Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Time for a Clean Break-From Israel

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Time for a Clean Break-From Israel

Article excerpt

The ghastly human carnage at Qana, Lebanon, should awaken everyone to the grim reality that our nation's attachment to Israel is bad news. It entangles America in one awful mess after another: first 9/11, then Afghanistan, then Iraq, and now Lebanon. None would have occurred if our government had refused to support Israel's long subjugation of the Palestinians.

Instead of continuing to ignore this entanglement with near-total silence, our citizens should now seek a way out through civilized open debate and discussion. If so, Qana will be a silver lining-although a bloody one-in this otherwise engulfing cloud.

Striving as usual to live by the sword, Israelis seem unwilling to face the stark fact that they will never be truly secure until Palestinians feel secure in an independent state of their own. Hezbollah's recent border skirmish was motivated partly by leader Hassan Nasrallah's desire to show solidarity with the Palestinians in their lonely, desperate struggle for survival in Gaza.

Using the skirmish as a pretext for war, Israel is now trying to wipe out northern resistance to its colonialism. The initial goal is the destruction of the Hezbollah, a popular Lebanese Shi'i organization that has long provided social services for local citizens, along with armed resistance to Israeli occupation policies. Six years ago, Hezbollah handed Israel its only battlefield defeat in history by forcing it to withdraw its forces from south Lebanon. Perhaps Israelis believe that bombing Hezbollah and much of Lebanon back to the Stone Ages will ease the memory of defeat. Israel's major objective in its latest war-making is the installation of a compliant new regime in Beirut.

The U.S. government is not a bystander in this gruesome enterprise. President George W. Bush strongly supports Israel's invasion and publicly opposes an immediate cease-fire until Israel finishes its long-planned schedule of killings and destruction. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice smilingly calls these horrors the "birth pangs of a new Middle East."

If past is prologue, with the help of Congress Bush will provide further evidence of U.S. complicity by sending Israel a U.S. Treasury check big enough to cover Israel's expenses in this latest of seven invasions of Lebanon. Our government has already expedited a new supply of laser-guided missiles to Israel and donated $150 million worth of aviation fuel, a gift that will help finance, among other ugly missions, the deliberate recurrent terrifying sonic booms that deny sleep for hapless Palestinians in Gaza. …

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