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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

US implicated in endless Middle East atrocities

Palestine, change in the air  
Excerpt, minor editing by Carolyn Bennett

Today on “Democracy Now!”, … as conflict again heightens and hits headlines, Palestinian-Lebanese American Middle East historian Rashid Khalidi and Israeli Defense Forces veteran turned researcher and “anti-occupation activist” Eran Efrati

Violence persists
Serious talks nonexistent

“In a lot of ways,” Eran Efrati said, “the United States completely controls the political situation in Israel. … The political atmosphere is extremely violent and fascist and the United States not only enabled that; it is backing it up with money and with support.”

Efrati said, large sums of money are being transferred into Israel, money that comes mostly but not only from “evangelicals.” The incessant violence, conflict and nonexistent substantive talks to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issues are the consequence of incitement by “right-wing Zionist movements” together with “the settlement movement in East Jerusalem, all over the West Bank, and to the right-wing parties in Israel”; and the ever-present weapons industry and their lobbyists.

The principal enabler 
of violence, conflict and nonexistent substantive talks, Rashid Khalidi said, is the United States of America. “By its diplomatic support,” Khalidi said, the United States “prevents any real pressure on Israel to stop it from occupation, settlement and repression.”

The United States is “running interference for Israel,” Khalidi said. “Whenever anybody tries to do anything—British Parliament, the Spanish Parliament, the Irish Parliament, the Swedish government—the United States objects. 

“Whenever anybody tries to do anything diplomatically or in a nonviolent manner, such as boycott, divestment and sanctions,” they (these actions and those who carry them out) are labeled “anti-Semitic.” In the meantime, “the Palestinians are supposed to lie down and let the bulldozers and the settlement enterprise and the repression run over them and return to negotiations, which Netanyahu has already told us can never lead to an end to occupation.”

Gaza Strip
The current state of affairs is, “to a very large extent” the “doing of the United States” – rhetoric of the US president notwithstanding. “As long as American money is used to support the repression of Palestinians,” as long as the US Department of Justice Department and US Treasury permit “US 501(c)(3), supposedly ‘charitable,’ organizations to funnel tens, hundreds of millions of dollars to settlement activities, to the repression of Palestinians,” presidential rhetoric, the president’s public words are “meaningless.”

East Jerusalem
We are complicit in repression. “This is an American-Israeli enterprise,” he says. “The money is largely from the U
nited States” and “the weapons are from the United States.”

sing the authorities, police and military, the former Israeli soldier says, “the goal is to make people’s life miserable.” Eran Efrati said soldiers were told they were preventing “terror attacks” so they needed “to make their (Palestinians') life miserable so they will be afraid all the time and they will not have time to plan terror attacks."

In reality, Efrati said, "The end goal” is “to make them want to leave,” also to make them “want to do crazy things like attacks on Jews and on Israelis.”

Middle East
Rashid Khalidi reflected on the fact that "you do not control a region by oppressing the people and turning them into your enemies, what Israel has been doing for 47 years.” And the international mood is changing. 

Change in the air

"Among younger people,” people on campuses, people who do not consume mainstream media, Khalidi observes, “there is an awakening…, an enormous change in public opinion below the level of the mainstream media. 

"In Europe, there is an enormous shift: four major European countries have had parliaments or governments actually take a stand.” While that has not yet been translated into “effective pressure to stop the acts of oppression,” he says, “…we are getting there.

“Everybody in Europe knows what’s going on. What the American media does not tell the Americans, the European media does tell Europeans”; so “at least from Europe and the rest of the world, you’re going to see increasing pressure on Israel. The problem is here,” Rashid Khalidi concludes,…in this country,” the United States of America.

Sources and notes


“‘Palestinians Always Live in Fear’: Jerusalem Killings Follow Months of Tensions, Settlement Growth,”  November 19, 2014,


Author and academic Rashid Ismail Khalidi’s most recent books include Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East (2009): Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013). Khalidi’s research focuses on the history of the modern Middle East, on countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, the emergence of various national identities and the role played by external powers in their development. His work also covers the effect of the press in forming sense of community; the role of education in construction of political identity; developing narratives in the region in the past centuries. This Palestinian-Lebanese American and Middle East historian served in 1994 as President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America; in later years editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashi


Former member of the Israeli Defense Forces (combat soldier to “anti-occupation activist”), Eran Efrati is an investigative researcher into the Israeli military; and formerly chief researcher of “Breaking the Silence,” an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the reality in the Occupied Territories. Efrati has “collected testimonies from IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers, guided political tours to the West Bank, lectured before Israeli and international audiences. The collected testimonies appear in the booklet ‘Operation Cast Lead’ and their most recent release ‘Our Harsh Logic.’”  His current research focuses on “international military and police partnerships, and the global arms trade.” http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/eran-efrati


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora


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