Bubble, Bubble, Double Trouble

I have put these two together because both have a pathology that allows them to absolutely justify committing abdominal acts without remorse, while at the same time displaying arrogance.

Bibi has his Gaza Debacle

July 8, 2014  

As I write, slightly more than half of Americans believe that what Israel is doing in Gaza is wrong. I am one of them. The US often stands by Israel, perhaps because it is a democracy, or because it’s a Jewish state in unfriendly territory. Maybe it's because we need a friend in the Middle East, even one that sometimes acts as a Bully State, with Netanyahu's policies alienating others in the region, leaving his country more volatile and vulnerable. The US administration believes that the Israelis have a right to protect themselves, so we help them acquire arms and other military equipment. Then, whenever they rain down horror on the people of Gaza between ceasefires, President Obama asks them to be less aggressive, cautioning Netanyahu about his country's lack of proportionality. In other words, we send them mixed messages. As Jon Stewart puts it, "We cannot be Israel's rehab sponsor and its drug dealer."

I understand that Hamas is a vicious, rogue group of terrorists that hides its soldiers and armaments in Gaza among civilians, in churches, and in UN schools and hospitals. But, the Israelis have to know in their hearts that when they attack these targets, they are bombing innocents and revving up Hamas. If the US federal government wanted to get the mafia out of New York City, they wouldn't bomb the city to do it. There has to be a better way. After all, many Gazans live at the mercy of, and in fear of, Hamas.

Rather than finding opportunities to build rapport, Bibi continues to build and expand settlements in Palestinian territories. He erects walls and creates checkpoints with long lines that prevent Palestinian villagers from moving about freely, keeping them from tending their own olive groves and cultivating their own land, and making it difficult for them to get to other jobs outside of their villages and in Israel. How do Israelis justify their assertion of the right to keep the people of Gaza from fishing the ocean off their own shores? How does Netanyahu assume the right to keep Gazans from feeding their families? What is shocking to me is that Israelis are persecuting people unlike their own, or whom they fear, in a manner unbecoming a people who have experienced the worst persecution possible. Why would they do that unto others? Yet, 82 percent of Israelis approve of the way Netanyahu is doing business. How can that be?

What We Can Do:
  1. Write to President Obama to tell him that you are unwilling for your tax dollars to be used to kill people in Gaza
  2. Check in with United for Peace and Justice for other things to call for and do: www.unitedforpeace.org
  3. If you disagree, feel free to express that opinion in the comments, below
  4. If you are unfamiliar with the details of what’s going on in the Middle East these days, it’s worth checking on
  5. Please remember that often people use the word Jews when they are actually talking about Israelis; not all Jews are fans of Israel or Israeli occupation

Putin’s Very Own Little Crime Scene

July 17, 2014


Flight 17 was shot down on July 17th, killing all 298 people aboard, most of whom were Dutch, Malaysian and Australian citizens. Though Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine claim they are not guilty, there are huge gaps left filled with doubt. Plus, Russia’s Putin has kept making his moves on Ukraine, and not just in Crimea. He, like Netanyahu, is an unethical land-grabber with no conscience about human cost. But there are really no surprises here, since the Russian-built missile launchers come from... guess where. But, whoever the hotshots involved in the downing of this and earlier flights are, the truth will eventually rear its head, that is if all the real evidence hasn’t been totally compromised after the rebels allowed – or perhaps encouraged – anyone who showed up to feel free to trample the “crime scene.” Anyone who has ever watched more than one episode of any CSI show on television could have done a better job with the site. Surely, there is some version of crime scene tape in the Ukraine, and we know there are enough munitions there to keep tramplers and looters from rendering the scene unproductive.

What We Can Do:
  1. Find out why what happens in Ukraine impacts us here at home
  2. Learn the locations of other dangerous air zones
  3. If you are called to travel near these zones, ask your airline to tell you how they navigate around the zone

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