No 1656 Posted by fw, April 29, 2016
As a reminder, scholar and educator Herbert Thelen inspired this protest project: “To act ignorantly when knowledge is available, to deny realities that patently exist and make a genuine difference, is the worst crime of civilized man.”
Israel’s crimes against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are realities that patently exist. Why, then, when this knowledge is readily available, would Premier Wynne decide to lead a trade mission to Israel? I suggest this was not a responsibly informed decision.
Today, Day 9 of my letter-a-day, 19-day campaign to share with the Premier information gifts from alternative online news sources not readily found in North America’s mainstream news media, I sent the following message.
Incidentally, it may be of interest to some to read the automated response to my emails from the Premier’s office: “Every email and letter I receive is carefully read and reviewed. Given the volume of emails and letters I receive, and because I may need to share your message with one of my Cabinet ministers or the appropriate government officials for more information, a response may take several business days”
Although I conclude all my emails welcoming a reply, to date, not one has been forthcoming.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Dear Premier Wynne,
Below is my information gift for you on this, Day 9, of my intended 19-day project to fill in some possible gaps in your knowledge base with respect to life and death in the Israeli Occupied Territories.
Introduction to today’s story —
Every US president since Truman has been an Israeli hawk. Why is this? In his review of the historical evidence, author and activist Robert Fantina traced Truman’s support for the UN’s 1947 partitioning of Palestine into two states: Israel, with just 33% of the population, was established on 78% of the land in Palestine. Truman offered full consent for this unjust plan for reasons that will be familiar to readers today: He was subjected to intense lobbying by the Zionist lobby. He also felt that by supporting the establishment of Israel, he would be in a better position to be elected to a full term as president.
I found Fantina’s election reference particularly interesting. In an April 18 letter to you, I wrote:
“I infer that by showing strong support for increased ties with Israel, you expect to secure the vote and financial support of pro-Israeli Jewish Canadians. Which prompts me to ask, was it the prospect of political and economic gains that trumped any moral and ethical considerations in your decision to make the trip?”
Below are the opening and closing passages from Fantina’s fascinating account of this ugly period of US history, which continues today. But there are encouraging signs of change in US attitudes toward Israel and Palestine. To read the complete article, click on the following linked title.
Despite the language featured in our own founding documents, the U.S. has aided Israel in denying those same guarantees of human rights and dignity to Palestinians for decades.
The establishment of the state of Israel is known throughout Palestine as the Nakba, or “Catastrophe.” As the British Mandate of Palestine ended throughout 1947 and 1948, at least 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from or fled their homeland, and another 100,000 or more were massacred.
Although the United States wasn’t an active party to the circumstances that led to the Nakba, the country’s long history with Israel has only been supportive of that nation’s barbarity — and that support has grown exponentially over the years.
In the U.S., the press framed Palestinian resistance as opposition to the Jewish state rather than an assertion of their own human rights. Scholar Michael A. Dohse wrote in American Periodicals and the Palestine Triangle, April, 1936 to February, 1947:
“Despite the fact that there was considerable evidence of the extreme nationalistic drive behind the Zionist movement, which was its motivating force, American journals gave a good press to the Zionists’ alleged goal of building a democratic commonwealth in Palestine. How this would be possible when the Arabs constituted two-thirds of the population and were opposed to Zionism, did not seem to be a relevant question to many of the magazines.”
This, of course, was in complete contravention of U.S. doctrine, even as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, which asserts that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and “[t]hat to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The consent of the governed — in this case, the Palestinians — was not to be considered.
Change that can’t come soon enough
Even if it didn’t come with Mr. Obama, change does seem to be on the horizon. With the explosive growth of social media, the general public no longer relies solely on the corporate-owned media for information. The horrors that Israel inflicts daily on the Palestinians are becoming more common knowledge. This includes the periodic bombing of the Gaza Strip, a total blockade that prevents basic supplies from being imported, and the checkpoint stops and verbal and physical harassment that Palestinians are subjected to on a daily basis in the West Bank.
It’s even entered the current U.S. presidential election. Sen. Bernie Sanders, seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, skipped the annual American Israel Political Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, convention in March. Additionally, he said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t always right and that Israel uses disproportionate force against the Palestinians, and Mr. Sanders recognized that Palestinians have rights. Like skipping the AIPAC conference, these statements are all in violation of some unspoken U.S. code of conduct for politicians.
Yet the ugly history of the U.S., in its unspeakably unjust dealings with Palestine, created a stain that generations will be unable to cleanse. Total disdain for the human rights of an entire nation, and the complicity in the violation of international law and in the war crimes of Israel, are not easy to expunge. Mr. Sanders’ words and actions are only the manifestation of a larger change occurring in U.S. attitudes toward Israel and Palestine. Once that change is sufficiently great to impact the U.S. power brokers, real change will occur. For Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid, it cannot come soon enough.
END OF EXCERPT — To continue reading, click on the above linked title…
Response to my emails are always welcome.
Frank White, etc.
Previous posts in this series –
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 8: Open season on Palestinians — pregnant mother of two and brother, 16, gunned down at Israeli checkpoint.
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 7: Palestinian youth reportedly in critical condition after being run down by young Israeli settler.
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 6: Alarming rise in Palestinian children seized and prosecuted by Israel.
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 5: Survivor of 1948 Israeli-led expulsion of Palestinians to tell her story in upcoming Canadian tour.
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 4: Israelis and their supporters are in the process of learning the price of following the dictates of “Netanyahu’s mind.”
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 3: US accuses Israel of ‘excessive use of force’ in human rights report
Life and Death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 2: Israeli Minster Calls for “Civil Targeted Killings” of BDS Leaders
Life and death in Palestine: Information gift for a Premier — Day 1: Israel policy of expelling Palestinians from West Bank
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