LOS ANGELES, March 15, 2006: The third anniversary of American peace activist Rachel Corrie's murder by a Caterpillar Bulldozer driver under the direction of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) arrives. Nearly three years to the day, our US government has failed to intervene or even censure Israel on behalf of her and her family. Our government has failed to investigate, follow-up or actively pursue justice for Corrie and other American citizens killed by Israeli military forces. Unfortunately, this lack of regard constitutes the norm, not the exception. If this sounds strange, that a nation would abandon its own for the vanity of another nation, stranger still is the truth. When it comes to Israel, American lives do not count. - See more at: http://windowintopalestine.blogspot.com/2010/06/flash-back-where-american-lives-do-not.html#sthash.TBiSzFCV.dpuf
SUMMARY OF AMERICAN CITIZENS KILLED OR WOUNDED BY ISRAEL- Still Awaiting Justice
BRIAN AVERY (Injured April 5, 2003): Israeli occupation forces open fire on a group of identified and unarmed peace activists wearing florescent vests, unarmed hands in full view standing beside the road and allowing them to pass. After passing, the IOF soldiers stopped, turned around and opened fire with machine guns on the international assembly, dispensing thirty rounds. Avery, shot in the face, survived.
LEON KLINGHOFFER (October 7, 1985)- killed on the Achille Lauro, a cruise ship hijacked by 'Palestinians'. Abu Abbas, the Mossad asset who shot Klinghoffer was apprehended in 2003 by US forces in Iraq. Interestingly inGaza during 1996 Abbas, who was held up as a great 'terrorist' catch offered an apology to the family of Klinghoffer and was not apprehended at that time.
RACHEL CORRIE (March 15, 2003) killed by a bulldozer in Gaza. Rachel Corrie was murdered trying to save the property of a man, Rafahinian, Dr. Samir Nasrallah. The tactic of razing Palestinian homes in Israel and the Occupied territories is a form of collective punishment, a war crime according to International Law. Rachel was attempting to prevent this from happening when the D-9 driver ran over her twice, crushing her 23 year old body beneath it.
SURAIDA SALEH, (April 3, 2003) at 21 years old this Washington DC native and mother was shot dead by the IOF soldiers disguised as Arabs while sitting, stopped in her car holding her 9 month old baby in her lap with her husband Morad at her side. Morad, a journalist with the Palestinian Broadcasting Company was hit with five bullets: two in his head, two in his shoulder, and one in his hand. The Israelis, assuming that all of the occupants were dead, left the scene. Morad regained consciousness to find his wife dead, slumped over their child. Miraculously, little Muhsin was unharmed. To date, US State Department has done nothing. DR. KHALED SALAH(54) and his son,MOHAMMED SALAH(16) were murdered July 6, 2004, in their home at 3 AM in front of the mother and two siblings in the West Bank by Israeli Occupation Forces. The Salahs identified themselves as American citizens before being shot. Dr. Salah established the Department of Electrical Engineering at An-Najah University in Nablus. His eldest son was attending university in Boston at the time his father and brother were shot. The US State Department has done nothing. THE SAILORS AND MARINES OF THE USS LIBERTY 34 sailors and marines killed and 171 injured of the USS Liberty (June 8, 1967) in an unprovoked attack on the lightly armed intelligence ship, sailing in international waters off the coast of Egypt. For nearly 39 years the survivors and families have attempted to seek justice and an official Naval inquiry into the attack. Attempts to tell their story through films and books incurred condemnation from US Government personnel, threats by groups loyal to Israel, slander and libel against the crew, calling them anti-Semitic for seeking justice. To date the US Government refuses to investigate this attack, an act of war defined by international law. Through several administrations congressmen, senators and presidents refuse to support the USS Liberty crew, its families and the survivors publicly, preferring instead to safeguard Israel's reputation. In June 2005, like the Corrie family, the survivors filed an official war crimes report with the Secretary of Defense. To date, the US State Department, US Congress, US Senate and the Bush Administration have done nothing.
