Saturday, December 8, 2012
The baked meats from the re-election parties were still warm when Bibi Netanyahu telephoned our newly re-elected president. "I waited until your re-election but now I have my re-election to think about. It's time to 'cut the grass.'"
"Cutting the grass" is the despicable right-wing Israeli expression for periodically going into Gaza, bombing and destroying anything that looks like it might be connected with rocket fire into Israel. The "grass cutting" results were predictable: 150 dead Palestinians, five dead Israelis.
Obama proffered his pathetic, ethically-challenged, "Israel has a right to defend itself," as if "cutting the grass" could in any way be conceived of as a viable, long-range defense plan in the best interests of Israel and its security, when simply stopping all settlement building in occupied territories might have put an end to rocket fire into Israel and could have sent the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority to the peace table.
Shortly thereafter, the Obama administration voted against the U.N. resolution to upgrade the Palestinians' status to a "non-member observer state" that nonetheless passed 138-9 (with 41 abstentions). Israel has responded by approving the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in highly disputed areas.
In each case, Obama did exactly what the Republican candidate would have done.
More than 21,000 of us in Washington state declared a "plague on both their houses" and voted for Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on the Green Party ticket. Stein, the first Jewish person to run for president of the U.S., has consistently criticized both parties for their "slave-like" mentality toward Israel's right-wing party.
In addition to being a champion of the environment who favors a Green New Deal, Stein supports the end of the occupation and all illegal settlements, and holding Israel to following international law and human rights. Her election would have spearheaded a much different foreign policy agenda including the one between the U.S. and Israel.
All four liberal Jewish organizations I belong to favor Stein's policies: J Street (jstreet.org), Tikkun (Tikkun.org), The Jewish Peace Fellowship (Jewishpeacefellowship.org), and The Jewish Voice for Peace (Jewishvoiceforpeace.org). All four are pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace and highly worthy of your attention.
One danger of not having allowed "third-party" candidates to be part of the so-called debates was that the electorate never had the opportunity to contemplate opinions that transcend the entrenched militaristic policies of both parties, policies that have consistently failed us.