Joe Biden:  “Israel has the right to defend themselves.”

I’m sorry Mr. President. In this case Israel forfeited any option to describe their aggressive actions against Palestinians as defensive when it was their offenses that started the horribly ugly affair.  

Let’s start with 8 days ago, rabid settlers marching past the home of my good friends, the El Kurd family while screaming “Arab terrorists out of Israel.” For starters, describing the El Kurd family as terrorists is absurd. Mohammed (see below) and his siblings, parents and grandmother are as far from being terrorists as anyone I’ve met in my 79 years on this planet. And Sheikh Jarrah is not in Israel. It’s in East Jerusalem which even the Netanyahu government doesn’t claim as Israel. Not yet at least. They say it’s in East Jerusalem or the West Bank. I call it what the United Nations calls it … illegally occupied Palestine. I got to know these beautiful people in 2016 while serving with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel. My colleagues in the Jerusalem Placement Team and I had been asked to come and get to know them in anticipation of a repeat of the systematic intimidation of Palestinians who’ve lived for generations in the same home. Intimidation is a ridiculously mild way to describe what Palestinians endure who happen to live where ideologue Jewish settlers decide they want to live.

Here’s a trailer for the eye-opening documentary “My Neighborhood.” Please take a couple of minutes to watch. It will give you an idea of the pain caused by these kinds of forced removal of Palestinian citizens.



This film won a Peabody Award last year. It came out in 2012. Mohammed was 13 then. He’s now 22 and all over the news and the Internet this past week because of what’s going on again at his family home in Sheikh Jarrah.

As Israel was again ratcheting up their periodic evictions of Palestinian citizens from their homes in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah they were also denying Muslim faithful access to the Al Aqsa Mosque at the beginning of Ramadan. They explained it with: “Hey, we were  just enforcing the social distancing recommendations of the World Health Organization.”  Give me a break! Israel does these kinds of actions because one of the most profitable segments of their economy is the sale of weaponry and policing techniques. And they know full well that there are buyers ready to spend big dollars to learn how, for example, Israel was able to demolish a 15 story building in Gaza with targeted missiles from Apache helicopters and F-16 jets. It was so precise it didn’t damage the surrounding buildings or even the streets below.

Here’s a need to know fact. Israel (Read: Netanyahu) choreographed these and similar events knowing the United States would see it Israel’s way. And sure enough, on cue, Biden said “Israel has the right to defend themselves.” Israel knows they have the POTUS and the VPOTUS and all 100 senators in their pocket.

(Joke: “Do you know why Israel doesn’t want to become our 51st state?   Because then they’d only have two senators and would have to share the President’s loyalty with 50 other states!” It would be funny if it weren’t so sickeningly true.)

Again, Israel knew the United States would support their egregious actions. I know, believe me I know. You think I’m out of bounds saying these things. You’re thinking, “Come on, it can’t really be that bad.” Very sadly, it is that bad. And don’t let yourself be lured into the idea that all this is only now in the news because it’s never been this bad before. It’s been-this-bad-before. It’s just that now, finally, these things are being reported in mainstream media. It’s always been available to Americans but we had to go to obscure domestic programs like Democracy Now and international news organizations like Al Jazeera to learn of these kinds of actions.

As has been said before, albeit referring to other issues … Wake Up America!

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