FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In Gaza, US Citizens are Paying Israel’s Tab

by

A riveting letter is making its rounds from Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor volunteering in Palestine. In it, Dr. Gilbert describes his first-hand account of Israel’s boots on the ground in Gaza – the sounds of F16s, drones and Apache helicopters, “So much made and paid in and by US,” blended with the screams, the smells, the sight of shivers and blood. He pleads, “Mr. Obama – do you have a heart? I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa … I am convinced, 100 percent, it would change history.”

Like President Obama, I’m complicit in this campaign of aggression in Gaza. We all are. The U.S. is using our money to pay for Israel’s party of death.

U.S. taxes are supporting $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing to Israel in 2014. Thursday, July 17th, 2014, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $621.6 million in U.S. funding for the U.S.-Israel Missile Defense Program. According to the Congressional Research Service’s April 11th, 2014 report, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” American taxpayers give Israel’s military campaigns $9.9 million per day – $121 billion in assistance to date.

This money is paying for the destruction of innocence – my tax dollars at work in the massacre of precious children, including a five-month-old baby. I will not be complicit in these crimes against humanity as they’re disguised as self-defense.

It’s a broken record; we’ve heard the lines and the lies before: “We’re only defending ourselves.” This timeless justification for violence has always failed the people. Like Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo, voiced at the Nuremberg Trials, “Naturally the common people don’t want war … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Despite the lessons we’ve learned since Nuremberg, it also appears to work in any era – so long as we allow it. Let’s end this great delusion that serves to justify violence and pad the wallets of wartime elites.

What is happening in the conflict is not self-defense. The best defense for the people is an end to violence, which many believe could be achieved by returning to the 1967 borders, allowing refugees of the Nakba to return home and making honest attempts at collaboration toward resolution and reconciliation. Neither Israel’s nor Hamas’ strategies are directed toward peaceful resolution. Both target and terrorize innocent populations, and any use of violence to achieve political goals is morally wrong. I dare say that the greatest proof that peace is possible is that the war profiting elites are working so hard and spending so much money – our tax dollars – to oppose it.

I will not lose hope, however. More and more of us are speaking out about the abuse of our tax dollars and resisting paying war taxes, such as the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee and War Resisters League. And I implore all of us to join these efforts. Because it’s unlikely that President Obama will take up Dr. Gilbert’s offer to spend a night in Palestine, otherwise things might be drastically different: “Nobody with a heart and power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people … The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death. Please. Do what you can. This, this cannot continue.”

Wim Laven, writing for PeaceVoice, received a graduate degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University, is working on a Doctorate in International Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University and has taught courses on conflict and worked on peace projects for more than a decade.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail