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Memo to Americans: israel is NOT defenseless
You would think, being as obvious as it is, that a case need not be made to demonstrate that israel is not defenseless and does NOT need continued support from US taxpayers.
But, in a time of universal deceit, the truth must be spelled out, over and over and over again - to get the message across.
The Middle East conflict rages on here not because we have outspoken Arabs arguing their case in these pages.
Palestinian lives are subject to real physical and financial oppression. Substituting for them around Aspen are peace seeking "liberals" like myself. Only by Googling beyond sound bites on CNN can we know that Gaza and West Bank taxes are taken to Israel to be returned as lethal police actions by an overwhelming army -- turning the Boston Tea Party into a fraternity prank by comparison.
Courageous Sue Gray questions the actions of Israel's government which represents Jews about as well as Bush represents Christians.
Why focus on Israel considering so much oppression elsewhere?
The technically democratic nation actually has no bill of rights or constitutional guarantees for its citizens. Sounds like dozens of other imperfect nations except for the unarguably and spectacularly preferential treatment Israel receives financially, militarily, and intellectually from us, the United States taxpayers. That's why the special focus.
Gray is contradicted by a list of regular responders who probably range from archly conservative to brilliantly progressive. These letter writers seem convinced by what we have all heard from wealthy and powerful pro-Israel political lobbies such as AIPAC -- that Israel's simple survival depends on its continuous threat of pre-emptive, overpowering aggression prosecuted by our bulldozers and jets and cluster bombs.
There are two simple stories here:
Says Gray (et al.): Open your minds, look for facts, find root causes, go to the Middle East and get experience, sympathize with real, current victims, take responsibility for impacts of your tax dollars.
Responders: If the Arabs put down their weapons today: no more violence; if the Jews put down their weapons today: no more Israel; Sue Gray this and Sue Gray that ... If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck ...
Can we discuss the unproven, overused concept that the survival of one small nation and its population surrounded by a cruel world depends on overwhelming assistance from American citizens and our Treasury?
Does Israeli national existence rely on sympathetic votes of our well-lobbied representatives and super-friendly coverage in our news media?
Is Israel, rated fourth as a nuclear power, so weak that it needs additional billions from us?
May we please talk about it?
The American status quo preference for Israel is a simple fact, rarely adequately acknowledged in public due to demonizing written attacks. Even President Carter has been lambasted for writing about what he has seen.
Do the responders really want a dialogue as claimed? The answer is clear from rhetorical tactics.
There is a consistent tendency to discredit, demoralize or scare intelligent, caring people away from this needed conversation. Therefore I support Sue Gray and any of our valley neighbors who adopt an honorable position like hers and speak out in spite of stifling opposition.
Please save a few hours on Saturday night, April 14, in Aspen, for a new perspective.
Keep the letters to editors coming.
Things will not change unless and until ALL of us DEMAND that they do.