This may be the most unpopular Congress ever - support in opinion polls is usually in single digits - and may also end up being the least productive in our history. But as disgraceful as its failure to pass meaningful legislation may be, perhaps its most shameful moment came last week when the U.S. Senate, without dissent, passed a resolution giving its approval to Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Even as Israeli bombs were obliterating neighborhoods and the bodies of innocent civilians piled up in the streets of Gaza, senator after senator rose to heap praise on Israel. “I strongly condemn the heinous attacks being perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israel,” said New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. “No country should have to live under a constant threat of aggression against its people, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel as it defends itself against this shocking violence. My heart goes out to the citizens of Israel and the countless civilians in Gaza caught in this Hamas-initiated violence.”

Booker, a Democrat, failed to note that hundreds of Palestinians had already died in the recent Israeli onslaught, while Hamas’s crude missiles had done virtually no damage to Israel. As of today, only three Israel civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets, whereas known Palestinian deaths have already exceeded 1,100, the vast majority being civilians. Between 100 and 200 are children. The physical damage to Gaza neighborhoods is immense, with many streets resembling Dresden after its firebombing in World War Two.

Indeed, the resolution passed by the Senate makes no mention whatever of Palestinian civilian casualties, but portrays Israel, the region’s military superpower, as the vulnerable party. “The State of Israel is under siege on multiple fronts…. The United States Senate is in Israel’s camp,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said on the Senate floor Thursday. He added, “There is no moral equivalency between the self-defense actions of Israel and the barbaric actions of Hamas.”

“Israel is our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East, and we stand with Israel and their right to defend themselves against terrorist organizations that deliberately target civilians,” said Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire).

Perhaps the most nauseating comment came from a Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, who said, “This resolution supports Israel as it protects itself in a manner that values the safety of Palestinian civilians even as its own civilians face indiscriminate attacks from terrorists.”

Read that sentence a second time. “Israel….protects itself in a manner that values the safety of Palestinian civilians.” Even the most casual observer would know that Schumer’s statement is a bald-faced lie, as photos of the shattered buildings and bodies of Gaza fill the world’s television screens and Facebook pages. Yet not one senator challenged that outrageous comment, not even liberal stalwarts like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.

Meanwhile, in the British House of Commons, a very different scene was taking place. MPs of every major political party questioned the ruling government on its support for Israel’s heinous behavior. You can see one MPs remarks here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEYz00MqCx0


How can it be that the United States Congress is so abjectly failing to do its duty, so cravenly parroting Israel’s line? The answer is obvious - our elected representatives are in the pocket of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. They know that to question Israel’s actions, and especially to openly criticize Israel, is to invite instant retribution from this powerful lobby group. Only unquestioning supporters of Israel can expect to receive the generous campaign contributions doled out by AIPAC. And critics of Israel may well find themselves challenged in the next election by an opponent well funded by AIPAC contributions.

It’s not only Congress that has become Israel’s lapdog. All recent Presidents have fallen into line behind Israel. The last President to seriously challenge Israel was George H.W. Bush, and he felt the wrath of the Israel lobby. He ruefully admitted that he was up against “thousands” of lobbyists who opposed any evenhanded treatment of the two sides in Palestine. Bill Clinton learned from this and carefully avoided antagonizing Washington’s most powerful lobby. George W. Bush, as usual, went in the opposite direction from his father and basically gave Israel Prime Minister Sharon carte blanche to do whatever he wanted.

President Obama initially pushed back on Israel, particularly on the issue of its illegal settlements in the West Bank, but soon retreated in the face of AIPAC’s power. His vice president, Joe Biden, has been downright obsequious to Israel.

With the United States in his hip pocket, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu knows that he can pretty much do whatever he wants in Gaza and the West Bank. The U.S. dutifully vetoes any UN Security Council resolution that even hints at criticism of Israel’s actions. It provides over $3 billion in direct aid to Israel annually, and sells some of its most advanced weapons to Israel, weapons that are destroying Palestinian lives today.

