The Audacity of Israel

Written by Cindy Sheehan. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on June 05, 2010 with 5 Comments

By Cindy Sheehan

June 5, 2010

“Until all of Gaza is destroyed the job is not done.”
(Words on a sign of a Zionist in San Francisco).

Since my son was killed in Iraq and I have come to prominence in the peace movement, the name I am called with the second highest frequency (behind “anti-American”) is “anti-Semitic.”

First of all, isn’t it interesting if one is anti-violence and pro-peace, that automatically makes one anti-American and anti-Semitic? That just tells us that violence and oppression are so inherently institutionalized in our cultures, that if one is against these things, that makes one against the entire culture, race, or way of life.

It should be fundamentally understood that criticism of Israel’s program of Palestinian pogrom and the US’s demented foreign policy is not to be construed as hatred of all Jews or all Americans.

Here it should be pointed out that many Jews criticize Israel’s policies, in Israel and abroad, and are immediately branded as “Self-loathing Jews.” I remember when I first met Pentagon Paper’s, whistle-blower, Daniel Ellsberg, and he was going off on Israel and its policies. I interrupted him and teased him: “Why Daniel, are you a self-loathing Jew?” And he responded: “No, I am a Likkud (rabid Zionist Israeli political party) and Sharon (Ariel Sharon, former terrorist and prime minister of Israel) hating Jew.”

This past Sunday evening, (May 30th), I was sitting at my home in California having a cookout with my surviving children and grandchildren because we were commemorating Casey’s birthday (Memorial Day and Casey’s birthday always and unfortunately coincide) when I received a call from a friend and colleague who informed me that the Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla was under attack in International Waters by the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) commandos. Immediately, because of previous Israeli crimes against the Free Gaza humanitarians – ramming and firing at the boats and arresting and illegally detaining the participants – my gut reaction was the worst-case scenario. Minutes after I knew what happened, I knew that Israel would turn out to be the aggressor and, once again, justify its crimes with lies and cries of “self-defense.”

Israel’s claims of self-defense are usually delusional and paranoid. It would be like me claiming self-defense if I killed a homeless person for asking me for spare change.

Although all life is precious and all loss of life mourned, these facts should shame anyone who has cried “self-defense.”

Since 2000:

· 124 Israeli children have been killed by Palestinians and 1441 Palestinian children have been killed by Israelis (and all of the Gazan children killed from 2008’s Cast Lead massacre have not been counted, yet).

· 1072 Israelis and at least 6448 Palestinians have been killed.

· 8,864 Israelis and 39,019 Palestinians have been injured.

· The US provides about 10 million dollars per day in military and other aid to Israel and ZERO dollars a day to Palestine.

· One Israeli political prisoner is being held in Palestinian jail while 7383 Palestinians are currently being held by Israel.

· Zero Israeli homes have been demolished while 24,145 Palestinian homes have been destroyed to make way for Israeli settlements.

· The Israeli unemployment rate is 6.1%, while the Palestinian unemployment in the West Bank is 16.3% and 41.3% in Gaza.

(These stats are from

I also want to make clear, and I think I speak for many people in the peace community, that, as well as not being a “Jew hater,” I am also not a Holocaust denier. How can one not look at the images from the concentration camps and hear the stories without being instantly and deeply moved and repulsed? How can one deny the overwhelming evidence that it did happen and that it was an immense tragedy to, not only Jews, but Catholics, gypsies, homosexuals, political prisoners, and many other fringe groups that Nazi Germany persecuted? But, saying that, in my opinion, what happened to the Jews during the 30s and 40s does not justify in the least little bit what the Jewish State of Israel has been doing to the Palestinian people since 1947. One-genocide does not justify another, especially since the Palestinian people had nothing to do with the Holocaust and any person of conscience or any basic intelligence must realize that the Palestinians have been forced to suffer for decades for the crimes of white Europeans.

I have been impressed by the protests that have arisen all over the world in response to this crime, but even though the latest Israeli atrocity was horrible, people of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan go through this on a daily basis, and we have trouble raising interest for anti-war protests.

