The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle came to town. Early morning Thursday they passed a non-binding resolution in the Washington Senate recognizing 70 years of Israeli independence, come this May.
Since 1948, and for some time before, Palestinians have endured the Nakba (catastrophe) of being driven from their homes by Israelis — followed by systemic oppression and occupation.
As the occupying power, Israel has an obligation under the Geneva Conventions to protect the civilian population. Israel is also required by law to avoid transferring its own population (settlers) into the occupied territory. It ignores and shuns these moral obligations.
Israel resorts to collective punishment of Palestinians daily, ranging from house demolitions to road closures to arrests. Many of those arrested are held on administrative detention — they are never charged with a crime — including several hundred minors, some under the age of 10. Checkpoints impede the right to travel, as does the Separation Wall and the Jewish-only roads. Israel also denies Palestinians access to holy cites, as the International Court of Justice recognizes. All of this must end.
I have nothing wrong with celebrating Israeli independence. I merely object to their policies, as I object to some around here. Countries, nations, states, and people should be treated with respect. Many of the crimes, moral failings, structures are familiar to many minorities here and elsewhere — arbitrary arrests, subjugation. When we say Never Again we mean Never Again for All People. End the Occupation!