Public Comment

El Wafa Hospital Destroyed. Barbara Lee's support for weapons to Israel

Jim Harris
Friday July 18, 2014 - 09:46:00 AM

Groups of internationals have been staying at [El Wafa Hospital in Gaza] for days, as Israel has been warning it will be targeted. Just in the last few hours, reports are that it has been destroyed, or at least heavily damaged. At least some patients were evacuated. As Doctor’s Hospital in Richmond is fighting for its existence, money for Israel pours in from the US congress to fund the bombs and bullets to continue the carnage.

Which brings me to this local angle… Barbara Lee is on record as supporting the funding the weapons for this slaughter, or at least to the Israeli military in general, and has limited her response to the escalation to a weak press release of “concerns”. (below). Not what we should expect for a “renegade for peace and justice”. A petition has been initiated: 

From Barbara Lee: 

Washington, DC - In response to the violence in Israel and Gaza, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement: 

“I am gravely concerned about the current violence and loss of life in Israel and Gaza; this horrific violence does nothing to enhance the security of Israelis or Palestinians. Only a diplomatic solution can ensure lasting security,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “We need strong diplomatic intervention by the US and regional partners to help establish an immediate ceasefire that allows for the negotiations of a permanent and peaceful settlement.” 

A much better statement came from former congressperson Dennis Kucinich. 

From Dennis Kucinich: 

One of the few regrets I have in not being a member of the 113th US Congress is that I was not present in the House chambers to oppose H.Res.657, which passed by a voice vote, supporting Israel without mentioning the Palestinians.

Congress missed a huge opportunity to stand for peace in the Middle East, recognizing and backing Israel under attack by Hamas, while ignoring issues of illegal settlement building, the desperate conditions inside Gaza, the Israeli government’s subversion of Palestinian unity and the insufficiency of the Cairo initiative which amounted to non-negotiable demands.

No one should condone Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, and any and all casualties as a result. But where is the US government’s voice when it comes to the war being waged against Gaza, where over 80% of hundreds of casualties are innocent civilian non-combatants?

How can we expect the Palestinians to become partners for peace if the US Congress refuses to even recognize their existence? If this raging conflict is to be brought to a conclusion there must be recognition of Palestinian existence as well as Israel’s right to exist. Now, more than ever, those who would be party to peace talks must be prepared to recognize the concerns of both.

Dennis Kucinich