Sunday, March 19, 2006

Check Your Beliefs

By Charley Reese
Palestine Chronicle

Let's play a fantasy game to check on our belief in human rights. Let's suppose that in a mythical state, a governor announced a campaign to punish African-Americans for alleged violence.

Step one is to confiscate the land owned by African-Americans, evict them from it and use the land to build massive new subdivisions. Only white Protestant Christians may live in these subdivisions.

Step two is to connect these all-white Protestant Christian settlements to each other by a highway on which African-Americans are forbidden to drive. To facilitate control, the automobile tags for African-Americans will be a different color from the tags issued to white motorists. Checkpoints would be set up all around the state capitol to search and harass African-Americans trying to enter.

Would you support such a plan? Would you hail that mythical governor as a man of peace? Would you go to your church congregation and ask the members to send money to the occupants of these white settlements? Would you lobby the federal government to subsidize this new apartheid state in our midst?

I don't think so. I think most Americans would consider such acts an abomination, un-American and a mockery of everything both Christianity and the United States stand for.

Well, if you would condemn such acts here directed against African-Americans, why won't you condemn identical acts committed against the Palestinians by the state of Israel?

Those settlements you hear about are built on Palestinian land, and they are for Jews only. New roads that Palestinians are forbidden to use connect them. The entire West Bank is riddled with Israeli checkpoints, where innocent Palestinians are daily humiliated and harassed. A trip to a nearby village can mean waiting in line at checkpoints for hours. Palestinians have died in these lines.

After all of these humiliations, abuses, the houses destroyed, the children killed, the olive trees uprooted, how do you think Palestinians feel about Americans who support the Israelis no matter what they do to the Palestinians? Don't take my word about these abuses. Check out the Israeli human-rights organization at

If you cannot condemn the flagrant abuses of Palestinians by the Israeli government, then you are undoubtedly a bigot, the worst kind of racist pig who believes that Palestinians are some kind of subspecies of the human race. If you do condemn in your heart these terrible abuses, but are afraid to speak out about them, then you are a damned coward.

I listened in disgust to a congressional committee hearing on the Palestinian elections. It was all about what the Palestinians have to do. It was as if the cops, interviewing a child who had been raped by an adult, lectured the child on dressing provocatively and of being in places she should not have been in.

The Palestinians are the victims here. It is their land that is occupied. They have no army. They are at the mercy of the Israeli government. They don't have a superpower protecting them from international sanctions and supplying them with billions of dollars. The United States should be telling Israel to get out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, to dismantle its settlements and checkpoints, and to allow Palestinian refugees to return to or be compensated for the land the Israelis stole.

You want to know why we have a problem with terrorism? It's not Islamic fundamentalists or hatred of freedom. It's our support of Israel's unspeakable abuse of Palestinians. Don't blame Osama bin Laden. Blame the president, Congress, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and all the cowardly Americans who practice hypocrisy by claiming to be moral while supporting gross immorality committed against their fellow human beings in Palestine.


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