TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below is a little moral clarity from the admirable Charley
*Check Your Beliefs*
Let's play a fantasy game to check on our belief in human rights. Let's
suppose that in a mythical state, a governor announced a campaign to
punish African-Americans for alleged violence.
Step one is to confiscate the land owned by African-Americans, evict
them from it and use the land to build massive new subdivisions. Only
white Protestant Christians may live in these subdivisions.
Step two is to connect these all-white Protestant Christian settlements
to each other by a highway on which African-Americans are forbidden to
drive. To facilitate control, the automobile tags for African-Americans
will be a different color from the tags issued to white motorists.
Checkpoints would be set up all around the state capitol to search and
harass African-Americans trying to enter.
Would you support such a plan? Would you hail that mythical governor as
a man of peace? Would you go to your church congregation and ask the
members to send money to the occupants of these white settlements? Would
you lobby the federal government to subsidize this new apartheid state
in our midst?
I don't think so. I think most Americans would consider such acts an
abomination, un-American and a mockery of everything both Christianity
and the United States stand for.
Well, if you would condemn such acts here directed against
African-Americans, why won't you condemn identical acts committed
against the Palestinians by the state of Israel?
Those settlements you hear about are built on Palestinian land, and they
are for Jews only. New roads that Palestinians are forbidden to use
connect them. The entire West Bank is riddled with Israeli checkpoints,
where innocent Palestinians are daily humiliated and harassed. A trip to
a nearby village can mean waiting in line at checkpoints for hours.
Palestinians have died in these lines.
After all of these humiliations, abuses, the houses destroyed, the
children killed, the olive trees uprooted, how do you think Palestinians
feel about Americans who support the Israelis no matter what they do to
the Palestinians? Don't take my word about these abuses. Check out the
Israeli human-rights organization at www.btselem.org/English.
If you cannot condemn the flagrant abuses of Palestinians by the Israeli
government, then you are undoubtedly a bigot, the worst kind of racist
pig who believes that Palestinians are some kind of subspecies of the
human race. If you do condemn in your heart these terrible abuses, but
are afraid to speak out about them, then you are a damned coward.
I listened in disgust to a congressional committee hearing on the
Palestinian elections. It was all about what the Palestinians have to
do. It was as if the cops, interviewing a child who had been raped by an
adult, lectured the child on dressing provocatively and of being in
places she should not have been in.
The Palestinians are the victims here. It is their land that is
occupied. They have no army. They are at the mercy of the Israeli
government. They don't have a superpower protecting them from
international sanctions and supplying them with billions of dollars. The
United States should be telling Israel to get out of the West Bank and
East Jerusalem, to dismantle its settlements and checkpoints, and to
allow Palestinian refugees to return to or be compensated for the land
the Israelis stole.
You want to know why we have a problem with terrorism? It's not Islamic
fundamentalists or hatred of freedom. It's our support of Israel's
unspeakable abuse of Palestinians. Don't blame Osama bin Laden. Blame
the president, Congress, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
and all the cowardly Americans who practice hypocrisy by claiming to be
moral while supporting gross immorality committed against their fellow
human beings in Palestine.