Human rights and Israel


In the aftermath of the Israeli attack on humanitarian aid ships destined for Gaza, I thought I would share some thoughts regarding the entire Israel-Palestine conflict.

For quite some time now a point of contention between myself and those that either are, were, or could potentially be my friends is Israel; specifically Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. As expected they attempt to write off my critiques and analysis as being radical, and without any real merit. Some have even gone as far as suggesting anti-semitism is the basis for my analysis.

They fail to differentiate between anti-semitism and anti-zionism. They believe what the media tells them that any and all critiques of Israel are based in a deep hatred of the Jewish people. This is of course not simply a paranoid stance, but rather one based in a history of oppression and racism against Jews.

However, what needs to be made clear is that Israel is a political state, and a repressive one at that. When I speak of Israel I am speaking of that political state and its policies, not the Jewish people as a whole. There are facts that can not be disputed here and are worthy of being discussed widely, something that does not happen due to, in my opinion, the relationship between the US and Israel.

All one needs to do is have a basic understanding of human rights to see that Israel is in violation. Have there been acts by Palestinians that have resulted in violence, yes, but for the great majority of those acts they are in response to an occupation and a history of dehumanization. What would you do if you were a victim of apartheid? For most a proactive response (which can mean being an aggressor in certain isolated instances) is understandable – especially when it means going up against tanks with a pocket full of stones.

What I am getting at is this – if we truly want to see an end to the violence then the solution is clear. Hold Israel responsible for its policies by cutting off aid, observe and respect the UN declarations that have been passed down regarding this issue, recognize Hamas as a legit political party that was voted to power democratically, and above all stop looking for solutions that serve America and our allies’ economic interests.