By Charles E. Carlson
What does Israel’s war against the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have in common with America’s serial wars all over the globe, now centered on Afghanistan? The common denominator is that American money and weapons are used in every such war. Israel enjoys the approval and unconditional support of the American government. That means that no act that Israel does or has done will arouse serious objection from America’s leaders. In this Part V, we will examine why the War for Palestine is no closer to ending now than it was when it began, 54 years ago, and why the American government is financing the Israeli side in its brutal path.
The war in Palestine is an American war, just as much as the one in Afghanistan is. I know this, because I, personally, heard and saw the American F-16 planes and the missiles made in the U.S. exploding in the refugee camps, homes, and office buildings of Gaza. It is not necessary to go to Gaza to understand what is going on there, unless you are a person who trusts the American media implicitly. There is little reason for anyone to have doubts about who is beating up on whom. Most of the facts show up in the international press, and they are readily available on the Internet, where there is much greater freedom from the censorship that controls the mainstream press.
I saw the people who live in the gulag called Gaza, and I learned to appreciate their dignity and ability to govern themselves and live under nearly impossible circumstances. We Hold These Truths is not against the Israelis, but we are against what they do to Palestine. Similarly, we are not against the father who makes the bad choice to submit his unborn child to the abortionist. We do not favor punishing or killing him because he has allowed his unborn child’s life to be ended, but in every abortion situation, we are pro-baby, because the baby cannot defend itself; it is always the victim.
We oppose what the Israelis do, and we oppose those who are causing and promoting the genocide Israel is engaged in, and that includes our own government and large numbers of the Christian leaders in America. We do not condone killing by Palestinians either, but we recognize that it is a response to Israeli aggression against them, and not the other way around, as it is portrayed by the Pro-Israel American media.
Israel is responsible, even though it has clearly been manipulated by its American financiers to commit genocide. If the world’s only superpower gives weapons of mass destruction to the Israeli side of the war, Israel can hardly be expected not to use them. Because of the exorbitant military aid that the U.S. gives to Israel, it is able to use extremely costly weapons of mass destruction on the Palestinians every day. Israel is the aggressor this is undeniable to any fair-minded person, whether he visits the gulag called Palestine or whether he just listens to the international version of CNN and BBC. The news that CNN presents in Egypt is different from the news it presents to Americans; it employs a double standard of reporting.
In every fight or squabble, including those our kids get into, there is always an aggressor–a perpetrator. In some fights, the victim wins…we like to see these hero stories on TV and read about them in books. But in the case of the Palestinian people, they are and have always been the victim; though the press tries to make them the aggressor. To presume that Palestinians are the aggressors is as ridiculous as presuming that a four-year old child attacked a 90-pound pit bull; it could happen, but it never does.
We have heard all the arguments as to why Israel has a right to destroy the Palestinians in order to possess the land if need be. Many of the arguments are specious and do not hold any historical or legal water, and are based upon one or another false premise. Jewish and Israeli historians, time and time again, in hundreds of written works have refuted all of these arguments. We could offer many references without ever naming a Christian author. Our own One Nation Under Israel has a bibliography that is almost entirely Jewish and makes these arguments look silly.
There is, however, one argument about who owns the land that we will answer. Most Israelis I asked told me, “We own the land because God gave it to us.” Several of those who said this then admitted they never attend synagogue and are not religious. We will discuss this argument in depth in the next and final edition of this series, because it is the answer that is presented most often by Americans, particularly professing Christians. Many of these Christians say they believe this excuses any actions the Israelis may take to keep the land, no matter how violent.
Israel has surpassed the Soviet Union as the most socialistic country on the face of earth. One evidence of this was told to me by my American friends who live in Gaza but who, unlike the Palestinians, are able to travel to and shop in Israel. They tell that in the up-coming Passover no bread will be available in Israel even though most store owners are secular and do not really believe in the so called Jewish history. Merchants are required to hide the leavened bread during Passover, selling only the Kosher unleavened, regardless of their own beliefs. To insure its official religion is observed, the State of Israel maintains Passover police who patrol stores looking for malefactors selling yeasted bread, who they believe are prosecuted and fined when caught.
Most store owners apparently do not really believe in God, but my hosts said they tolerate this practice even if it is slightly silly to enforce the belief in tradition. What would Moses have said about Passover police back in the days of slavery? Not even the Pharaohs went this far, but Israelis think nothing of it. But it is religion that works. The statement “god gave it to us” referring to the Palestinians’ land, is heard from everyone including Sharon. It, too, is part of Israeli religion. If few believe in or worships “god” what difference does it make? It is a religion that works for the Israelis….it is the system.
