The 34-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has
destroyed the economy of the Palestinians, reducing their
average yearly income to a little over $1000, or about $3 a
day while Israel is at $16,000 per individual or $48 per day.
The U.S. has dumped more than $40 billion worth of arms
into Israel, and Israel is illegally using many of those
weapons to put down an uprising against the occupation.
More than 2000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by
Israel, tens of thousands of olive trees bulldozed, and a
whole generation of young Palestinian men rotated in and out
of prison. The Israeli violence against the civilian
population continues unabated, without any effective U.S.
response. Not just the Muslim world, but Europeans are
outraged at this silence.
The United States has stood almost alone in vetoing
countless resolutions supported by the rest of the world,
remaining silent about IsraelÕs nuclear weapons program and
providing Israel with massive military assistance, even as
it refuses to end its occupation.
Palestinians have recognized the right of Israel to
exist in 78% of the country. Israel must compromise by
recognizing that the remaining 22% is for the over 2 and a
half million Palestinians.
The U.S. has given Israel, one of the richer countries
in the world, over $100 billion in financial and military
aid, mostly after the Camp David agreement of 1979. This
includes billions of dollars in tax-deductible contributions
from American supporters of Israel. As our aid to Israel
grew, so did Israeli colonies. In 1979, there were 12,000
Jewish-Israeli colonists in the West Bank, including East
Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Today, there are over
Cur polls indicate that a resounding majority of
Americans are astonished at the amount of aid the U.S. gives
to Israel and want it reduced or eliminated.
The Jewish-Israeli Colonies
The Fourth Geneva Convention (article 49), over 20 UN
Security Council resolutions, and international law state
that citizens of one country cannot become colonists in
territories their country occupies.
Israel established over 150 colonies for Jewish-Israelis
only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967, ten in this
year alone, and then instituted two different sets of laws
in the West Bank and Gaza -- one for the colonists and one
for the Palestinians.
Since 1967, Israel has allowed Palestinians to live and
build on only 13% of their land in East Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, it continues to build and expand colonies on the
rest of the land for the 180,000 Jewish-Israeli colonists
who have settled in East Jerusalem.
in 1993, Israel sealed off Jerusalem from the rest of
the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hundreds of thousands of
Christian and Muslim Palestinians are denied access to
Jerusalem, including to their holy sites.
The Pope has called for an international commission to
supervise the holy places in Israel and Palestine. Only
Israel, who refuses to share the city, rejects such a
U.S. Foreign Policy: A New Paradigm?
Since September 11(9/11), U.S. interests across the
Middle East have been challenged to find a new formula for
peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This problem is
at the heart of regional animosity directed at the United
In 14 months, more than 800 Palestinians, including 150
children, have been killed by the Israel Defense Forces,
acting on the Government of IsraelÕs direct orders. More
than 16,000 Palestinians have been seriously injured. This
is comparable to 56,000 Americans being killed in one year
and 1,600,000 seriously injured. Israel has lost 170,
including 20 children, equivalent to 8,000 Americans being
Secretary Powell is making a renewed effort at a
cease-fire with the vision that it would lead to
negotiations, including an end to the occupation and the
creation of a Palestinian state.
The Sharon government has made it clear there will be no
end to the occupation and no removal of Jewish-Israeli
colonies. The U.S. refuses, except with the agreement of
both parties, to have international monitoring of the
Palestinian areas--knowing that Israel rejects this. But
there are 5000 UN troops monitoring events on the Israel
border with Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.
Secretary Powell is still not making the crucial
connection between our anti-terror fight and the necessity
of ending the occupation. Secretary Powell stated that the
occupation should end, but our government is still
reassuring Sharon that we will not pressure him to give back
Exempting Israel from international law even as we call
for the end of terror is an international embarrassment and
serves only to increase resentment of the United States.
There are over 200 million Arabs in the Middle East who have
watched us continue to support Israel for over 50 years even
as it continually refuses to give Palestinians their rights
and refuses to leave the Ôwest Bank and Gaza. This is a
strategically disastrous and morally flawed policy.
Prime Minister Sharon has been indicted by a court in
Brussels. He stands accused of war crimes for his role in
the massacre of hundreds of civilians from two refugee camps
in Lebanon. He can no longer travel to Belgium. Meanwhile,
he is being received at the White House.
["MORE than 100 signatories of the Geneva Convention
gathered in Switzerland yesterday to reprimand Israel for
'indiscriminate and disproportionate violence' against
Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories. The 114
states - including Britain and the rest of the European
Union - issued a joint declaration urging Israel to abide by
international laws."--"Israel Condemned by 114
Countries,"Daily Telegraph, December 6, 2001]
["The United States has used its veto at the United
Nations Security Council to block a resolution which called
for international monitors to be sent to the West Bank and
Gaza Strip....it was the second US veto this year against a
resolution proposing an observer force."--"US Blocks
Mid-East Observers," BBC News Online, December 15, 2001]