We here in the U.S. need to demand that our tax dollars stop going to help Israel violently occupy Palestine and help Israel be a major destabilization force in the region, but we also need to look at our own complicity. What good does it do to go to an occasional protest and hold signs, no matter how clever they are, but still finance our country’s war crimes and crimes against humanity by paying our own pound of flesh to the Empire?

Peace of the Action will address this issue as well as the Gusher in the Gulf, drone bombings and military recruitment this July in our Sizzlin’ Summer Protests.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is the Nobel peace prize nominated mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan who was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, April 4, 2004. She has been on an international quest for peace and accountability since then. She has written three books and numerous published articles. Cindy is currently running as a "Decline to State" independent candidate in the 8th District of California against Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

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Comments for The Audacity of Israel are now closed.

  1. @MeMyself – I have closely followed all of the matters you have written about in your reply. What you wrote is absolute hogwash propaganda put out by the Israeli government to fool, fools, like you.

    The one bit of it is remotely true is that the aid was delivered to Gaza.

    What Israel, and you, conveniently leave out of the story is that Israel routinely refuses to deliver exactly the same kinds of aid, and the only reason that it has just delivered this particular batch is to back up its deceptive spin pretending that it has been previously allowing such aid to come in to Gaza when it hasn’t.

    To give one example, Israel does not allow pasta, PASTA, to be delivered to Gaza through its illegal blockade…

  2. MeMyself, Israel would not need the most significant policy advocacy operation AIPAC if there were no wrongdoing to spin.

    Israel’s interests are no longer coincident with those of the United States.

    The Goldstone report demonstrates that our tax dollars were used by Israel to commit war crimes against civilian population. International law compels us to demand that our government not spend our tax dollars to violate international law.

    It does not matter whether the Goldstone report showed a smattering of violations by the Palestinians, negligible in amount when compared to the scale of Israel’s crime spree.

    Not in my name, not with my money.


  3. Ms. Sheehan seems to be uninformed. Five of the six ships in the flotilla were safely taken to Ashdod, had their cargo unloaded and inspected by Israeli security, and then had the cargo transported into Gaza. The sixth ship where the violence occurred was manned by members of Insani Yarkim Vakfi (IHH), a pro-terrorist group that has been implicated for war crimes in Bosnia and for assisting in a failed terrorist attack at LA International Airport. Watch the video of the incident. It supports Israel’s position. Look at the reports on Arab TV where IHH members confirm that their purpose was violence, not humanitarian aid.

    Other errors corrected here:

    The Israeli children who died were targeted by terrorists. Most of the Arab children who died were used as human shields by these same terrorists. I have seen the video evidence. It is available for all who want to see it.

    I don’t have the exact figures, but yes the US does send aid to the Palestinian Authority.

    Why is the unemployment rate so high in Gaza? Could it be because Hamas refuses to invest its great wealth into building a Gazan economy?

  4. The rabid ZIonists are under the impression that the lesson of the Holocaust is that Jews are licensed to do whatever they want to, whenever they want to, to whomever they want to.

    Of course, the lesson of the holocaust was that we must all show empathy to those people who are on the receiving end of brutal state oppression, especially when they are “the other.”

    Just like George W. Bush managed to piss away 110% of the goodwill bestowed upon the US by the rest of the world in the wake of 911 through his misreading of history, Israel has managed to piss away 200% of post-WWII goodwill through a similar misreading.

    Difficult to distinguish serial misreading from intentional manipulation.


  5. Bill Graham hated gentiles,

    After stealing Chet Helms’ production company Bill Graham said: “I won’t allow any Joe Six Pack of Schlitz to operate in my town!”. This Wednesday the SF BOS’ Budget and Finance Committee will decide whether to give Graham’s legacy production group a 30 year lease on the City’s largest venue (named after the boy) in Civic Center. Let’s see if any supervisor has the stones to ask the Graham people their views on having Palestinian protest music there.

    Virtually every major entertainment venue in town is controlled by AIPAC Jews or right-wing Christian nut job, Philip Anschutz. Both groups hate hippies and pro-Palestinian peace groups.

    30 year lease? How about 5 years til we sort it out and find a non-discriminatory caretaker for the auditorium?