I wake up every morning feeling heartbroken and sick as I watch the news reports of how many more Palestinians (mostly civilians, many children) have been killed by Israeli bombs and guided missiles.
The numbers are now over 1,000 killed, thousands wounded and thousands more made homeless.
The Israelis are bombing defenseless people who are already their prisoners, living in a 7-by-30 mile “open-air prison.” All of Gaza’s borders are restricted, so no one can leave.
The Israelis have imposed a harsh blockade, limiting Gaza’s access to basic living essentials, including food, medicine, water, electricity, building supplies and even fishing boats. The people of Gaza have no human rights.
They say the bombing has to be done to protect Israelis from rockets fired from Gaza that have killed three people. Really?
However, the most horrible part of this insane bombing campaign is that it is being carried out with our tax money. We give billions of dollars a year in “unconditional funding” to the Israeli military.
U.S. officials have essentially given Israel free rein for this bloody assault.
We fool ourselves into believing that we are a country that supports human rights for all people, but we continue to give unqualified support to a country that was established in 1948 by burning villages and driving out their inhabitants, both Christian and Muslim.
These people have no right to return. Today we call that ethnic cleansing.
In occupied West Bank Palestine, the Israelis have established an apartheid system where all human rights are based on ethnicity.
The occupiers continue to confiscate land, bulldoze homes, uproot olive orchards, maintain checkpoints, and arrest people keeping them imprisoned without charges. And, we continue to support this behavior.
I am a retired teacher who taught for 21 years in the U.S. and 17 years overseas while working for U.S. government in West Africa (Peace Corps), Germany (Department of Defense Schools) and Saudi Arabia (American School, sponsored by U.S. Embassy).
Sadly, most Americans are pitifully uninformed and biased when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, because they hear only a censored, one-sided version of the situation from TV and newspapers.
Nevertheless, it is possible to learn the truth from the Internet, if you have the intellectual curiosity to do so.
I challenge every person who reads this to go to the following sites for a week with an open, inquiring mind and you will learn a great deal.
“Jewish Voice for Peace,” American Jewish people dedicated to a just peace for all, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. JVP members include respected rabbis, artists and scholars (http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/).
“Mondoweiss,” an excellent uncensored daily news report written by Israelis in Israel (http://mondoweiss.net/).
Karen Sachse De Hart lives in Penn Valley.