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Israel’s War On Kids

I first learned of the plight of Palestinians from books by Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Edward Said. I came across their work after becoming disillusioned by the US government and mainstream media’s official account of the Vietnam War. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” Israel is a Jewish supremacist state that has been financially and militarily propped up by the US for decades. And during that time, the Israeli government (Benjamin Netanyahu and others) has continued to commit crimes against humanity on what seems like a daily basis (their latest assault has so far, killed at least 66 Palestinian children). Norman Finkelstein is a political scientist, prolific author, and son of Holocaust survivors, and he has called Israel, “a lunatic state”. Click here for an excellent interview with Norman Finkelstein and Katie Halper. 

What does the humanitarian crisis in Gaza have to do with diets and nutrition? According to Noam Chomsky, “Israeli experts have calculated in detail exactly how many calories, literally, Gazans need to survive  and if you look at the sanctions that they impose, they’re grotesque…just enough calories to survive.” We have seen similar crimes against humanity before with the United States government’s attempted poisoning of entire Native American nations. 
Click here for a link to “The US was founded on Genocide” post. 
Click here for The Center for Constitutional Rights’s report on why Israel’s policies towards Palestinians constitute Genocide.

The United Nations has declared that clean drinking water and sanitation are human rights, but for some reason, little progress has been made on the healthy, nutritious food front. As of 2018,  97% of the fresh water in Gaza was toxic, and over 25% of diseases in Gaza were caused by contaminated water. We can only assume that the situation is even worse today. Nearly half of the Palestinian population are children who are purposely malnourished by the Israeli government, as some even refer to Israel’s actions against the Palestinians as a “War on Kids”. This is not just a coincidence, this is attempted genocide, and a war on children. Click here to listen to a heartbreaking account from a 10 year old Palestinian girl about her life in Gaza.

When will it end? Israel receives $10 million in military “aid” every day from the United States (US taxpayer money) that adds up to $3.8 billion dollars annually. This aid is used in the continued oppression of Palestinians and enables the bombing of Gaza. Unsurprisingly, President Joe Biden & Secretary Blinken have condemned the rockets coming out of Gaza, but have yet to demand that Israel stop its bombing.

Human Rights Watch has called Israel a Jewish Supremacist state, and has also said that Israel is guilty of Apartheid. 

“In South Africa, we could not have achieved our democracy without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the apartheid regime…The same issues of inequality and injustice today motivate the divestment movement trying to end Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory and the unfair and prejudicial treatment of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government ruling over them.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“To call it apartheid is a gift to Israel, at least if by ‘apartheid’ you mean South African-style apartheid. What’s happening in the Occupied Territories is much worse. There’s a crucial difference. The South African Nationalists needed the black population. That was their workforce. The Israeli relationship to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is totally different. They just don’t want them. They want them out, or at least in prison.” – Noam Chomsky
You would never know this if you listen to the US corporate media, politicians, or celebrity personalities like Howard Stern, who once called Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters an Anti Semite and a “Fu*khead” for calling out Israel, and encouraging other artists to boycott playing in Israel as well (until Israel changed its policies towards Palestinians). If you live in the US, and you support divestment, or criticize the Israeli occupation in any way, you will very likely be labeled an Anti-Semite too (Noam Chomsky has explained how he has long been accused of being a self-hating Jew because of his criticism of the Israeli government). So, there is plenty of blame to go around for the continued oppression of Palestinians, from the corporate media, to celebrities (Howard Stern, Bill Maher), to politicians (Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Donald Trump) to Hasbara and other propagandist arms of the Israeli government. But by far, the biggest contributors to this ongoing humanitarian crisis continue to be the architects themselves, the US and Israeli governments. It is that simple.  
Many years ago, I travelled to Israel and to parts of the occupied territories (in only a touristy way), and had a humbling, and mostly enjoyable visit. I forged a few friendships from the experience but lost them just as quickly years later, when I raised concern over Palestinian rights. It hurts to now know that true change will not come from within Israel, and that a two state solution is no longer possible (Haaretz & Pew. Research Center). I will likely never travel to Israel again. According to a study by Tel Aviv University, 83% of Israelis support the “open fire” policy against Gaza Protesters, and 95% of Israelis supported the “Massacre on Gaza” in 2014 that killed thousands of people, including 495 children. Yep, 495 kids (according to Norman Finkelstein, Israel’s major political parties are all conservative, and Israel is the only country polled where the majority of its population approved of Donald Trump). 

Have you seen the superb documentary, “Gaza Fights for Freedom”, from Abby Martin and her courageous team of filmmakers from Gaza and around the world? It is emotionally draining, yet powerful and inspiring too.  

