Saturday, January 2, 2016

Worth a little more senior poverty

On the surface, it seems unfair that American seniors must have their Social Security and Medicare benefits cut in order to send billions more to Israel.

But consider what Israel has achieved. During its recent invasion of Gaza, Israel was able to destroy 10,000 family homes, almost all the water treatment and sewage facilities and much of the power grid, leaving 1.8 million Palestinians destitute. Not only that, Israel successfully killed 550 children and left 1,000 permanently disabled using white phosphorus and precision guided bombs on UN schools. The West Bank has seen similar gains, with Israeli snipers expertly targeting young stone throwers. Tens of thousands of new Israeli settlers have been given generous payments by Israel to move to the West Bank, insuring that the Palestinians never get their own state. 

In addition, Israel almost singlehandedly blocked US efforts to reach a peace deal with Iran, spending money like water when it came to Congressional stooges. Most recently, Israel has donated tens of millions to stir up racism against Muslim citizens. Even our presidential candidates fall to their knees for the financial blessing of the Israel Lobby. 

America has learned an important lesson from the Holocaust: don't stay neutral while millions are suffering. This time, our country is right in there funding, arming and protecting the killers. Our political class makes all expenses paid trips to Israel while America becomes increasingly responsible for the genocide of the Palestinian people. That's certainly worth a little more senior poverty.

Fred Nagel



Sadly, and contrary to Mr. Friedman’s contentions, Fred Nagel’s list of Israeli atrocities that are supported by US tax dollars, are facts [“LETTER: U.S. seniors should be happy to sacrifice their benefits for Israel,” by Fred Nagel, Dec. 18, 2015]. And they are readily verifiable by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) and other organizations. 

Mr. Nagel, however, left out the day to day nightmare of life under the Israeli occupation – roads on which Palestinians are not allowed to travel; confiscation of their land; demolition of their homes; checkpoints that make movement difficult or impossible; harassment by settlers; middle of the night Israeli Occupying Forces break-ins to terrorize families and arrest children; constant humiliation, etc.. The clear intention is to make Palestinian lives miserable AS A POLICY OF THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT. 

Were it any other country than Israel, Mr. Friedman would call it like it is – an illegal and brutal occupation but, since Israel is the perpetrator it is, for him, justifiable. You can agree with Israel’s policy or disagree, call it genocide or not, but facts are facts, and to pretend otherwise is simply ignorance or lies. In either case, it is inexcusable.

Judith Simon