Washington must rein in Israel
A CBS correspondent in Ramallah April 3 displayed live pictures of the Israeli military blocking the U.N. delivery of food needed by the 200,000 citizens of blockaded Ramallah. The AP reports that about 15,000 U. S. citizens live in Ramallah. The Israeli army did let fresh food be delivered to a religious sanctuary where it sits decaying. An apartment building across the street houses hundreds of Palistinians and some Americans. They dare not cross the street. Israeli snipers shoot at anyone moving on the streets – their justification is a 24-hour curfew.
The water supply is shut off. Electric power is off most of the day. Telephone service is very sporadic. Ambulances are blocked. With no public transport allowed to operate there is no way to get to a hospital for medical assistance.
Israel countered criticism of the food problem by opening one market area for two hours. This was no help at all for citizens living other than a short distance away.
Israel’s Netanyahu says we see TV pix of grieving Palistinians and are influenced to be sympathetic. He says we do not see the grieving families from the Orthodox Jewish sections of their cities. He’s wrong. We do see the caskets by grieving Israelis. And we are sympathetic.
Fed up with foreign TV exposure of the Israeli Army behavior, the government advises foreign correspondents to not leave their hotel. And they are warned to not attempt to film from the upper-floor windows. Observing Israeli snipers have made that point very clearly.
American citizens as well as Palistinians have been endangered for all the says since the Israeli invasion of Ramallah. And Ariel Sharon announced that he will not accede to the President Bush request that Israel immediately withdraw its forces. On the contrary Sharon says Israel will continue to blockade the cities it has now entered.
Isn’t it about time that very powerful voices in Washington, D.C. demand unequivocally that Israel cease immediately their brutalizing of U.S. citizens? I might cynically ask “Has the concern about the size of U.S. voting blocs entered into such a lack of this type of demand?”
Lorenz T. Martensen
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