Sunday December 8, 2013
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Have you ever stopped and compared what is going on in Gaza and the West Bank with what went on in a few small colonies back in 1776?
What we wanted was the freedom to rule ourselves. We wanted our borders open so we could trade with the rest of the world instead of living off the crumbs allowed us by our rulers. We wanted the ships closing our harbors to leave. We wanted the walls keeping us from trading with other nations to come down. We wanted the army occupying our land to go home. We wanted our elected government, however unpalatable to our masters, to be recognized as our choice.
No one can argue that the Palestinian people in Gaza, both Christian and Muslim, do not want the same things. They have chosen Hamas as their party. They have voted the leaders of Hamas to be their leaders. Whether anyone likes it or not that is a fact.
Right now I am reading "The Secret History of the Revolution," a book which covers the "beneath the radar" part of our revolution. In it, we are called traitors, rebels, and terrorists by the British Government. And whenever we try to talk to that government it refuses to deal with us because it does not recognize our right to talk.
You may not know it, because our history books rarely mention it, but as the Revolution continued on the British Government sent a commission from Parliament with Articles Of Conciliation in which they agreed to every single demand we had made at the beginning. They asked only that we stay part of the British Empire. We would have had representation in Parliament, would have had our own legislatures, would have been free of the taxes to which we had objected. Had they made that offer earlier we have danced in the streets.
It was too late. We could no longer agree to what we would have accepted with joy just a short time earlier. We had tasted freedom.
The question is, why did the British decide at last to act? The answer, written in the details of the day, is that they realized that we had turned to other nations for help, and those nations were beginning to listen to us.
In other words, when the world began at last to support our fight, Britain--too late--was ready to compromise.
Read this quote from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in light of that knowledge:
"You don't get into military adventures on a whim, and certainly not based on the mood of the public, which can turn the first time an armored personnel carrier rolls over or an explosive device is detonated against forces on the ground," he told Israel Army Radio.
"The world's mood also can turn," he said, referring to warnings by the U.S. and Israel's other Western allies of the high cost of a ground offensive.
Is the change in our energy future beginning to have an effect on how Israel sees our support? Have they at last begun to see that we will not support them forever unless they act to free the Palestinians?
I see that Israel has just authorized another development to be built on land belonging to the Palestinians. I sometimes wonder if the Israeli government ever looks back on the oppression of the Jewish people over the centuries and realizes that it is doing the same things that were done to its people for so long. For 63 years it has occupied lands that were granted to Palestinian Christians and Muslims by the same United Nations resolution that created Israel. Will it never learn? You cannot occupy land which was won in a war; the result is always the same: another war.
The minute the world is energy independent it will turn its back on Israel. Israel was formed by people who cared about the Jews, who wanted to see them at last with a homeland of their own. We danced in the streets when Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria were formed, but we fully expected that, as intended, in a few months there would also be one or more small independent nations for the Palestinians who lived in areas that had not been granted to Israel.
For many years Israel was seen as a friendly state in an area where the USSR was trying to divide and conquer. Those days are gone. It is time for peace in the area. The Israeli people have suffered enough, both in recent years and over the past two thousand years. And so have the Palestinians. When will the Israeli government look at the future and act in its own best interests? The Israeli government seems to have chosen to ignore the fact that it is losing the support of both its friends and of many of its own people. Is it TRYING to cause a war? It almost looks like it.
We all know what happens in a war. Except under circumstances where a developed nation is fighting one with no money and no modern weapons, it is numbers that decide the issue.
Look at these numbers:
Israel: 8 million
Egypt: 81 million.
Iran: 74 million.
Iraq: 32 million
Saudi: 27 million
Yemen: 24 million
Syria: 20 million
Jordan: 6 million
Lebanon: 4 million
Small middle eastern nations: 16 million
That is more than a quarter of a billion people aligned against just 8 million. It is time for an independent Palestinian nation. There is no other possible solution that will guarantee the continued existence of Israel.
The bottom line?
The world is tired of wars that kill 30 million people and end up with the same solution that could have been accomplished with a little wisdom. I do not think the United States will involve itself in another such war, nor do I think that europe or anyone else will. No nation is going to send young men and women overseas to die in a war that did not have to happen.
This is always a hard subject for me to comment on.
I can remember it all so well. Joey Bahmer, the kid downstairs, and I were good friends. Joey lived downstairs on the ground floor apartment with his three sisters and his brother in law. They had a slight accent, and were all young enough to still have their parents around. Joey and two of his sisters were single, but there was never any mention of where their parents were. I didn't ask because I didn't want to hear the wrong kind of answer.
When the United Nations was debating the creation of Israel, Joey and I listened to the live debates on the radio on and off for days. For a long time it looked doubtful, but then came the time when the resolution was passed, and almost in the next breath the United States recognized the new nation of Israel.
I am not kidding when I say that people literally danced in the street. Directly across the street from out house was a small mom-and-pop grocery run by a Russian Jew named Mike, who walked with a terrible limp. As Joey and I burst out of the house at the news Jake came out on the sidewalk and actually danced. Inside of six months he was gone to Israel. Those were good days. Just think of it: Two thousand years of oppression, and a war filled with some of the greatest horrors the world has ever seen, and suddenly it was all over.
The British, I am sorry to say, failed in their duty at that point. They did the same thing they had done in India just the year before. They just pulled out their troops and left, knowing full well what would happen. I know that they were angry with the Jews over the terrorist acts of many years, the Stern Gang, the bombing of police stations in Jerusalem, the others things that cost British lives, but they should have stayed long enough to assure a peaceful transition.
In any event, I remember those days, and I remember the horror of what went on the extermination camps. I simply do not understand why the Israeli government cannot see that what they are doing to the people of Palestine is what was done to them.
If anyone can explain that, I am ready to listen.
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