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US media, politicians continue to ignore the ongoing tragedy in Gaza
Illustration: Emanuele Taglieri

I am a Palestinian American, born in Jerusalem in 1945. And every time I watch the news on non-American news outlets, and witness in total disbelief and horror the killings of peaceful Palestinians demonstrating near the fence separating them from the illegal Israeli settlements, I feel a searing pain running through my whole body and soul, at the total inhumanity of the Israeli soldiers.

The insensitivity and complicity of American politicians and government officials is mind boggling, and the members of Congress—not to forget President Trump, who “feels” for only and exclusively the Syrian children and people, but never for Palestinians—are fickle and cowardly for not acknowledging the bloody events that have been taking place in Gaza for the last three weeks.

In a recent telephone conversation between President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they spoke about all kinds of issues concerning Syria and Iran, but the most burning question of all, the recent killing of peaceful demonstrators (which included Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja) at the fence was never broached.

One has to wonder about many things in this context and in relation to the tragedy in Gaza and the inhumane and brutal conditions in which the people of Gaza have been living under. Palestinians are starving, drinking polluted water and dying thanks to the siege that Israel imposed on them. A siege in the form of an iron fist for many years now, which has never seen a response or intervention on the part of the international community or United Nations regarding this continuously enacted heinous crime.

If such inhumanity and brutality were exercised on dogs, cats, cows and chickens we would have never heard the end of it. But when Israel commits the crime, it ceases to be a crime because Israel is the perpetrator. When the Palestinians are the victims, they aren’t recognized as victims because they are Palestinians, and thus “enemies” of Israel.

The other aspect that puzzles me about this issue is the total lack of professional consciousness and ethical standards on the part of the reporters, journalists and the American Press in general—add to that the total corruption of American politicians and government officials. I honestly wonder how these so-called experts and professionals could live with themselves and bear to look at their faces in the mirror without puking.

I almost jammed my remote control going from channel to another, switching from one reporter to another, from commentator to commentator trying to see or hear any reporting on the tragic situation in Gaza, and came out empty-handed. The question to be asked now is this: “Does Israel have such control over the politics and media in America to the point that neither Senators nor House Representatives, neither Republicans nor Democrats, neither CNN nor NBC among other news outlets, have any courage to criticize, denounce, and condemn Israeli daily criminality against the Palestinian people?” Do they all feel muzzled and compelled to keep a guilty and execrable silence, despite all the evidence that pokes at the eyes of anyone who is willing to look and see? All of this in order to keep Israel’s image squeaky clean and shining.

It’s been 70 years since the Nakbah, the catastrophic ethnic cleansing of the majority of the people of Palestine at the hands of the Zionist terrorist gangs of the Irgun, the Stern, the Palmach, and the Haganah—which eventually coalesced and became what is known today as the Israeli Defense Forces.

Despite 70 years of siege, military occupation, daily abuse, punishments, long-term imprisonments, the racist wall, the destruction of homes and farm lands, the people of Gaza, along with the scattered people of Palestine in the Middle East and all over the world, still stand tall and claim with their full might their right  to return to the land, from which they were murderously cleansed and expelled in 1948. The land of their fathers, mothers, and ancestors. The land of the olive tree and the shining orchards of oranges, lemons, and of the cactus tree.

George Khoury left Palestine for the United States in 1968, and came to California in 1975. He taught Arabic at U.C. Berkeley from 1982-83, French, Spanish and Arabic at the College of San Mateo College and now teaches Arabic at Skyline College and at Westmoor High School. Khoury was ordained deacon in the Catholic Church in 2017, and serves the Arab Catholic Community at St. Thomas More in San Francisco.

Story by: George Khoury