This was originally posted on Nation of Change and has been reprinted here. Some numbers and specifics have been corrected.
1200 1400 Palestinians massacred, and 53 63 Israeli soldiers are dead, which is more than twenty-two times less deaths than Palestinians. These deaths were not due to a set of attacks by rogue, paramilitary elements. Rather they were caused by the military of what FLAME, a pro-Israeli group, even calls, “America’s unsinkable aircraft in the Middle East,” in a recent ad in The Nation: Israel. Since June, the Israeli military has pummeled the citizens of the Gaza Strip with bombs, naval bombardment, mortars, white phosphorous, and more. As a result, thousands have been displaced, six UNRWA schools have been bombed, Gaza’s only power plant has been destroyed, meaning the thousands will not have electricity and are plunged into darkness, and hospitals have been bombed. On July 22nd, the UN’s Office of Humanitarian Affairs painted a bleak picture of conditions in the Gaza Strip, saying there is “no safe place for civilians,” and that there are “critical shortages of hospital supplies and medicines,” at least 107,000 children requiring “specialized psychosocial support to deal with the trauma” from the attacks, “no or limited access to water” because of power systems being destroyed or “no fuel to generate them,” and reports “of sewage flooding.” Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said recently that Israel’s non-respect for the “life of civilians, including children…may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” It is without doubt that Hamas firing rockets into Israel constitutes war crimes. But, it is absurd to think that, as a moderate opinion by the editors of The Nation states, firing rockets into Israel is “just as atrocious as the far more deadly Israeli barrages” or that the invasion of Gaza is an act of self-defense. Both ideas are false and both sides have committed war crimes that run afoul of the established laws of war. Under the UN Charter, every sovereign state has a right to self-defense, including Israel. However, the bombing and invasion of Gaza does not follow this right, mainly expressed in Article 51 of the UN Charter. In fact, Hamas did not even kidnap the three children as Israel claims, meaning that Israel is clearly committing a war of aggression, the “supreme international crime.” Palestine has the right to self-defense as well, but as social activist Howard Zinn once said, “I don’t think that terrorism is justified even though the end is a just one. The demands of the Palestinians are just, but I don’t think that terrorist acts are justified, on both moral and pragmatic grounds,” and he goes on to explain the specifics of his reasoning.  This article does not tread on ground that others have written about extensively, instead it summarizes the history of Israel and occupied Palestine, how we got where we are today and what we can do to make the situation better for all those touched by the bloodshed.
The formation of the Israeli state
First it was the classic Neanderthal man; then it was: sedentary farmers; Amorites; early Mesopotamian empires; ‘sea peoples;’ Egyptians; Assyrians; Persians; Alexander ‘the Great;’ Romans; Arabs; Timor; Mamluks; Ottomans; and the British. These are most of the groups that ruled over the “Holy Land” or the British mandate of Palestine as it was once called. This all came from a dusty book with tattered covers titled The Times Concise Atlas of World History which was published a while ago, back in the Reagan era, in 1982. Sometimes old books can help as much if not more than the digital libraries in the present, like those of Wikipedia. As one Washington post columnist Richard Cohen recently admitted, state of Israel “is the legal creation of the United Nations,” and did not exist prior to 1948. This section will examine the early history of Israel in order to gain a greater understanding.
For years, people had been advocating for a Jewish settlement in Palestine. The British had committed themselves to a Jewish national homeland in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration, as had others on their own accord, like one of the so-called “Paris Rothschilds” . By the 1940s, the British became “fearful that the Americans would try to eject them from the Middle East” and deny them control of the oil reserves in a region “considered central to [British] imperial strategy.” Ibn Saud, the ruler of Saudi Arabia, came as an important person to the British Empire who could possibly play an “important factor” in the empire’s efforts to escape their “dilemma in Palestine” which was then a British mandate “torn by mounting strife between Jews and Arabs.”  However, Saud was not in favor of a new Jewish state in Palestine, strongly opposing the establishment of a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine. He was even reassured by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 that the U.S. government would not “change its Palestine policy without consulting the Arabs.”  American relations with the Arab world were aggravated as the state of Israel came into being. Saud, who was “outspoken…against Zionism and Israel,” said that if the US supported Israel, then it “would be a death to American interests in the Arab world,” further saying that Arabs would destroy the new state.  Additionally, Saud waived his ability to punish the US “by canceling the Aramco [Arab-American Oil Company] concession,” a threat which alarmed interested companies along with the military and foreign policy establishment.  By 1948, the UN’s General Assembly and other organs had recommended the “partition of Palestine” but it was rejected by the Arab states.  Subsequent violence gripped Palestine and when the British withdrew from their mandate in 1948, chaos soon followed. On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was proclaimed by the Jewish National Council and was quickly recognized by the Soviet Union and the US.  The Arab states surrounding Israel did not like this at all. War quickly begun as the Arab League “launched a full-scale attack” against Israel and Ibn Saud even threatened to “apply sanctions against American oil concessions,” but luckily for the US, a rushed State Department study at the time showed this strategy would not be very effective.  Eventually, even though the government of Saudi Arabia was formally hostile toward Zionism, Saud found he could distinguish between Aramco and the “policy of the U.S. government elsewhere in the region,” even arguing that oil royalties helped Arab states resist “Jewish pretensions.” 
