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Ethridge: Israel is Sowing Seeds for the Future

Israel is Sowing Seeds for the Future

She may be reaping for a generation or more yet to come. After 58 years there is no shortage of spirit or resistance in Palestine.
Dr. Mary Ethridge

"The Israeli government said yesterday it would continue its bombardment of northern Gaza"

It is estimated that over 300 artillery shells a day are falling on Gaza. The borders are closed and commerce has come to a halt. Nothing in and nothing out. No food, medicines, or negotiators either. Israel bombards a civilian population with impunity. The majority of this population is children. That is a guarantee of more tragedy. Also there is the long term effect of this danger and terror. A heighten likely hood of domestic violence and the psychological trauma causing bed wetting and other life long effects among the children.

Israel is sewing seeds for the future that she may be reaping for a generation or more yet to come.

America has known its share of reaping and still suffers from some residual effects of apartheid and prejudice and cold blooded killing. I remember the recounting, by family who survived at a place called Wounded Knee.

"It was coming dawn, snow covered the ground and our chief was sick in bed with pneumonia. We had gathered to dance. Nothing more. The pink of dawn broke with hints of gold over the hills as the white snow turned red with our blood and our families were destroyed forever."

The emotion of pain wet my blood relatives eyes and washed my heart with his pain. It became my blood staining the white snow, my people who were being killed, I became a part of the collective memory of our people. He was there. The intervening 60 plus years were just a moment ago. This was not old history. With my long lived family I met the one who was there and it was fresh. The interim of another 50 plus years has not dimmed that memory.

We resisted, but we lost, so the taught history recounts it all from the winners perspective which is normal I guess. America celebrates Independence while England remembers the Rebellion.

There are two sides to every story. In northern California there is a tiny stream called Bloody Run. An encampment of American Soldiers died there. In New Mexico there was a proud statue of Onate seated on this great horse set in a public place. He was explorer and conqueror. A source of pride to those of Spanish heritage. He ordered a foot be cut off of every Pueblo Indian male of a certain age group. He has not been forgotten either. A poignant statue of a handsome Indian man holding the dead body of his naked, raped wife received a large public outcry. It was just as legitimately real history. It told of the pain and suffering on the other side of the story.

Forever there have been invaders and conquerors and bullies and suffering. It is not a new thing Israel perpetuates. But never forget that occupation breads resistance. It is the fair response to conquest and occupation. In France the resistance fighters are still heros as they should be. If it were not for the resistance and allies, France would be speaking German today as her primary language. America resisted and won because of allies also. Palestine has resisted valiantly for 58 years but she has not had allies so the struggle is prolonged. America and Europe fall prey to the eternal victim hood of Jews and do nothing to correct this wrong. To stand would be to mean risk being labeled with that most feared word..... Antisemitism. Well antisemitism be damned! The Palestinian people are Semitic also. Probably more so than most of the Jews in Israel.

Israel was created without the input of the native population and their land and rights were given away by colonial England. BUT in the creation of Israel was the provision that all the people residing within those boarders were to be equal citizens. That has never happened. Instead they attacked and killed until Arabs ran for their lives and became refugees in neighboring areas. Israel is a white supremacist nation and her Arab and Bedouin citizens have few rights. Even her darker Jewish citizens complain of mistreatment. It is no wonder then that the Israeli Occupational Forces treat Palestinians as having no more right to life than a bothersome bug you step on to get it out of your way. This army, that calls itself moral, beats, imprisons,tortures, runs over and murders children, unarmed international observers, journalists, photographers, and nonviolent protestors. Not by accident but by the skill of well trained soldiers and snipers.

The current siege of Gaza and invasions in the West Bank are barbaric. I do agree that Israelis are afraid and do get injured or killed by the occasional suicide bomber or college grade experimental rockets shot from Gaza. But we need to remember occupation breads resistance. They have a legitimate right to resist. They also have the right to have allies but "antisemitism" seems to have paralyzed the world into inaction.

Olmert has declared he will unilaterally set the new permanent boarders of Israel/Palestine along the illegal apartheid wall that Israel has built. The small illegal settlements will be emptied or fall into Palestinian hands and there will be a separation. Well for all that may sound like a move toward peace it is just a move toward thievery. Israel will keep a large part of Palestine and 75% of her water resources. Israel has enclosed Arab villages into little ghettos with little if any access to their agricultural lands , school, or medical care. The land is diced up with Jewish only roads. It is an untenable situation they are being left in.

By international court rulings and laws the whole thing is illegal. Even by Israeli court rulings some of it is illegal. Why is it that the world stands by and allows this. Is it fear of being labeled with "antisemitism" or apathy. What? The UN has made many resolutions condemning Israel but will not make one move to stop this.

There is a logical solution. Remove the barrier wall. Empty the smaller illegal settlements and leave the larger ones in place. return the stolen lands and homes and make two side by side nations with equal rights for all. Allow open enough boarders so that if a Jew desires to be in Israel they can go there and if an Arab doesn't want to be in Israel they can go to Palestine. Give everyone a set amount of time ..... 6 month or a year to decide permenantly. If refugee Palestinians want to return to their home lands inside of Israel the laws reguarding the right of return of refugees should be honored. Many of the villages still stand in ruin and could be reclaimed by their rightful owners. Those who lands and homes have dissappered into the new towns should be compensated. Israel can compensate those who need to leave stolen lands and homes because they encouraged the illegal settlements to begin with.

As it is now we stand by and watch as a civilian population is bombarded by heavy artillery and starved by siege and do nothing.

To starve a populace is barbaric!

To shell a civilian residential area is barbaric!

To keep out food supplies is barbaric!

To keep out needed medical supplies for a civilian population is barbaric!

To ignore the unnecessary death of even one child is barbaric!

To continully invade homes and take them over for military outposts is barbaric!

To hunt down the resistance like hunting animals is usless. They will be replaced again and again and again as long as there is a need for resistance.

After 58 years there is no shortage of spirit or resistance in Palestine.

An honest equitable peace is the only answer. Then there will be no need of resistance.


Dr. Mary Ethridge MTh DTh
human rights/anti war writer

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