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Palestinians have become sand in the eyes of the Mideast. How did this happen? From where did they come?
Nowhere, according to the late Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. She insisted Palestinians did not exist and were merely human flotsam and jetsam. That was pretty rich coming from Golda Mabovich, born to a Jewish family in Kiev, Russia.
So where did the Palestinians come from who are now under terrifying siege by Israeli forces in and around Gaza, with 15,000 killed so far by Israeli bombing, half of them children? These Palestinians came from next door Galilee in Palestine. They are third generation refugees.
In the early 1950’s, my mother, a journalist and lecturer, went to Palestine sponsored by a number of US newspapers and, secretly, by the US State Department.
Newly founded Israel’s official position was that Palestine – and particularly the fertile Galilee region – was a ‘land without people for a people without land (meaning Jewish immigrants).’
My mother discovered hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees living in huts made from tin cans or cardboard boxes. There were some tents erected by foreign aid agencies and the United Nations. The refugees were huddled together in the biting cold. Many were near starvation.
There was only a handful of doctors or medical personnel, and no hospitals. Jewish settlers from Eastern Europe were moving in and seizing all the arable land. The United States was financing these settlers. Donations to Israel in the US were, mostly, tax deductible. The propaganda book ‘Exodus’ and subsequent film paved the way for the seizure of Palestinian land.
Those who backed creation of a greater Israel on lands owned by Palestinians were viciously assailed in the US. The newspapers for whom my mother wrote were cowed into silence. Newspapers were threatened with boycotts by their vital advertisers if they did not eliminate my mother’s writings and lectures on Palestine.
Worse, pro-Israel supporters began banging on our front door in New York City, screaming death threats that included throwing acid into my mother’s face and mine. The war was not long over then and emotions after the Holocaust were still raw.
My mother was eventually terrified into silence because of threats of me being blinded by acid. She was forced to give up exposing the miserable fate of Palestinians. Meanwhile, Jews and non-Jews from Eastern Europe continued to pour into Palestine and expropriate Arab owned land. Usually with help from the Israeli government or American Zionist organizations.
When Israel’s new hard right government coalition came to power this year, one of its first acts was to proclaim it would continue ethnic cleansing in Galilee and further expand settlements on the border with Gaza. Israel’s newly impowered hard right – a group that the late great Israeli columnist Uri Avnery termed ‘Jewish fascists’ – also had its eye on Gaza and its 2 million Arab inhabitants, who were the victims of the very kind of ethnic cleansing the US rightly condemned in Kosovo and Serbia. That’s what lit the fuse for attacks near Gaza by Hamas – ironically whose founding was abetted and financed by Israel to split the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) led by the late Yasser Arafat, who was later likely murdered by Israeli poison experts from Russia.
Israel’s far right has secured almost total control of the Biden administration, including the president and secretary of state. Congress jumped to its feet to applaud Netanyahu while cold-shouldering President Obama. Those tax-deductible US donations and over $5.5 billion annual overt and covert aid to Israel (before Ukraine became the leading recipient of American money), plus similarly generated aid to Ukraine make the capture of US foreign policy possible. The few media critics who protest this kidnapping of US policy and funds are ignored, sidelined or blacklisted.
For a shocking example, I was just ‘bought off’ a major TV public news network for a payment of $2 million.
Americans who rely for news on the big six news outfits get data prepared for them by Israel’s mighty propaganda machines. That’s why the Mideast news in France, Italy and Spain is so very different. Even Britain’s once independent-minded BBC now toes the line from Israel while the man who exposed US war crimes in Iraq – Julian Assange – rots in a British maximum-security prison. So much for the famed ‘free press.’