[Sayma-Discuss] What is really going on between Israeli and the land called the "Occupied Territories".

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at att.net
Sun Jul 20 20:48:32 EDT 2014

Sunday, June 20, 2014

We Quakers know that war cannot bring real peace.   Friends have long
understood that conflict resolution begins by those in conflict really
listening to each other’s concerns.   Sadly, that is not happening in the
Israeli/Palestinian conflict at this time.   This email is an attempt by
someone who has been a member of the Atlanta Friends Meeting for over 30
years to pass on some of what I have learned since my mom chose for our
family to emigrate to the USA from Italy instead of going to Israel in 1946
“because I didn’t want my sons to become soldiers fighting in wars!”.

Our news is mostly repeating Israel’s and the USA’s simple message that the
invasion of Gaza by Israel was caused by the rockets being fired into the
State of Israel.   The President and Republican and Democratic leaders of
the U.S. Congress agree on this message.    It is one that Americans can
easily understand.  After all, the USA went to war with two countries
because two airplanes crashed into the world trade center.     There are
other voices missing and perhaps Friends can help hear them so we can better
help those who cannot? 

There are more complex issues that caused the rockets to be used by Hamas
(Note that I am NOT endorsing ANY use of violence by ANYONE!) in part
because their story is not being heard or addressed.   What about the voice
of those who live in the Occupied Territories under a system which gives
them no voice?   What about the voice of the peacemakers who live in those
areas?   Where can we go to hear those voices?      

On July 09, 2014, Dr. Jeff Halper, an Israeli citizen, spoke at the Oakhurst
Baptist Church here in Decatur on issues involving the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict.  Topics included home demolitions, divestment, the current attacks
on Gaza, and how the two state solution is no longer viable because there is
no Palestinian state.  The meeting was covered by the Atlanta Progressive
News (APN):      http://tinyurl.com/n5fvtap      

Imagine your home being demolished with only 30 minutes to leave.   All done
“legally” with laws that made your home “farmland” and so zoned out of
existence.   Caterpillar bulldozers destroy everything you have in 30 more
minutes.    (I was picking blueberries this afternoon and thought of how it
took so much time and energy to get them to produce and how having them
destroyed by my government would feel.)   After your home is destroyed (and
your garden and fruit trees) you go to an already crowded home that one of
your relatives opens up to you.   Eventually they ask you to leave, as there
is friction caused by the lack of space and food and water.  Now imagine
that happening 30,000 plus times and counting!    Perhaps you can feel and
even understand the despair and anger that such behavior by your local
government, backed by armed soldiers, can create.  (We, in Douglas County
still have an “eviction crisis” where people sometimes get very little
notice before their homes are sold on the courthouse steps.)

Palestinians’ hope for a state of their own is gone,  due to the fact that
over the years almost all the land promised to them has already become part
of Israel.   All that is left for you and your family is to live in a large
outdoor prison like existence just for being a Palestinian who lived on land
others want and who fixed their justice system to legally take it from you,
even if your family has lived there for hundreds of years.     (see note 2

As the map in the APN article shows, there is not much land left to create a
“Palestinian State” due to the encroachment of the hundreds of settlements
and roads and walls built by Israeli settlements  in the West Bank as well
as roads that only people with Israeli passports can use.     The article
doesn’t say that there is no water in the 2 areas left to the Palestinians
in the West Bank.   

You can help hear the voice of many Palestinian people if you take advantage
of the website Jeff Halpern’s group  (Israeli Committee Against Home
Demolitions )created so that you can listen to Dr. Jeff Halper as he gives
voice to Palestinians.  There is much to hear and it is not easy, especially
as the USA money (both private and government) has supported one side for
decades.   http://www.icahd.org/what-can-you-do 

Please support the peacemakers working both here in GA, the USA, Israel and
Palestine of all or of no faiths.   One such group is the Jewish Voice for
Peace which now has an Atlanta chapter, of which I am a member.   You can
hear from a Jewish organization about how to bring peace to this conflict at
: www.jvp.org     Also, don’t forget the American Friends Service Committee
(AFSC) which has a very long history of working with everyone who lets them!

Blessed are the Peacemakers!,  

Free Solomon Polazzo 

PS:  More sources:   

1.      Here is a 10 year old analysis that I believe is still is mostly
true,  by a retired US foreign service official.   Note the discussion about
USA Christian Zionism in the last 4 paragraphs:

2.      Here is a more mainstream media resource with their analysis:  Some
say that violence from Gaza can be partially attributed to them watching how
the Israeli government has treated the West Bank Palestinians, (run by the
Palestinian Authority)  who for years have emphasized peace and negotiations
and compromise.   The result has been less and less land and resources due
to ever expanding Israeli settlements:  (Again, NOT endorsing violence!)
see a good summary of this whole issue at

3.      Here is a more focused story on the Israel-Gaza crisis. Make sure to
read number 11 and

4.      My brother in law, Kai Bird, is a Pulitzer prize winning author who
wrote “Crossing the Mandelbaum Gate:  Coming of Age Between the Arabs and
Israelis, 1956-1978”  which is Kai’s “fascinating memoir of his early years
spent in Israel, Jordon, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and provides an original
and illuminating perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict.”  





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