Lila Garrett's Stark Editorial on Israel
I write while watching Democracy Now on my computer (http://www.democracynow.org/.)
The 515 death count rises minute by minute and the injuries to children is
horrifying. Tragically, to my knowledge, no other radio, TV, corporate
media agency presents the truth of this massacre, let alone the on the scene
coverage. I implore you who don't already watch or listen to this irreplaceable
show to experience it. It's also a proper into to Lila Garrett's
commentary below. -Ed
is my Commentary on Israel, its relationship not just with Gaza but with
world Jews, as well as the promo for Monday's show(7 AM on KPFK):
First, the Promo:
Yaroslavsky is leaving elected life after being termed
out. He reviews his priorities, accomplishments and unfinished
business. He says he's finished with elective office. What's
next for him?
State Senator Ted
Lieu is running for Henry Waxman's seat in
Congress. What are his top priorities when he gets to
Washington? Where does he stand on our top issues, like our
environment, our economy, our constant wars? What are his proudest
accomplishments as State Senator. What is his opinion of his
Lila Garrett (Host of
CONNECT THE DOTS)
KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;
99.5 China Lake
Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.
Link to my program page
Link to my podcasts
Each show is online for three months.
My Commentary: Does Israel speak for the world's
by Lila Garrett
Welcome to CONNECT THE DOTS. I'm your host Lila Garrett and for the
first time in my life asking myself the question that has stumped
everybody from Socrates to George Carlin for centuries. That
question: Who am I?
Oh I know the statistics. A mother a grandmother, a friend, a
broadcaster….I won’t bore you with the rest of it. But
somewhere in the mix I also know I am a Jew. If someone were to say what is a
Jew I would have to answer: I don’t know exactly, but I do know
it’s at the core of my being. I guess if I were really
Socrates or George Carlin I would be able to define it more eloquently.
But since I am not one of those penetrating philosophers I just know that
when that core is shattered, the next question is, what do I do with the
It all happened in the last few weeks when three unarmed Israeli teen
agers were kidnapped and killed while innocently hiking near Gaza[sic].
This hideous crime was, we’re told, was performed by Palestinian
zealots. We are also told that Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu
knew that those teen agers were dead 18 days before announcing
it. Instead Israel made the decision to hold back that information
allowing the search for them to go on, building the public’s rage against
the kidnappers, again, presumed to be Palestinians. I say “presumed”
because Israel, known for its expert intelligence operation, rarely shows this
kind of hesitance in naming criminals. As for the 3 teenagers, Netanyahu lost
no time making it clear that the Palestinians “will pay dearly for
this crime”. So far, grim as it is, it’s nothing
new. Both sides are forever playing pay back in an endless
nightmare of violence. As part of that payback a group of insane Israeli
fanatics found an innocent Palestinian teenager and burned him
alive. To be fair, this too outraged Netanyahu. He made a
point of blasting that crime as no more acceptable than the murder of the three
Israelis. No one , irrespective of what side they are on ,
will be tolerated for these crimes he said.
No one apparently, except him…
Because two days later Israel and Gaza were shooting rockets into each
other’s territory without letup. They claimed that Hamas, the
leading party in Gaza, started it and maybe it did, but the Netanyahu
promise to make the Palestinians “pay dearly” hung in the
air. So the rocket barrages grew but the damage was not equal
on both sides. Israel has an iron dome system which prevented serious
casualties on their side. While, from these initial barrages Israel lost 2
people[one from friendly fire], Gaza lost 200 including 80 children, 4 of whom
were killed by Israeli guns from a war ship while playing soccer at the beach.
Cold blooded murder.
As for the rest of the country, the population is locked in like a jail
cell. All one and a half million Gazans are jammed together
in a 25 mile sliver of land. So despite Israel’s practice of pre-warning
civilians about what area they were bombing next, potential victims had no
place to go. They were and are stuck, getting killed like fish in a
A little history: In 2006 Israel declared Gaza an independent country and
to prove they were sincere they called for free elections. But when Hamas
won, Israel went crazy. Even when Hamas began its term by holding
out a friendly hand in hope of a détente, Israel would have none of it.
