Posted on May 1, 2024, by & filed under Latest News 2.

Originally published on the website of the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace - view the original article

200 days.

Let that sink in.

200 days this week of Israel’s genocidal assault on the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.

In Gaza 40,000 murdered by Israel, more than 18,000 children, 20,000 children orphaned.

Massacres happening every day, mostly children.  100’s of bodies in mass graves found in Khan Younis.  More than 300 bodies found in a mass grave on the grounds of Gaza’s Nasser Hospital.

Israeli drones playing recordings of babies crying and mothers screaming to lure Palestinians out of hiding to target and shoot them as they respond to help.  Automated murder!

Israel has killed 85 children a day for six months and not once has the US or any other Western state intervened.

As a matter of fact, what has the US government done instead? Congress and the President approved another $17billion in military aid to Israel adding to the billions of dollars already supplied to them.

It was pouring down rain this past Tuesday, April 23, as 19 of us, mostly young people, like we have every Tuesday since October 7, gathered in front of the Allen County Courthouse to protest Israel’s continuing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and in the West Bank.

Some thoughts on this horrific anniversary:

  1. Genocide – let that word sink in. Genocide is the crime of crimes.  It has been reserved for the most horrific of crimes that one state, one nation can visit upon another, the intentional extermination of a people by another. So when the International Court of Justice agreed with South Africa that Israel was plausibly committing genocide against Palestinians (something we already knew), it should have shaken to the core all people of good will.
  2. I’m tired of hearing arguments about why we’re not talking about Hamas.  We can hold two things to be true at the same time: Hamas aren’t angels, we don’t have to like that Israeli women, children, and non-combatants were killed on October 7; AND Occupied peoples, in this case, Palestinians in Gaza, are guaranteed by international law the right to resist occupation and ethnic cleansing.  Why do we need to keep repeating that this violence did not begin on October 7; it began at least 76 years ago, if not before.  If these people condemning Hamas are so concerned about innocents being killed, where were they on October 6, on October 5?  Where were they in 2008-2009, in 2012, in 2014, in 2021, and more during Israel’s attacks on Gaza?  Where were they when new illegal settlements were being built throughout the West Bank, dispossessing tens of thousands of Palestinians, when Palestinian houses were destroyed illegally, when children were rousted out of bed at night terrorized by Israeli soldiers, tortured, and imprisoned without charges?
  3. I’m tired, too, of the conversations about who progressives are going to vote for this November for President.  Let’s be clear.  Voting is a sacred civil right in our democracy; who you vote for and why is each person’s business.  Our binary political system exacerbates this dilemma.  No progressive wants Donald Trump to win.  Full stop.
  4. Some progressives will vote for President Biden, for a number of reasons – one is that he’s not the other guy; there are other reasons, too, protection for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, climate justice, Supreme Court justices, and more.  This is their right. We ask them, though, that if they are going to support Biden, please help us hold his feet to the fire on Palestine.  What he’s doing there is wrong.  Just like we would hold his feet to the fire if we liked everything else he was doing but he was wrong on one of the above issues that is dear to us, so, too, on the issue of Palestine, we cannot let him off the hook just because he is “our guy.”
  5. Other progressives will choose to not vote for President Biden for aiding and abetting genocide, that it’s time to send the Democratic machine a message that they can’t take Palestinian voices and votes for granted anymore.  Biden has not been an innocent bystander to genocide; he has supported Zionist expansionism in Israel throughout his entire career; as President, he has intentionally by-passed Congress to send tens of billions of dollars of weapons to Israel knowing full well that they will be used to kill Palestinians, as well as providing cover for Israel in the UN.  Some simply can’t, for moral reasons, support genocide by voting for him.  This is their right.  It’s a sad irony that some of my friends have been more bothered by me saying we should hold Biden’s feet to the fire for providing money and weapons to Israel that they’re using to kill Palestinian children rather than that Biden is providing money and weapons to Israel that they’re using to kill Palestinian children.
  6. Our Palestinian friends – and their friends – say to the West, and in particular the US, “Don’t you dare lecture us anymore about democracy, about human rights. You have no right.”  Our humanity is being tested. Our morality is being tested – as individuals and as a nation. It’s about our own moral compass.
  7. One final thing – tens of thousands of students in scores of universities all across the US – Columbia, Yale, Harvard, NYU, Emery, MIT, Tufts, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, North Carolina, Brown, Pittsburgh, USC, and many more – are rising up in peaceful protest over Israel’s genocide (these protests including and often led by Jewish students). Something is stirring in our country, they are sensing this is a Kairos moment.  Young people on campuses and in communities like ours get it, their moral compass straight, their voices strong.  Just like the students who led the way in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the movement for civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, just like it was students on campuses who led the anti-war movement during Vietnam, so now, it is the students who are showing moral clarity and won’t stand by during a genocide perpetuated by Israel right before our eyes nor put up with the  hypocrisy of our government as we support Israel.

I, for one, am grateful for those who turn out on Tuesday afternoons – cold, snow, rain, or shine – and for all those, young and old around the country, who are saying, “No more!”