Race, Israel, and the U.S.
By Kitty Kelly Epstein | Special to The Post
The world watches while Palestinians and Israelis struggle, and now Israel prevents food, water and electricity from reaching the entire population of 2 million residents of Gaza, most of them children.
Yet most of the information about why all this is happening is not reported in the U.S. press. In this article, I lay out some of that information and then propose the simplest of solutions.
The killing of millions of Jews by the Nazis during the 1940s caused some to feel that Jewish people needed a separate country. Since German Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust, it would have been logical for such a Jewish state to be created from a chunk of Germany.
Ignoring the fact that Palestine was a sovereign nation, European leaders with a white supremacist mindset, decided to give the Zionist Jews a chunk of Palestine although Palestinians had nothing to do with World War II or with the Holocaust.
The new leaders were allowed to expel Palestinian people who had lived there for centuries and establish the Israeli state which has laws that are openly and unapologetically racist.
For example, the “Admissions Committee Law” says small towns in Israel can decide whether a particular person can live there. They can and do reject Palestinians, LGBTQ people and others when the town decides that they are not a good “fit.” https://www.adalah.org/en/law/view/494)
The “Jewish Nation State Law” says that the right to self-determination belongs only to Jewish people in Israel and in the occupied territories. The “law enshrines Jewish supremacy over Palestinian citizens. The law has distinct apartheid characteristics.” (https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9569)
The Law of Return says that Jewish people from anywhere in the world can immigrate to Israel and to the occupied Palestinian territories and receive Israeli citizenship automatically but Palestinians who were expelled from their homes during the establishment of Israel do not have the right to return.
Israel has taken over lands that were not part of Israel, has allowed Jewish settlers to take over Palestinian homes in the West Bank, and has put 2 million Palestinians behind a fence in Gaza that they are not allowed to exit. When Palestinians mounted large peaceful marches in 2018, they were attacked by the Israeli military.
So … much as we all would prefer peaceful solutions, Palestinians seem to have no choice but to fight back or to die in the outdoor prison that is Israeli-controlled Gaza.
Many Jewish people do not agree with what Israel is doing. Jewish Voices for Peace has condemned Israel’s actions. (https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org)
Many non-Jews are afraid of being labeled “anti-Semitic” if they criticize Israel, but this is not a good enough reason to be silent. We and our elected officials need to have the courage to demand an answer that ensures Palestinians have their homes and their rights.
Consider this scenario: If President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he has one month to rectify Israeli laws so that they apply equally to all residents of Israel and the territories — Jewish, Palestinian, Muslim, Christian, and everyone else — and if that did not happen, the U.S. would stop providing aid.
With that, the “war” would be over.
“Equal protection under the law” is the most basic principle of democracy, according to the U.S. Our government should insist that this principle be applied by the country that receives by far the most aid from our tax dollars.
This week, a Palestinian doctor with children living in Gaza wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter:
Soon, the last sliver of electricity and connection will be exhausted. If I die, remember that I, we, were individuals, humans, we had names, dreams, and achievements, and our only fault was that we were just classified as inferior.”