Here are some takeaways from the film:
– Israel is using chemical weapons against Palestinians

– Israel violates international law in many ways (Geneva & Hague)
– Despite international laws saying you cannot target children or defenseless civilians, everyone is a target to the Israeli army
– Palestinians are deprived of electricity, nutritious food, clean drinking water, and building materials

Nearly half of the entire Palestinian population are children
It is a US & Israeli war against children

– 2.2 million Palestinians are crammed into a 25 mile stretch of land (that is 5 miles wide) called Gaza 
– There is no longer any hope for a two state solution
– Nearly everything the Israeli government is doing is illegal and criminal
– Nearly everything the Palestinians are doing is legal and justified

– 83% of Israelis support the “open fire” policy against Gaza Protesters 
– 95% of Israelis supported the “Massacre on Gaza” in 2014  
– Palestinians need a permit for medical care
– 80% of Palestinians are living off of foreign aid 

– Food insecurity is a purposeful effect of the blockade
– Food scarcity is one problem, clean drinking water is another
– Israeli officials determine the amount of food they will let into Gaza every day based on calculating the very minimum caloric intake needed to avoid malnutrition
– Israeli officials call it putting Gaza on a diet

When some Israeili human rights advocates challenged the “open fire” practices on the basis that you cannot kill innocent people who pose no imminent threat, a higher Israeli court codified the practice that all Palestinian protesters from children to medics pose an imminent threat. Our only hope is to bring Israel and the US to the International courts. At the moment, Israel receives total protection from the US empire, and is shielded by the US war machine.
Click here for the trailer to Gaza Fights for Freedom.
Click here to watch the film for free on YouTube (it is free on Vimeo as well).
Click here for the Gaza Fights for Freedom website.

One strategy that may offer the most hope for change is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Hasbara (a propaganda arm for Israeli relations) continues to do everything it can to shut down the movement. However, one headline that I came across read “Israeli Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone, Except Israelis”. 
The late ambassador Yohanan Meroz said that Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is not ‘hasbarable.’ 

Howard Zinn taught me to question, and then helped to change the way that I see the world. I love Howard Zinn, and he had this to say when asked about Israel:

“I try to appeal to the experience of Jews, the experience of the Holocaust, by saying, it’s not just never again for Jews, it’s never again for anybody. I also try to present facts that are hard to put aside. Rockets from Gaza killed three Israelis; Israelis retaliated with an enormous bombardment that killed 1,000 people, you can’t simply write that off or say, well, they’re morally equivalent or it was bad on both sides. Or the Lebanese send rockets into Israel, killing a number of people, and the Israelis  invade Lebanon in 1982 and there are 14,000 civilian casualties. These are horrors inflicted by a Jewish state. As a Jew, I feel ashamed when I read these things…I try to appeal to what I think are the best legacies of the Jewish people, people like Albert Einstein and Martin Buber, who cannot be simply written off, because they’re Jewish heroes and these people are people who were critical of Israel and sympathetic to Palestinians…I think the Jewish state was a mistake. Yes, obviously it is too late to go back. It was a mistake to drive the Indians off the American continent, but it’s too late to give it back. At the time, I thought creating Israel was a good thing, but in retrospect, it was probably the worst thing that the Jews could have done. What they did was join the Nationalistic frenzy, they became privy to all of the evils that Nationalism creates and became very much like the United States, very aggressive, violent, and bigoted. When Jews were without a state, they were internationalists and they contributed to whatever culture they were part of and produced great things. Jews were known as kindly, talented people. Now, I think, Israel is contributing to Anti-Semitism. So, I think it was a big mistake.”

The US mainstream media continues to ignore the many crimes against humanity that are committed by both Israel & the US government on a routine basis. Yet despite everything, perhaps the most amazing part of this ongoing tragedy is how so many Palestinians can still find a reason for hope, joy, and even laughter. Wow. 
I stand with our Palestinian brothers and sisters. And I hope that you will too.
“Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Click here to learn more about the BDS movement from Noam Chomsky & The Nation.
Click here for Democracy Now’s piece on why Israel is guilty of Apartheid.
Click here for a blow by blow account of a recent Israeli assault on Gaza.
Click here for a Haaretz piece on how Israeli propaganda isn’t fooling anyone, except Israelis.
Click here to learn of a 2014 Israeli offensive that killed 2,104 Palestinians, including 495 children.
Click here to learn how Israel imposes a “Constant War” on Palestinian residents in Jerusalem. 
Click here to learn more about Howard Zinn and why he felt that Israel was contributing to anti-Semitism.
Click here for an article from Pew Research Center on why Israeli Arabs and Jews feel that a two state solution is unlikely.
Click here to learn more about the UNRWA condemning Israel for bombing a Gaza refugee camp. 

Click here to learn more from Amnesty International on Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians. 
Click here to learn more from Democracy Now! on Israeli Apartheid.
Click here for Amnesty International’s video “Israel’s Apartheid Against Palestinians.”
Click here to learn more about the complicit personalities in the US corporate media landscape.
Click here for an excellent piece from Michelle Alexander on the crisis in Israel-Palestine.
Click here to learn more from the always superb Katie Halper on why Israel IS an Apartheid state.
Click here to learn more from Human Rights Watch on Israeli crimes of apartheid and persecution.
Click here to learn more about the United Nations calling Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory Apartheid.
Click here for an excellent piece from Chris Hedges titled, “Israel and the Rise of Jewish Fascism.”
Click here to learn more about how Israel is a racist state.
Click here to learn more from Pulitzer Prize winning author Chris Hedges on the history and crimes of Israel.
Click here to learn more about how Israel targets Palestinian children. 
Click here to learn more from the United Nations about Israel’s crimes against humanity. 
Click here to learn more about Israel’s violent apartheid state, and its false claim to be vegan friendly.
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