Dear Jennifer Loewenstein,
I have to admit that I skipped "The Shame of It All" when it was first published on CounterPunch. I have read so many articles lamenting the monstrous condition of the Palestinians that I thought I would give my heart a rest when I saw yours. I turned the page.
But this morning I saw some of the letters you’ve received in response to your essay and the gratitude they expressed for your writing and those letters sent me back to your article.
I hope that the connection can be made between the terrorism we Americans experienced on 9/11 and our three decades of support for the far-right wing in Israel, enablement really, for the Likud could never have found the resources to so terrorize and oppress the Palestinians on their own.
The juggernaut of jingo in the United States attendant upon the mass murders of 9/11 which enabled the present monstrous "adventure" in Iraq has made me understand just how debilitating the vast sums of money transferred to the Israeli far-right from the United States, the "Likud Entitlement Program" really, must be to the cause of justice in Israel itself.
I try my best to encourage others in the United States to think of the Israelis as potential allies in the struggle against the far-right wing regimes both in Israel and the United States, for together we may overthrow them.
Cindy Sheehan, an ordinary human being rather than a member of the corrupt American political class, said it simply and straight-forwardly : "You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism."
This simple message has been as missed in public discourse as the pictures of the despoilment of Palestine and the oppression of the Palestinians, pictures whose lack you lament.
I try to point out that there are at least 1663 Israelis refuseniks, including 27 Israeli airmen, more than a dozen members of Sayeret Matkal, and Noam Bahat, Hagay Mattar, Adam Mouar, Shimi Tzamrit and Mittan Kminar who are serving prison terms for refusing to serve in Israel’s illegal, immoral war against the Palestinians.
That’s like 80,000 people here in the United States. And I imagine that it takes every bit as much backbone to stand up to the Likud in Israel as it does to stand up to the present regime here in America. The peace movements in Israel and the United States must join together, to make common cause against the common enemy, to vow together never again. If we don’t drain the swamp of despair and humiliation that creates such hatred for Americans and Israelis we will contiue to reap the terror we sow. Retaliatory attacks will kill Americans and Israelis again, and the Likud will again use those attacks as the reason to continue the cycle of terror.
If we can turn the growing realization of the monstrosity of this adventure in Iraq into a resolve to defund both the open-ended War on Terror and the open-ended Likud Entitlement Program, if we can use this pivotal moment as an opportunity to unite right-thinking people in America and Israel and to snatch power back from the far-right wing in both countries, then all the deaths that have accumulated over the past three, nearly four decades will not have been completely in vain.
I imagine that since your article has drawn the response that it has it may well, finally, be time when change is possible, time for us to confront the shame of it all, to right things to the best of our ability, and to carry on from here with the resolution fresh in our minds, never again.
JOHN FRANCIS LEE
Muang Chiang Rai,