · October 29, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Yes, of course. I agree. So, yes, we need to stop the billions the USA continues to send to Israel. Wouldn’t you agree?

Let me know what you think!