Watching the torching of Gaza

From Jim Houle
Redwood Valley

As I watch the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, I must ask who really controls American Middle East policy. Our strategic interests in the region are clear:

1st: We have much to gain through peaceful relations with the oil producing nations of the Middle East. Israel produces no oil or gas.
2nd : The major petroleum producers in the Arab nations buy our shaky treasury bills and keep much of their cash in our bank vaults. Israel by contrast receives $3 billion per year in economic aid to keep their economy afloat and another $3 billion to keep their military machine well oiled.
3th : We supply the F-16 jets, the anti personnel mines, and the missile systems Israel employs to keep their neighbors at bay.
4th : Without America’s weapons and money, Israel would have had to come to a lasting peace with its neighbors after the 1967 War, in accord with UN Resolutions.

So, do the majority of Americans feel we have some sort of obligation to support Israel in their battles with the Hamas, their continual suppression of the Palestinians in the West Bank, and with the Hezbullah in Lebanon? Is there any logic in our encouraging Israel to operating outside of the Nuclear Proliferation Agreement?

The answer is no: The American Jewish Lobby, representing no more than 2.2% of Americans, has managed to take control over what we can read in the press, what we can hear on our main stream broadcast media, and what our elected politicians in Washington can safely say on the subject of Israel. No politician, no television news show host, and no newspaper editorialist will dare to question the pro-Israel position. The power of the American Jewish lobby, working through the American-Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) and similar groups, has effectively stifled all dissent.

You will find far more dissent with Israeli policies in the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz than ever makes its way into print in the U.S.

When sending no message is the message

From Jim Houle
Redwood Valley

Comments to:
Excerpt from

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.

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.


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