There is one more angle to the creation of the state of Israel: the change of the demographic makeup. The colonial British, which had control of the mandate of Palestine since 1917, saw their role as an “arbitrator between the Arab and Jewish communities,” and they were persuaded in 1939 by Palestinian Arabs protesting to “put a ceiling on Jewish immigration,” which was reversed as a result of the “horror of the Holocaust.”  Furthermore, the war with Arab states which began in 1948 with Israel’s creation, led to hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of whom were Muslim and Palestinian, further concentrating the “opposition of Arab states.”  There was something even more telling. This was the emigration of 750,000 Arabs between 1946 and 1967 into Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, while 894,000 Jewish people immigrated to Israel from 1948 to 1964 from across the Mediterranean and Europe.  This meant that 194,500 more Jews came to Israel than Arabs who left. The effect of changed demographics affected Israel for years to come.
Israel’s military aggression: a bloody history
As American sociologist and political scientist Charles Tilly famously suggested, “war made the state, and the state made war.” This is true of the creation of Israel, a state founded on war itself, which can’t even be denied by hard-nosed defenders of Israel. By end of their ‘war of independence’ in 1948, Israel had control of many lands which were not given to them under the UN’s partition plan, and by 1967 they had control of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula (which they later relinquished back to Egypt).  Israel has not, in its sixty-six year history, heeded the suggestion by President Harry S. Truman in December 1947, on the eve of a UN vote, that “…the Jews must now display tolerance and consideration for the other people in Palestine with whom they will necessarily have to be neighbors.” At the same time, there is something more absurd: the explaining of the “question of Israel…by a dispute with Biblical origins” as claimed in one episode in the popular TV series, The West Wing, since that means that the conflict in that region cannot be solved by real “political or policy-based solutions.” 
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Israeli military carried out raids in the Gaza Strip then under Egypt’s control, the West Bank then under Jordanian control, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. These raids, which were officially meant to respond to terror attacks and declared as “retribution operations” which Ariel Sharon described years later as having an objective “to create in Arabs a psychology of defeat, to beat them every time and…decisively [enough] that they would develop the conviction they would never win.”  Even the likely Zionist Uzi Eilam, wrote that the retribution operations, also called reprisal operations, “were not overly effective in curbing infiltration and attacks,” saying that Israel often “provoked the enemy…and incited war.”  While thousands of Arab soldiers and Palestinians were killed, only hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed by terror attacks during the same period. The violence in the 1948 war which involved numerous killings and massacres occurred again in the 1950s, with incidents like the one in Qibya, in the West Bank, in 1953, when sixty-nine Palestinian villagers, most of whom were civilians, were massacred, which was internationally condemned at the time. 
By 1967, a new war was on the horizon. Gamal Abdel Nasser, then the strongman of Egypt and Arab nationalist, wanted to “assert his will” through military force, since he had no oil, to avenge “Israel’s battlefield successes in 1956.”  In 1956, during Israel’s invasion of Egypt, Israeli soldiers massacred 49 Palestinians in cold blood, which Noam Chomsky argued is “kind of like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.”  Soon, in 1967, Jordanian armed forces were under Egyptian command and the Iraqis were helping as well, completing the “mobilization of Arab military might,” and then beginning the attack on June 5th.  Israel’s military put on the defensive, made an offensive move. Within the first hours of the war, Israel “quickly obliterated” the air forces of Egypt and those of fellow Arab states.  With Israel coming out victorious from the war, gaining control of Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai Peninsula, Arab oil ministers “banned shipments to the United States and Britain,” and to a small degree West Germany, for a period of four months since the ban failed since oil was taken from elsewhere as a result.  This was only part of the story. When the smoke cleared, 20 Israeli civilians were killed, 10,000-15,000 Egyptians were killed or missing, 6,000 Jordanians were killed or missing, 2,500 Syrians were killed, and 10 Iraqis were killed. In total, that means that at minimum, 21,030 were killed in the war. That’s over three times the number of Israelis killed in their ‘war for independence,’ which started as “a civil war within the Palestinian British mandate” with 300,000 Palestinians fleeing or being expelled by the time Israel was created. 
