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Voices from the West Bank

May 3, 2002 | Pages 6 and 7

SECRETARY OF State Colin Powell may have called on the Israeli government to cooperate with a United Nations (UN) fact-finding mission into the devastation of the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. But don't think he's gone soft.

"Clearly, people died in Jenin," Powell told a Congressional hearing last week. "People who were terrorists died in Jenin. And in the prosecution of that battle, innocent lives may well have been lost." So the Palestinian dead in Jenin were either "terrorists" who deserved to die--or at worst, unintended "collateral damage."

Powell's see-no-evil attitude toward Israeli atrocities is par for the course in official Washington. In fact, the senators who questioned him at the hearing last week wanted to know why the administration wasn't celebrating Israel's operation in Jenin. And an Associated Press story about the hearing reported: "There has been no comparable outcry in response to suicide bombings by Palestinian militants that have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians."

Incredible! Washington politicians and the U.S. media have done nothing but cry out about Palestinian suicide bombings--as justification for Israel's use of massively greater force against the whole of the Palestinian population.

If ordinary people in the U.S. knew what was done by their government's main ally in the oil-rich Middle East--and carried out with weapons and equipment supplied by the U.S.--it would horrify them. The truth about Israel's reign of terror against Palestinians needs to be told. Here, Socialist Worker hears from some voices of resistance.

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"Palestinians won't give up the struggle"
Huwaida Arraf is cofounder and local coordinator for the International Solidarity Movement, the organization that brought dozens of international activists to the West Bank to witness Israel's brutal onslaught. She describes the terror that the Palestinian people have been subjected to at the hands of the Israeli military.

"They attacked the basis for society"
Toufic Haddad, who lives in Ramallah and is coeditor of the left-wing journal Between the Lines, explains that Israel took what they wanted and left what they didn't about the Oslo "peace" process.

A Warsaw Ghetto survivor speaks out
Alex Hershaft, a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, says that the devastation carried out by Israel today in the West Bank reminds him of his childhood years in the ghetto.

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