DR. KHALED SALAH (54) and his son,MOHAMMED SALAH(16) were murdered July 6, 2004, in their home at 3 AM in front of the mother and two siblings in the West Bank by Israeli Occupation Forces. The Salahs identified themselves as American citizens before being shot. Dr. Salah established the Department of Electrical Engineering at An-Najah University in Nablus. His eldest son was attending university in Boston at the time his father and brother were shot. The US State Department has done nothing. THE SAILORS AND MARINES OF THE USS LIBERTY 34 sailors and marines killed and 171 injured of the USS Liberty (June 8, 1967) in an unprovoked attack on the lightly armed intelligence ship, sailing in international waters off the coast of Egypt. For nearly 39 years the survivors and families have attempted to seek justice and an official Naval inquiry into the attack. Attempts to tell their story through films and books incurred condemnation from US Government personnel, threats by groups loyal to Israel, slander and libel against the crew, calling them anti-Semitic for seeking justice. To date the US Government refuses to investigate this attack, an act of war defined by international law. Through several administrations congressmen, senators and presidents refuse to support the USS Liberty crew, its families and the survivors publicly, preferring instead to safeguard Israel's reputation. In June 2005, like the Corrie family, the survivors filed an official war crimes report with the Secretary of Defense. To date, the US State Department, US Congress, US Senate and the Bush Administration have done nothing.
Whether the Roadmap to Peace, sanctioning Saddam for the same crimes Sharon also visited upon the Occupied Territories or fining Hamas for its 'terrorist' side when Israel's first leaders engaged in the same, the United States government demonstrates predictable consistency when dealing with issues or policies pertaining to Israel. Double standards permeate, including the same transparent hypocrisy applied to our murdered citizens. American lives do count if Palestinians kill Americans in Israel or the territories it occupies. American lives do not count if the murderer is Israeli.
The following six events illustrate this double standard:
How the US Government treats the murder of Americans when Palestinian or Arab people are responsible:
A) Three American contractors were killed and another wounded onOctober 15, 2003 when a roadside bomb tore through a van that was part of a diplomatic convoy traveling through the Gaza Strip. US Officials were on the ground investigating within 24 hours and several members of congress expressed outrage.
B) July 31, 2002 four Americans were killed when a remote-controlled bomb detonated in the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at Hebrew University. The US Government issued an immediate statement and sent a team to investigate. The bombing was front page news.
C) August 9, 2001, Jerusalem, Israel. A suicide bombing at Sbarro's in Jerusalem killed American Shoshana Greenbaum and several Israelis. The US Government issued immediate outrage, teams were sent to investigate and this bombing stayed top of mind in the media nearly a week.
The list goes on.
How the US Government treats the murder of Americans when Israelis are responsible:
Contrast the above well publicized events and responses with the following crimes against Americans from an overlapping period, 2002 - 2004. You'll find two glaring differences.
1) Who is committing the crime.
Above it is Palestinians attacking Israeli targets. Below Israeli soldiers attacking Americancitizens.
2) Intimate knowledge of who is attacked.
Above, the American victims were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Americans were not specifically targeted.
Below, these are intimate attacks, meaning the soldier's knew they were attacking and killing Americans, not Palestinian militia or terrorists.
APRIL 5, 2003: Israeli occupation forces open fire on a group of identified and unarmed peace activists wearing florescent vests, unarmed hands in full view standing beside the road and allowing them to pass. After passing, the IOF soldiers stopped, turned around and opened fire with machine guns on the international assembly, dispensing thirty rounds. American citizen and twenty-four year old peace activist Brian Avery was shot in the face and left for dead. Attempted contacts by Avery, his family and others to their congressional representatives elicited personal sympathy but publicly and politically each refused to address the issue. Little mention found its way into the US mainstream media.
MARCH 15, 2003: Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old senior at the Evergreen State University in Washington State was murdered, crushed to death trying to save the property of a man, Rafahinian, Dr. Samir Nasrallah. The tactic of razing Palestinian homes in Israel and the Occupied territories is a form of collective punishment, a war crime according to International Law. Wearing a florescent vest and in full view of the D-9 driver as he ran his bulldozer over her body twice, crushing her to death. Several meters away, tanks and IOF soldiers watched. No one intervened.
Rachel is not the first woman killed under the blade of an American made and supplied Caterpillar bulldozer. Twelve days prior on March 3, 2003 another Caterpillar bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier killed a nine-month pregnant Palestinian woman, Nuha Sweidan (33). Mrs. Sweidan bled to death under the rubble as she cradled her 18-month-old daughter. Inside of her womb, her soon to be born child was also squashed before it had its first breath of life.
