Candidates' 'Blind Spot'
Toward Israel

By Sam Hamod
John Edwards, in his - "debate" with Richard Cheney, made many good points, Unfortunately, he like Kerry last week, has a moral blind spot when it comes to Israel and the killing and maiming of hundreds of Palestinians every week. This killing has been going on for months, but none of our vaunted politicians or media have screamed with outrage about this ongoing massacre of Palestinians in their own land.
Let's get some points straight for the sake of history.
The series of suicide bombers from Palestine did not begin until Israel invaded Palestinian lands, killing and maiming people and destroying water, electrical and hospital works. All of this is illegal under international law.
Yes, some Palestinians did commit moral crimes by attacking civilians. This was bad, but they used the only major weapon they had, their bodies as human bombs. Remember, Israel has, as gifts from America, F15s, F16s, Abrams Tanks, Apache and Blackhawk Helicopters which they use, on a daily basis, to kill and maim Palestinians.
How is it that an Israeli death is worse than the death of 30 or more Palestinians? That's what's going on. How can this be alled - "defending Israel" when Israel is the one doing the major killings and maimings?
Obviously, Kerry, Edwards, Bush and Cheney prefer not to see the illegal, immoral and brutal acts of Sharon's Israel - they keep glossing over these actions with, - "Israel has a right to defend itself." Kerry's crocodile tears about the Israeli kids was too one-sided; how about the hundreds of Palestinian kids and mothers who have been butchered by Sharon and his storm troopers? We all agree, Israel may have a right to defend itself, but it does not have a right to invade and brutalize the Palestinians. It has gotten so bad, that even Kofi Annan has called for a halt to the Israeli brutality and invasion of Palestine - but America keeps getting in the way and supports all the illegal and immoral acts of Israel - the US gives Sharon carte blanche.
Interestingly, America has adopted the Israeli method of brutality in Iraq. How come we changed, or did we? I remember the carpet bombing of Viet Nam. I remember Agent Orange and the deaths it caused. I know that the depleted uranium shells we are using in Iraq have a half life of 4.5 billion years - yes, billion, not million. So, many Iraqis will die from cancer because of the DU; many American troops will die of the same DU; many children will be born deformed, to Iraqis and to Americans from the DU - yet, thought there are no Iraqi tanks or planes, we keep using DU shells and bullets - ignoring all the science that says there are hundreds of times more DU in the ground of Iraq and that we should stop poisoning the country and the people in this way.
Finally, it is apparent to all except the most ignorant that Bush, Cheney, and if they get into office, Kerry and Edwards, if they follow their plans for more troops in Iraq and continued support for Israel, will all be guilty of war crimes. But, of course, being the biggest bully in the world right now, allows America to get away with these evil acts. Some day, and it won't be too long, China will be the biggest kid on the block, then we'll see what the neo-cons and their children will do when we get ur face slapped and we are threatened with annihilation or the destruction of most of our country and its infrastructure and population.
Europe and Asia are now having more joint continental talks, moving toward closer alliances, with America being left out. Even South Korea has become wary of American interference in its attempt to re-unite with North Korea, not to mention the Muslim nations that are now putting distance between themselves and the United States. These nations know that America has gone berserk and is already the biggest terrorist in the world. Their unification of plans, and possible military and economic might will isolate America in time, and perhaps its cousin in crime, England. This is something that most Americans are not aware of at this time, but these meetings have been taking place at an increasing rate since America went into Iraq and has increased its brutality and violation of international laws in the Middle East and elsewhere.
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Why the American people and the American media and politicians can't see the human suffering being inflicted on Iraqis is a puzzle to me. Our people seem to have gone into a constant state of denial when it comes to Iraq and Palestine; not just the media and politicians, but also ordinary people who treat the Arabs and Muslims in these two countries as less than human and less human then Israelis. It is ironic that Israelis and Palestinians are cousins, both being children of Abraham (a proven DNA and genetic fact).
I lay part of the blame for this denial on the U.S. media; it has consistently portrayed Israel as the good guy, moral, democratic and just, and the Palestinians are - "terrorists," - "suicide bombers," and - "uncivilized." These stereotypes are wrong, but they are repeated so often, that after a while, as Goebbels said, the lie is repeated so often that after a while it gains the credibility of truth. Certainly, our media has to be cleaned up, but as long as it's owned by the major corporations that own our media outlets, the lies will continue and anyone who opposes our big business brothers, part of the military/industrial complex, will be seen as the enemy and demonized on our media.
What may be a good sign is that more and more people are turning off their television sets and looking for alternative news sources on the internet, or turning on foreign stations on short-wave or getting those stations on the internet as well. This may help, but there is also growing fear that the government will try to control the internet through work with Microsoft and others. Let us hope that won't happen. But don't bet on it.
It is time that America recovered from this blind spot toward the brutality and immoral and illegal behavior of Israel. If not, this will ultimately destroy us, for it unfortunately leaves us with - "leaders" who are ignorant, immoral and looking for money and votes, not working for justice, peace or for the long term good of our country. Eventually, our bad deeds in the world, and our support for such evil men as Sharon of Israel will backfire. As Chalmers Johnson points out in his book, BLOWBACK, the blowback is certain to come and it won't be good for America or its people. I hope our media and our - "leaders" wake up in time to help save our country and the good people who inhabit it.
Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East and Islam; he is a former advisor to the U.S. State Department; editor of 3rd World News; professor at Princeton & Michigan; and edits
Look for his new book of essays, ESSAYS IN TIMES OF WAR in 2005 (Ishmael Reed Publishing Co.). He may be reached at



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