Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

What will it take?

Bold is mine:

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

He didn’t mean that. I truly didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed, nor do I want to be cynical, but as the slaughtering of innocents and inducing of terror is coming from our side, from Israel (aren’t they one in the same?) and he has remained hopelessly silent, how can our new President possibly stand there and denounce terror when it is his country’s support which is perpetuating it?

What more can I possibly say? That Michelle, Sasha, and Malia looked lovely? That I’m happy to hold on to my reproductive rights? That I’ve lost hope?

I was one of the truly hopeful. I planned my vote sometime back in 2006, and held tight, and although I never believe he’d be our savior, for a long time I thought this meant real change, even if it came very slowly.

And then he was elected. And then he starting plucking zionists for his cabinet. And then a Secretary of Education with no educational experience. And then on December 27, America’s greatest ally started murdering Palestinians and Obama stayed quiet. He continues to to this day.

I am somehow reminded of this famous statement, associated with the Holocaust:

“In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

What will it take for our country to stand up against Israel’s state-sanctioned terror?

5 Comments

  1. Jillian – let’s take everything you say here and want and wish for was agreed to by 100% of the American population – everyone.

    I would like to read your posts that examine how you feel about the existence and the impact of Fatah, Hamas, Egypt, Iran or any other entity besides Israel and the US on the Palestinians – all the Palestinians

    I would like to see you scrutinize those entities – challenges and all – as completely as you do Israel, Obama and the US.

    It cannot be enough to say Israel has been an occupier for 60 years.

    And then…what? What?

    You once tweeted with me that you were a realist who realizes that Israel is not going to evaporate. You state in a post like this one what you want/wanted from the US and what you want from Israel.

    What do you want from everyone else? Is no one else of import, at all? If the answer to that is yes, how can that possibly be? How can there not be expectations of anyone else?

    This is a hard comment to write – I want to engage. But I would really like to hear more from you on these points. I just feel that I’ve read nothing about how you feel on any of these issues. I could not find an easy way to search your blog on specific terms but I did look through your posts and didn’t see any that were on point about these questions I’m raising.

    Maybe it’s time we start some kind of collaboration blog that goes back and forth on this – I wanted to create a Wiki for Peace but have not gotten to it – there’s no question that you are more savvy tech-wise.

    And I know, from our tweets and exchanges and your blog posts I browsed, that there are many, many more areas in which we agree than we disagree.

    I just would like to hear your thoughts on these thoughts. :)

  2. Jill,

    I am unclear on why Martin Niemöller’s poem that you quoted in this post reminds you of the present situation, but I’d be interested to hear how you feel it relates.

    Sol

  3. Sol,

    Very loosely. As I said, I am “somehow” reminded; that is to say, it literally came to mind while I was writing this post. My thought process was along the lines of how, prior to his election to the Senate, our President was an advocate for Arab-Americans and Palestinians, and yet somehow along the way he too has succumbed to the lobbies. American politicians are afraid to speak up; what will it take?

    That said, I can see how it doesn’t directly relate to the poem; again, it was just my train of thought going haywire ;)

    -Jill

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Jill. I personally don’t think that he’s succumbed to any lobbies yet (and there are more than one!), and that he still has a chance to bring some progress to the situation.

    I also disagree with you on the point that the relative silence of American politicians on this issue is due to fear, but that’s a whole ‘nother bag of cats to be discussed another day.

  5. Sol,

    Fear is the wrong word. Pressure would be more accurate. I do also understand that politicians’ views on Israel are meant to reflect the American people’s views, but I also think there’s more to it than that. Again, another bag of cats (cats, really?)

    But if you look at Obama’s history, you’ll notice that post-2004, his speech changed. He began placing the onus of peace on Palestine, which is naive to say the very least.

    That said, I still have some faith in him.

    -Jill

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