Question: What threat could an unarmed pregnant woman in her ninth month possibly pose? She can barely move!
Rachel's death was ridiculed in the Wall Street Journal's online edition and by several news commentators and comedians.
Following, a U.S. congressional resolution demanding an independent inquiry into Rachel's death was buried in committee for months before it expired at the end of the 108th Congress, leaving the Israeli military's investigation - which cleared itself of any wrongdoing - as the only official investigation. In March 2005 the Corrie family took matters into their own hands and filed a lawsuit against the State of Israel and Caterpillar. The US government remains silent.
JULY 6, 2004: Dr. Khaled Salah (54) and his son, Mohammed Salah (16) were murdered in their home at 3 AM in front of the Mrs. Salah and two of their children in the West Bank by Israeli Occupation Forces. Soldiers came to the door, woke the family up. Dr. Salah identified himself and his family as American citizens before being shot. Despite his American citizenship, he was murdered anyway. Dr. Salah was in Nablus to establish the Department of Electrical Engineering at An-Najah University. At the time, his eldest son was attending university in Boston.
Dr. Salah and his son were killed after the cessation of hostilities between the Israeli military and the local armed resistance. Family and medical volunteers on the scene that night report Mohammed Salah died because Israeli military officials refused to allow medical personnel access to the boy, who lay bleeding on the floor of the family home. Despite a call placed to the US consulate the night of the attack, neither Consul General David Pearce nor any other US diplomatic officials investigated the Israeli military's targeting of a family with US resident and citizenship status. To date, the US State Department has done nothing.
QUESTION: If the US Consulate doesn't help citizens that have been shot, (how much more trouble can a person get in than life and death?) why do we have consulates?
Meanwhile: The Jerusalem Post reported in April 2005 the Israeli Navy awarded commendations to members of a military unit for their `bravery' in Nablus including the July 2004 murder of Dr. Salah and his 16-year old son Mohammed.
QUESTION: How much bravery does it take to kill an unarmed American man in the middle of the night and stand by while his son bleeds to death in front of you?
IS THIS A TREND?
Does the United States give Israel a blank check to murder Americans? To date I have been unable to find an instance where the nation of Israel, its military or Israeli vigilantes responsible for murdering or maiming Americans have been held accountable. Consider the consequences.
Every American killed or harmed by Israel, not defended by the United States increases the chances that other Americans visiting Israel on business, pleasure or humanitarian causes will be murdered.
How many more American citizens must die before we, the American people take action? Based upon the e-mails I receive from Jewish readers, more and more are questioning what is happening in Israel. This has prompted many to bypass the approved tourist routes designed for indoctrination and careful viewing of the approved and choreographed 'realities on the ground' in favor of seeing for themselves what is really going on. By doing so, they place themselves at the mercy of the IOF. This threat of harm or death, actionable and never prosecuted, serves Israel's interests as a form of censorship through fear. But it doesn't serve the best interests of the United States which gives 40% of our entire international aid budget to Israel every year. Shouldn't we see what our money is being spent on and how our machines including bulldozers are used? Our government should be defending us, not protecting Israel's rice paper reputation from rain.
Without a penalty for killing Americans, what is to stop an Israeli soldier from taking out his bad day on any American in his path? Being an American is no protection in Israel. Dr. Salah's murder in July 2004 by Israeli Occupation Forces illuminates how little American citizenship means in Isreal. Knowing he and his family to be an American citizen with US residence, IOF soldiers did not hesitate to shoot him and his son. And even by off chance these murders were in error, the fact the IOF soldiers prevented and withheld from an American child medical help that may well have saved his life prove intent. They did not care that he and his family are/were American citizens. They did not care because the American Government provides no penalty, no consequence to Israel for killing our citizens. Adding insult to injury, the Israeli government awarded these soldiers commendations! Still, the US Government remained silent.
