In the history of the world, by far the greatest crime that has ever been committed was the NAZI attempted genocide of the Jewish people when more than six million Jews were murdered at the direction of Hitler and Himmler.
After World War II the civilized world embraced Israel with great compassion and generosity.
But now I am very fearful that the Israeli government — under newly reelected for a fifth term Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu — will continue to do lasting harm to Israel.
It is with the greatest difficulty for me to be critical of Israel. But I can’t look away when I consider the harm being done by Bibi’s Israel — with Trump’s support — to the Palestinian people and Middle East peace.
Before I go too far in my criticism of Bibi’s Israel, permit me to point out I proudly marched and demonstrated with my Jewish friends in Utica, New York to help Russian Jews emigrate from Russia to Israel. I was invited into their temples to attend Jewish celebrations and to speak at a minyan (a quorum of 10 Jewish adults) breakfast. I was also invited to a two-week, all expenses paid visit to Israel. (I didn’t go on the trip as I felt it was inappropriate for elected officials to accept such honorarium.)
The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during World War I announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. And in 1948 the United Nations mandated there be two co-existing, peaceful states of Israel and Palestine. (There is plenty of blame to go around as to why the UN plan has failed to materialize.)
Presently, Israel is a vibrant and powerful Jewish nation while the Palestinian people are locked up in two hellholes known as Gaza and the West Bank under the apartheid control of Israel.
Bibi will not allow the Palestinians most basic demand: an independent Palestinian state over the West Bank and Gaza with a capital city in East Jerusalem. Palestinians living in Israel proper are second class citizens with few civil rights.
Bibi’s Israel is violating basic human rights — especially to the two million Palestinians barely existing in densely settled Gaza. The water in Gaza is germ laden (only four percent potable), unemployment is over 50 percent, and the lack of medicine and health facilities have caused the needless loss of thousands of lives.
International concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians include but are not limited to, ill-treatment and torture of detainees, forced evictions and home demolitions, and annexing Palestinian lands.
Worst of all is Bibi’s excessive use of force in the gunning down and locking up thousands of demonstrating Palestinians.
Finally, Bibi is seeking war with Iran — with United States assistance — that would be a horrible conflict.
The United States must use all of its powers to restrain Bibi’s inhumane and undemocratic policies against the Palestinians, to force Bibi to honestly and tirelessly work for the United Nations’ peaceful two-state solution, and to prevent war with Iran.