Letter: In light of the suffering in Ukraine, consider the ongoing suffering of Palestinians

A child raises a Palestinian flag and cheers as spectators gather beside the rubble of the al-Jalaa building following a cease-fire in Gaza City, Friday, May 21, 2021. The building was the home of the Associated Press bureau in Gaza City for 15 years. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

As we watch, horrified by the violence in Ukraine, I hope we realize that what Ukrainians are suffering today, Palestinians have been suffering for 74 years. Unlike Ukrainians, Palestinians do not have the luxury of taking refuge. Palestinians living in Gaza are sealed in – Israel will not let them out. And in the state of Israel, in occupied East Jerusalem and in the occupied West Bank, Israel has a history of sealing out Palestinians who have left to avoid war and violence. They are not allowed to return to their homes!

Yet, recently our Congress approved $13.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine and in the same bill quietly slipped another $4.8 billion in military aid to Israel. I suggest to those readers who care -- watch and share Amnesty International’s new 14 minute YouTube Tutorial on Israel’s system of apartheid. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUGICfaULXA&t=407s

Amnesty’s study finding Israel guilty of apartheid is not the first legal study to draw that conclusion. The first was completed by the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa in 2009. Nor is it the second. The second was the Russell War Crimes Tribunal Hearings on Palestine held in South Africa, 2010. The third was completed by a United Nations committee. (Our country demanded it be withdrawn.) The fourth, B’TSelem, an Israeli Human Rights organization. The fifth, Human Rights Watch. And somewhere in the list is Adalah’s study. And now we have the seventh study, this time from Amnesty International, the largest and most well recognized human rights organization in the world! Will we listen? Stop funding these crimes? Isn’t there something a bit ludicrous about fussing when Russia does it and funding when Israel does it?

Frances ReMillard, Kamas

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