Open Letter to Wapo’s David Ignatius

BBSNews 2014-08-05 — By Michael Hess. In a column yesterday in the Washington Post you left out some pertinent facts. The Likud Party has made it clear since at least 1977 that there will never be a Palestinian state, never a Palestine. This is well established fact and yet I did not see that in your article. And you left out all the intense subjugation, land and resource, theft, home demolitions, killings, imprisonment and torture of children without charge…

By Mohammed Omer.

By Mohammed Omer.

And in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, the wholesale destruction of a captive and occupied people over lies, (Bibi lied twice about it, this was in all the news…), the attempted destruction of the nascent unity government, the Crime Against Humanity that started it all, the illegal colonies, and on and on.

Acknowledgement of these facts must be made by Israel and to the wider, less informed, world for there to be a chance of a just and durable peace. As for the War Crimes, Jimmy Carter has pointed out today in Foreign Policy:

There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes. This is true for both sides. Hamas’s indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians is equally unacceptable. However, three Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets, while an overwhelming majority of the 1,600 Palestinians killed have been civilians, including more than 330 children. The need for international judicial proceedings to investigate and end these violations of international law should be taken very seriously.

The fact is, Hamas is evolving, Likud is not. Just the latest War Crimes in Gaza are abominable but they are just the last in a long list of them, well documented crimes by the United Nations and various international Human Rights group and NGO’s. Treat your readers as adults. Tell them ALL of the truth and not just the “truth” that comes from the Israeli military censor who censors every scrap of news coming out of Israel.

Don’t push Israeli Hasbara (propaganda) about our sitting Secretary of State John Kerry who has done yeoman’s work, thanklessly, from people like you. Most observers knew he would fail with Benjamin Netanyahu and the extremist group, the Likud, who has ruled Israel for many years, but it was not for lack of trying. It is because Israel needs a regime change, Likud is no less extreme than Hamas. This is undeniable given what is happening.

And what is with your trashing of Turkey and Qatar? It makes no logical sense that you are bashing our other allies in the region. Where is CENTCOM again?

Don’t act like we have a military censor here in the US, and don’t give in to the religious bigotry and childishness in this country that helps keep this conflict alive in the hopes of ushering in the fabled and nonsensical idea of a Second Coming(tm). In short, work for a just peace or keep your peace because the facts are getting too hard to hide and many of us are posting them in non-traditional news. People are becoming must less trusting of traditional news as I am sure you are aware. Be relevant. Be real, and be factual. Humanity demands it. I know it is hard to challenge the Religious Right here in the United States but you must if you want to be part of the solution and not be sustaining the current illegal occupation(s).

Either the rule of law applies or there simply is no rule of law. International law must be applied evenly and the double standard for Israel in this regard must end. Yes, the world knows that Bashar al-Assad is a butcher but must Israel, through the Likud, act in this manner as well while professing to have the “most moral army in the world”? Given that Israel’s IDF uses individual Human Shields contrary to their own High Courts ruling against the odious practice and so many other inhumane practices from the checkpoints to the imprisonments of protesters against the illegal occupation(s) without charge, many of them kids, the world can clearly see that claim is nothing but Hasbara propaganda.

It has been splashed across the international media for years but most especially during Cast Lead II that far surpassed the death and destruction rained upon innocent Palestinians in Gaza during Cast Lead I where there were also numerous War Crimes.

Both sides must be held equally responsible for the War Crimes that they commit, international law must be respected by Israel for Israel to have legitimacy, and it must happen now, before Israel can massacre anyone else in the quest to destroy Palestinian unity, and to protect the illegal colonies.

To stay relevant, commentators such as yourself need to stick to the entire set of facts, not just a subset of them in a bid to protect Israeli sensibilities. Justice commands this. After all, there would be no Hamas or any other resistance if there was true justice in Palestine. Palestinian militancy has always had at its heart, the fact that their land had and has been usurped by outsiders.

The narrative of Palestine, including the Nakba, must be acknowledged to forge a true peace, not a one-sided peace where Israel dictates the terms to the people who were there before them when Israel was first created as a modern state in 1948. Indeed, if there was true justice and not just a one-sided slaughter of innocent people who just want the incursions and the land and resource theft to stop, the entire Muslim world (and the wider world) would fall to their collective knees in amazement that the United States was finally going to apply an even, firm hand, and a severe spanking for biting the hand that feeds it, in mediating a conflict that cannot be ended without it.

Israeli lives are not more valuable than Palestinian lives. They are of equal value. It is time for writers like you to recognize this fact for the good of humanity (and U.S. National Security).

Even the tepid and incorrect headline of your column screams out bias. Israel must follow international law and make peace with ALL of Palestine. Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem are and comprise Palestine. It is time for folks like you to recognize this fact, the wider world has for decades, don’t be a part of the cadre of extremists who are ensuring that the United States is left behind the rest of the world.

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Michael Hess

Michael Hess

I started writing and editing BBSNews in 1990. Before the 'web, back in the Bulletin Board System (BBS) days. My pursuit of factual and reality based information informs my worldview. The ever evolving BBSNews contains New Mexico news, national and international news, politics, space, foreign policy and in particular; news and facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See our About Us page for more details.