Friday, March 2, 2012

Exactly nine years ago

To the Editor:
Exactly nine years ago Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American student, was crushed to death by an American-supplied Israeli military bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian familyís home. Rachel was committed to easing the suffering and injustice faced by Palestinians. Unfortunately, hundreds of Palestinian homes have been demolished (some more than once), and the Palestinians in the occupied territories continue to experience ongoing abuse, devastation, and humiliation.

As Israel continues to perceive ìexistentialî threats from all directions her actions and policies become more extreme and dangerous. The extreme disparities of the apartheid state become more stark. The Palestinians are more shattered and desperate than ever, and Israel is more militaristic and menacing than ever. Israel continues to expand the illegal settlements, imprison more Palestinians (including children), carry out assassinations, and enforce a blockade that has caused a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. On a daily basis Jewish Israeli settlers, many from Brooklyn, and the IDF soldiers attack, harass, intimidate, and sometimes kill Palestinian men, women, and children.

Of course, Israel has legitimate security and safety concerns, but Israel will never achieve safety or security through the use of violence and oppression. The State of Israel would not be able to engage in human rights abuses, flagrant UN violations, and nuclear gamesmanship without the political, financial, and military support that our government provides. Israel is the largest recipient of US aid - $3 Billion per year of US taxpayers money goes to Israel; mostly in the form of military aid. It seems to me that we could use the money more wisely here at home. If Rachel was still alive today I somehow imagine that she would agree.

Eli Kassirer 
New Paltz, NY