I was part of a human rights delegation to the occupied territories of Palestine in 1987 and became familiar with the use of rubber bullets, which are very capable of killing. This trip was during the first intifada, and I visited many homes where the Israeli Defense Force killed a child for alleged stone-throwing.
During the subsequent years, there has been an escalation in state and settler violence against the Palestinians (”Biden calls for ‘significant de-escalation’ from Israel as Gaza conflict continues,” May 19). The armed assault on the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the airstrikes in Gaza, including the destruction of a building which housed media groups, are some recent examples. Unfortunately, my government supports this horrific violence by word and $3.8 billion in U.S. tax dollars.
I find it very timely, though, that as the settler colonialism and the Jim Crow citizenship laws are getting more oppressive, on April 27 Human Rights Watch released “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.” This is remarkable and very fitting considering that Israel lacks a government, and its ultra-right prime minister is looking at years in prison. So what better way to turn attention away from his judicial problems than to bomb back to the Stone Age one of the poorest plots of land in the world?
As a pacifist and believer in nonviolence, I urge Hamas to reconsider its violent response to on obdurate Israeli government. Of course, it is easy for me to say turn the other cheek, as I am not suffering under an oppressive occupation. However, I have to believe that some day there will be a U.S. government unbiased against the Palestinians which will work tirelessly to end this apartheid occupation.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
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