Every major Jewish organization in America was represented at a strange rally in Washington, DC. If nothing else, the rally offered conclusive evidence that American Jews (and the Falwell Christian zealots) are content to be a constituency for repression. They talked about freedom and liberty and human rights and security and democracy and peace. But not for the Palestinians. Just their people. They talked about victims of random violence. But no Palestinian victim was worthy of mention. Just their people. They defamed the Palestinians in speech after speech as mere clones of Bin Laden and the crowd responded with approval. So called ‘Christians’ offered scorn for their co-religionists in Bethlehem and pledged their allegiance to Sharon and Netenyahu.
On a day when the details of Sharon’s most recent war crimes are coming to light (at the least in the British press), they fouled the air with acrimony and lies and fabrications. They applauded themselves on turning out in such numbers to publicly endorse war criminals. In front of a crowd of Israel Firsters, Netenyahu publicly insulted every European and accused them of anti-Semitism for daring to embrace the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Congressmen and Senators lined up to plead with the crowd to finance their campaign because they ‘stand with Israel.’
Speaker after speaker, most of them representing major influential American Jewish organizations, including Congress, went to the podium to laud the repression of the Palestinians. No mention was made of Israel’s sacred rites of brutality. The fresh crimes in Jenin and Nablus and Bethlehem and Ramallah went untold. Netenyahu even had the audacity to claim that the Palestinians were the first people to ever resort to terror in their desperate fight for freedom. How convenient for him to omit mentioning that Begin blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1947 and committed atrocities at Deir el Yassin. Does the ex-Prime Minister deny that Shamir was an assassin or that Sharon is universally disdained as a war criminal for Qibya, Sabra and Shatila and, now, Jenin.
Every speaker equated America’s fight against terrorism with Israeli repression in the West Bank and Gaza. To demonstrate how rabidly racist this crowd was, the most moderate of the speakers was Paul Wolfowitz, a neo-conservative Israel Firster. For bewildering reasons, Wolfowitz gets a check from the American government and was supposed to be delivering a message on behalf of President Bush. Suffice it to say, this was a Netenyahu crowd and Wolfowitz was duly booed and hissed.
But the most disgusting aspect of the rally was the willingness to sully the memory of the victims of the 911 atrocities. They had the Chutzpah to equate the Taliban with the Palestinians. When every American with common sense knows that it would be cruel and defamatory to equate the Afghans to the Taliban. Sharon was Bush. Arafat was Bin Laden. Palestinians were just terrorists. Jewish Settlers did not exist. Arbitrary collective punishment was not being inflicted on the Palestinians. Israeli War crimes were just rumors. Israel was America’s best friend. Guliani, obviously a poor student of history, lauded Israel for its role as an ally in the Gulf War. What role? Are American Jews playing stupid or just blind with bigotry? All you have to know is that the President of the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations, Mortimier Zuckerman, had a hand in coordinating this American Jewish hate rally where a demented extremist like Netenyahu was the featured speaker.
American Jews ought to be ashamed of themselves to stand up and rally for the cause of ethnic cleansing in a distant land. Netenyahu actually mentioned Ghandi and Martin Luther King in his speech. Has he completely lost his sense of decency? Would Martin Luther King approve of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians? Would the followers of Ghandi and King ever vote for a notorious war criminal like Sharon?
The problem in America today is not anti-Semitism. The vilest bigots in this land are the leaders of the American Jewish community. Let them stand behind Sharon’s crimes. Let them indict their whole community with the stain of Qibya, Sabra and Shatila and Jenin. History is a great teacher. We have yet to see if this is good for the Jews? But make no mistake, this rally was certainly about taking a wicked stand against the liberty of the Palestinian people.
In a few years, they will all be claiming to have taken a stand against Israeli war criminals, just to save their stake in the infotainment business and reclaim their self-promotional designations as ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’ . But as of April 15, 2002, they all look like a bunch of bigots to me. On tax day, their obvious agenda was to extort more of our tax money for their darling war criminals in Israel. But at some point in the not so distant future, American Jews will need to share the burden of guilt for each and every crime inflicted on the Palestinians. They will have to admit their role in covering up and sanitizing Israeli war criminal. They will have to explain why they stood besides thugs like Netenyahu and Moritimier, the publisher of the Daily News and US and World News Report. And they will not only have to explain it to Palestinians and Arab-Americans, they will have to explain themselves to every American and they will have to explain themselves to their own children. Even many Israelis will be clamoring for an answer. As for the Congressmen and Senators who defiled America with their presence at this hate rally, they will have to consider whether a seat in the Knesset would be more appropriate given their warped political agendas.
Hillary Clinton, a woman who casually dines with avowed ethnic cleansers, was there. As was Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland, who said: “The United States and Israel stand shoulder to shoulder in the war on terrorism. We both have suffered terrible losses, and we have both decided to fight those who dare to attack our people.” The order of the day was to reduce the Palestinian/Israeli conflict to terms that fit neatly with Sharon’s agenda to defeat the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberty. Pulverizing the Palestinians with daily acts of brutality and humiliation was linked to America’s struggle against ‘terror.’
Decent Americans should pay close attention to those aligning themselves with Sharon and other Israeli war criminals. As Mark Twain noted almost a century ago, Congress is the only distinctly criminal class in these United States. What you can pay a Senator or a Congressman to do will blow your mind. Believe it or not, they will subsidize war criminals all too willing to blow out the brains of an innocent Palestinian child. And the American Jewish lobby is all too happy to pay them for their errands. So, let the Yiddish supremacist games go on. At the end of the day there will be a free Palestinian State. The Palestinians would do well to start recording the role American Jews played in tormenting their people. It is a story every American should examine.
Mr. Ahmed Amr is Editor of NileMedia.com in Seattle and a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).