Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 10 April 14 - 21, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Aggression: Made In The USA
by Chris Kromm
If you pay taxes this April, you are about to send a check to an overseas, rogue
element, condemned by the world community, which is engaged in brutal acts of
aggression against largely innocent people.
not the Al-Qaeda network, nor a country in President Bush's "Axis of
unsavory recipient of your support is Israel, a country which pockets $3 to 6
billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars each year, despite its illegal, 35-year-old
occupation of Palestinian land - and which plans to collect again despite its
deadly rampage over the last few weeks.
worse, nearly half of that money won't go towards humanitarian aid, but for
weapons - Hellfire missiles, Apache attack helicopters, 500-pound bombs, and
other arms that are now being used to blow up ambulances, destroy homes, and
take hundreds of Palestinian lives.
most of this military hardware is made here in the U.S.A.
means you and I are not only footing the bill, but also supplying the firepower
for what almost every nation in the world is calling a crime against humanity.
military occupation of East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank violates
over 70 United Nations resolutions, and is viewed by the international community
as the biggest barrier to peace. It's also viewed with increasing suspicion by
Israelis themselves, including the 400-plus army "refuseniks" who have
bravely stated "we shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in
order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people."
to the words of Michael Ben-Yair, Israel's own attorney general from
"Israel chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international
treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied
territories, engaging in theft and finding justification for all these
activities. In effect, we established an apartheid regime in the occupied
territories immediately following their capture. That oppressive regime exists
to this day."
the last month, the regime has gotten worse: relentlessly bombing and shooting
civilians, robbing entire cities of water and electricity, denying medical aid
to families literally bleeding to death.
irony, of course, is that Israel's belligerence has done nothing to increase its
own security. As every occupying power - from the British crown in America to
the apartheid regime in South Africa - has learned, oppressed people lash back,
often violently. Each U.S.-made and Israeli-fired missile that explodes in a
Palestinian refugee camp seeds a new generation of suicide resisters.
it change? If you're like 64% of the U.S. population surveyed in a recent poll,
you may believe "nothing can be done about violence in the Middle
we have more power than we think. Israeli aggression is made possible by U.S.
support - as one Israeli defense official admitted, "it is impractical to
think that we can manufacture helicopters or major weapons systems of this type
not one dime of U.S. taxpayer money should go to Israel until it abides by
international law and ends the illegal occupation.
we must do more to clean our hands of the conflict. A growing chorus of citizens
are also demanding that our cities and colleges sever ties with corporations who
profit from Israeli aggression. April 27 will mark the eight-year anniversary of
the fall of apartheid in South Africa -- a victory won in part thanks to
citizens who forced U.S. institutions to divest from that racist regime.
new divestment movement is now targeting companies who turn a buck from
Palestinian suffering. Since 1995, Lockheed Martin has sold $4 billion worth of
F-16 jet fighters and Hellfire missiles to Israel. Boeing has garnered nearly
$1.5 billion by supplying Apache helicopters and other munitions used to kill
Raytheon, and ExxonMobil have also done lucrative business enforcing Israel's
illegal rule, and companies ranging from Coca Cola to Home Depot and AOL reap
big profits from their Israel-based operations.
unlawful occupation of Palestine will end, sooner or later. Israel's Ben-Yair
put it best: "The Intifada is the Palestinian people's war of national
liberation. Historical processes teach us that no nation is prepared to live
under another's domination, and that a suppressed people's war of national
liberation will inevitably succeed."
question is, will liberation come to Palestine sooner - or later, the time
filled by years of suffering and thousands more dead bodies?
of the answer depends on you and me.
Kromm is Executive Director of the Institute for Southern Studies, publisher of
the recent report, "Arming the Occupation: The U.S. Arms Industry and