BUSINESS EXCHANGE: Judea for Jews?
William Reed | 8/13/2014, 3 p.m.
The longer any colonial occupation endures, the greater the settlers’ racism and extremism tends to increase. Note what’s happening in the land of Israel and Gaza and how it smacks of White supremacy. The claims of today’s Jews, most of whom come from the West, as being “God’s Chosen People” are among the first issues we need to question.
Despite America’s so-called, “even-handedness in the Middle East,” some Blacks are beginning to see events unfold through the eyes of the poor Palestinians and are appalled. Black people of conscience should be aware of the United States’ role in Middle East war crimes. The U.S. seeks the status quo and funds the Israeli military apparatus and stonewalls world diplomatic bodies while religious and racist factions kill Palestinians and take their land with impunity.
The arrogant actions of Israel only occur when a country feels that it’s justified in doing whatever it wants to do regardless of the impact. Citizen boycotts that isolated South Africa during apartheid is an effective way to raise the price of Israel’s actions. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has called on corporations profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories to pull out. Tutu said that 1.5 million people have joined the initiative and: "Those who continue to do business with Israel fund perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.” There have been several public divestures in recent months. The Dutch pension fund, PGGM, withdrew tens of millions of Euros from Israeli banks, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divested from security firm G4S, and the U.S. Presbyterian Church divested an estimated $21 million from Hewlett Packard, Motorola Solutions, and Caterpillar. Seventeen European Union governments urged their citizens to avoid doing business in or investing in illegal Israeli settlements.
Western media and politicians have demonized Palestinian entities in the minds of Black Americans. But, more Blacks are empathizing with Palestinians in what has transpired in Gaza. It’s not a war between two equal sides. It’s an onslaught by a powerful military state, against an impoverished, besieged and displaced people. Without justice for the plight of the Palestinians there will never be peace – without international pressure, Israel will never compromise and reach a just settlement.
A look at Gaza depicts it as a strip sandwiched between Israel and Egypt that’s been under Israeli siege for years. Fishermen are shot when they go out to sea. Trade is blocked. Travel is nearly impossible. Water is contaminated. Hospital supplies are lacking. The economy is kept in a state of controlled collapse, just short of cataclysmic implosion. Israel rations everything that enters Gaza. Israel occupied Gaza in the 1967 War and pulled troops and settlers out in 2005. Israel controls all of Gaza's borders, waterways and airspace, while Egypt controls Gaza's southern border.
There is an extremist, racist ideological current in Israel that not only justifies onslaughts on Gaza, but actually encourages use of enormous and disproportionate violence. Clear thinking Blacks should move beyond the norm to boycott and divest to end Israel’s stranglehold of Gaza and the West Bank.
Racially and religiously-biased members of American government, Congress and media support the siege of Gaza, the building of settlements and periodic massacres. Good people of conscience and color must demand that Washington observe our own laws and discontinue military aid to Israel. Education and political pressure is needed to reorient U.S. policy toward peace and justice in this region.
Black Americans need to ask: "Is this how we want our ($3.2 billion) of annual tax dollars spent? Then we should ask our congressional representatives to cut off this financial backing. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) describes itself as “the conscience of the U.S. Congress,” but CBC members support Israeli actions without question. With the world condemning the massacre that occurred in Gaza not a single CBC member bothered to lift their voice against Israel's genocidal assault or its ongoing apartheid state in general.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the BaileyGroup.org.