Wake Up Time from Orwell’s Nightmare

On March 5, 2008, 404 House members beat the drum for more war by citing Iran and Syria as the main sponsors of Palestinian terror in the passing of House Resolution 951 citing the “more than 4,000 rockets and mortar shells [that] have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other terrorist organizations… [and claims] the Government of Israel’s military operations in Gaza only target Hamas and other terrorist organizations.”

Apparently the idiots running the asylum in the House of Representatives perceive the 982 Palestinian children who have been killed by Israeli forces, since 2000 are card carrying members of Hamas, but reality is:

The majority of these [Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four percent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers.

In Orwell’s nightmare, 1984, the Party slogan “War is Peace” and “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past” are life in the 21st century USA for the 404 congressional reps who have convinced themselves that history never happened.

Not a word in HR 951 mentions the fact on the ground that human rights have been denied the 1.5 million human beings in the open air prison of Gaza nor Israel’s persistent blatant disregard of international law and the 65 UN resolutions that have targeted Israel.

Aside from the core issues—refugees, Jerusalem, borders—the major themes reflected in the U.N. resolutions against Israel over the years are its unlawful attacks on its neighbors; its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians, including deportations, demolitions of homes and other collective punishments; its confiscation of Palestinian land; its establishment of illegal settlements; and its refusal to abide by the U.N. Charter and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

Big Brother would be in his glory in the America of today, for the Industrial Military Media ‘Security’/Surveillance Complex persists to spin the fallacy that Israeli forces withdrew from [Gaza] in 2005, but reality is that the drama in Gaza was made for television.

The colonists/squatters/settlers the world witnessed being removed were financially compensated and resettled in other illegal settlements in the West Bank. Israel never gave up complete control of all air, land and sea borders to Gaza and the Jewish apartheid state birthed the world’s largest open air prison inhabited by 1.5 million human beings which gives credence to Big Brothers mantra that “Ignorance is Strength.”

All right thinking people of good will condemn and deplore the targeting of any civilians and grieve over the loss of any life taken by any independent militant, terrorist organization or army of any state or nation.

HR 951 cites “the near-daily rocket fire [that] has been targeted primarily and intentionally at civilian communities in Israel, such as Sderot and Ashkelon, making life in such areas agonizing… [and] that these unprovoked rocket and mortar attacks have murdered over a dozen Israelis, inflicted hundreds of casualties, produced thousands of cases of shock and posttraumatic stress, especially among children, and caused severe disruption of daily life.”

None of those who voted yes for HR 951, apparently have ever read the Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem’s reports among which affirm that since the year 2000, 1,259 of the 2,679 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip were not participating in hostilities when they were killed, and 567 were minors, nor have a clue of the trauma inflicted upon the children of Gaza who are denied electricity for hours every day and often days on end.

“Israeli deaths are ‘terrorism,’ while Palestinian deaths are merely an unfortunate consequence of the fight against ‘terrorism.’ But the two are intricately linked, and what happened in Jerusalem [at the Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav on March 6 are] a direct consequence of what Israel has been doing to the Palestinians for decades.”

That west Jerusalem school is the ideological cradle of the most militant of all the Jewish settler movements–Gush Emunim–and “unlike other sects in Israel which sought exemption of their students from military service, Gush Emunim encouraged its followers to join the army and become the armed wing of religious nationalist Zionism. Gush Emunim settlers… founded the most extreme and racist settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including the notorious colonies in and near Hebron whose inhabitants have made life miserable for Palestinians in the city and forced many of them out of their homes. It is the militant settlers of Gush Emunim who still honor Baruch Goldstein who murdered 29 Palestinians in Hebron in February 1994. It is in Hebron that the Gush Emunim settlers spray ‘Arabs to the gas chambers‘ on Palestinian houses.”

In June 2005, I made my first and last trip to Hebron, the most painful place I have ever been.

My guide was Jerry Levin, who in the 1980’s had been CNN’s Mid East Bureau Chief in Lebanon and a secular Jew. Jerry was kidnapped and held hostage by the Hezbollah for nearly a year. Shortly after he experienced a mystical Christmas Eve, and escaped unharmed, he was never the same. He became a Christian and he and his wife, Dr. Sis, have devoted themselves ever since to seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land.

In 2005, Jerry was a full time volunteer with CPT/Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron when he told me, “Every time I get ready to return to Palestine, everyone asks me, ‘Aren’t you afraid?’ I reply, ‘Of what, the Palestinians? No way! But when it comes to the Israelis soldiers, you bet I am!'”

In 2005, Hebron contained 450 Israeli settlers/squatters/colonists and three thousand Israeli forces. The eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds patrolled the streets with their weapons at the ready and turned us away at one of the many checkpoints. Jerry quipped, “Most of the soldiers don’t like the CPTs. Whenever they won’t let us through, we just go another way, and always, eventually, get where we want to go.”

I was nauseated the entire day for the oppression was visceral. The narrow, winding stone streets that for centuries had been trod by Palestinians were eerily empty in many areas except for the open air market street and another where apartment buildings were on one side Israeli, and the other Palestinian. The only connection to the other side of the street was a thick deeply sagging netting strung over head. Huge rocks, shovels, electronic equipment, furniture, and all manner of debris had been flung upon it, and I wondered if I would be underneath when it gave way.

Jerry told me, “It gets cleaned out about every year or so. Come back in a few months, and this netting will be much closer to your head. The settlers just throw whatever they want onto the netting; they do whatever they want and get away with it. The CPT’s run interference by nonviolent resistance; we get the children and woman to where they need to be going and back again. Sometimes, the settlers curse and stone us all; it keeps it interesting.”

