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Saturday, Jul. 17, 2004 at 9:30 AM
Israel draws attention away from our November elections because so many American voters live there. However, the United Nations has a lot of explaining to do about other things around the world.
Let me first say that I don't appreciate the security barrier. It is a collossal waste of money that could be spent on food or education. I also disagree completely with it's planned route. Having said that, this ugly necessity and attempted quid pro-quo for Palestinian human rights deficiency is actually helping.
The war mortality statistics since it's building are dramatically improved for both sides.
Neither Palestine nor Israel deserve a spit from us. Both sides have shown repeated mismanagement of donor funds and BOTH sides are tragically lacking in balance of security with rights. Palestinians recieve more per capita aid than any other nation in the world, approximately 300 U.S. dollars per person from the U.S., E.U. and others. In return, America recieves nothing. Israel, by comparrisson, recieves a slightly smaller amount of aid per capita, mostly from the U.S., and mostly lobbied for by high tax paying Jews. However, in return for this aid the U.S. is trained by Israeli fighter pilots, given strategic regional information by one of the best security agencies(none of which linked Sadam to Al Qaeda for 9/11 by the way), given technical assistance on scientific research, and given weapons and equipment blue prints for things like night vision goggles. Long story short, we definately get more bang for the buck from Israel and that is why we support them.
On top of which, terrorism predominates the television so that our newscasters can ignore things our government is really doing. Boring things which do not garnish ratings like cutting vet benefits.
Palestinians have recently been caught actually selling Israel concrete for the wall from donated U.N. goods meant for homes. And this is not the last irony. Most of the workers on the fence/wall are ......Palestinian. Why? Because it pays 100$ a day cash.
Some Palestinians are even thankful for the wall because it had drawn soldiers away from their homes after it went up. No more bullets ricochet from Israelis where they no longer need to patroll. Likewise, militants move away from areas where the wall prevents attack for obvious reasons.
Still, this behemoth is ugly, and a sad sign of human beings lack of civility towards each other.
Let it not be said for one second that both sides are innocent in any way. It would be as if to say that Democrats aren't as bought out as Republicans,
misunderstanding is a two way street.
Israel still has the best human rights record in the region. It cannot be disputed that several of the Judges on the ICJ's panel were from nations who were way below Israel's standard of human rights and should be brought to trial themselves. For instance, the ruling was read by China of all g-d forsaken countries.
Would that the U.N. would truly be party to the priciple of equal rights and equal protection under the law. What a shake up that would stir if China and places like Iran and Syria were forced to free their own people by the courts ruling. But it is not so, and therefore, Israel cannot be expected to be the only nation that complies with Geneva conventions and such. At least, not by human standards. However, by G-d's standards, Israel is expected to do so exactly. As a home of the Jewish people, I call upon Israel to be the "bigger state," so to speak. To follow the Jewish law correctly, we cannot keep living at war. We cannot keep inadvertently hurting innocents even though the Palestinians do so deliberately. Why? Because to do so would breed future scandals that would put us further down the road towards being like China or some other anti-humanitarian nation. Because to do so puts us on equal footing with evil. Despite the best intentions of safety and protection, G-d's wish for us to love each other and be leaders among nations requires that we be above reproach, better than human, kinder than all.
So it is not as a traitor to my faith that I ask for a kindling of freindship wherever possible. It is exactly as a path of my faith that I do so. The Wall/fence should be built, and as directed by the Israeli Supreme Court, it should minimse harm and reperations should be made for farmland destroyed. The checkpoints have to be run as efficiently as possible and new roads must be built to allow workers in freely. But above this, the people should stop counting on government to make peace and start crossing the checkpoints themselves to do so one on one. Perhaps when this wall comes down, like the Berlin Wall, it will be a day when Jews and Palestinians together show the entire world how to make peace. Because until they really do this together, and until the Jews take the highest moral and ethical road possible, the whole world will suffer. Not least of which the U.S., which is distracted by a loud press blow up of human rights violations that pale in comparrisson to places like China or G-d help them Sudan. We need a break from this B.S. war between cousins to fix our environmental problems and stabilize our social structure. We need not to hear from them for a while so we can help more dire nations and solve bigger problems. Poverty, economy, disease, overpopulation, pollution, and outright genocide should take precedence over this stupid war that has lasted wayyyyyyyyyy tooooo long because of both sides arrogance and ethnocentrism. It doesn't matter which side is to blame anymore. It doesn't matter who fixes it. But it is time someone sacrificed, and someone stood out as an example of being a light unto all nations. Israel and Palestine must finally make peace one way or another. Because these two wrongs can never make a right. And because one right could end all the wrongs once and for all. The right to live in peace.
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