That it’s taboo to talk about it in the U.S. Or that you will get pounded by the U.S. media and the American Israel Lobby for even daring to bring it up. Even if you are a former president of the U.S. and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, a.k.a. Jimmy Carter.
In fact, if there is a failing in Carter’s stance, it is that he is too kind to the Israelis, bending over backward to assert that he is only writing about the occupied territories. Israel itself, he says, is a democracy. This would come as a surprise to the 1.3 million Israeli Arabs who live as second-class citizens in the Jewish state. The poverty rate among Israeli Arabs is more than twice that of the Jewish population. Those Israeli Arabs who marry Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank are not permitted to get Israeli residency for their spouses. And Israeli Arabs, who do not serve in the military or the country’s intelligence services and thus lack the important personal connections and job networks available to veterans, are systematically shut out of good jobs. Any Jew, who may speak no Hebrew or ever been to Israel, can step off a plane and become an Israeli citizen, while a Palestinian living abroad whose family’s roots in Palestine may go back generations is denied citizenship.
The conditions in Palestine and the Gaza strip are already a full-blown humanitarian crisis, yet every time the United Nations gets together to pass a resolution against this display of unilateral violence, the resolution always gets vetoed by the U.S. That’s funny, the U.S. believes in the U.N. only when it is convenient to do so:
But it is in Gaza that conditions are currently reaching a full-blown humanitarian crisis. “Gaza is in its worst condition ever,” Gideon Levy wrote recently in the Israeli paper Ha’aretz. “The Israel Defense Forces have been rampaging through Gaza–there’s no other word to describe it–killing and demolishing, bombing and shelling, indiscriminately…. How contemptible all the sublime and nonsensical talk about ‘the end of the occupation’ and ‘partitioning the land’ now appears. Gaza is occupied, and with greater brutality than before…. This is disgraceful and shocking collective punishment.”
And as Gaza descends into civil war, with Hamas and Fatah factions carrying out gun battles in the streets, Ha’aretz reporter Amira Hass bitterly notes, “The experiment was a success: The Palestinians are killing each other. They are behaving as expected at the end of the extended experiment called ‘what happens when you imprison 1.3 million human beings in an enclosed space like battery hens.’”
Go read the rest of the piece. It was written by Chris Hedges, former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times. And by the way, who are you going to trust, the U.N. & Jimmy Carter, or president Bush and his band of neocons?