The Daily Life of Kawther Salam
..: Palestine and the California Fires :..
October 29, 2007
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In Europe, the news brought terrible scenes from California last week. Whole neighborhoods were seen burning, highways blocked because of the refugees; I saw how TV journalist commented about his own house burning in the background. The news said that (as of October 24), there were about one million refugees from the burns. At the same time, the European media tells us how good the governor of California has managed this catastrophe, the Austrian wife of a US Navy Captain is shown saying how well everything is organized and that nobody is looting. How is everything well managed if there were 1 Million persons reported as displaced as a result of this catastrophe ? I found this contradiction strange because of what I remember my visit to New York in 1998. In fact, American Blogs are saying something very different about this catastrophe and how it is being managed by the American authorities. How can this catastrophe be well managed if many Californians suspect the involvement of their government in the fires.
Back in 1998 I was invited to New York by the UN. I found it strange to see so many homeless, sick people sleeping on the streets. To one of them, an old man who lived near my hotel and who had fought in Vietnam, I brought food every day for the length of my stay in New York. Most of them were veterans of the war in Vietnam. I found it strange that in New York so many people were homeless, because in Palestine we have almost no homeless despite the Israeli occupation. Why should people live on the streets in the most powerful nation of earth ? Why does a country so powerful as the USA fail to build houses which are affordable to the poor ? Why is there no money in the USA for such basic necessities as a home, food, medical attention ? I also found it strange that so many people were offering sex and drugs on the streets of east Manhattan, in the neighborhood of the embassies. Many of the people I saw offering sex and drugs in Manhattan were dressed expensively and driving big black cars. Do they not have decent jobs in the USA so that people are not forced into crime for surviving ? I was not able to hide my criticism and spoke about these issues to different local media, as a result, the colleagues in my group became scared of me, as I had probably offended American authorities with my words.
All these and many other things are the duty of a civilized nation, so, why is nothing of this happening in the USA ? With all the power and money of the USA, why was it not possible to prevent or ameliorate a catastrophe which has turned 1 Million people into refugees ? In Palestine even the poorest of the poor, the dispossessed refugees from other parts of Palestine have a place to live, and that after over 60 years of occupation and ethnic cleansing. In the event of fires, we can sometimes even expect some help from the Israeli fire brigades. I did not understand what goes on in the USA, and turned to read what Americans are saying. Perhaps they had at least a part of the explanation for the 1 Million displaced persons of the California fires. Here are two quotes (emphasis mine):
Joseph Cannon writes:
The Brad Blog writes:
What these Americans write is worrying, but so are the questions which the behavior of the American authorities raises:
... and for what is it being used instead of putting out fires in California ? Questions and questions and questions . . . but, has anybody looked for answers ?
The fast answer is that “the wars” or the “global war on terror” consume all these resources. But the “global war on terror” has been exposed by many commentators and analysts as a giant scam, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possibly soon also in Iran, are all strongly against the best interest of most Americans. If this is so, then why are these wars being fought ? Why does the “global war on terror”, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan . . . exist ? Who benefits ? Whose interests are so important that funding the prevention of fires and other natural catastrophes, protecting Americans from need, from terror, natural and man-made disasters etc. becomes secondary and optional ?
Some prominent Americans – and Californians - provide an answer to all these questions, in their own words:
When I read about these attitudes of these and other American politicians, I had to wonder why I had never seen some of them in Hebron vandalizing and stealing property, throwing stones, spitting at people in the streets. Are these truly elected American politicians, or are they some of the illegal Hebron colonists ? How is their mindset different from the mindset of the typical jewish squatter in Hebron ?
So, who REALLY supports Israel, and what do they do ?
When one questions the activities of these American politicians and looks at who in the USA really “supports” Israel and Israeli interests, the group of true supporters of Israel becomes noticeably small - because supporting Israel is in no way an "American" project. And this small group of supporters of Israel and Israeli interests in the USA overlaps noticeably with those who support and promote the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, "against terror" etc. . . . When one further looks at who are the most rabid and murderous rightists in Israel, the so-called “settlers” and the Likud Block, then the conclusion is that at the center of all this activity there is exactly one group of people. In Israel they call themselves “settlers”, Likud, Kahane Chai, Kach, Yesha Council, Committee for the Security of the Roads, Jewish Underground, Shelhevet Brigades, Women in Green, Avigdor Lieberman, Beth Din . . . and in the USA they call themselves by names like Neo-Conservatives, Neo-Liberals, AIPAC, WJC, AJC, ZOA, ADL, AEI, Hudson Institute, MEMRI, SPLC, Joe Lieberman (cousin of his Israeli namesake) . . . according to the reports of Americans who have interested themselves with this phenomenon.
