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To The Jewish Community Of The World

To The Jewish Community Of The World

By Genevieve Cora Fraser

In January I visited Palestine and witnessed a family held at gunpoint by Israeli soldiers who had gathered at the checkpoint leading from Jerusalem to Nablus. Their dying father/grandfather was in an ambulance about a hundred yards away. The family's tears and pleas to see him, kiss him goodbye were considered too great a security risk to Israel. So the ambulance was forced to return as the family was turned away.

For two days I visited in Nablus with the family of Professor Khaled Salah and his son, peace activists who had appeared on Israeli TV. One dark evening last summer, the family endured several hours of assault on their home by 1,000 troops, following the killing of two militants who happened to have passed through the neighborhood, according to media reports. The Israeli military identified the location of the family a week earlier, neighbors say. They attacked with helicopter gunships, missiles fired from tanks, submachine gunfire and snipers.

Professor Salah pleaded for his family's life. They shot him and his 16 year old son and held his wife and surviving children hostage until the father and son died. According to Salam, the widow, as she escorted me through what remains of her former home, the Israeli soldiers mocked and ridiculed her as she pleaded to allow waiting ambulances to assist her dying husband and son.

In Jerusalem, I attended a Palestinian-Israeli peace conference (FFIPP) where two students from Gaza, in attendance with valid permits and IDs, were arrested while visiting Jerusalem's Old City tourist sites. If a group of Internationals including two professors, an Israeli and Israeli American, had not intervened, the students' fate would have been like so many others - to be sentenced to 5 - 20 years in Israeli jails where they would have been tortured and used as political pawns.

US tax dollars support Israel's illegal occupation, daily horror Palestininians are made to endure, and continued land and water theft. Is this the path to a desperately needed peace? Is this the face the Jewish community wants presented to the world?


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