At last count, over 900 Gazans were dead. If Iran were killing people on such a scale, America would dispatch an armada. But, alas, the dead, after all, are Palestinians, and these - our friends who are delivering the blows - are Israelis. Israelis good, Palestinians bad. That is the message we send; that is the paradigm wherein the U.S. formulates its Middle East policy. Business as usual? I'm afraid so.
Is it any wonder America's leaders across the board condone Israel's actions? They provide a mirror image of our own brutal treatment of Native Americans - taking their lands, restricting them to reservations, dictating what they could and could not have, and slaughtering them when they fought back.
We treated South Africa's apartheid regime with a similar favor. In fact, official U.S. policy was to not criticize the apartheid regime, but to applaud its stability. America did, however, criticize Nelson Mandela for inviting Mohammar Qaddafi to South Africa once Mandela became president of that country. Mandela responded that Qaddafi had stood shoulder to shoulder with blacks under apartheid when America was looking the other way. Today, 14 or 15 U.N. members have voted to end the killing in Gaza. Only America abstained, which, in effect, was a vote to continue the slaughter. Business as usual.
On his most recent visit to Israel, then-Senator Barack Obama said this of Hamas rocket-fire into Israel: "If someone were lobbing missiles into the home where my daughters slept, I would do all in my power to stop them." Ehud Barack, Israel's defense minister, stood directly behind Obama as he uttered those words. Later, he would quote Obama as Israeli shells rained down on Palestinian homes in Gaza.
Barack Obama says he want to change the way business is done in Washington. He is yet to make this statement: "If my daughters were forced to live in a concentration camp and denied medical care, food, and the basic freedoms to which all humans are entitled, then I would do all in my power to end that degradation at once." Until Barack Obama can make that statement as well, he can not be an honest broker in the Middle East. And the slaughter of innocents will continue.
Business as usual.