“Time’s glory is...to wrong the wronger, till he render right.” - William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon
On Nov. 27, 2007, an ultra-hyped, one-day Mideast parley was held in Annapolis, MD, the capital of the state. This is also where the U.S. Naval Academy is located. The idea that the hawkish Bush-Cheney Gang is going to successfully broker an Israel/Palestine peace is absurd. In a show-off-like gesture Maryland’s Governor, Martin O’Malley invited Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, for lunch on that day. But, he deliberately chose to exclude the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The luncheon took place in the Governor’s Mansion. O’Malley, instead of acting like a statesman, came off as a lackey for the Israel Lobby, while also embarrassing many Marylanders.
James J. Zogby was right to take strong exception to Gov. O’Malley’s boorish conduct. He said: “This was a perfect time to build that tie [with the Palestinian community] and to send a message to both parties that the governor is committed to peace. In diplomacy, everything matters, so if you’re invited to someone’s state and you’re there to make peace with someone and the person you’re making peace with isn’t invited, it sends a message, and that message is one of slight.” (1) Mr. Zogby, an activist, is the President of the Arab American Institute.
This isn’t the first occasion that Gov. O’Malley’s sucking up to the Israel Lobby has caused Marylanders to cringe. Last summer, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) invaded Lebanon, with little justification, and began bombing the country back to the Stone Age. They dropped over 1,000,000 cluster bombs there. During this bloodstained campaign, the IDF specifically targeted the village of Qana (Cana) for attack and reportedly killed 28 civilians, mostly women and children. (2) This is the site where, according to the Holy Bible, Jesus performed his first miracle. So how did Gov. O’Malley, a wannabe diplomat, respond to the IDF’s invasion? Well, he showed up at a pro-Olmert, pro-Israel rally, which was held in Baltimore, to loudly cheerlead for the rampaging Zionist hordes. Since then, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have charged Olmert’s Israel with “War Crimes” for its alleged barbarous conduct in Lebanon. (3)
On Nov. 27th, I was in Annapolis covering the demonstration, at the Naval Academy, near Gate 1. I was upset that Olmert was even in the city. If it were up to me, he would have never been permitted to step foot in America. His regime’s egregious wrongdoings in Lebanon, and also Israel’s abysmal treatment of the Palestinian people for over four decades of human rights abuses, are just two reasons why. Israeli-Occupied Gaza is a hell on earth for its residents. (4) When its 1.4 million citizens were being besieged daily by lethal missile strikes from the IDF, Olmert’s limp defense was: “Nobody dies from being uncomfortable!”
Then, for me, there is the matter of Annapolis itself. My first memory of this picturesque port city goes back to just after WWII. Sitting on the Severn River, it is steeped in the history of the Republic. It was in the State House, located across the street from the Governor’s Mansion, where General George Washington, the hero of the War for Independence, resigned his commission, on Dec. 23, 1783, as the leader of the Continental Army. For a short period, Annapolis was even the capital of the United States.
Getting back to the protest action, I was pleased to see Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, of Neturei Karta International, there. He is a fearless opponent of the ideology of Zionism. (5) All of this, brings me to the issue of the IDF, its murderous attack on the USS Liberty in 1967, and the ongoing 40 years-plus struggle for justice by the survivors of that vessel, and their supporters. (6)
On June 8, 1967, 34 Americans on the USS Liberty were slaughtered by the IDF, including one Marylander, William B. Allenbaugh, (CT-3, U.S. Navy). Two of its slain crew members, Lt. Commander Philip McCutcheson Armstrong, Jr. and Lt. Stephen Spencer Toth, were graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy. The Zionist Propaganda Machine has insisted the attack, which took place in international waters, was “an accident.” This is the same dubious excuse used to justify the IDF using a 60-ton bulldozer to run over and kill peace activist Rachel Corrie, at Rafah, Occupied Palestine, on March 16, 2003. She was a resident of Olympia, WA, who was trying to stop a Palestinian home from being destroyed by the IDF. Ms. Corrie was only 23 years old. The Israeli bulldozer, all 60 tons of it, ran over her not once--but twice! (7)
Now, new evidence suggests that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was “deliberate!” (8) This is the position that Lt. James Marquis Ennes, Jr., who was on the bridge of the ship on that fateful day, has consistently taken. (9) Lt. Ennes is also the author of a best selling book on the tragedy, “Assault on the Liberty.” As a result of the peace confab, Prime Minister Olmert was allowed on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy. I think that was a gross insult to the memory of the 34 men killed by the Israelis on the USS Liberty. This is especially so, since the mostly cowardly U.S. Congress has never given the survivors of that vicious and deadly attack, in which 174 men were also wounded, a hearing “to tell their story under oath to the American public.” (6)
Finally, when Gov. O’Malley and Olmert surfaced from their luncheon, they gave each other a big hug. The governor boasted that he and Olmert had discussed “national politics.” Gov. O’Malley is the honorary chair in MD of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy. But, you’d better believe Gov. O’Malley never confronted Prime Minister Olmert about what happened at Qana last summer; the massive cluster bombing, in 2006, of Lebanon by the IDF; what life is really like for the oppressed peoples of Gaza; the fate of the 34 crew members on the USS Liberty, including William B. Allenbaugh’s; Rachel Corrie’s tragic death; and/or the speculation about those “five dancing Israelis on 9/11.” (10) If he did bring any subject like that up, I doubt that Olmert would have given Gov. O’Malley a big hug. Running him over with a 60-ton bulldozer would have been more like it!
1. “O’Malley and Olmert,” Andrew A. Green and M. William Salganik, Baltimore Sun, Dec. 28, 2007.
2. http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/30/lebano13881.htm http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/qana-j31.shtml http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=6795 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/5228392.stm
3. http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/13767/index.php http://electronicintifada.net/lebanon/ http://web.amnesty.org/pages/lbn-010906-action-eng
10. http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/fiveisraelis.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n-nT-luFIw&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U_GISl3aAA&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58h0LjdMry0
©2007, William Hughes, All Rights Reserved.
William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2
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