"The lessons we should learn from all
The fighting in the days of old
When providence bestowed divine
The sanctuary purified
Let lightning circle all you hold
And don't uproot the olive grove."
- Mirah, "Jerusalem"
I think it is finally time we stood up and thanked
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the darling Democrat from the Bay Area who leads her party
in the House. Pelosi's recent speech to the Israel-American lobby AIPAC, the
second largest lobby in Washington, was monumental – truly unparalleled in its
Despite the fact that AIPAC was recently busted for spying on the United States,
Pelosi, along with many other top bureaucrats from Washington, gushed effusions
of praise on the foreign power. "There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza," Pelosi
said as she rallied AIPAC loyalists. "This is absolute nonsense. In truth, the
history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been: it is over
the fundamental right of Israel to exist."
Apparently Pelosi has never asked Palestinians what they think of Israel's
brutality. Not that she hasn't witnessed the occupation firsthand; Pelosi is
just not concerned in the least with the Palestinian resistance.
"This spring, I was in Israel as part of a congressional trip that also took
us to Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq," said Pelosi. "One of the most powerful
experiences was taking a helicopter toward Gaza, over the path of the security
fence. We set down in a field that belonged to a local kibbutz. It was a cool
but sunny day, and the field was starting to bloom with mustard. Mustard is
a crop that grows in California, and it felt at that moment as if I were home.
And then we were told that the reason we had to land in that field, as opposed
to our actual destination, was because there had been an infiltration that morning,
and they weren't sure how secure the area was. And that point alone brought
us back to the daily reality of Israel: even moments of peace and beauty are
haunted by the specter of violence."
Pelosi, like so many other Democrats and Republicans in D.C., does not appreciate
the asymmetry of the conflict. She cannot understand that Palestinians are faced
with violence every day as their livelihoods and homes are uprooted to make
way for new Israeli settlements. Never mind that the farm collective where Pelosi
landed in her fancy helicopter was at one time operated by Palestinian farmers.
For the land, according to Pelosi, has always belonged to the state of Israel.
"One thing, however is unchanged," Pelosi added. "America's commitment to the
safety and security of the state of Israel is unwavering. America and Israel
share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship."
Sadly, Palestinians don't figure into Pelosi's lopsided equation; those darn
Arabs just don't matter. And when Pelosi speaks of "safety and security," it's
only Israelis she's talking about. While Pelosi ignored Israel's vast arsenal
of chemical, biological, and nuclear weaponry, along with the numerous UN resolutions
the country has broken, she still had the audacity to lash out at the latest
troublemaker in the Middle East: Iran.
"The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating
violence, now comes from Iran. For too long, leaders of both political parties
in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and
the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear
and missile technology."
So, three cheers for Pelosi! Her honesty has been crudely insightful. Especially
given the fact that two AIPAC staffers have just been indicted for espionage
by the U.S. government.