During my stay in Gaza, I learned that the Palestinians have dignity and pride in spite of the conditions imposed on them by the Israelis. They are not lacking for bravery and have given a good account of themselves in battle. Israel is not enjoying the war with them; if you think otherwise, ask any Israeli. Some prominent Israelis are now saying they cannot defeat the Palestinians. They may be right, but Israel has yet to employ nuclear arms against Palestine, and it’s my opinion that, if it received US approval, it would do it. Israel is pleading for more massive aid from the US taxpayers right now.
Palestinians wonder why Americans will not do their part by ending their aid to the bully. As one person told me in a letter, if we allow this great injustice to continue, some day we will be the Palestinians and our grandchildren will be in the ghetto or gulag. If we can stop this war, we can stop all wars, but I don’t mean stopping war by the phony peace process we hear about on the news.
Both parties are exhausted by the 54-year war in Israel. Only the victims of the Soviet Union during the Bolshevik reign parallel the suffering of the Palestinians. But in the last half of the 20th century, there has been no comparable brutality. The Israeli people have also suffered from the conflict, but in a different way that few discuss. Israeli deaths are exaggerated in our news and have been about one-for-every-seven Palestinians.
It appears the war has impoverished Palestinians while the Israelis seem to prosper, but this too is an illusion. In its struggle and poverty, the life style of the Palestinians has never been stronger in terms of commitment to religion and the family. It has prospered while Israel has deteriorated. In Israel moral decay of every conceivable kind is epidemic. The best measure of this divergence in character is the relative birth rate; Palestine has one of the highest rates in the world and Israel one of the lowest.
Israel is the sad site of the most outrageous inflation; meantime, one can buy a street lunch in Gaza city for 50 U.S. cents, and a white cotton men’s shirt can be taken home for $7.50, about a fifth of the cost in Israel. Without its biggest moneymaker, tourism, Israel is in effect bankrupt; its businessmen are on their knees. Furthermore, its farming practices that have been touted as greening the desert will run Israel out of drinking water, not to mention irrigation, in about 30 years, I was told by an Israeli businessman. Palestinian farmers and nomads lived with the frail ecosystem for a thousand years; Israel may well destroy it in less than a century.
Since the Intifada 2, Israel apparently has no one willing to pick the oranges, which can begin rotting on the trees in orchards. Keep in mind that 100% of the Israeli youth, who would normally be entry level labor and might pick fruit, are riding the busses from place to place and standing guard over the Arabs at a thousand outposts. They are not available to pick the oranges, and the Arabs, who have picked for generations, are locked up in the gulags. It is Israel’s specious claim they have a blooming desert, but do not have a way to harvest their crops without the Palestinian labor.
One comparison I found curious was public transportation. In Gaza City, a fair sized town, there is no public bus system, but unemployment is high and taxis are everywhere. The fare is one Israeli shekel (25 cents) to go anywhere in the city. This is a bargain in transportation, but you must share your cab with anyone else going your way. There are no subsidies and little regulations, and most people ride because they can afford it.
In Israel, the government owns the public bus system that is everywhere and is obviously losing a bundle. You can ride all the way across Israel for $18.00, but the taxpayers (American ones) are probably putting up at least that much for every ride. The buses are, in effect, military transport vehicles half full of armed Israeli Defense Forces. It did not make me feel safe, and it is clearly another road to Israeli bankruptcy.
The greatest problem of the Israelis is their morale. They are a people afraid, and it shows. Israelis simply do not like the risk of being splattered by suicide bombers, no matter how favorable the odds. Recently prominent Israeli officers have stated that Israel cannot win the war. Thousands of Israeli Defense Force reserves and regulars are now refusing to serve. Israel is in the worst moral crisis of its history. It shows in the eyes of the thousands of youth who ride its radically-subsidized bus system. It shows in the voices of businessmen who tell you that there is no business and that the war must end.
There is no denying who the parties to the war are. The American government is the principal Warmaker on the Palestinian people. I defy anyone to go to Gaza and Jerusalem and not sense it is true. Every Palestinian knows this and will say so if you give him time to express himself. The Americans provide everything for the war except the people. Israel provides the boys and girls. It also sends the dead home to Israeli families in body bags.
I stood on my rented roof and watched sortie after sortie of American F-16s delivering 50 million dollar missiles into a refugee camp where the homes are made of dirt. Every missile dropped had “Made in the USA” stamped on it. I witnessed an attack by Apache helicopters, perhaps the most frightening war machines in the world, for it can be anchored a mile away and fire a guided missile capable of incinerating a 60-ton tank into your bedroom window without even waking you to the danger. That day the Apaches fired 42 guided anti-tank missiles into relatively worthless office buildings that were abandoned by the Palestinian government because they were known to be targets. The cost was many million dollars of American money.