With the war ended, the US government pushed for Arabic countries to work within UN Security Council Resolution 242, which “would return Israel to its 1967 borders” and President Nixon even offered the “services of Henry Kissinger as negotiator.”  Although Henry Kissinger claimed it was “unlikely the Arabs would use the oil weapon against the United States,” he was dead wrong.  In 1973, Sadat launched an attack on Yom Kippur to “catch Israel when it was least prepared,” and the Arabs scored key victories in the first days of the war.  The US government seemed to purportedly arrange a truce in this war, but also resupplied the Israelis, officially to counter the Soviets, which portrayed the US “as an active ally of Israel.”  This move did not please Arab countries. Egypt and other Arab states called for implementing an oil embargo against the United States for its support of Israel, rejecting a “radical” Iraqi proposal to “nationalize all American business in the Arab world” and “institute a full oil embargo.”  The Nixon administration said they wanted “movement toward a peace settlement” and announced a $2.2 billion aid package to Israel, which provided Arab leaders with “a sufficient pretext to take on the United States.” 
By 1978, the Camp David Accords had brought Israel and Egypt together. Anwar Sadat, who had begun the Yom Kippur war against Israel, wanted to “create a settlement acceptable to the Palestinians” but economic policies implemented as part of the agreement exposed the country to the full force of Western capitalism.  Just like the military dictatorship in Egypt today, Sadat had 1,500 opponents arrested and purged “the army of 200 officers friendly to the Muslim Brotherhood” while countering growing opposition from Islamists, already dissatisfied by Israel’s victory over Egypt in 1967, who assassinated him in October 1981.  After Sadat was gone, Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, came to power. If it couldn’t get any worse, by the 1980s, the reactionary and theocratic government of Iran backed groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, with the Iranian Revolution providing “practical and moral support” to the “remarkable intifada (uprising) of Palestinian youth” in 1987. 
By 1967, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights had begun. These conquests, these seizures of territory, were just some of the stolen land that Israel claimed authority over. Since 2006, Israel has engaged in a conflict with Gaza, resulting in the killing of thousands. During the 2008-9 war in Gaza, Richard Goldstone, a Jewish and South African judge was part of a “fact-finding mission…to investigate violations of humanitarian and human rights law” during the war, which Israel refused to cooperate with.  The report, called for short the Goldstone Report, detailed human rights violations by both sides, finding that “Israel used disproportionate military force against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip” and indicting the occupation itself by condemning “Israel for border closures, the blockade, and for the wall…in the West Bank.”  The result was vilification of his name, with denouncement by Israeli Parliament and by what Chris Hedges calls the liberal class, despite the fact that he was “the quintessential Jewish liberal” who was a “champion of human rights and international law.” 
US aid to Israel and blowback
Some years ago, a retired US naval officer told British journalist Robert Frisk, his reflections on Israel’s 2002 invasion of Palestinian Authority’s territory: “when I see on television our planes and our tanks used to attack Palestinians, I can understand why people hate Americans.”  In 1998, Chris Toensing, the editor of Middle East Report had an encounter with a waiter which mirrored what the retired naval officer had to say, but the waiter went further, explaining that while “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem” are illegal, Israel takes in 40 percent of US aid, which it uses to “build new settlements on Palestinian land and buy US-made warplanes and helicopter gunships.”  Not surprisingly, Palestinian rulers “hate America for not supporting their cause and [for] not restraining Israel.”  This section brings such concerns to light, looking at U.S. financial support for Israel and the blowback it causes.
In his book, What We Say Goes, Noam Chomsky writes that “you can date the beginning of enthusiastic support for Israel” by the US government to 1967.  He further mentions that after “Israel’s huge military success” in the 1967 war, the US government saw Israel as “the most reliable base for U.S. power in that part of the world.”  Importantly, Nasser, who helped launch the war to begin with, was the “symbol…of secular Arab nationalism” and when he was smashed by Israel, it doomed hopes of it spreading, all while US aid began to skyrocket along with increased concern about the Holocaust.  Interestingly, support for Israel was easily exploited as a “weapon to beat back the hated New Left” since there were numerous radical Jewish-Americans active in social movements.  Chomsky continues, arguing that he believes that “U.S. policies toward Israel are very harmful to the American people and to future generations” but that the Israeli lobby doesn’t determine policy, since “serious U.S. state interests” win out against Israeli interests when the two are in conflict. 
