Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

NOT ACCEPTABLE





This message came in last night from the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, "Just before we send this out we participated in a near spontaneous protest against the bloodbath on Gaza. At least a thousand activists got together after frantic use of email, phone and sms and held a march through the streets of Tel Aviv, harassed by mounted police (5 young activists got arrested), culminating in a rally outside the Defence Ministry gates. Olmert was holding there his warlike press conference."

In a similar solidarity message from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation they report, "While the scope of civilian casualties in today's attacks [Dec 27] is not yet clear, it is unmistakable that Israel carried out these attacks with F-16 fighter jets and missiles provided by the taxpayers of this country. From 2001-2006, the United States transferred to Israel more than $200 million worth of spare parts to fly its fleet of F16's. In July 2008, the United States gave Israel 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel. Last year, the United States signed a $1.3 billion contract with Raytheon to transfer to Israel thousands of TOW, Hellfire, and 'bunker buster' missiles."

One could say it's not even a fair fight. It comes as no surprise that Hamas, elected by the Palestinian people and never "accepted" by Israel or the US, feels they must defend their people as they are essentially being starved to death and their culture driven into the dust. Again the US Campaign describes it well when they say, "These Israeli attacks come on top of a brutal siege of the Gaza Strip, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe of dire proportions for Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinian residents by restricting the provision of food, fuel, medicine, electricity, and other necessities of life."

The Bush response is to tell Israel not to attack civilians but this is totally disingenuous. The US cares nothing about the Palestinian people and never has.

We are told that the in-coming Obama administration can't comment because "we only have one president at a time" but the Washington Post reports this morning that the president-elect has voiced sympathy for Israel's "predicament". During his visit to Israel last summer, he held a news conference in Sderot, the southern town that has borne the brunt of the Gaza rocket attacks, saying he does not "think any country would find it acceptable to have missiles raining down on the heads of their citizens."

Should the Palestinians find it acceptable to have their land stolen, a huge wall built, with US financial support, separating their remaining broken bits of lands and olive groves, and live under a constant state of siege from a militaristic state fully backed by the US military industrial complex?

I cannot imagine Obama having any chance of changing the Palestinian-Israeli dynamic as long as he remains a captive of AIPAC and the US weapons industry.

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