Tuesday, November 4, 2008

While we were watching the election - ethnic cleansing special.

[Nov.10th rapid update] It does not end. Click here for update.

This conflict is not so hard to understand: Arabs are here. Jewish settlers want them out and do get them out. The Israeli State is accomplice to dispossession and theft. Western powers stay silent. Arabs have choice between despair, silent rage, violent rage, or keeping a low profile hoping to stay safe.

This has nothing to do with millennial conflicts but everything to do with simple questions: is there a law? is there a justice system? does one Arab family have the same rights as a Jewish family of immigrants who want to claim their house?

To Jewish friends who support such crimes; to Christian friends who feign ignorance, stay silent and ramble on about God's plans for "His people," to brilliant geopolitical minds who prefer ignoring the facts to keep a strategic alliance with Israel without conditions, to congressmen and media people who must stay "fair and balanced" / a.k.a. rewrite the facts, so as not to offend AIPAC, let me say very clearly:
you are accomplices by action and by omission of suicide bombs and blind rockets, even if those who carry those acts are more often than not Muslims.
To Jewish friends, to Muslim friends, to Christian friends, to Secular friends, who speak and witness the truth; who stand to protect the victims regardless of race, creed, and politics; who feel outraged and yet try not to hate; you are peace-makers, please do not stop or give up now. You may not believe it, see it, or you may feel it does you precious little good now. You may wonder whether it will make a lick of difference for the life of people rendered homeless and innocents murdered but I read you will be called 'children of God.'

Evil carries the seeds of its own end.
Don't give up.

ps: see earlier entry in this post for suggestions of groups who can receive donations.

I wrote the text below on election day. This is a report for the day after -- I'll leave it to an eye witness. Click here for report and pictures of the destruction of the Bishara family home.

If not ethnic cleansing, then what is it?
I usually don't try to follow the news too closely. But as this day is one in which America will choose its new president and both candidates have affirmed (blind?) support for Israel as their single non-negotiable foreign policy position - I need to simply report what's happening here away from the eyes of the media:
  • Last weekend, Israel destroyed three Palestinian homes in the Southern Hebron hills and tore down dozens of Bedouin structures, leaving 150 people homeless overnight;
  • The Palestine News Network now reports that "The Israeli administration says it will destroy another group of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina. The Alnevi Yaakov Settlement will then expand further into the occupied city in direct contravention to international law. In protest of the demolitions slated for the sixth of the month, the Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement placed a tent in the neighborhood which will remain throughout the week."
  • In Sheikh Jarah (another neighborhood of Jerusalem), a complex law case is proceeding after an Arab family found that a Jewish family had simply moved into their house while they went out shopping. Signs are not good that the Palestinian family will get its property back.
  • And I'm not even on top of all these news.
These are simple, ordinary news in the Holy Land. No blood. No headline. Simple down home ethnic cleansing. Oh, is this word too strong? When you systematically remove people of one ethnic group from their homes and their land to make room for your ethnic group, what is it called then?

If you find this hard to believe, check some of the links below and take a minute to visit the site of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD).

If you are the praying kind, pray for those families left homeless. Consider making a gift to ICAHD, or Holy Land Trust or Sabeel, who all have programs to support reconstruction.
Pray also for Jewish believers in the Holy Land. Sometimes I wonder what happens to one's faith when this faith turns a blind eye to such evil. This question does not only apply to Judaism obviously. But today, in Jerusalem and in Hebron all over the West Bank ("Judea and Samaria"), it does.

The same day, Israel made an "incursion" into Gaza, and a few Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza in retaliation. CNN reported on the rockets.

Peace will come. Up to us to decide how much blood, destruction and hatred until then.

Peace indeed.


Photo credit: Peter Miller - click here to see more.