It wasn’t always this way. During the 1940s and 1950s, many American political elites supported Arab states due to their oil with President Eisenhower even ordering Israel to withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula in 1956, to which Israel complied.  By the mid-1960s, this changed as Soviet ties to Arab states pushed the U.S. government closer to Israel with the first “offensive weapons system sale to Israel” approved in 1965.  The six-day war brought the Israeli and US governments closer together. After the war in 1967, the US sold “phantom jets to Israel,” with US military sales jumping from $140 million between 1968 and 1970 to $2.57 billion in 1974, after the Yom Kippur War.  Furthermore, from 1949 to 2004, the US gave Israel $97.5 billion, resulting in Israel becoming a “military giant” which possesses nuclear weapons, and whose security “resides in military might and the colonial occupation of Palestinians.”  The US government has been so dedicated to such aid that it has shown that it doesn’t care about “liberty and justice for all.” In 2002, a Palestinian independent weekly, Hebron Times, was closed down by the CIA for “being overly critical of Israel and US policy towards Palestinian people” and the editor said in response that the US didn’t value press freedom.  The US government, as noted by William Blum, habitually supports “Israeli belligerence and torture,” condemning Arab resistance toward it while a different standard applies to “Israeli terrorism.”  Such action by the US government is only one of the many that are supportive of Israel. Since the first time the US used its permanent veto power in 1970, the US has vetoed at least 30 resolutions which either concern the “Palestinian question,” problems in the “occupied territories,” or try to hold Israel accountable for their war crimes. This pattern has continued, as the State Department spokesperson recently declared it was the “only one” defending Israel when the UN Human Rights Council voted to investigate Israeli war crimes in the recent invasion of Gaza, in a manner possibly similar to the Goldstone Report.
The support of Israel by the US government didn’t just lead to billions of dollars and smiles. Rather, it led to blowback, which means reactions to “clandestine operations carried out by the U.S. government” to overthrow foreign regimes, execute certain people or helping to launch “state terrorist operations” against target populations.  In simpler terms, it means that “a nation reaps what it sows,” and for the US it is connected to “unintended consequences of American policies and acts.”  US support of Israel led to a horrible consequence: fundamentalist terrorist acts. Osama Bin Laden, the former leader of Al-Qaeda, said, less than a month after the 9/11 attacks, that one of his reasons for hating the US, other than US sanctions against Iraq and stationing of U.S. troops along with US bases in Saudi Arabia, was “American policies toward Israel and the occupied territories.”  After the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden told journalist Robert Frisk that he was not only infuriated by U.S. troops being stationed in Saudi Arabia but also US “policies regarding Israel and Iraq.”  It is important to remember that Bin Laden was on the side of the US until 1990 and 1991 because of a change in U.S. policy.
A book by an anonymous senior U.S. intelligence official titled Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, provides important insights on the depths on how Bin Laden’s thinking on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was influenced by anger over US policy. As argued in Imperial Hubris, that “Washington’s maintenance of a policy status quo toward the Muslim world” and basically a constant green light “for Israel’s action against Palestinians would have resulted in more young men volunteering for jihad” even if Bin Laden never existed or if Iraq had never been invaded.  After all, young Palestinian suicide bombers “who are willing to sacrifice their lives” are seen as heroes who are engaging in a “just military response” to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the “relegation of three generations of Palestinians to refugee camps.”  As the U.S. government stands along with Israel to “free it from obeying UN resolutions and nonproliferation treaties,” it also helps Israel “develop and deploy weapons of mass destruction.”  The response by Al-Qaeda to such actions was to describe the “U.S.-Israel relationship as a detriment to America.”  Following in the footsteps of Hamas, Islamist organizations and others, Bin Laden declared, along with other Al Qaeda leaders, that he desired a terrorist “attack inside Israel” and through this process Al Qaeda played a role in “internationalizing the issue” of the Israeli-Palestinian war.  There is something deeper. Based on the issues that are at the core of Bin Laden’s foreign policy, Imperial Hubris claims that the “status quo U.S. policy toward Israel will result in an unending war with Islam.”  While such a claim is an over-exaggeration and misconstruing of facts, it is clear that if U.S. foreign policy toward Israel is perceived that way then it must be changed to be beneficial to Palestinians, not policy that has a murderous intent.
