It has been only a few days since Congress re-affirmed its support for the Israeli government's assault on Gaza, in which nearly 1,500 Palestinians have been killed.
In this ongoing operation, some three out of four Palestinians killed have been civilians. The infrastructure has been decimated. Gaza's only power generation plant has been destroyed by Israel, meaning life is about to get that much more hellish for innocent civilians
Nevertheless, today the House will take up another one-sided, pro-Israel resolution. This one will be Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's H Con Res 107, which exonerates Israel from blame over the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza by claiming the civilians were killed because they were being used as "human shields" by Hamas.
The resolution begins:
Since June 15, 2014, there have been over 2,000 rockets fired by Hamas and other terrorist organizations from Gaza into Israel
No mention of the orders of magnitude more bombs sent in to Gaza by Israel, nor of the total destruction they have caused to innocent lives and property. No mention that this war was started by Israel under a false pretext, with the full backing of the US government. No mention of 100 Palestinians being killed in a few-hour period yesterday, with the vast majority being civilians. A UN school was hit, killing upwards of 20 students.
In fact, Israel is excused for this massive destruction in the resolution, which commends the Israeli government for having the courtesy to send a text before blowing up a Palestinian neighborhood:
Israel drops leaflets, makes announcements, places phone calls and sends text messages to the Palestinian people in Gaza warning them in advance that an attack is imminent, and goes to extraordinary lengths to target only terrorist actors
Here is an example of such a warning -- where Israeli forces drop a small bomb on the roof of a residential building followed just a few minutes later by a massive bomb that levels the building. Too bad if you are in the upper floor and are elderly or in a wheelchair.
Here is a time lapse series of photos showing Israeli military forces completely flattening an entire neighborhood in one hour's time.
The resolution concludes with a demand that the citizens of Gaza be completely disarmed, and a strong condemnation of a recent UN Human Rights Council report suggesting that Israel had used disproportionate force in Gaza. The US cast the only "no" vote on the creation of that commission of inquiry.
Supporters of Israel's actions in Gaza claim that Israel has a right to defend itself. Of course every individual has the right to defend himself. But like most wars started by governments, this one was started on a lie.
As the excellent Mondoweiss website points out, the ostensible trigger for this Israeli action in Gaza was the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas. But Israeli authorities knew almost immediately after the kidnapping that the perpetrators were not with Hamas. And they knew the teens were already dead. Nevertheless the government issued a gag order to prevent the facts from getting out and proceeded to use the false Hamas kidnapping angle as a pretext to beat the drums of war.
It is safe to expect a nearly unanimous vote on Ros-Lehtinen's resolution. We can also soon expect Congress to send more hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel, as that country is rapidly burning through its annual three billion gift from the US taxpayer turning Gaza into a parking lot.
Israelis -- like everyone else, including Palestinians -- have a right to defend themselves. However this excuse is being misused by the neocons and the media to justify the massive and horrific destruction of an entire population while Americans are sent the bill.
We do not speak for Israel, we criticize US policy. So Americans who care about the morality of their dollars going to a scorched earth program overseas and Americans concerned about blowback from such one-sided support for Israel and Americans who are simply worried that we are going broke and cannot afford to subsidize the defense policies of a relatively wealthy country overseas should take notice of what the US government is doing.
Just yesterday Secretary of State John Kerry said in a news conference:
I will not take a second seat to anybody in my friendship or my devotion to the protection of the state of Israel.
Are they really acting in America's best interests?
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