From Jim Houle
A biweekly news blog commenting upon our 44th President’ s actions and providing a scorecard on promises made and kept, promises undone or abandoned, and compromises made.** Our intent is not to tell you what to think, but to give you a few facts and let you think for yourself. We will not tell you where to mount your protests or how you can change the world.
WHEN SENDING NO MESSAGE IS THE MESSAGE
Israel’s intensive 5-day bombing of the world’s most densely populated refugee camp, the Gaza Strip, has put the incoming Obama Administration in an untenable position: While Obama has defended Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket’s fired into Jewish settlements from Gaza, he has avoided any support for the Gazan’s right to medicine, water, electric power, and even food. Neither has he condemned the targeting non-military buildings and densely-packed housing for bombing by Israeli F-16s.
When does his studied neutrality become an implicit approval of genocide? Most international observers do not believe that prevention of relatively harmless attacks by home-made short-range rockets is a justification for bombings by US made F-16s that have so far killed 450 Palestinians. The efforts of Israel to terrorize the civilian population were indicated in a January 1 report by the /New York Times/, which wrote: “Tens of thousands of Gazans have received recorded phone calls from the Israeli Army warning them that their houses have been marked as targets because they harbored either militants or weapons facilities like rocket workshops. Noncombatants were urged to clear out. Hundreds of thousands of leaflets gave the same message.” In an area 25 miles long and only 3 to 7 miles wide, the 1.4 million Palestinians have no where to go to avoid becoming targets for the F-16s.
Israel has now initiated a very ill-advised ground invasion of Gaza. Hamas is well dug-in and, while lacking tanks and artillery, is said to be as well-prepared to disable IDF tanks as the Hezbullah was in the summer of 2006 in South Lebanon. Now is the opportunity for a few sane words from Washington by both Obama and Rice. By maintaining silence, they are both complicit in further Israeli actions.