Saturday, January 31, 2009


Can the U.S. be an honest broker?


Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:09 AM CST, The Tribune, Ames
The Israeli incursion into Gaza, done in front of the eyes of all people on earth, is a disgrace and shame to human kind. That the world’s leaders seem disabled, unable to address the obvious underlying causes of this violence brings more shame to our national intellect, empathy and responsibility.

Do our leaders feel nothing when they see children blown apart; families destroyed and property demolished beyond repair? For 22 days, the United Nations and the people of the world begged for a cease fire while Israel continued to do its ugly mission of destroying and killing.

Where was the condemnation of Israel, a state that will not declare its own borders and can have its leader call our president and tell him what to do and how to respond?

Has the United States become this weak and ineffectual?

Israelis knew how to ignite attacks from Hamas. They challenged the Palestinians on the day a new president was elected in the United States, Nov. 4, 2008. On that day, Election Day, thinking Americans would not notice, Israel broke a truce by firing missiles into the Gaza Strip. They assassinated several Hamas members, and they knew fully well Hamas would have to respond.

What does it mean when a powerful nation tries to destroy any semblance of potential peace, sneaking in to break a truce they know will lead to renewed violence?

As I read reactions of news people and writers, Jewish and Israelis among them, it became clear to me Israel was not particularly worried about Qassam rockets, but in the potential of the Palestinian leadership to build a real Palestinian state, with borders and with an economy that would give its people normal life expectations. Israeli and Jewish writers explained the Zionist agenda always has been to avoid accord, to create “facts on the ground” which would be hard to reverse and, in the end, to eliminate or displace forever the indigenous people of Palestine.

Oxford professor Avi Shlaim wrote in The Guardian, Jan. 7, 2009, that we cannot understand the violence of attacks like this one unless we place it in the context of history. Shlaim tells about British reactions to the 1948 establishment of Israel, quoting Sir John Troutbeck who wrote that the Americans were responsible for the creation of “the gangster state headed by an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders.”

Shlaim adds, “I used to think that this judgment is too harsh, but Israel’s vicious assault on the people of Gaza, and the Bush Administration’s complicity in this assault, has reopened the question.”

American partisanship with the Zionist movement, which began when Israel was born, has come full circle. It is “the rough beast” that Yeats once wrote about in his famous poem, “The Second Coming.”

Now, under a new American president, we have a chance to recreate a history that serves us through compassion that makes us responsive to the suffering of all people, most decidedly, to the Palestinian people.

If we loosen the grip of Zionist lobbying in the United States, truly become an “honest broker” and respond justly, recognizing the human rights of all people, we have a chance to create a world worthy of peaceful living. “Yes, we can!”

Haifa Akili

P.S. While cease fire was declared a week ago, firing from the sea has not stopped on the shores of Gaza.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can the U.S. be an honest broker?"

NO! as long as America is involved, as long as they profit from Israel, there can never be peace... Simple

February 5, 2009 at 4:23 AM  
Blogger Facing Facts said...

Thanks for the comment, A'Jay. How does America profit from Israel? I know how Israel profits from the US, but, to me, Israel's gain is America's loss. We in America get a bad rap in the rest of the Arab World because we are not honest brokers, always favoring Israel. Our government is strongly controlled by the pro-Israeli lobby. Israel and some members of our Congress care more about Israel than they do about America. We have no reason at all to attack Iran EXCEPT to protect Israel. So in what way is Israel a friend of America?

Hope to hear from you again. I'm just learning about blogging and so I sometimes have a hard time responding. But, this I get.

Where do you live in Australia?


February 17, 2009 at 12:49 PM  

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