by Seth Sandronsky
As a Sacramentan of Jewish parents, I support peace here and in the Middle East. But thereís a contradiction to my position: Iím an American citizen whose tax dollars supply weapons of war to Israel in its decades-long conflict with the Palestinians. My daily labor is a small part of the tax base for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If I remain silent, my silence offers consent to the current situation. That canít be.
Please consider this about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: No, itís not the histories and the hostilities of the two sides; rather, it is relevant facts about the victims and victimizers there. Israelis and Palestinians arenít separate races or tribes. They are members of a single race--the human race. Both peoples have unique interests and talents. They share the ability to laugh and cry. They are birthed and die.
In the Middle East and elsewhere on our planet, humanity shares far fewer differences than similarities. Call me a humanist, perhaps. I sit accused.
Regarding the horrible escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, here are my two peace proposals, subject to debate. Please note that criticism of Israeli policy is not anti-Jewish, no more than being critical of U.S. policy is being anti-American.
One, cease U.S. shipments of weapons to Israel. By now, it should be clear that there is no way U.S. arms sales can solve this conflict.
Two, end the U.S. policy of approving the expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. This ongoing land-grab facilitates the hostilities. It is unrealistic to expect Palestinians to accept such expropriation. Would you? Israelis canít be free if Palestinians live nearby in dispossessed misery. Israeli military forces try to enforce such relations. This spurs Palestinian resistance as sure as night follows day.
To understand violence on all sides is not to excuse it. Innocent Israeli and Palestinian victims share a bitter fate. Such bitterness is nurturing this Middle East conflict. It can and may get much worse, with far-reaching effects that canít be seen.
Thereís still time left for us to halt this human catastrophe. Americans of good conscience must demand solutions for a peace based on justice for all in the Middle East. The Jewish people survived the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi Holocaust. Now, some of their descendants are waging a war against Palestinians that negates our legacy of liberation from oppression. Not in my name. DV
Seth Sandronsky is a free-lance writer based in Sacramento, CA