When one looks at the people inside these institutions it is always persons from the same group, alternatively appearing in different places and institutions. In Israel it is the same clique of “former” terrorists and extremists, in the USA it is always people who belong to this extended clique who enter and exit government functions according to convenience. Both the Israeli and USA cliques are united by purpose (“Israel First”) and covered by various ideologies witness to their irresponsibility and ineptitude. Their activities can be described best if ones imagines a giant hose which on the one side sucks in tremendous amounts of (American) resources, and on the other side showers out these resources in form of money, weapons, political support, wars of choice, etc. which can be used at will by Israel and those who support Israel. They have firmly planted the fallacies that “Israel is Americas best friend” and “American and Israeli interests are identical” in the political discourse of the USA.
In the USA, according to the reports I read, natural and man-made catastrophes turn into disasters for the whole country because prevention and containment measures remain unfunded so that this money can be shoveled into the suction hose; the political discourse in the whole country of USA is contained and terrorized by the fear of offending the “Americas best friends”; public servants and politicians must accept bribes (called “campaign contributions”) by organizations of arguable legality and which are reported to have been caught spying on American state secrets repeatedly, or risk losing their position, their careers, or their lives; millions of Americans live on the streets in part because the money which could be used to provide them adequate and affordable housing is shoveled into the suction hose and used to fund enterprises which are against American interests; Israeli spies, traitors and criminals of all types are deported to Israel instead of applying to them the usually harsh sentences for such activities, even when such persons are caught repeatedly; hundreds, perhaps thousands of “charities” collect money to “support Israel” despite the fact that this money directly funds terrorists activities and genocide carried out by American citizens in Palestine, and that such activities, and funding such activities, are criminal offenses under American laws; on top of the reported US$ 3.000.000.000.000 (approximate) which are given by the US Government to Israel directly as grants and credit every year, any person who donates to Israeli causes in the USA can deduct such donations from their taxes – for example, donations for the Israeli Army are tax-deductible.
Can Americans make tax-deductible donations to, for
example, "charities" of the armed forces of Iceland ?
Of course, as the American Bloggers quoted above say,
the money is
going to Iraq, but the war in Iraq is not fought because America is in
danger, but because it is in the interest of Israel.
revisit the words of Rep. Tom Lantos quoted above, and also the words
of other politicians. The same is true for Afghanistan, and the same is
true for the massive "support" for Israel everywhere in US politics.
After reading everything that is reported by the media, the correct
answer to all the questions above, is that the fires of California
became a disaster because the money went to further Israeli interests,
the "butchers bill for Iraq" is in reality the "bill
while Israel and those who support whatever Israel wants literally swim
in money, California has no fire engines, no firefighters, no programs
to pay prisoners 70 cents a day to cut bushes, no
airplanes put out the fires . . .
True friendship for US$
108.000.000.000 and counting
(Plus US$ 464.000.000.000 for Iraq) Can Americans who lost their loved ones, their homes or their business in the fires of California expect some kind of help to get on their feet again ? According to the words of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi quoted above, yes. The same is true if one takes in account the positions of the Israeli Government and of many influential organizations in the USA, which all have often stated emphatically the American and Israeli interests are one and the same. And, the magnanimity of the Israeli Government is known when it comes to its most needy citizens: when Sharon evicted the colonists from Gaza in preparation for the current genocidal measures, each evicted family reportedly was gives US$ 500.000,- cash, no questions asked, so that they could start somewhere else. These Israeli colonists had been living on property stolen from Palestinians with help of murder and terrorism, and the money was very likely paid from American taxes.
I am confident that Californians who need help to get on their feet can expect to get their US$ 500.000,- from Israel, Jews and non-Jews alike. After all, in the words of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi "America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship" - and Israel has received US$ 108 BN to date as a proof of Americas friendship. Is it not time that they extend their helping hand to their American friends in need ?
If you want to take recourse to Israels unwavering friendship towards America, there are many possibilities. Israel has some consulates in California, and most of the organizations which promote the friendship between Israel and the USA also have branches there. You can find their contact information on the Internet. Pass their phone numbers to others who might be in need of help, and don't forget to quote Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Lantos when you call.
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