If the events of this past week disclosed anything, it’s that the people of the United States have no conscience. We not only support a government waging war on civilians, including women and children, resulting in 860 dead and more than 5,000 wounded. We have accelerated deportations of desperate mothers and kids escaping the violence and poverty of Central America.
One must ask why? What happened to us? Where is our concern for our fellow men, or more accurately, our fellow women and children? Where is our sense of charity? Where is our morality?
For many years, we have unconditionally supported Israel. That made sense when the Arab nations around it refused to accept its right to exist. But that is no longer the case. Now Israel is the baddest bully on the block, with state-of-the-art weaponry purchased with our money. The Israeli government has made Gaza a prison and every so often, in the words of Israeli military leaders, it invades Gaza to do “a little lawn-mowing.” Israel refuses to negotiate a permanent two-state solution with the PLA because, in its view, the PLA has nothing of value to offer. It has no weaponry other than rocks. Israel also refuses to negotiate with those Palestinians who are armed…Hamas…probably because Hamas provides Israel a reason to justify its repression of Palestinians and its development of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
So what is the US attitude to the violence in Gaza? Secretary of State John Kerry is working hard to negotiate a cease fire, saying that any agreement must first assure Israel of its security and Palestinians of an economic future. Not to villify Kerry, but why just talk about Israel’s security? It is the Palestinians who are being killed!
As for the refugees from Central America, why are their lives of so little value? Why are we deporting them when we have accepted refugees from around the globe who were facing similar conditions? Are Guatemalan lives worth less than Somalis? Are Honduran lives worth less than Romanians?
Conservatives preach that our entitlements will soon be bankrupt because, as baby boomers retire, there will be fewer people to contribute portions of their salaries to add to the trust funds. They say that we will soon have more people “on the dole” than people working. If that is true, why not accept refugees who have come here looking for jobs? Don’t the taxes and contributions of Latinos count as much as those from Sudanese, Ukranians, Russians, Vietnamese, Cambodians and all of the other refugees we have welcomed?
If we can so easily watch Palestinians die with our complicity; if we can so angrily turn our backs on desperate people seeking our help, we may as well remove the inscription from the Statue of Liberty. We must admit that we are no longer the beacon of freedom for the world. We must admit that we no longer hold the moral high ground.
We must admit that we have no conscience.