Thursday, February 14, 2019

My Palestinian Flag

Every Friday, I fly a Palestinian flag in front of my cottage. Have done so for years. My reward is that every now and then, someone will ask what its all about. Just last Friday, a delivery man recognized it and thanked me for showing it. Neither of us are Palestinian. He explained that he was just committed to justice and the injustice meted out against the Palestinians is blatant and well known.

While we praised each other, in Gaza, Israel killed two more young men.

Two Palestinian youths were killed by Israeli fire Friday during the weekly protest near the Israeli fence east of Gaza. Hasan Shalabi was killed by Israeli live fire to the chest. He was 14. Hamza Shtewi, 18 died after a shot in the neck. Another 17 Palestinians were shot while protesting along the fence including two journalist and four medics.

The report goes on to say:

Israeli forces shot tear gas canisters at an ambulance and sprayed demonstrators with chemically enhanced sewage water known as “skunk juice”. Palestinians have for nearly a year gathered weekly for unarmed protest since March 30, last year. Protesters are also asking Israel to end its 12 year blockade of its coastal strip.[i]

Two young men who could have become doctors or engineers and made a valuable contribution to life. Now, thanks to Israel, they are dead.

I cannot say that I am surprised. This kind of needless killing has been going on for decades. A big portion of my anger is directed toward our media. News reporters who stick their heads in the sand, more interested in pleasing their advertisers than in standing up for truth or justice.

So, in protest, I fly my flag and Palestinians continue to die at the hands of Israel and with the full support of my government.  But, every now and then, someone will stop and ask,”What kind of flag is that?” And I get to explain a little history.

Then, they will ask. ”Why don’t we hear about this on the news?” and I get to say, “Good Question.”

Thomas Are
February 14, 2019

[i] Two Palestinian teens Killed by Israel gunfire in Gaza on 46th Week of Protest.
Al Jazeera, Feb. 8, 2019.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Gangsters

Let’s be clear. Who are the gangsters? Who simply chooses to ignore even its own laws when it is convenient to do so?

The Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory clearly states:

An occupying power cannot transfer civilian population to an occupied territory, and is considered illegal.

Sounds pretty clear: Israel’s settlements are totally illegal. But, in Israel, unlike any other government in the world, if you don’t like a law, just ignore it.  Kids playing on the beach at Tel Aviv have no idea that just about an hour’s drive across the way, their government is keeping millions of people locked up behind cement barrows and barbed wire fences so they cannot get out and be noticed. Of course they could know if they chose to, but lying to themselves is the only way to live conscience free. It’s a gang mentality, a group of people who join forces to bully others and to offer each other a rationale for their lawless racketeering, according to Webster...

So, Israel continues to demolish Palestinian homes, uproot their olive trees, lock up their children in military prisons, steal Palestinian water and land, while all the time hoping that by keeping them behind a wall will keep the world from knowing or caring.

However, my major concern is not with Israel. Israel is its own problem.  My anger is with my own country, the United States, which continues to support Israel’s atrocities to the tune of billions of dollars every year, continues to veto U.N. resolutions condemning Israel’s crimes, and all the time hoping a wall will keep the world from knowing.

When I speak or write about Israel, my friends ask, is there any hope?  The answer is “yes.” The gangsters do not intimidate the younger Jews in America or the younger Jews in Israel who are no longer dead locked in covering up for Israel as were their parents.  I call that hope.

Thomas Are
February 2, 2019