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Letter to the Baltimore Sun:
Don't Praise Israel's Democracy (9/28/03)

In his recent commentary on Israel (the Sun, 9/28/03), G. Jefferson Price III tells us that the US supports Israel because of their “democratic tradition” which is unique in the Middle East. Price also tells us that Israel’s “assassination missions” are “retaliation for “suicide bombers dispatched by… Palestinian terror groups.”

Unfortunately, Price is ignoring that the corrupt monarchies which have been in control in the Middle East have been supported by the US. For example, Saudia Arabia’s government has been the recipient of security by US military forces for decades.

Also, while Israel may technically be a democracy it continues to be a major human rights violator. It continues to keep the Palestinians under brutal military occupation, now for the 36th year. It is building a gigantic wall that many believe is intended to imprison a million and a half Palestinian civilians. It keeps thousands of Palestinians incarcerated who have not been charged with crimes. It openly maintains an assassination policy which is employed during cease fires. It also extensively employs collective punishment, an example of which is the bulldozing of Palestinians homes in the middle of the night with no advance warning.

The US must stop funding Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians. Praising Israel as a democracy while continuing the funding perpetuates the madness.

Scott Loughrey

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