Had the US Government required Israel arrest and try the men responsible for the murders of American citizens Rachel Corrie and twenty-one year old mother Suraida Saleh in 2003, Dr. Salah and his son Mohammed most likely would not have been murdered. The cost to Israel and the soldiers pulling the trigger and preventing medical care would have been too high. These young women's deaths, a college student and a young American mother shot holding her nine-month old baby in her arms, lead to the conclusion, in Israel: killing Americans brings less retribution than mistreating a dog. Why, given the US government's actions, think otherwise?
HOW MANY HAVE WE SACRIFICED?
How many Americans have died at the hands of Israelis? My searched turned up 39 with 173 wounded. How many of these thirty-nine murdered and 173 injured have received justice from the US Government?
One, sort of.
Only in one case have the murderers been arrested or reparations made, though not by the responsible party. The blame, condemnation and reparations all came from those employed to carry out the plan, not the employer. The party ultimately responsible for the death, in this case, Israeli intelligence, (Mossad) has not been held responsible for the deliberate murder of an American citizen. Worse, our citizen died for a PR stunt and our government continues to perpetuate that stunt rather than the truth.
The case is of sixty-nine year old American citizen Leon Klinghoffer who was murdered aboard the Achille Lauro, October 7, 1985. His family did receive a pseudo justice, reparations and scattered arrests throughout the years from those blamed. The catch here is 'those blamed'. Those ultimately responsible, the people who ordered, orchestrated and funded the hijacking, have not been held accountable by the US government for the murder of our citizen.
Why is Klinghoffer's situation different? Some will say because he's Jewish. It's possible but doubtful. The instructions from Mossad to the hijackers stated "Make it bad, to show the world what lay in store for other unsuspecting citizens if Palestinian demands were not met." Handicap, white and elderly, Klinghoffer made the perfect victim, plus he offer little resistance. Whether they knew his faith is inconclusive.
More likely, based upon the actions of the US in dealing with those killed by Palestinians, the reason the Klinghoffer family received attention is that the hijackers were Arab. To this day, politicians, (Delay in 2004 for example) still misrepresent the Achille Lauro as a PLO rather than Mossad operation and cite it as an example of terrorism run rampant(1).
The designated mastermind, Abbas was arrested in Iraq in 2003 and held up as an example of success in our "War on Terror". Other members were periodically arrested and some mysteriously escaped during the past twenty years. There is an inconsistency of course. Abbas gave an interview in Gaza covered by CNN in 1996 where he apologized to the Klinghoffer family. Plus, his 'terrorist' career appears to be in retirement since 1985. The PLO also made reparations to the Klinghoffer family, even though it had been public knowledge nearly four years that the hijacking was a Mossad operation. That inconsistency goes against what we're told is the modus operandi for terrorists...always planning their next strike leading many to believe that Abbas was arrested more to show a positive advancement in the war on terror than a dispensing of justice for Mr. Klinghoffer's death. The fact is, through much of the 1990's the American and Israeli governments knew his location and chose not to pick him up.
Contrast this with Israel's actions in relation to American's killed by Israelis. With the exception of a small payment to the US Government over the USS Liberty attack, none of the families whose kin were murdered by Israel have received compensation or apology bringing to mind the following questions.
1) Why does the American Government choose to protect a foreign nation rather than protect its citizens?
2) What kind of nation preaches equality, democracy, liberty and a respect for personal freedom with predictable regularity and then turns and abandon its own?
3) What type of people do we have running our government and our press that allow a young American mother, barely an adult, to be murdered at point blank range holding her baby in her arms and not do anything about it or report it? Democracy Now is the ONLY broadcast media to report Suraida's murder, still.
4) And with regard to the USS Liberty, what kind of leaders spout rhetoric about "Supporting our Troops" then turn around and treat those whom have given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives in service to their country, like criminals simply because their ship was attacked by the one nation on this planet with carte blanc powers to murder Americans and never answer for it?
Am I the only person in the United States who is outraged by these murders and wants our leaders to answer these questions and Israel held accountable for killing our people? Am I the only person who considers it the moral obligation of our leaders to protect our citizens when wronged? Am I the only person who doesn't give a damn what their religions are...who considers them all Americans?
