PRO-ISRAEL RALLY-NY: IS THIS THE CHANGE OBAMA PROMISED?
I am writing this from New York where I have been for almost three weeks already. I may as well have stayed in Melbourne for all I’ve seen of it since Israel began its massive assault on Gaza. However, seeing my daughter makes it well worth being here.
It is also gives me a chance to see what Americans think about Israel’s latest military venture, and for the most part, they don’t think. Gaza barely registers in their thought processes and that is not surprising since I have been hard-pressed to find ANY news on the hundreds of TV channels, let alone news on Gaza.
The only one reporting anything about Gaza is CNN International and contrary to what I expected, it has had some quite sympathetic reporting and interviews. However, it is not the uninterrupted broadcasting that we certainly got with 9/11, or even more recently Mumbai, when reporters were standing outside the hotel hour after hour waiting for some blast or dramatic piece of news with which they could fill our television screens.
True, Israel won’t allow any international media into Gaza, but I remember clearly how the media kept up its shocked reporting when Israel would not allow them into Jenin in 2002 when it was clear that a massacre was being carried out. This time, it is a massacre on a horrific scale and there is no round-the-clock reporting - nothing for Americans to realise that yet again their country is responsible for another wave of war crimes.
On Saturday, there was a pro-Israel rally in mid-town New York. I could hear the raucous singing and chanting and the reverberating sounds of speakers drift up to Columbus Circle. Later I saw supporters laughing and singing with the Israeli flag draped around their shoulders. I thought I was in Israel, not the US.
They were not demonstrators for a cause, but “patriots” out partying. It was an obscene sight - for me at least - because I had just come from seeing pictures of blood-soaked bodies of children killed from an Israeli attack - arms, legs, heads missing from their torsoes, others screaming in terror and horror while bombs lit up the night sky.
These were the scenes being celebrated by Israeli “patriots”, and in case people think that all Jews support this, they could not be more wrong. A good proportion of these Israeli supporters were white Christian Americans excited about what they hope will bring on the Rapture. Why anyone is wanting to hurry on the Apocalypse is beyond me.
But there you have it – the killing fields of Gaza have become the macabre promise of the next life. And so New York, for all its political and social correctness descended that Saturday into the base depths of the human dark side as the pro-Israel rally gave the thumbs up to genocide.
These were not just extremists coming out in support. The rally was led, amongst others, by Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer and Governor David Paterson. What a deeply humiliating shame for a nation that the world only recently believed had finally turned its back on its already shameful past by electing a black man to the presidency. - SK