April 15, 2006

On Rachel Corrie...and the Israeli Lobby in the Washington Post

Two very well-written letters to the editor appear in the Washington Post today. The first is from Rachel Corrie's aunt and uncle defending her actions and reiterating the truth about the way Rachel was killed. Their letter was in response to an article written last weekend in the Post about the controversy over the play about Rachel's life that was prevented from taking place in New York theaters. The article alludes to the Israeli theory behind Rachel's death, that she was protecting "terrorists" who had "tunnels" under the house that was to be destroyed.
Her family members fought back with this letter:
There were no tunnels under the Samir family's home. As the Israeli army bulldozer approached the Samir home, Rachel stood her ground in front of it, knowing that the three young Samir children were inside. Six months after Rachel's death, the Israeli army demolished the home and found no tunnels of any kind under it. The Samir family was neither compensated for its loss nor helped to find a new home [...] There were no tunnels under the Samir home; the Israeli government has never said there were tunnels under the home Rachel was protecting. Once and for all, it is time to put an end to the fallacy that tunnels had anything to do with Rachel's death.
In another unrelated letter to the editor, Mona Bashir of Harrisburg, PA, defends the research conducted by Mearsheimer and Walt ("The Israel Lobby") and notes that the history of the US has been to follow its interests, but that its 'special' relationship with Israel does not follow this trend. Indeed, the sacrifices that the US has been willing to make for the sake of Israel have not proven to be of any benefit to the security or stability of the US, rather to the contrary.

George Washington, in his farewell address of 1796, cautioned about forming "passionate attachment[s]" with other countries to avoid "a variety of evils." He warned of creating the "illusion of an imaginary common interest" where none exists, and he feared that we would be diverted from pursuing our real national interests. Mr. Mearsheimer and Mr. Walt are saying that the pro-Israel lobby has done just that.

She then ponders this thought and question...

Accusations of anti-Semitism distract us from the exploring these critical issues. We should not be deterred but should discuss the subject of the study:

Does the pro-Israel lobby encourage U.S. administrations to pursue policies in the Middle East that are contrary to this nation's interests?

Keep writing to those editors, your letters will make a difference!

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At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fully agree with you, but I fear that the Zionist control of the Congress, the media, and the financial markets preclude any attempt to subject the Lobby to criticism. Ah, and not to forget the Christian nuts who expect Jesus to make a landing in Jerusalem (I just know CNN will be there). Well, perhaps, if our government and our people are stupid enough to fall for the Lobby line, then they will deserve what they will get -- a nuclear war with Iran and Co.
The only happy note in all this is that the Lobby & the crazies will also go up in the mushroom clouds.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger moi said...

Anon, thanks for your comment. While I agree that the Zionist Lobby has significant influence on Congress and the media, I still think there is a lot each of us can do and that begins by recognizing the dangers of this type of one-sided policy. It's simply not in the interest of Americans, and once more of us realize that, more will speak out against it. Maybe it's naive to hope that nuclear war will not break out, but that is still a horror that most of would like to avoid.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Kel said...

Speaking as a non-American I have to say that nothing does more to encourage anti-American feelings abroad than the one sided way your country always seem to come down on the side of Israel.

There has been a sea change in the last couple of decades and the world now recognises the real injustice of Israel's occupation of the Palestnians and the US complicity in that occupation.

Indeed one only has to look at the US's voting record at the UN for the bias in Israel's favour to become apparent. Often the US vetoes any criticism of the Israelis.

When one considers that this relationship at least contributed to the hatred that led to 9-11, I am left wondering at what point the US will realise that she is actually causing herself real harm by the unfair way she behaves every time she intervenes in Israel's favour.

Do most Americans not know how much this makes their administration hated, and not only in the Middle East. I personally feel very angry when the US invade Iraq, supposedly to uphold UN resolutions, and yet Israel is allowed to flout some 78 or so resolutions.

Your country are hypocrites when it comes to this. And Bush saying a couple of years ago that there were "facts on the ground", by which he meant Israel should be allowed to keep some of the illegal settlements they have built on land stolen from the Palestinians, simply shows contempt for international law.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger moi said...

Kel, welcome to my blog & thank you for your comments.

I couldn't agree with you more buddy. I'm sure you've come across the recent study about the Israeli Lobby and how much criticism it received for stating the obvious: that the US is not acting in its interest when it blindly supports Israel. The United States' actions in the UN regarding Israel/Palestine issues are indeed disgraceful.

Despite all these concerns, I would have to say that more Americans are aware today than they were say 5-10 years ago about the implications of their government's actions. The problem is, does it concern them enough to vote them out of office or force them to change their policies and make them more representative of the average American's interests? This is the real problem. We have such low voter turnout and in general public apathy towards politics and politicians that it tends to discourage people more and more when their governments act the way ours does today. Nonetheless, I think the disaster going on Iraq today will have a profound impact on the future of American foreign policy.


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