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Israel Has Gone Too Far

19 April 2002

Is it too much to ask the media to give us a balanced view of what is happening in the Middle East? Every time there is a suicide bombing we get the grisly pictures, but Israel - which calls itself a democracy - would not allow the International Red Cross or any members of the press in to see the alleged slaughter and mass destruction that they had committed in Jenin and Bethlehem.

It's time for the media to stand up and develop some integrity. To continue to cover only one side of this horrendous war is dishonest. By showing only what Israel allows, the media has become a Public Service Announcement for Israel. If nothing else, Americans ought to see the protests going on all over the world against the United States because of its one-sided support of Israel.

America's timid response to the destruction in Jenin is embarrassing. One would think Israel gives us $3 billion a year instead of the other way around.

I was horrified that the Israelis were planning to bury the Palestinian dead in Jenin. How dare they! We may have accepted the fact that the people the Israelis killed were their enemy, but to deny any people the right to bury their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children is worse than inhumane.

I am tired of Israel trying to compare what they are doing with the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks. There is no comparison.

Americans have not illegally occupied any place for more than 30 years. We have not built houses on another's land, we have not imprisoned a people, bulldozed their houses, cut off their water and electricity. We have not mentally terrorized a country.

Israel is defining the war. Too much time has been spent on whether one side will denounce suicide bombing ... without equal weapons, that is what the Palestinians have been reduced to. Israel behaves like a child doing something wrong who wants to draw attention away from his actions. For months Israel has been allowed to go into Palestine and assassinate alleged terrorists. This is not how American democracy responds. We have trials.

We must be responsible friends. We must tell our friends when they have gone wrong, when they are too blinded to see the big picture. Palestinians are human beings and have every right to defend themselves.

Let's consider giving Palestinians the right to acquire equal weaponry to defend themselves. Why should Israel be the only one with master weapons?

For years, Israel has opposed any outside security forces. Israel can't have it both ways. I don't feel comfortable watching weapons supplied by the United States with my tax dollars used to destroy the Holy Land. Israel must pay for the rebuilding of Jenin and Bethlehem. American tax dollars must be used for rebuilding our schools.

Ariel Sharon, as much a terrorist as Arafat, hasn't seen a peace agreement he could live with. Sharon, Israel's worst leader ever, has encouraged the suicide bombings. He kept telling Americans and the world that his incursion into the Palestinian area had eliminated the suicide bombings.

For a period of more than three days, there was a halt in suicide bombings, but Israel continued to invade the Palestinian area. That was a provocation to resume the suicide bombings. Palestinians had to prove that Sharon's latest brutal tactic wouldn't work.

Has no one learned anything from our war in Vietnam? The language is different, but the tactics are the same. Today we call the guerrillas terrorists. Remember the United States with all of our modern weaponry fighting locals in a foreign land? At the beginning of the Vietnam era, no one thought we could lose that war.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's failure was not his inability to secure a peace agreement. His failure was a moral one ... he left the area without going to Jenin or Bethlehem. He lacked the courage to say Arafat is the chosen leader of the Palestinian people and must be included in any peace negotiations.

How can Arafat - a 72-year-old man imprisoned for more than 20 days in a compound surrounded by dead men with no running water, working toilets or electricity, cut off from his people, his infrastructure destroyed - influence a people who find themselves in a state of siege? Powell did not denounce the inhumanity of this situation.

The pope (who has his own set of problems) said several months ago that the Middle East was inhabited by two extremist groups who are defiling the Holy Land. He must be a prophet.

Barbara Robinson
Published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal © Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1997 - 2002

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