Palestinians Built Up By U.S., Then Shot Down

Recently, Greg Rudolph invited us to compare the South African apartheid regime to that of Israel.

Gaza and the West Bank have over 3,300,000 Palestinians, and living among them are 383,000 Israeli colonists.

The Israeli government encourages the “settlements” by confiscating lands from the Palestinians, and then legislating subsidies, tax breaks and cut-rate mortgages.

While there are Arab members in the Israeli parliament (about 10%, all in favor of a viable Palestinian state), they represent Israel’s *other* 1.1 million Arabs. Palestinians living in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza are deemed unworthy of citizenship, the right to vote and the right to representation in the Knesset.

However, the Knesset passes Israeli laws that directly affect the lives of these very people. So, in these occupied territories we have 300,000 subjugate the 3,000,000. Not apartheid? Bishop Desmond Tutu, the anti-Apartheid leader, would disagree:

“What is…not justified is what [Israel] did to… people to guarantee its existence. I’ve been…distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me…of what happened to us black people in South Africa. I have seen…Palestinians…suffering like us when young white police officers prevented us from moving about.”

Rudolph states that “colonialism” has negative connotations. What other connotations could there be? Does “imperialism” have a *positive* connotation to him? If people think that these terms have some sort of positive meaning, we are in trouble. It is no slander to call Israel’s expansionist-militaristic “settlement” policy by its real name, by its real manifestation of occupation and oppression. Colonialism.

Until he physically experiences it first hand, I don’t think Rudolph knows how disgustingly illogical, inhumane and painful imperialistic greed is.

Rudolph calls the Camp David’s 96% territory concession an absurdly good offer. Indeed, why would Israel do such a thing? Why would the Palestinians refuse this offer? Well, the proposal would have left the Palestinians with lands crisscrossed by settlements.

They would be disconnected from each other, economically crippled and controlled by Israelis, as well as cut off from the main water supplies. According to Israeli peace group Gush Shalom: “[The proposal] is no generous offer. It is a humiliating demand for surrender!”

Not many people want violence, but apparently a few like to profit from it. Terrorism, either out of desperate hatred (Palestinians’) or the systematic, state-sponsored kind (Israelis’), needs to stop, no matter how good the weapons business is for some US corporations.

Although Rudolph calls aid to Palestine “incredible amount of money,” the $80 million amount received by the Palestinians last year is nothing. All US funds for the Palestinians go to specific projects rather than to the Palestinian Authority, and they are regulated and accounted for under very strict US guidelines, making Rudolph’s accusations baseless.

Arafat and his cronies get their hate money from other sources, chief among them Bushes’ own oil ally the fundamentalist authoritarian kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Compare this to $3 billion that the US sends Israel, the official figure. The actual annual figure is probably closer to $10 billion. At least a quarter of this aid is purely for military purposes.

While constant violence in the Middle East is great news to US “defense” contractors, do they expect the people paying for this repulsive mess to stay silent? Silent or not, visible are Palestinian homes built using small amounts of US humanitarian aid, destroyed by weapons purchased and developed using US military aid-incredible.