To the Editor:
I write to address the misuse of the concept of “making history” by the authors of the viewpoint, “Let’s make history together.”
The authors cite former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s “passion and conviction” as inspiration for their call to endorse a two-state settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. During his premiership, Olmert oversaw the massacre of over 1,400 Palestinians, overwhelmingly innocent civilians and more than 300 children, from December 2008 until January 2009 during a brutal military onslaught on Gaza. That period also resulted in the killings of six Israeli attacking soldiers — four from friendly fire — and three innocent Israeli civilians.
Here the reader, as a person of conscience, must ask: Is the killing of more than 300 children a criminal act, or are the children to be dismissed as “collateral damage,” as dead colored bodies often are by imperialist powers? If it’s criminal (as the killing of any innocent should be), then something here just does not add up. Why do the authors expect the reader to take pointers on peace from someone who has credibility as a war criminal and not as a peace proponent?
The authors want to “make history” by endorsing the same unjust settlement that is supposedly supported by Olmert and “Israel’s partner in peace, Mahmoud Abbas,” a corrupt leader notorious for suppressing and ignoring the rights of Palestinians. In reality, signing on to the declaration purported by the authors maintains a status quo that postpones peace rather than moves toward it. The statement regurgitates what has been official U.S. policy for years as our government aids and abets the sustenance of racist and illegal Israeli occupation, segregation and discrimination against Palestinians. To actually make history and move toward peace and justice, we must demand equal rights for all Palestinians and all Israelis. We must call for an end to the occupation and to the apartheid tactics employed by the Israeli occupying power in its dealings with an indigenous Palestinian population.
Abbas Z. Alawieh is a LSA senior.