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.

 

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail