We Can't Reach Them
From Judith Moriarty
The sound of the neighbor mowing her lawn; children riding by on their bikes, in the warm release from an icy winter; the lilac bushes in bloom; and the world outside massive chaos. Tented birthday parties, the wine flowing liberally, while graduation parties, dances, and summer vacation plans go on as usual.
If there's a thought to blood-war-maiming-bulldozed homes-bloodied children-or naked pyramids of Iraqis labeled; "mud people, sand niggers, towel heads, rag heads, camel jockeys' etc.", it's fleeting. Things to do, gifts to buy, baking, picking up the liquor, sending out invitations, for those intimate dinner parties---yikes, who wants to hear about "savages-terrorists-sub-humans-thugs-gangsters-and freedom haters?" D.C.Politicans
Caring, involvement, outrage over the mindless slaughter, nonsensical hearings, and political diatribes? Nope, just can't fit it into so tight a schedule. Perhaps an organized march (others doing the work of course)a protest, a vigil, can be managed later on in the summer? We'll see how I feel. No time to wait--I'm late, I'm late. Alas, too late for the continuing carnage taking place in the despairing-destroyed villages (really concentration camps) of the Palestinians.
It is inconceivable that this hatred, bias, prejudice, has people "following orders" to commit the most heinous of crimes. Today..May 19-04, a helicopter (Israeli) gunship and Israeli tanks, fired into a huge crowd of people protesting the annihilation of Rafah. Dozens (mostly children) were killed and numerous people wounded. Imagine following an order to fire into a great crowd of unarmed people or aiming a tank shell their way!
While folks settle in for their nightly, mind numbing TV shows, or sports events, Dr.Tafesh is despairing.In a tiny building he tries to deal with the many wounded and dying children and others. An Israeli tank straddles the road, helping to seal off Rafah from the rest of Gaza, as the Israeli army pursues those it calls terrorists and the Palestinians call "the resistance". I guess it all depends on who is the invading force and what power they weld; as to who is the freedom fighter and who is the terrorist?
The morgue is full and more corpses are stored in a neighboring shop. "We receive calls that there are dead in the streets in the houses, in the mosques but we can't reach them" said Dr.Tafesh. "We can't reach them". People being slaughtered, and we the whole of the world "can't reach them!" People chained like dogs, terrorized, tortured for information they don't have. We "can't reach them". We can reach the Moon-Mars-distant galaxies and "we can't reach" all these people dying or being tortured? What?
In the book "Bloody Hell" (which all should read who think war is so glorious--"bring them on") Simon Weston, a veteran missing his face writes in the forward: "And it's the civilians who become the real innocent causalities of war. But the people who actually wage war are so far behind the lines that they don't even get a smell of cordite, let alone hear the shells explode...The only winners are the financial houses, the arms industry, and the politicians who've use the system and current affairs to aid and abet their crimes for power."
The "news" reports that Israel is receiving #3.5 billion in aid each year from the United States but there is much more--hidden in the budget. Israel 10,000 square miles, with a population of 6.7 million, receives at least $10 billion each year, nearly three times the publicly acknowledged $3.5 billion. Yes, and our Foggy Bottom Boys, who see to this, meantime, can't extend unemployment benefits for those they've left in the lurch outsourcing their jobs. But they did take care of the pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, and HMOs, during the recent Medicare debacle. "We can't reach them".
"Hidden subsidies for Israel are frequently listed under innocuous budget titles", said William Hartung of the World Policy Institute. Congress routinely approves about $3 billion in foreign aid. Then there are "grants". In the section of the appropriations bill, titled, "Foreign Military Financing", Congress provides: Not less than $2,040,000,000 shall be available for grants only for Israel, and not less than $1,3000,000,000 shall be made available for grants only for Egypt...available for advanced weapons systems, of which not less than $535,000,000 shall be available for the procurement in Israel of defense articles and defense services, including research and development.
The money is placed into bank accounts, which Israel can draw upon to purchase equipment. Meanwhile, bankers garner huge profits from interest on the "grant money" at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. However, another $2.5 billion "loan" is often made so Israel can purchase additional arms from American companies. This "loan" is quietly forgiven in an amendment to an obscure piece of legislation each year. "Forgiveness" legislation is a popular foreign policy weapon.
The other giveaways are carefully hidden (not that anyone is looking) from the public and many of the legislators who vote for the $15.6 billion foreign aid package and other legislation that transfers tax dollars to Israel. Many more billions are given away by selling "surplus" modern military technology at steep discounts. Some such "surpluses" are discounted by 85% of market value. Another conduit of American tax dollars to Israel is the "economic support funds" administered by the Agency for International Development (AID). It is funded by the "international affairs" budget. In fiscal year '99, Israel received $1 billion from this source, which is typical.
David Yohanna writes in the Chicago Tribune, March-1993, "The true total aid to Israel in '93 is as follows: on budget $3 billion; off-budget $1.2 billion; interest paid by U.S. on above, $50 million; U.S. loan guarantees to Israel $2 billion; compound interest on previous grants (1951--1992), $5 billion. Total 1993 grants, interest, loan guarantees and compound interest $11.3 billion. Much of the disguised funds for Israel comes from "petty cash" operation that go undetected. During 1997, the Pentagon gave Israel $68 million worth of weaponry under "excess defense articles program".
