Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rebuttal to Lyban's Piece on "Two Writers"

Submitted to the Ames, Tribune, July 30, 2008
Dear Editor,

Sure, Obama's a Zionist [July 27, Letters]. You bet. Vote for him. I will. Thank you.

Obama speaks with far more nuance that either his admirers or detractors can fathom, and my hope in his presidency is that he is an anti-fascist (like most decent, intelligent human beings). Anti-this or anti-that is usually in the eye of the beholder; the name-calling is not working anymore. Let me illustrate why I am an anti-fascist. In one day (yesterday) I read these articles in the international press:

1. "Palestinian Child Shot Dead by Israeli Soldiers", The Times, London (UK).

2. "Palestinians Capture Violence of Israeli Occupation on Video", The Guardian, London (UK)

3. "Soldiers Seldom Punished for Attacks on Palestinians: Report", Agence France Presse, Paris (France)

4. "Where is Our Jerusalem", The Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem (Israel)

5. "How Can a Boy Threaten Soldiers?", Ynetnews, (Israel)

6. "Naalin Photographer's Father Kept in Custody", Ynetnews (Israel)

7. "US Says Settlements are a 'Problem' ", Ha'aretz (Israel)

Item 2 is an article on "Shooting Back" organized by B'Tsalem the Israeli human rights organization the gives video cameras to Palestinian civilians in danger of being murdered by Israeli fascist settlers. About 100 defenseless civilians are killed or wounded by Israelis each week.

Item 4 chronicles the demolition of another Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, the eviction of the family onto the streets, and turning this stolen private property over to a Jewish group, and argues that "Jewish sovereignty" can be strengthened if Palestinians are treated like real citizens.

Item 6 reports on the arrest of the father of a young girl who accidentally video taped an Israeli
soldier shooting a bound and blindfolded Palestinian boy. No charges filed, of course.

The whole world knows these things, but Americans are completely in the dark about the realities of what is happening in militarily occupied Palestine. I will say it again: if the Israeli press were printed in the US press, i would be happy and never write another letter to the newspaper.

But the happy-talk propaganda that Israel is a democracy and the nasty Palestinians don't want
peace is a complete fiction. In the first instance, Israel is hardly a democracy. Every democracy on Earth has a constitution that both defines and protects the rights of its citizens. Israel does not have a constitution. No such thing exists. Instead, there is a complicated set of "rules" that justifies throwing Palestinian families onto the streets and turning their homes over to Jewish groups. No constitution on Earth could justify this; it is not possible to write the words.

I hope that Obama can force the Israeli government to accept the two-state solution with East
Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and the green line its internationally recognized border.
This is the legal border under international law. In addition to not having a constitution, Israel
has never defined its border. In this sense, the Israeli government itself "de-legitimizes" Israel.

I believe that only Obama can do it, and that only this can save the US, Israel and the Middle
East from 100 years of war.

Many in the Israeli press argue for exactly this. Exactly. It is not just two people in Ames, Iowa. Don't be fooled.

John Hauptman


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