A Presidential Tour Guide to Israel

“The reports about the demise of the special relationship aren’t just premature, they’re just flat wrong,” the [Israeli] prime minister said. He publicly invited Mr. Obama to visit Israel, and the president said, “I’m ready.”

From the NY Times, July 6, 2010

Dear Mr. Obama,

When you travel to Israel (formerly known as Palestine), be sure to visit some of the great tourist sites in Israel (formerly Palestine):

*The countless checkpoints, where Palestinians are humiliated and mistreated every hour of every day (and don’t forget to ask to see the several locations where Palestinian women have lost their children and/or died in childbirth at these places because the Israelis wouldn’t process them through);

*The handsome and loving wall that keeps families apart and prevents Palestinians from getting to work. As an added benefit, this could be the model for the ever-expanding wall that many americans would like to see at the Mexican border;

*The illegal settlements — illegal under international law, and in clear violation of those sacred U.N. sanctions that american presidents always cite when it comes to Iran, Cuba, etc, but ignore when the resolutions relate to Israel;

*The secret facilities where the Israelis have created nuclear weapons (and where they are stored this very day). Just ask. They’ll show you. I think one of the sites is in a town called Vanunu. Don’t miss it;

*The interrogation centers where Palestinians are tortured every day, all day, all night. In fact, the Israelis taught the americans quite a bit about these endeavors, and there’s still lots to learn from Israel;

* The wonderful prisons to which the Israelis send Palestinians, including children who, gasp, threw rocks at soldiers;

*The place where the Israelis murdered Rachel Corrie (and don’t fail to speak to the colonels and other Israeli officials who whitewashed the murder);

*The storage area for the (illegal) white phosphorus weaponry the Israeli’s used on civilians in their unspeakable genocide (known in some circles as a holocaust(tm) on Gaza:

*The site where the Isrealis entered into a chillingly evil deal with the chillingly corrupt government of Egypt to enforce the disgraceful blockade of food and medical supplies and building materials on 1.5 million human beings in Gaza;

*The site of the decision to escalate the assault on Palestinians by desecrating Temple Mount;

*Be sure to go to one of the trials that are conducted in military tribunals, where Palestinians are NEVER acquitted, NEVER. (You can learn how to conduct trials in the secret courts at Bagram, in the secret prison [torture center] at Bagram, (the new and improved Guantanimo).

I may have omitted some of the special sites you should see in Israel when you visit. Be sure to consult some Palestinian victims of Israeli Apartheid before you go — just in case I missed something.

ROBERT BLOOM lives in Berkeley, CA.