We then walked to a desolate area and Jerry pointed out all the empty and formerly Palestinian homes that the settlers had painted graffiti and Stars of David on. It was not a nightmare, but reality when I saw spray painted on a now empty, but formerly Palestinian home, “GAS THE ARABS.”

I told Jerry Hebron was hell on earth and he replied, “You haven’t seen anything, until you see Gaza.”

Eileen Fleming is the author of Keep Hope Alive and Memoirs of a Nice Irish American Girl's' Life in Occupied Territory and the producer of 30 Minutes With Vanunu. Email her at ecumei@gmail.com. Read other articles by Eileen, or visit Eileen's website.

9 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ray Ralph said on March 10th, 2008 at 6:31am #

    Thank you for another informative report, Eileen. You refer to the “idiots running the asylum” in the House of Representatives. I wonder, however, if they are “idiots” or merely cynical and unprincipled and immoral opportunists. AIPAC and the other groups comprising the Israel Lobby have consistently made it clear that a price is to be paid by any member of Congress who is less than totally supportive of the Zionist enterprise (as the recent cases of Cynthia McKinney and Earl Hilliard amply illustrate). “Idi0ts” might be too nice a term to describe the members of the H of R. Perhaps they are more correctly seen as unprincipled bums who place their own careers above doing what is right and moral, as opportunistic cynics who believe their own miserable careers are more important than opposing ethnicide and mass murder. The congressional vote in favor of HR 951 is strong evidence of the continued ability of the Israel Lobby to control US foreign policy and of its ability to demand and get total (with the exception of Ron Paul) congressional support for the evil and murderous policies of the apartheid state of Israel.

  2. eileen fleming said on March 10th, 2008 at 6:47am #

    Hi R,
    Thanks for input and you are right!

    They are worse than idiots!

    And Ralph Nader hit another nail on the head:

    “In contrast, the humanitarian crisis brought about by Israeli government blockades that prevent food, medicine, fuel and other necessities from coming into this tiny enclave through international relief organizations is received with predictable silence or callousness by members of Congress, including John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. ”


  3. maryb said on March 10th, 2008 at 7:12am #

    ‘But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood.’

    This is from the writings of one of the Pilgrim Fathers who left England for America in the early 17th Century because of the persecution that he and his fellows had suffered. Strange that their descendants support and arm a military state who are engaged in the persecution of others. That graffiti that you saw on an empty house in Hebron – ‘Gas the Arabs’ – is truly horrific. A relative of mine has just returned from a visit to Gaza and he would confirm what you say in your last sentence Ms Fleming. I don’t think that the persecutors of the Pilgrim Fathers resorted to murder.

  4. Chris Crass said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:00am #

    Idiots? Unprincipled bums?
    I vote sociopaths.

  5. Michael Boldin said on March 10th, 2008 at 10:23am #

    Good for Ron Paul for being the lone voice in Congress that’s courageous enough to say NO!

  6. eileen fleming said on March 10th, 2008 at 5:26pm #

    Yes, indeed thanks to Ron Paul and Ralph Nader, two voices of wisdom and reason who deserve our support and thanks,

    But we the people are suppose to be the government, and George Washington warned:

    “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all…and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave…a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.”-George Washington’s Farewell Address – 1796

    2008 could be a REVOLUTIONARY year with an engaged citizenry DEMANDING change!

    USA Tax payers provide the aparthied regime of Israel with 3.2 BILLION Bucks a year and so far The War in Iraq has cost we the people of the USA

    ENOUGH is ENOUGH and we the people need to get on the backs of our AIPAC beholden and pathetic elected officials and put the fear on God in them; that we are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore and we will vote them out of power and run ourselves unless they wake up!

    A healthy democracy happens when the government is afraid of the people-only in totalitarian regimes are the people afraid of the government-

    When we the people rise up [Intifada is the Arabic] and demand our government quit supporting the Apartheid regime of Isreal-which is NOT a democracy, but an Ethnocracy and end the occupation of Iraq and TALK to our ‘enemies’- we truly could, begin the world again!

    PLEASE DO SOMETHING! Please make a call, send a FAX and demand our government take care of USA citizens first and NOT the apartheid regime of Isreal and end the USA occupation of Iraq!

    President George W. Bush
    (202) 456-1414
    White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
    Fax: (202) 456-2461

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
    (202) 647-6575

    Any Senator
    (202) 224-3121

    Any Representative
    (202) 225-3121

    E-Mail Congress and the White House:

    Congress: visit for
    President Bush:
    Vice President Cheney: vice. vog.esuohetihwnull@tnediserp

    Embassy of Israel
    3514 International Dr., NW
    Washington, DC 20008
    (202) 364-5515

    all good 2 U and please know that “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution.”-Emma Goldman

    “You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.”
    Tom Petty

    Only in Solidarity do “We have it in our power to begin the world again”
    Tom Paine

  7. bushmeister0 said on March 10th, 2008 at 6:55pm #

    Don’t worry, I’m sure Congress will soon be rushing to vote their disapproval of the comments deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai made last week, saying Palestinians risked bringing a “shoah” on themselves and calling for an all out attack on Gaza. Unless, that is Congress decides that wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all and would besides be all the Palestinians’ fault anyway.

    One person’s Shoah is another persons police action.

  8. Diana said on March 10th, 2008 at 7:45pm #

    Another Great commentary on the horrors the Palestinians suffer daily by their Israeli occupiers, trapped in the longest running occupation in modern history, paid for and supported by our tax dollars. Yes it is time people put their foot down and said enough!! Thank you Eileen for your unfaultering strive for truth and justice.

  9. eileen fleming said on March 11th, 2008 at 8:22am #

    It has been said a picture is worth more than a million words. Anybody have any idea how to get Congress, the Presidential candidates and USA TAX Payers to view