It’s apparent that our government is for sale to the highest bidder. Just look at what’s happening in Gaza and you’ll see the result of that. This recent commentary pretty well sums up the situation: our government is morally bankrupt.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-m-walt/aipac-americas-israel-policy_b_5607883.html

In order to justify a great injustice, it is often necessary to create myths. The truth is that Palestine was not an empty wasteland devoid of people when Israel came about in 1948, but a vibrant society that was destroyed by the creation of Israel. Over 700,000 natives of Palestine, most of whom could trace their families there back several generations, were forcibly evicted from their lands and forbidden from ever returning. This ethnic cleansing has been denied ever since by Israel and its apologists, but the truth will not die. This is why there is no peace in the Middle East today.

In order to justify a great injustice, it is often necessary to create myths. The truth is that Palestine was not an empty wasteland devoid of people when Israel came about in 1948, but a vibrant society that was destroyed by the creation of Israel. Over 700,000 natives of Palestine, most of whom could trace their families there back several generations, were forcibly evicted from their lands and forbidden from ever returning. This ethnic cleansing has been denied ever since by Israel and its apologists, but the truth will not die. This is why there is no peace in the Middle East today.

In order to justify a great injustice, it is often necessary to create myths. The truth is that Palestine was not an empty wasteland devoid of people when Israel came about in 1948, but a vibrant society that was destroyed by the creation of Israel. Over 700,000 natives of Palestine, most of whom could trace their families there back several generations, were forcibly evicted from their lands and forbidden from ever returning. This ethnic cleansing has been denied ever since by Israel and its apologists, but the truth will not die. This is why there is no peace in the Middle East today.

Vanessa Williams in the photos published in Penthouse magazine that cost her the Miss America title in 1984.

"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is if popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it’s right." - Martin Luther King, Jr., February 6, 1968.

"Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is if popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it’s right." - Martin Luther King, Jr., February 6, 1968.

It’s true that many lesbians do like cats, but many are also proud dog people!

It’s true that many lesbians do like cats, but many are also proud dog people!

One of the myths of the creation of Israel is that Arabs launched a war of annihilation against the Jews after the British Mandate ended on May 15, 1948. But as this documentary shows, the Jews were carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Arab population months before the British Mandate ended. Hundreds of villages were already destroyed and Palestinian Arabs forced to flee for their lives in the months leading up to the British pullout. This was all part of a scheme called Plan Dalet to drive the Palestinian Arabs out of the country in order to assure a Jewish majority. 

One of the many Zionist myths is that the Jews were simply colonizing a barren wasteland in Palestine. This documentary from Al-Jazeera shows the reality.

The aftermath of an airstrike on a beach in Gaza City on Wednesday. Four young Palestinian boys, all cousins, were killed. CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

The aftermath of an airstrike on a beach in Gaza City on Wednesday. Four young Palestinian boys, all cousins, were killed. CreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

“Gaza … is a maximum-security facility. It is difficult to visit and impossible to leave. We allow in essential food, water, and electricity so that the prisoners don’t die. Apart from that, we don’t really care about them—that is unless they approach the prison fence, or the “forbidden” perimeter, where anyone who wanders too close is shot, or if they try to throw something over the fence. Indeed, they occasionally throw some homemade bombs made of things they’ve managed to smuggle into prison, and when they fall on our heads, it is really unpleasant. So we send our snipers to the watchtowers built around the prison and shoot them like fish in a barrel until they calm down. And when they finally do calm down, we cease firing because we are not the kind of bastards who shoot people for fun,” – Noam Sheizaf.

“Gaza … is a maximum-security facility. It is difficult to visit and impossible to leave. We allow in essential food, water, and electricity so that the prisoners don’t die. Apart from that, we don’t really care about them—that is unless they approach the prison fence, or the “forbidden” perimeter, where anyone who wanders too close is shot, or if they try to throw something over the fence. Indeed, they occasionally throw some homemade bombs made of things they’ve managed to smuggle into prison, and when they fall on our heads, it is really unpleasant. So we send our snipers to the watchtowers built around the prison and shoot them like fish in a barrel until they calm down. And when they finally do calm down, we cease firing because we are not the kind of bastards who shoot people for fun,” – Noam Sheizaf.

The Library of Congress has an extensive collection of online photographs showing Palestine in the early 20th Century. These images document the reality of Palestinian existence prior to the seizure of these lands by Zionists.  Here’s the website: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/