For the seventh consecutive days, Israel has continued bombardment in the Gaza Strip. In the past week, over 170 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip, including at least 41 children. While the US intelligentsia has traditionally been pro-Israel to a fault, a number of people in US politics and academia have stood against the tide to speak for the rights of the Palestinians. We provide excerpts of what they have been saying during the recent spate of violence.
The US must stop being an apologist for the Netanyahu government
Bernie Sanders, The New York Times
In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today's conflict did not begin with those rockets.
In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior.
We must change course and adopt an even-handed approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses.
If the United States is going to be a credible voice on human rights on the global stage, we must uphold international standards of human rights consistently, even when it's politically difficult. We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.
Without US aid, Israel wouldn't be killing Palestinians en masse
Noam Chomsky, Truthout
There are always new twists, but in essentials it is an old story, tracing back a century, taking new forms after Israel's 1967 conquests and the decision 50 years ago, by both major political groupings, to choose expansion over security and diplomatic settlement — anticipating (and receiving) crucial U.S. material and diplomatic support all the way.
For what became the dominant tendency in the Zionist movement, there has been a fixed long-term goal. Put crudely, the goal is to rid the country of Palestinians and replace them with Jewish settlers cast as the "rightful owners of the land" returning home after millennia of exile.
Successive Israeli governments have been trying for years to push Palestinians out of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and the latest round of Israeli attacks fall in line with that goal. But to understand the roots of the current escalation — and the possible threat of all-out war — one must examine the U.S.-backed, foundational Israeli government policy of using strategies of "terror and expulsion" in an effort to expand its territory by killing and displacing Palestinians.
Israel commits war crimes, crimes against humanity
Norman Finkelstein, Anadolu Agency
If it is an illegal annexation, Israelis have no right whatsoever in East Jerusalem. They have no rights whatsoever in Gaza. Let me emphasize it, they have no rights of self-defense. They have only one right: They have the right to pack up their bags and leave (Palestine).
The recent escalation in East Jerusalem and Gaza should be understood as part of Israel's long-term, systematic, and planned efforts and history of stealing Palestinian lands, which could be traced back to even before the establishment of Israel in 1948.
If you fellow citizens are coming under assault by these land robbers and land thieves, you have every right to join in to resistance. Moreover, comparing the US administrations' approaches toward the issue, President Joe Biden is not different from others in essence.
My guess is, unlike the (former Donald) Trump administration, they are probably not pouring kerosene on the fire. They are probably quietly telling Israelis 'don't evacuate these (Palestinian) families in Sheikh Jarrah'.
Sheikh Jarrah highlights the violent brazenness of Israel's colonialist project
Noura Erakat, Washington Post
As May 15 marks the 73rd commemoration of the mass expulsion of Palestinians from cities such as Haifa, Tarshiha and Safad in 1948, let the world bear witness to Jerusalem today. This is how refugees are made, this is our ongoing Nakba. Our freedom struggle is not for a state but for belonging to the land, to remain on it, to keep our homes, to resist erasure. But somehow calling it by its name on social media, revealing to the world what has been happening for decades, seems more offensive than our ongoing displacement at gunpoint.
There's no denying the reality: This is Zionist settler colonialism, where if one settler does not take our homes, another settler will. When will the world open its eyes to this injustice and respond appropriately? We do not need more empty both sides-isms, we need solidarity to overcome apartheid.