Instead hostilities became more intense and there have been constant short but
lethal attacks ever since. Each of these bloody sessions has ended
with more gothic restrictions on the Gaza population. They are now
forbidden by the Israel to leave by sea or to migrate to Egypt or
anywhere else. They are not allowed to import or export, This
means their economy is not hurting; it’s dead. Jobs are not in short
supply, they're in no supply. As for food and medicines…what
are they? The people of Gaza vaguely remember…if they’re
When weeks ago Egypt offered a deal for a cease fire, Israel agreed to
it…but not to the demands of Hamas. Israel then renewed their attacks.
Hamas, meanwhile had made demands that even the New York Times felt were
surprisingly modest. So modest in fact it’s hard to
understand why Israel, if they really wanted peace, would refuse them. Here are
the demands of Hamas, straight from the New York Times.
“the release of arrested Hamas operatives the reopening of the crossing
from Gaza into Egypt, the reduction of Israeli restriction on the movement of
people and goods, and the payment of salaries for Hamas-appointed government
Nowhere did Hamas ask for recognition as the elected
government of Gaza. But why would they since they refuse to recognize
Israel. So that point seems negotiable. Still, they did not even ask for
the ability to import and export. They asked for a reduction, not
even an end of Israeli restriction on the movement of people and goods.
And yet, as minimal as those terms were the Israelis responded by stepping up
attacks on Gaza and its trapped population. Fish in a barrel
indeed. How ugly can it get.
Now, after another brief period of quiet, the gloves are off. Israel has
launched a full ground attack on Gaza. Why is that necessary?
Let’s take some educated guesses based on fact:
The fact is that Israel feels the need of more land to extend its wealth, power
and population. The fact is that it will not now, nor will it probably ever
tolerate the concept of a two state solution. Where
will the other state come from? The West Bank where Jewish settlements
are so plentiful and settlers are so fanatical? Israel would have to
fight it’s own people to ply them out of there. Will this ever
happen? Not likely. The fact is that the Palestinians and the
Israelis who once lived peacefully side by side in the same country had better
become one nation again, or they will battle, murder and pillage for the rest
of time. You may not like the sect of your neighbor, but you had better
tolerate it or resign yourself to endless hurting and killing….as
we see in Iraq with Sunni and Shia…who, before we entered the picture,
lived very comfortably together.
Most of the rest of the world has learned that lesson. Ask the Irish,
ask the So. Africans, ask the nations in the European Union. Ask
the United States for God’s sake. We out here in the rest of the
world have learned either you live together or you perish
together. Will Israel ever accept that reality? This massive
attack on Gaza certainly doesn’t look like it.
With all of this, remarkably, Israel continues to insist it speaks for
the Jewish population of the world. That’s a smaller number than
you think. There are approximately 6 million Jews in Israel, 5 million in
the United States and about 2 million in the rest of the world. When we
say we’re a minority, we mean small. But that doesn't mean we all agree.
The original premise of this piece was the question: “who am
I Let’s change that to who are
“we”, because there are millions of us who do agree. We are
the same group who have not only had it with Israel’s policy of endless
war, we cannot abide its right wing, paranoid leadership.
So who are “we”, the Jews who Israel does not represent.
We are progressives, obviously. We are supporters of Peace
movements, determined to convert Americas (and Israel’s) permanent war
economies into green and consumer economies. We are
supporters of enhancing the social programs for which our taxes pay, and we are
champions of our Constitution which is in severe danger of being ravaged by our
own right wing Supreme Ct. We, the Jews Israel does not
represent are believers that our borders should be open to oppressed
people everywhere, including the 25,000 children being deported to their
Central American countries where they face violence, despair, and very possibly
death. The President dismissed them by saying “some kids have it tougher
than others." A president that cavalier doesn’t speak
for us either.
Since Israel proceeded with this genocide against the people of Gaza I
know who I am. I am a person who finally, sadly, recognizes the
experiment of Israel as a failure and can no longer support it as a Jewish
state or as a democracy. Because of this exercise in genocide the legacy
of the six million Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps has been
mocked. Their deaths have taught us nothing. Those who have been
victims of genocide should be enemies of it….not promoters of it. So to
the 6 million plus Jews who live in Israel we say, if you really want to
represent all 13 million of us we urge you to stop using your vote
to re-elect hawks fueled by hate like Netanyahu & sadistic
agents of death like your Foreign Minister, Lieberman. You and only
you can get rid of them. For the sake of your children the children
of Gaza, for the sake of all 13 million of us…for simple human
decency, vote your masters-of-war out of office.