Everyone in Israel knows the government is bankrupt and has been for years. I am told by a trusted financial analyst that the Israeli war budget exceeds its Gross National Product and has for many years. Consider for a moment this amazing statement, which if even half true would be staggering. Israel is a country that spends more on its war with the indigenous Palestinians than all its citizens and residents combined take in from the sale of everything.
As an analogy, what if your household spent more on the lottery than all your sources of income combined–your wages, your sale assets, your pension plan, social security, whatever. It is inconceivable to even contemplate such a household, much less a government. This means that Israel must receive gifts to carry out its war against the Palestinians; else it would have to make peace. And it does receive those gifts–from the American taxpayer.
The Palestinians know where the bombs and bullets come from, but they do not want to believe it, because to recognize America as the real enemy is to admit defeat. Most Palestinians do not believe Israel can defeat them, but they can’t help knowing that they cannot defeat the full war efforts of the American Government. This is the sad plight of the Palestinians; they cannot admit what they know deep inside, that the enemy is the U.S. The question is, can the Americans come to admit it?
We shall now examine how and why America is secretly at war with the poor mothers and sons I visited in Gaza. We shall also logically show how this tragic war can be ended and why, for the sake of the American people if not for the Palestinians and Israelis, it must be ended. If the American government would stop funding the war in Israel, it would stop overnight. There is no need for an Oslo Accord or a Washington-initiated peace accord, or an Arab plan. The people in Israel on both sides are afraid and tired of the war. Both sides see the hopelessness of the war, and there is an easy solution the United States must withdraw from helping either side.
The State of Israel–both the Palestinian side and the Jewish side–is nothing more than a vast resettlement camp for both Jews and Arabs. On November 29, 1947, by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly declared the existence of the State of Israel by a Partition Plan. The U.N. was a new, internationalist tool owned, created and controlled by the winners of World War II. It granted control of certain seaport cities on the Mediterranean to a government entity that did not even exist, but which was to constitute itself and adopt the Biblical name of Israel.
These cities granted to Israeli control include TelAviv, Haifa, and others. These cities and the surrounding territory were primary populated by Arabs at the time, and nothing in the agreement suggested that the Arabs were required to leave the new Israeli state. But, in fact, the Arabs were forced to leave and became refugees in their own lands. Some left Palestine by boat or on foot, but many stayed, and today they and their descendants number 400,000 in Gaza alone. Many refugee camps still exist in the Gaza Strip and the West bank.
In subsequent military operations the new State of Israel–always supported by U.S. financial and military aid–invaded and captured all of the Palestinian territory not given to it in the Partition Agreement. Israel assumed control of the entire state of Palestine, except for two separate chunks of territory most densely populated by Palestinian Arabs–the West Bank and Gaza. These two isolated parcels are today the home of millions of Arab Palestinians.
But Israel did not stop here, it effectively subdivided the West Bank and Gaza into dozens of gulags, or live-in prison camps by capturing and occupying all the major roads and waterways within the West Bank and Gaza, and further, by establishing militarized squatter camps at all strategic road crossings, and sites having potential military value. These squatters’ camps have been referred to as settlements but the civilian inhabitants are actually squatters on the occupied, inhabited land. In fact, they evicted the Arab residents by force.
As a result of their action, the map of partitioned territory today resembles two chunks of Swiss cheese, the holes being the settlements, with all surrounding roads and most of the internal roads designated as Israeli territory. One Jewish commentator likened the set up to a house where the rooms belong to the Palestinians, but the halls, windows and doors belong to the Israelis.
One intelligent question is asked over and over again and must be answered: Why is America warring against one Islamic country after another? Is it because Muslim and Arabs are subhuman as the Israelis claim, and as the American press sometimes subtly suggests? Or is there an anti-Islamic agenda among our nation’s leaders that they do not share with us? Who can help but notice the common denominator in America’s serial wars; Muslims are dying in almost every war.
My hosts in Gaza were almost all Christians who had long experience living and working among the Muslims. Some had themselves been Muslims. They wonder how it can be a coincidence that Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan are all Islamic countries, and they are all war victims of the U.S. Why, they ask, would the U.S. government single out Islam for destruction? There can be no understanding of why the U.S. supports war against the Islamic Palestinians until we face this question. Fortunately, the answer has been recorded and tested by the unforgiving standard of time
On March 21, 1994, this author wrote the answer to that question in Attacking Islam, which was published in a national magazine. That article is history and needs no additions or corrections to expose the truth today. The proof of its accuracy is that it can stand the light of scrutiny eight years later. We are quoting the entire article intact, changing nothing and leaving off only the historical introduction. The story is called “Attacking Islam,” and it explains exactly why the U.S. government is doing and why.