Like any country, Israel has many fine and noble people caught up in this madness. There's the political Israel and the religious. Israel had jailed more than 800 reserve soldier in an attempt to halt a growing rebellion against military service in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. No, not all soldiers "follow orders" when it goes against their conscience. At least 2,500 reservist have gone absent without leave, while thousands of others have become "grey conscientious objectors" meaning that they have fabricated medical or personal reasons why they should not be called for duty. Yshai Kalmanovitch reports, Jan, 2004, "13 fighters from one of the most prominent elite commando units declared in a public letter that they are no longer willing to take part in military service in the occupied territories. In Nov. '03, it was a letter from 23 Israeli air force fighters." Israeli politicians and army-officials know that behind every soldier that is willing to openly and actively disobey orders and refuse to take part in the occupation--are dozens an hundreds that do it passively, using all kinds of different and strange excuses to avoid being sent. A survey of the Israeli public showed that about 28% of the public justifies refusal to serve. More and more voices are being heard, even from families that lost their sons and daughters in the war, are criticizing the Israeli army for sending their beloved ones towards a pointless death. For many it has become obvious that the terror attacks are the result of the Israeli oppression. One signer of refusal told Israeli radio that when he enters a house in the middle of the night and makes an arrest in front of the eyes of the humiliated suspects' children, he is creating the next generation of Palestinian terrorists. The new "refusniks" are not being led so much by values. They understand finally, the stupidity of fighting a war that can't be won in the name of wrong aims and values.
David Zonstein, a lieutenant in the Israeli reserves, said he was briefed on crowd control by a senior officer from the elite Givati Brigade. He was told, "It's important to bring up snipers and shoot three of the organizers of a mass demonstration. This will abort the demonstration." On the movement's web site, Sgt. Shamai Leybovitz writes, "We have reached the situation in which we have closed off a million individuals like a herd of cattle."Ami Ayalon,former head of the domestic security service, shin Beth, reminded soldiers that they had a duty to refuse to obey "blatantly illegal orders". Would that those soldiers, who shot young peace activist Tom Hundall, in the head (he died), and bulldozed student Rachel Corrie, of Washington State, had disobeyed illegal orders. Rachel was trying to protect Dr. Masri's home, where he and his wife lived with their three children. For this she was murdered..the bulldozer backed over her-this is the bloodlust that consumes people who once upon a time were normal. Rachel died crushed, last April...there was little U.S. coverage. They bulldozed (no earthly reason) Dr.Masri's home, that stood alone in a pile of rubble, a few months ago. Say this isn't madness?
British MP Geral Kaufam (Jewish Member of the House of Commons and a long standing friend of Israel) says: "The suicide bombings by Palestinian terrorist groups are atrocities. Yet we need to ask ourselves why young Palestinians, men and women with their lives before them, decide to turn themselves into human bombs. We need to ask how we would feel if we had been occupied for years by a foreign power that denied us the most elementary human rights and decent living conditions. We need to ask what the Jews did in comparable circumstances."
"Ariel Sharon responds to the suicide bombers by using the full force of the Israeli army. His is having absolutely no effect in ending the terrorist acts. It is undeniable that something dreadful happened in Jenin (we couldn't reach them jm). The Daily Telegraph (not reported in U.S. jm) reported how Israeli soldiers beat Muntaha Serays with their fists and guns after bursting into her home. Four months pregnant, she suffered a miscarriage. Hundreds were killed. The Times reports "the stench of death". The horrors of Jenin were carried out by the official Israeli army. In 1901, Henry Campbell Bannerman asked, "When is a war not a war?" Talking about the British Government and the Boer war, his answer was, "When it is carried on by methods of barbarism." Sharon has ordered his troops to use methods of barbarism against the Palestinians."
How many times have you heard somebody say: "If I'd have been there things would be different. I wouldn't have remained silent." There are museums and remembrance services for those killed in the holocaust....throughout the world warning; "Never Again". How quick we forget. Once upon, a not so long ago--Jewish people were rounded up, marked with stars, separated from families, put into 'walled camps', and treated like "vermin". Now in the 21st century barbarism continues...unbelievable! How dare we explore space! Will we stand silent this time? Look the other way? Go about the busyness of our lives? "Who will stand the gap?" Everyone needs to contact, His Excellency Ambassador Daniel Ayalon (Ambassador of Israel) and tell him we say "Never Again" stop the slaughter. Press Office-Telephone (202) 364-5538) Fax (202) 364-5610. Mark Regey Counselor, Press: The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer: . We have to stop sitting back and doing nothing. What if it were us being slaughtered? Wouldn't we want someone to help? To care? You don't have to know how to write anything fancy..just "STOP The Maddness-STOP the Slaugher-Get Rid of Sharon before he gets all your sons and daughters killed over senseless forever war. Remember Never Again. "
"War is not the beginning of evil in our society; it's the result of evil. The Gulf War was said to be about peace. So have they all been said to be. But peace is not the result of war, any more than love is the result of hate or generosity the result of greed." Bloody Hell
"You've got two sets of soldiers, which are the losers and the losers. It's just a matter of who loses most heavily. There are no winners. And afterwards...afterwards, an inescapable truth remain: you have to live with yourself. And if you can't live with yourself, then there's no point in being alive" Simon Weston. The war took Simon's face.



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