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Let's Open Our Eyes Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by George, United States Jul 7, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions
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It is 7:00 AM in the morning right now. Yes, I have been awake all night. The Isreali soldiers that came and parked on the private road near our house made sure of that through their loud chattering, through their entering into our private property by jumping over our locked front gate to search the area, and through the incessant roaring of their powerful Israeli jeeps. Caged in by recent curfews, I have not much else to do except sit here and watch television. However, even watching tv is not without its taint- the Israeli soldiers, upon taking over the tv stations in the Palestinian territories, broadcast pornography for weeks to the West Bank. When we do get to watch "normal" television, we hear on the news that we are being asked to stop violence. At least if the media is going to portray distorted information and replay old tapes of Palestinians throwing stones over and over again, make it believable- give us respite from the curfew for a few days, allowing us to walk around a bit and stretch our legs so that those with the information about our curfew could believe that we could have had a chance to do so. Unfortunately, even being in one's house is not safe anymore. Just the other day I was pulled out of my bed at 2:30 AM just because I live in a bad area by about twenty Israeli soldiers and questioned about something that I did not even know about. However, upon revealing my American passport I was apologized to and left alone. My neighbors were not so lucky; but you must understand that they do not have the same "priviledges" as I do. They are not citizens of a country that provides an excess of five billion American tax dollars a year to the tiny land of Israel - more than is given to sub-saharan Africa. This money no longer satisfies the Israeli government, though, and sources have revealed that it sold the Advanced Warning and Control System (AWACS), the Patriot Missile Defense System, the Tomahawk Missile, the Sidewinder Missile, the Battlefield Laser Gun, the F16 Fighter, and dozens of other high-tech military weapon systems to Communist China in direct betrayal of the United States! However, this is not a recent stance of Israel.To illustrate, get your pens and papers ready, it's time for a Quiz! Which country attacked the USS Liberty naval ship in 1967, killing 34 and wounding 171 other Americans? Saudi Arabia? No, guess again. Lebanon? nope. Hint: It begins with "I" and ends in "l" with "srae" in between. Speaking of Lebanon, which occupying force of both it and Syria(an occupation which still remains today despite international security resolutions) left behind 130,000 mines in Lebanon alone, prompting the UN to facilitate in its removal? Iraq? Sorry, not so. Further, which country stands in violation of sixty-nine UN resolutions? No,not Palestine. As well, which country is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons and is refusing to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, while adamantly refusing to allow inspectors to EVER "inspect" its arsenal? Once again, not Iraq. Surprised? You really should not be. Look for the name and country of the majority of the writers/reporters from your local newspaper to the largest media corporation in the world. Notice a striking similarity between all of these- A large number are Israelis or paid by the Israeli foreign ministry. Therefore, to which side would your opinions sympathize with while their transgressions go unheard of? I could really list every one of the international atrocities and issues that the entire world should fear concerning Israel's ever-growing power but I will leave it to you to research it. Research which country originally funded and gave strength to Hamas, which has now come to bite back the hand that fed them. Also research why Palestinians have no functioning government and why they have no army or tanks or planes or anything of the sort and why the Palestinian police have to train with cardboard guns and are yet asked to stop violence comprised almost entirely of stone throwing in demonstrations by youths who cannot go to school due to road closures. Research what was the past of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and what happened to the inhabitants of the Sabra and Shatila camps that he was "protecting". Research which country laid an almost unceasing seige and bombing of The Church of the Nativity where Jesus was born while Christians and Muslims alike sought sanctuary within its holy walls? And research... and research..... and research. Fortunately for you, the quiz you just took will not be factored in your final grade unless you fail to research the correct answers. Do you never wonder why you never heard all this before? Simply put, a Palestinian could be "put away" for a long long time- a risk that no one is willing to take. I really have no solution to the dilemma we are facing. Nearly all West Bank towns are cut off from one another and the road blocks at the Israeli checkpoints are more abundant than mosquitoes on a summer night. These same roadblocks prevent me from even seeing the land that my forefathers made a living from just forty years before. However, even if I did get the chance to visit the oft-described tilled ground and the three hundred year old olive trees that were their entire life, it would not look the same. All of these confiscated lands have been turned into Israeli settlements for immigrants who apparently have more right to a land that they have never seen than we do. Though we cannot see what our land has been turned into that does not mean that the presence of its new occupants is not felt. Hebron, for example, is the home of 20,000 Palestinians and also the illegal home (in violation of the international Geneva Articles and the Oslo Accords) of a mere four hundred Israeli settlers. However, which of these two do you believe were allotted 85% of the water? In addition, if I were among the "select few" Arabs to be allowed into Jerusalem, the most I could do there would be to rent a room in a hotel. You see, it is illegal to lease or sell land to non-Jews. However, in fairness, I must admit that I am allowed to work in Israel due to a law passed in 1992 that stated that it was illegal to put "NO ARABS ALLOWED" in ads for work. The law might as well have never been enacted, though, because I was forced back inside my house last week just because I was watering my eggplants in my garden. So how in the world could a Palestinian in the West Bank even consider reaching Jerusalem to make any money to feed his family or, much less, to bury his dead who are often rotting in full view of the other family members? Could you imagine what it would feel like to live in a place like this and still be called the perpatrator? I have never thrown a stone in my life and I harbor animosity towards no one (even my best friend was Jewish), but I just want to be able to leave my house without having to carry my colored identification cards with me whenever I go to visit a friend. I want to live side by side with my Jewish cousins like we used to do before we were "conquered" and I want to have my own internationally recognized country. My own sisters are part of peace organizations that they work for or support and the neighbor that I spent all of last night with works for the Red Cross. We are a peaceful people but how can we show it if we are not treated justly? Many Jews wish for the same and we need people to spread the word to let this dream become a reality. Or is it that you honestly believe that Palestinians have no ambitions or dreams like everyone else? I do not know exactly when the Palestinians reached "terrorist" status, yet I would really like for us to look at this a little bit more open-mindedly. Could we just do that and not just accept everything the media tells us? Let us take the time to find out exactly why International fact finding missions were refused entry by Israel while Palestinians begged for it. As fellow writers who have been taught to look at things without bias, let us all take a chance to find out exactly what is going on in Palestine and Israel. My hands are in front of you and there is no blood on it- I have nothing to hide.

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George Gardashian- I like meet new people and share ideas.
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