Saturday, November 11, 2006


Some months ago we blogged extensively on the military activities in Lebanon and Gaza, but then, with the cessation of Israel's incursion into Lebanon, we stopped. Much like the media. And yet today I stumbled upon this story, about the U.S. vetoing a resolution condemning an Israeli attack that killed 18 Palestinian civilians and calling for a cessation of the occupation by the Israeli military and a cessation of attacks by militants. Why was the U.S. the only country on the council to vote against it? There's a story there, but there's a bigger one. Not just why did we veto a measure calling for an end to the occupation and violence, but why weren't we the ones putting it forward?

I'm not at all confident that a change in the composition in Congress will do anything to alter the United States's approach to the occupation of the Palestinian territories. Why not? Because there is no pressure from the American people on their representatives to do so. Why not? Because we do not hear about what is happening and on the rare instances that we do, it is framed as though there is some sort of parity of power between the occupiers and the occupied. How can that be? Images of Palestinians in the American media tend to depict militants, but clearly that's beyond misleading. What does that do to our perception? Take it from another perspective - the only Israelis most Palestinians see are occupying soldiers. How would that affect their perception?

On the underlying story, I recommend reading this narrative by a British journalist who was there and talked to the Palestinian people. These are the stories that must come out - war and occupation, they are riddled with tales of human suffering. To ignore that is to ignore reality and perpetuate the violence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When was the last time the American public placed foreign affairs on its agenda at all, unless it involved American soldiers dying in large numbers?

The reality is that, since the public doesn't care, AIPAC controls the agenda, and AIPAC supports the hard-line Likud POV. The best hope is probably a moderate Jewish lobby.