Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 153

Dear Mr. President,

I have a hard time accepting the recent rash of arguments from US officials (even VP Biden) that seem to equate Israel's PR interests with its security interests. As though an attack on a humanitarian ship is an acceptable thing, if that aid was a threat to Israel's security. VP Biden put this all into unforgivably simplistic terms when he said "I put all this back on two things: one, Hamas, and, two, Israel's need to be more generous relative to the Palestinian people who are in trouble in Gaza." First of all, the ships facing down the threat of the IDF to bring construction supplies to Gaza weren't doing it because Israel wasn't "generous" enough with the Palestinians; it is not generosity that they are asking for, but basic equality. The people of Gaza are not asking for Israel's charity, and allowing Gazans to import basic materials for construction and education would be an indication that Israel is capable of reason, not generosity. VP Biden, never known for his tact, is especially distasteful in this choice of words. If this were really about Israel's security interests and not its PR interests, these aid ships would have to have been smuggling weapons, rather than just tangible evidence of Israel's oppressiveness. The hawkish, right-wing reactionaries in control of the Israeli government pose a far greater threat to their country's long-term security than Hamas ever could.

I can't say that I'm surprised by the obtuseness of your administration's response, but I am, as ever, growing my capacity for disappointment. I feel like I've run out of things to say about this. I've run out of warnings that don't do any good, even as I am proven right. I've run out of condemnation, out of appeals to your humanity, your morality, your values. We present ourselves to the world as a voice for peace, even as we abide, encourage or initiate violence, suffering and oppression where we deem it acceptable. Mr. President, I may grow weary of asking these unanswered questions, but the day I stop asking them is the day I lose faith in this country forever. There are days like today when, as much as it pains me to admit, that doesn't seem particularly far off. Listen to your own administration's response tot his, and tell me that its cold, passionless refrains (which, forgive me, but not even Biden could be expected to really believe,) are worthy of the government you lead, of the values of the people you represent, or of the world we'd see built for the future. Do you even know what that would sound like, anymore?

Respectfully yours,


No comments:

Post a Comment