Letter: Help End Israeli Occupation
To the Editor:
Stephen Johnson’s letter (“Two-State Plan Seems Doomed,” Nov. 20) was more informative — and wiser — than nearly all the journalistic accounts of the Israel/Palestine conflict we read in the U.S. press. Like Mr. Johnson, I have visited the occupied Palestinian territories. It is obvious on the ground that removal of the Jewish colonists in the West Bank is now impossible, thanks to the Israeli government’s ongoing subsidies and military enforcement of its illegal settlements. Reports of the current “peace” negotiations make clear that nothing resembling a genuine state for the Palestinians will be allowed by Israel.
This being so, the real struggle now is for the human and civil rights of Arab Christians and Muslims throughout all of Israel/Palestine. We Americans must understand that this is our moral responsibility. Without our tax dollars and our government’s knee-jerk support for Israel, the occupation of the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza and the systemic abuse of Arab citizens of Israel would not be possible. In recent months, raiding bands of Jewish settlers backed by the Israeli Defense Forces have stepped up their assaults on the ancestral olive groves on Palestinian lands. Thousands of trees, many of them centuries old, have been uprooted in an effort to drive the Palestinians off their land and into tightly controlled urban centers.
One action we can take as individuals is to help replant those trees. The organization U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is conducting a drive to do just that. A $25 donation plants a tree. For $100, you can plant five trees. This year, Thanksgiving and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah coincide. Let us give thanks for our own freedoms and celebrate God-given abundance by helping these suffering people.
Mary J. Wilson