Israel’s Choice

Only three days have passed following US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Middle East policy remarks at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center for Political Leadership in Kentucky. Following Secretary Powell’s tribute to a key member in the audience, Kentucky’s Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, one of the fiercest opponents of the PLO and the Oslo Peace agreements, who together with Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein, published AIPAC’s (the Israeli political lobby in the US) most recent initiative against the Palestinian Authority (Ha’aretz 22/11/2001), Secretary Powell boldly declared:

“The overwhelming majority of Palestinians […] have seen their schools shuttered and their parents humiliated. Palestinians need security as well. Too many innocent Palestinians, including children, have been killed and wounded. This, too, must stop.”

Today, a 16-yr.-old boy was killed by Israeli troops while attending the funeral of five 6-14-yr.-old Palestinian schoolchildren that were instantly shredded to pieces yesterday by an Israeli bobby trapped mine planted near their school! Also today, three Palestinians in Nablus were killed when an Israeli helicopter fired a missile on their car, their bodies were charred beyond recognition. Two days ago, a 56-year-old Palestinian heart patient died after his ambulance was held at an Israeli checkpoint and refused permission to proceed to a hospital. The Israeli occupation forces in Gaza demolished the same day 18 Palestinian homes and entered the Palestinian City of Birzeit and detained five Palestinians. These actions are added to the, to numerous to mention, indignities that the illegal Israeli occupation causes to Palestinians, indignities that the best of media cameramen cannot capture.

Today, Secretary Powell’s words seem equivalent to that of a policeman walking past a rape victim, still pinned under her assailant, and verbally scolding both parties by advising them to work out their differences. Nevertheless, America has spoken. Israeli occupation must end. Palestinians have a legitimate right to self-determination. All have a right to live in security.

The current Israeli government led by internationally accused war criminal, Ariel Sharon, and politically cushioned by the Foreign Minister media wizard, Shimon Peres, have proved their incompetency or unwillingness to rein Israel in from the cold. Israel adds to its shame every day that it continues its criminal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Israeli economy is failing, and will continue to due so, as long as regional instability continues. A steady stream of Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian children is tearing the Israeli moral fabric beyond repair. If Israel is a real democracy this is the time for its people to act.

Israelis have a choice.

Remain silent and watch a people that have endured 34 years of occupation, coupled with one steady year of being bombed and locked up like a pressure cooker, explode while Israeli leaders explain that what is needed is 100% quiet to quell the situation.

Or, Israelis can take back Israel, for the sake of Israel. Israel can unilaterally begin to make right their 50 years of historic injustice against Palestinians. Israel can end occupation tomorrow and return to the negotiation table stronger than ever before. Israel can take its citizens out of dangers way and avoid putting its teenagers in a situation where they can fire upon innocent Palestinian children.

Occupation will end because it always has. This is a fact. Israel would be doing itself a monumental favor by ending the occupation on its own terms, rather than withdrawing due to additional international pressure.

As the pressure cooker prepares to explode, national egos need to be set aside. The time to end occupation is now; otherwise, Secretary Powell’s words will become an extended license to kill for Ariel Sharon and gang. CP

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American businessman living in the besieged Palestinian City of Al-Bireh in the West Bank. He is co-author of HOMELAND: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians (1994) and may be reached at sbahour@palnet.com.


More articles by:

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American business consultant in Ramallah and serves as a policy adviser to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and blogs at ePalestine.com.

Weekend Edition
March 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Roberto J. González
The Mind-Benders: How to Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, and Swing Elections
Paul Street
Deplorables II: The Dismal Dems in Stormy Times
Nick Pemberton
The Ghost of Hillary
Andrew Levine
Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Paul de Rooij
Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Coming in Hot
Chuck Gerhart
Sessions Exploits a Flaw to Pursue Execution of Meth Addicts
Robert Fantina
Distractions, Thought Control and Palestine
Hiroyuki Hamada
The Eyes of “Others” for Us All
Robert Hunziker
Is the EPA Hazardous to Your Health?
Stephanie Savell
15 Years After the Iraq Invasion, What Are the Costs?
Aidan O'Brien
Europe is Pregnant 
John Eskow
How Can We Live With All of This Rage?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Was Khe Sanh a Win or a Loss?
Dan Corjescu
The Man Who Should Be Dead
Howard Lisnoff
The Bone Spur in Chief
Brian Cloughley
Hitler and the Poisoning of the British Public
Brett Wilkins
Trump Touts $12.5B Saudi Arms Sale as US Support for Yemen War Literally Fuels Atrocities
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraqi Landscapes: the Path of Martyrs
Brian Saady
The War On Drugs Is Far Deadlier Than Most People Realize
Stephen Cooper
Battling the Death Penalty With James Baldwin
CJ Hopkins
Then They Came for the Globalists
Philip Doe
In Colorado, See How They Run After the Fracking Dollars
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Armed Propaganda
Binoy Kampmark
John Brennan’s Trump Problem
Nate Terani
Donald Trump’s America: Already Hell Enough for This Muslim-American
Steve Early
From Jackson to Richmond: Radical Mayors Leave Their Mark
Jill Richardson
To Believe in Science, You Have to Know How It’s Done
Ralph Nader
Ten Million Americans Could Bring H.R. 676 into Reality Land—Relief for Anxiety, Dread and Fear
Sam Pizzigati
Billionaires Won’t Save the World, Just Look at Elon Musk
Sergio Avila
Don’t Make the Border a Wasteland
Daryan Rezazad
Denial of Climate Change is Not the Problem
Ron Jacobs
Flashing for the Refugees on the Unarmed Road of Flight
Missy Comley Beattie
The Age of Absurdities and Atrocities
George Wuerthner
Isle Royale: Manage for Wilderness Not Wolves
George Payne
Pompeo Should Call the Dogs Off of WikiLeaks
Russell Mokhiber
Study Finds Single Payer Viable in 2018 Elections
Franklin Lamb
Despite Claims, Israel-Hezbollah War is Unlikely
Montana Wilderness Association Dishonors Its Past
Elizabeth “Liz” Hawkins, RN
Nurses Are Calling #TimesUp on Domestic Abuse
Paul Buhle
A Caribbean Giant Passes: Wilson Harris, RIP
Mel Gurtov
A Blank Check for Repression? A Saudi Leader Visits Washington
Seth Sandronsky
Hoop schemes: Sacramento’s corporate bid for an NBA All-Star Game
Louis Proyect
The French Malaise, Now and Then
David Yearsley
Bach and the Erotics of Spring