Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Israel, Helen Thomas and AIPAC

I support Helen Thomas' right to “Freedom of Speech,” and do not think it justifiable that she be demonized and punished for giving her opinion when asked. It has gone so far that if anyone criticizes Israel they will not be re elected to their political office, may be fired from their professorship and may be prohibited from entering our country to speak at a university.

AIPAC, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee, is a powerful pro-Israel Lobby that can make or break U.S. politicians. It has that much power, money and influence.

If anyone dares to criticize actions or policies of Israel they may be called anti-Semitic and Holocaust deniers. Cannot one believe in the horrors of the Holocaust, support Israel's right to exist, and still want to hold Israel accountable for human rights violations, war crimes and for building illegal settlements.

Helen Thomas spoke out in the heat of frustration over the killing of nine activists bringing aid to the people of Gaza, who are living under Israeli occupation in horrific conditions. Her solution was unrealistic and insensitive. She knows that and apologized (she is 89 years old). But what solutions are being offered? Does Israel really want a two state solution? Will Arabs ever have the right of return to their homes?

One has more freedom in Israel to speak out against Israeli policies than one has in the United States. Kudos to those Israelis and others who are working hard for peace, justice and human rights.

Charlene Minor Light



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