Sunday, May 24, 2009


U.S. should stop Israel support

Published: Thursday, May 21, 2009 11:33 AM CDT
For 20 years, I have passionately asked for justice for the Palestinians and tried to explain the horrors of Zionist colonialism which our nation enabled.

Now, as our own economy fizzles in starts and stops and American workers lose their livelihoods, Congress considers a FY2010 budget request for $2.775 billion in foreign military financing for Israel, an increase of $225 million in military aid compared to FY2009. During FY2007, the U.S. gave more than $6.8 million per day to Israel and $0.3 million per day to the Palestinians. Should we continue to offer our purse to Israel, year after year?

More and more global speakers, including voices of Jews of conscience, ask that America stop supporting Israel until Israel ends its unjust occupation of Palestine. When people from Palestine to Pakistan speak of struggles in Gaza and the West Bank, they do not say, “Israeli violence”; they refer, instead, to “American/Israeli injustice.” Should we be paying Israel to reject human rights we ourselves accept, causing ourselves worldwide disdain and accompanying dangers?

The Jewish Federation of Des Moines, as well as federation professionals all over America, have the job of silencing those of us who dare speak against Israel’s actions. They twist the facts; they use the word “Jew” rather than “Zionist,” even when many Jews do not approve of Israel’s occupation anymore than I do.

With Jewish groups (none of whom call me anti-Semitic) like J-Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, Not in My Name supporting lasting peace and encouraging America to insist on peace, maybe it’s time for the federation to become mainstream by supporting a just peace, too.

For the record, I do not mean this “blithely.”

Elizabeth S. Mayfield



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