Letter: Being American means speaking out | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Being American means speaking out

I feel it is my duty as an American who loves my country to speak out when my country supports unjust policies. I was told by second-generation Palestinian refugees, while visiting Jordan and Syria, that the U.S. had a pro-Israel bias. To educate myself, I went to Israel and the West Bank and met with the wonderful Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of Rabbis for Human Rights, David Wilder, Hebron (West Bank) Settler leader, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions representative as well as many others on both sides of the Israel-Palestinian issue.

I continue to receive almost daily emails about what is happening in Israel from Dorothy Naor, Ph.D., an Israeli Jewish women who moved her family to Israel more than 50 years ago to bring up her children in a Jewish state. You can Google her and see an Aug. 4, 2009, letter she wrote giving her thoughts on living in Israel.

There is no excuse for Gaza rockets being shot at Israel or the tragic deaths of the three Israeli teens. Likewise there is no excuse for the collective punishment of Palestinians and the U.S. support for it.

From reports now coming out, the Israeli government knew more than two weeks before the bodies of the three teens were found that they were almost certainly dead from the phone call one of the teens made with gunshots in the background and the cry of someone wounded followed by celebratory singing. The two alleged Palestinian killers were identified. The Israeli government blamed all of Hamas even though these two alleged killers were considered “rogue” elements in Hamas who frequently defied Hamas leaders.

The Israeli government whipped up support for their current bombings and destruction of Gaza. Sounds like how we were misled into supporting the invasion of Iraq. I believe the U.S. policy of “Israel has a right to defend itself” and more than $3 billion in annual military aid is a biased policy and needs to end.

Cathleen Krahe