Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1. WRONG Response! (2. Right Response)

Max Blumenthal is a senior writer for The Daily Beast and contributor to outlets including The Nation, Al Jazeera English, Salon.com, Alternet, the Huffington Post, and the Washington Monthly. A winner of the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Award for his investigative print journalism, he has produced numerous widely-recognized video reports that have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube. His book, "Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party," will be published by Basic Books in 2009.

On January 11, Blumenthal covered a rally in front of the Israeli consulate in midtown New York that drew an estimated 10,000 people in support of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip. The rally, which was organized by UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York in cooperation with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, featured speeches by New York’s most senior lawmakers. 

While the crowd was riled to righteous anger by speeches about Hamas evildoers, the event was a festive affair that began and ended with singing and joyous dancing.

But as Blementhal shows in the video below, provided courtesy of www.Alternet.com, the deep animosity of the participants toward the Palestinians, and their total indifference to their suffering - even the bombing of schools and hospitals in Gaza, and the humanitarian crisis their attack has brought could barely be contained. 

In the words of these fired up demonstrators, their belligerent, hateful attitude is based on an ingrained delusion of superiority over their Palestinian neighbors as if ordained by God. If this is permitted to represent the American response to the complex and detestable aggression the State of Israel has exercised against the people of Gaza in recent weeks, it does not bode well for the future of this planet. It is high time we break ourselves from the knee-jerk bombastic tendency to go along with -- much less support -- disproportionate military action overriding diplomacy. The attitude and actions of Hamas and the entire Islamic World against Israel have been egregious for sure. But do Israel's leaders actually believe that their jughead response to the persistent missile assault on their territory will do anything other than strengthen Palestinian resolve and that of their allies who deny their right to exist in the first place? 

Where do Israel's obstinate leaders get the idea that the US will back them up militarily as they provoke their enemies and irresponsibly escalate the kind of terror and hostility that has already brought so much shame and divisiveness to America within our country and in our relationships with the rest of the Western World?   

2. RIGHT Response

Rep. Dennis Kucinich sent the following letter to his colleagues in the US House of Representatives. 

January 9, 2009

Dear Colleague:

As the number of causalities in Gaza continues to climb to well over 750 deaths and more than 3000 injured in just two weeks, it is imperative that we focus on the humanitarian crisis that is growing every day.  I ask that you support a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire and unrestricted humanitarian access in Gaza.

The Washington Post and New York Times have reported that aid agencies such as International Committee of the Red Cross and Medicine without Borders are unable to reach even the most desperate victims.

The United Nations has been forced to suspend all aid operations in Gaza following attacks on its facilities and personnel who were trying to provide aid.  The UN is reporting that more than one-third of the deaths are civilians and that 1000 of the 3000 injured are children.  One day after the bombing of a UN school that killed 42 civilians, at least 30 people–including children–were found dead four days after a house where they were told to seek shelter by Israeli Defense Forces was bombed.

Nearly the entire population has had no access to water or electricity since the beginning of the blockade in February of 2006. As of January 2, 2009, hospitals in Gaza have been without electricity, forcing them to run on back-up generators that are reportedly on the verge of collapse.  Not only are doctors unable to cope with the number of injured, but these hospitals also lack the most basic necessities, such as gauze and medicine.  Access to medical supplies and food is protected by the Geneva Conventions.

We should oppose Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel. And we should oppose Israel’s military response.  But we should, first and foremost, stand for an end to the humanitarian crisis this conflict is creating.  If you would like to be an original cosponsor of the resolution, please contact Diala Jadallah in my office
.  A draft is included below.


Dennis J. Kucinich


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives concerning the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Whereas over 95 percent of the deaths incurred since the escalation of violence in Gaza beginning December 27, 2008, have been Palestinians;

Whereas over 50 percent of the population of Gaza is under the age of 14;

Whereas on January 7, 2009, the United Nations found that one-third of the Palestinians killed in Gaza were civilians, while over 1,000 of the injured are children;

Whereas on January 6, 2009, 40 civilians were killed and 55 civilians were injured when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombed two United Nations facilities, including a school, where Palestinians were seeking shelter;

Whereas nearly the entire population of Gaza has no access to potable water or functioning water systems, and sewage and wastewater systems have seized due to lack of water and electricity, causing sewage overflows in some residential neighborhoods, creating a public health crisis, according to the World Bank;

Whereas since the beginning of the Israeli imposed blockade in February 2006, approximately 262 Palestinians in Gaza have died due to lack of access to medical goods and aid, according to Mustafa Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative;

Whereas on January 7 and 8, 2009, the International Committee of the Red Cross found a total of up to 65 bodies in two separate locations, both of which included a number of emaciated children , in houses bombed in the south of Gaza after four days of lack of ambulance access;

Whereas the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross have completely halted all aid shipments, following the death of two United Nations aid truck drivers; and

Whereas Articles 55 and 56 of the 4th Geneva Convention require ”ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population” and ”ensuring and maintaining…the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene”:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved

That the House of Representatives calls on the Government of Israel and representatives of Hamas to implement an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and to allow unrestricted humanitarian access in Gaza.

3. What YOU can do

Write your Representative and tell them to support Rep. Kucinich's Resolution.

No comments: