Letter: Tribune’s piece on the Holy Land dismisses the daily violence experienced by Palestinians

(Mahmoud Illean | AP) Muslim worshippers wrapped in Palestinian flags pray during holy Islamic month of Ramadan in front of the Dome of the Rock shrine at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, April 15, 2022.

The Tribune article regarding the Holy Land, noted that Christians, Muslims, Jews and others can and do live together in peace in Israel/Palestine. But The Tribune erroneously reported that violence in Israel/Palestine is only occasional and mostly due to right-wing extremist Jews or Muslims.

That position completely dismisses the profound daily violence experienced by Palestinians living under Israel’s endless war, occupation and controlling system of apartheid — whether in Israel proper, the Israeli occupied Palestinian Territories. Israel’s apartheid system was recently documented by over ten major institutions including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Under Israel’s apartheid laws, only Jewish nationals are permanently entitled land, water, other resources and superior economic rights in any part of Historic Palestine.

The Tribune states that Israel’s Palestinian citizens, 21 % of Israel’s population, live peacefully within Israel’s Jewish majority. What The Tribune missed is that those same Palestinians citizens, 21% of the population, are restricted to less than 1.7% of the land and do not enjoy the rights, privileges and economic benefits given to Israel’s designated superior status people, “Jewish nationals.” That is a daily violence.

In 2008, I, along with two other Utah women, visited Israel and the Occupied Territories. One evening we entered the al-Jalameh checkpoint connecting the territories with Israel. Other than we three women and one Palestinian man, the checkpoint was empty. Israeli soldiers detained us for some two to three hours and with nothing else to do we found ourselves watching and listening to the discussion between the soldiers and the one Palestinian man. He had been informed that his wife was seriously ill. He wanted to get through the checkpoint to reach her. The Israeli soldiers refused permission. For an hour or more this Palestinian man again and again got on his knees and begged to be let through. He was unsuccessful and I have never been able to forget this small piece of violence against this one man. It helped me see the unbelievable yet mostly invisible violence against all Palestinians.

Israel could not maintain this system of war and apartheid without U.S. political and financial support. When are we Americans going to tire of giving Israel 3.8 billion dollars every year? When are we going to understand that we are not behaving as our “brother’s keeper” when we provide the funding for “our brother” to carry out such atrocities. Have we forgotten our values? When will we insist that we do not want our dollars spent on endless wars, occupation and any apartheid system anywhere in this world?

Frances ReMillard, Kamas

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