Being an American did not stop the Israeli military and intelligence from targeting and killing Rachel Corrie, Leon Klinghoffer, Dr. and Mohammed Salah, the young mother Suraida Saleh holding her infant as they shot her, or the thirty-four men on the USS Liberty. It did not stop the Israeli military from shooting Brian Avery, disfiguring him permanently. American citizenship carries no value, no consequence in Israel. As an American of any faith, this fact should terrify you! It should infuriate you. Why doesn't it?
How our government treats the families of our citizens slain should alarm every single American, pro-Israel or not. My God, America, where is the support for our citizens? This is not about Israel. Israel is a foreign nation. They'll do what they can get away with. Had Israel's citizens been slaughtered in our nation, the Israeli government would demand action. Had any nation's citizens been murdered in our country as our citizens have been executed in Israeli controlled territories by Israelis, the outrage would be heard around the world. One would expect the same of the US government. Why is our government silent, not even a whimper?
This is about how the US Government is failing to represent and failing to protect its own citizens by promoting the agenda of a special interest, in this case a foreign nation. Americans should not have to go to court to get justice when we are murdered by a specific nation or any nation. Why is our government not defending us? Why?
Ulterior Motives for Government Inaction?
For what logical reason would members of the US government abandon its own, allow its citizens to die, choose not to protest or hold a foreign nation responsible for their murders?
Next month Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, former executives of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC, also known as the Israeli Lobby) go on trial accused of crimes defined under acts of espionage against the United States. This month, several members of congress, the senate and other government agencies including John Boehner, John Edwards, John Bolton, Evan Bayh, Susan Collins, Dick Cheney, Roy Blunt and Steny Hoyer attended the AIPAC convention, speaking, celebrating and proclaiming their support for this lobby representing the interests of a foreign nation, a nation suspected of espionage and a nation that has killed nearly forty American citizens and never answered for it. Logic says our officials should be avoiding this lobby suspected of betraying American interests. Many are not. Instead, many are going out of their way to support it, demonstrating a severe lack of judgment while raising the questions compounded by years of suspicious actions, bills and behaviors:
Did our citizens die because of dual loyalties?
Whose interests are our elected representatives representing?
Why else would our representatives protect Israel, represent its interests and sacrifice, humiliate and chastise our murdered citizens and their families? Not once, but multiple times over six separate occasions spanning thirty-nine years, our own government's consistency in selling out American citizens, American interests and our foundational principles for Israeli interests blinds. Dual loyalties and acting as agents for foreign agendas, what other reason makes sense? Standing up for our citizens murdered by Israel brings repercussions from one group: Israeli loyalists. Problem is, this is not Israel. This is the United States. Those loyal to and exclusively representing the American people would not care about condemnation from Israeli loyalists. Our citizens were murdered. Those loyal exclusively to the US Constitution and representing American citizens would fight, protest and assure our citizens and their families received justice. They would represent the American people and only the American people. Instead, the silence of our elected officials speaks volumes.
Did our citizens die because of dual loyalties?
Whose interests are our elected representatives representing?
These questions must be asked. Our nation deserves answers.
Taking a Stand
Using reciprocity shrouded as favors and donations, our tax dollars are funneled to Israel (or any special interest) and a pittance returned to individual campaign coffers for blind eyes, muted mouths and closed ears, the interest paid in the blood of our own. Much like a credit card that charges eighteen percent while returning two, necessity to our detriment via a negative balance is demonstrated. We lose more than we gain. Thus the loyalty of many in our government is effectively leased. Leased but not bought. Standing up for our slain citizens amends this contract, putting those not supporting Americans on notice. These murders and the apathy of our representatives illustrate symptoms of a greater problem, the influence of special interests, lobbies, corporations and others imposed on the American people, defying our best interests as a nation and often against our will.
As a nation we owe our thirty-nine dead and 173 wounded citizens justice. The best way to honor our slain is for us, the voters, to insist not one politician with blurred, disjointed definitions of constituencies, loyalties or responsibilities is allowed to serve our nation ever again.
We have the power to end this. As a nation we have the power to provide the families of the slain with justice and with closure. It is called voting. Let us use it.
In Memory of the American Citizens
Killed by Israel
Still Awaiting Action from the US Government
and representation of their interests by the men and women elected to serve them.
May the survivors and families live to see the day when the United States government places the best interests of itself and its citizens first, before those of any foreign nation, corporation or special interest, thus delivering the justice all American citizens deserve.