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Friday, January 5, 2007


Will Jimmy Carter’s Book Liberate the Palestinians?
William Hughes

William Hughes is a Baltimore author, attorney, educator and professional actor. He has been writing political commentaries for over 40 years. His latest book, "Saying 'No' to the War Party," is a collection of his essays, and photographs, that targeted the "Special Interests," like the Neocons, Big Oil and the Military-Industrial Complex, which dragged the U.S. into the Iraqi war. The book was the author's way of challenging the outrageous conduct of the Bush-Cheney Gang, while making current history come alive.

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William Hughes
January 4, 2007

“Nothing else in the so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” - Victor Hugo

Let’s face it! The year 2006 was another hell on earth for the Palestinians. Since 1967, they have been suffering under the heel of the Zionist Death, Mayhem & Occupation Machine. Earlier this summer, as the situation grew desperate in Gaza, where 1.4 million people are trapped, Israel’s Far Right Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, wisecracked: “Nobody dies from being uncomfortable.” He lied! Six hundred and sixty Palestinians perished from the 24/7 siege by the Israeli Occupation Army (IOF). Of that number, 141 were children. (1) Enter ex-President Jimmy Carter and his best selling book, “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.” (2) Will this good and decent man from Georgia do for the Palestinians, what Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” did for African-Americans, who were then languishing under the crime of slavery? Can Carter light the fuse that leads to the liberation of the Palestinians from their cruel oppressors?

Meanwhile, America is in deep spiritual decline. I don’t mean that in a religious sense. I do, however, mean it with respect to so many people not being in touch with their own humanity--their own souls. One of the ways this shows up is how we have historically subsidized, with little or no objections, the evildoings of the Zionist state of Israel. (1) According to the prestigious “Harvard Study,” over $140 billion of our tax dollars have ended up there since 1967. (3) Three to four billion dollars is added each year to that total. (4) Now, Jimmy Carter is saying: “Stop!” The Israelis don’t deserve our support because they have built a racist Apartheid-like enclave, symbolized by an Annexation Wall, on the backs of the indigenous people--the Palestinians. (1)

What is interesting to note in the Jimmy Carter/Zionist Israel brouhaha is how the former President, like so many others before him, is being subjected to an intense campaign of vilification by Israeli apologists in this country. (5) But surprise--the ubiquitous smear artists are falling on their collective faces! With every mean spirited insult, Carter sells another book. What his critics don’t understand is this: Carter belongs to America. He is one of us! They, the Carter bashers, are not only deeply resented, but are being seen by growing numbers as arrogant, spiteful and shameless shills for a foreign power. Israel is the same two-faced foreign power who slaughtered Americans on the USS Liberty, bulldozed to death peace activist Rachel Corrie, and directed the traitor Jonathan Pollard to steal our military secrets. (6) Carter is not only helping Americans see what the Israelis have been doing to the Palestinians, he is also opening up the eyes of many here, to what the “Harvard Study” clearly documents: The Israel Lobby has exercised “unmatched power” over U.S. foreign policy, which hasn’t been in “the national interest” of our country. (3) The hawkish Neocons are part, too, of the powerful Israel Lobby.

Thankfully, more Americans, daily, do know what is going on in the Israeli Occupied Territories. During 2006, I was privileged to cover events dealing with that issue and also Israel’s unjust invasion of Lebanon. (7) I also heard human rights experts denounce the Israeli conduct in those two areas of combat as “War Crimes.” (8) This includes the IOF’s blood stained attack on the village of Qana and its dropping of over one million cluster bombs on the civilian population of Lebanon. (9) I also got a chance to interview some of the demonstrators at these spirited protest actions, and to put on the public record their strong moral and legal objections to Israel’s serial wrongdoing. (10) At the same time, I had an opportunity to witness, close up, the nobility of the Palestinians. Ms. Laila El-Haddad and Mohammed Omer spoke volumes via their personal accounts of oppression by the IOF in Occupied Gaza.

Ms. El-Haddad, a Gaza resident, on June 23, 2006, at a forum on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Council for the National Interest, warned that the humanitarian outlook facing the people there was “extremely bleak.” She spoke of the barbaric home demolitions by the IOF, the lack of access to food, and the fact that over 9,000 Palestinians are presently languishing in Israeli dungeons, many without any charges pending against them. (11) Mohammed Omer, a Gaza-based journalist, gave a talk at the Palestine Center on Nov. 28, 2006. He spoke of how his late brother, Hussam, was shot to death by an Israeli sniper. Omer knew Rachel Corrie. He related how the children of the Rafah refugee camp, who had grown to love her, “couldn’t believe she was dead.” (12)

On a related topic, when Professor William Fletcher lectured at the Palestine Center, on Dec. 1, 2006, he shared how the present state of Israel could easily be compared with the Apartheid-era South African regime. He labeled Israel a “rabid state,” which was capable of a maniacal act, like “unleashing a nuclear weapon.” (13) Now, that Israel’s Olmert has admitted that Israel possesses Nukes, Professor Fletcher’s concern becomes even more relevant.

When “Esquire” magazine ran a cover story (Jan. 2007) showing an Iraqi War vet, Sgt. Bryan Anderson, a triple amputee, I couldn’t help but think of the Neocon, Richard Perle. (14). The last time I spotted him he was filling his mouth with chocolate chip cookies. He had just attended a memorial service for a fellow Iraqi War junkie, Philip Merrill Levine. (15) Perle is also the same hard core Zionist, who co-authored the hawkish “The Clean Break” document for Israel’s Likud honcho--Benjamin Netanyahu. (16)

Neocons, like Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, et al, all knee jerk supporters of Israel, deserve strong censure for pushing our country into the war with Iraq. (17) As I write, over 3,000 American troops have died in that conflict, about 60 of them were from my home state of Maryland. And, despite the horror story that is the Iraqi War, with 655,000 Iraqis also reported dead, Netanyahu, is calling for a U.S. led war with Iran. (18) I couldn’t help but reflect: The cunning Neocons urged sending our sons and daughters to die in Iraq based on a pack of rotten lies. Now, they, and their cronies, like Netanyahu, are looking for a war with Iran. Do these shameless war hucksters have any limits?

Getting back to Israel’s Olmert and his crude remark: “Nobody dies from being uncomfortable.” When you tie his callous comment to the significant loss of human life suffered in both Gaza and Lebanon this last summer, you need to be alarmed. Add this fact: His regime was charged with engaging in “collective punishment” tactics in those two campaigns. (8) To me, Olmert reflects a troubled man whose psyche has been unduly influenced by those vindictive Storm Gods of the ancient Canaanites. Like those deities, he too, acts like he is all powerful and omniscient, and without a conscience. Might, of course, excuses nothing. Olmert appears from his recent conduct incapable of reflecting on the morality of his own wrongdoing. He lacks wisdom, too. Is this why characters, like Olmert, are so ultra sensitive to any criticism? When you consider that this zealot has his finger on the trigger of a nuclear weapon, the world itself should shudder in fear. (19)

In any event, there is little chance that an authoritarian ideologue, like Olmert, will change on his own. What is important, however, is that ex-President Jimmy Carter’s courageous voice condemning the endemic evil that is a racist, Israeli-dominated Apartheid Palestine, is being heard. If enough Americans change their attitudes towards Israel, then there can be some real hope that the occupation of Palestine might, mercifully, end soon.

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