Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holding up the mirror

Guests: Tarak Kauff and Ellen Davidson, local activists and members of the Veterans For Peace Delegation to the West Bank, talk about their experiences with Palestinians, Israeli peace activists, and former members of the Israeli Defense Force.

Are US veterans in a unique position to dramatize opposition to Israel's occupation of the West Bank? Tarak and Ellen made an eloquent case for VFP being involved. 

The organization is dedicated to what the United States SAYS is stands for: democracy, human rights, and the use of US military force to protect our own country. Who better to know the price military personnel pay for murdering civilians in occupied lands? The US has been overthrowing democratic governments and occupying foreign countries for the last sixty years. Our citizens know how easy it is to give passive support for war crimes committed in other countries. We also understand the price our young men and women pay to commit these crimes, broken bodies and troubled souls. 

In a way, Israel reflects so many of our worst values: militarism, ethnic cleansing of indigenous peoples, and brutal racism. We look at Israel and they are us. Will we be able to restore the ideals that made this country a beacon of liberty and hope, or are we too far down our own road to empire? Looking in the Israeli mirror helps us redefine our own country. Thanks to people like Tarak and Ellen who so courageously help us understand ourselves. 

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