U.S. has an Israeli bias | VailDaily.com

U.S. has an Israeli bias

Cathleen Krahe, Carbondale

What stands out from my two weeks in the Holy Land is living under Israel’s 41-year oppressive military occupation of the West Bank and the words of Palestinian Bassam Aramin, “your (American) ignorance is killing us.”

Bassam co-founded Combatants for Peace, a group of 400 former resistance fighters and Israeli soldiers. Bassam’s 10-year-old daughter was shot dead by an Israeli soldier in January 2007 while standing in front of her school. Although witnessed by 10 people, the investigation was closed because of insufficient evidence. Bassam wants justice not revenge.

On a daily basis, Palestinians/Arabs face long lines at checkpoints between West Bank towns that have nothing to do with Israeli security but everything to do with harassing Palestinians into leaving. Obstacles to movement in the West Bank have grown from 528 in January 2007 to 607 in May 2008. Jeeps of M-16 carrying Israeli soldiers roam the streets at night and periodically blast into homes of suspected peaceful demonstrators. (Palestinians protest the building of the separation wall that separates many from their farmland.)

West Bank Palestinians are not allowed into Israel without a permit, which is rarely issued.

At the Palestinian Christian Daher’s Vineyard, West Bank, we learned of their 17-year legal struggle to keep their land. They have papers from the Ottoman Empire and when Palestine was under the British Mandate. Israel prevents them from getting water or electricity and turned down their building permits. Jewish settlers destroyed their 200 trees and Israel has blocked the road to their vineyard. In the West Bank town of Hebron, Christian Peace Team members told us of accompanying Palestinian children to school so they would not be attacked by Jews.

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Israel fears Palestinians as a threat when the majority of Palestinians are willing to co-exist. The media categorizes Hamas as a terrorist organization, but forgets that it takes care of the social and economic needs of Palestinians, abandoned by Israel and the Palestinian government. U.S. media mainly gives us the Israeli side.

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