The current tragedy in occupied Palestine
Currently the “brutalization of the Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces,” as Chris Hedges calls it, continues.  As UN Security Council Resolution 478 states, the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to “Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem,” and that Israel is “the occupying power.” Such an occupation is simply a manifestation of what Hedges calls “Israel’s brutal apartheid regime.”  Israel is a country that: the U.S. used to transfer Stinger missiles to the Afghani mujahedeen, which later merged with other groups to form the Taliban; voted against the establishment of the International Criminal Court; and has a nuclear weapons program which is bound to cause problems.  Israel is also one of the world’s biggest purchasers of US weapons, is a nuclear weapons nation, and was encouraged by the U.S. to construct uranium weapons.  Horrifyingly, Israel has used “uranium armor plated tanks and uranium weapons against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.”  Likely, the health effects of using such weapons are bad, if not worse than the U.S.’s use of depleted uranium in Iraq. Such actions, among other brutalities, are why Israel’s actions, like those of any aggressive power or terror group, seem to fall under the definition of terrorism outlined by Black’s Law Dictionary: “the use or threat of violence to intimidate or cause panic; esp. as a means of affecting political conduct.” 
The wars and brutality against Palestinians and other marginalized groups is connected to something bigger: the Israeli war economy. Kevin Phillips, in his history of wealth in America titled Wealth and Democracy, briefly covers the subject. Phillips writes that by 2000, high technology “accounted for 40 percent of Israeli exports,” leading to what Shali Tshuva, then supervising “government studies of the technology sector,” then called “two economies in the same country,” the old and the new.  For Israel, the newer economy “largely left out Arabs and Orthodox Jews” who were “two large, poor minorities.”  What was this “new economy” anyway? Naomi Klein dedicates eighteen pages to it in her bestseller, The Shock Doctrine. She writes that the Israeli economy is “resilient in the face of major political shocks” and that it “expands markedly in direct response to escalating violence.”  The foundation for a new Israeli economy which is “based on the promise of continual war and deepening disasters” were laid in the 1990s as Israel’s government believed a peace agreement with the Palestinians would allow the country to be “the Middle East’s trade hub” since Israel’s neighbors “would have to lift their boycotts.”  While this did not happen, Israel’s economy became very tech-dependent while a small elite including “corrupt elite around Arafat” benefited from the economy.  However, the makeup of the economy soon changed. In 2002, the state of Israel faced a recession. In response, the government intervened with a “10.7 percent increase in military spending,” funded by slashing spending on social services, which also resulted in the Israeli military serving a role almost as a “business incubator.”  In the years after 9/11 the Israeli state had already embraced “a national economic vision” replacing the dot-com bubble with a “homeland security bubble,” uniting the hawkish Likud Party, and an embrace of “Chicago style economics” which was embodied by current Prime Minister and then-finance minister for Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu.  By 2004, the Israeli economy was “performing better than almost any Western economy” with the country positioning itself “as a kind of shopping mall for homeland security technologies” which brought law enforcement, corporate CEOs, public officials and others from around the world.  Conclusions about Israel’s economy go further. A prominent Israeli investment banker, Len Rosen, was quoted in Fortune magazine as saying that “security matters more than peace,” which is connected to the saving of Israel’s economy by the “war on terror industry” and the reframing of the conflict with Palestinians as part of the war on terror, not about “specific goals for land and rights.”  Furthermore, the gap between the rich and poor has expanded. By 2007, over 24 percent of Israelis were living “below the poverty line” and 35.2 percent of Israeli children were “in poverty—compared with 8 percent twenty years earlier” all while a “small sector of Israelis” has benefited from the boom.  There is one result of this new economy which is even scarier. The “Israeli industry no longer has a reason to fear war” and at the same time, the Palestinian economy is in trouble, with high poverty.  As some have said, Israel has an economy hijacked by military and security interests. Klein concludes in writing that Israel has “turned itself into a fortified gated community, surrounded by blocked-out people living in permanently excluded red zones,” with a few “profiting from the endless and unwinnable war on terror” and a society losing their “economic incentive for peace.” 
As Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in Chapter 4 of On Social Contract, “the state of war cannot arise from simple personal relations, but only from proprietary relations.” For the Israeli government, this applies to conflicts with Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Some, such as Nafeez Ahmed and retired Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, have argued that Israel’s war in Gaza is driven by a goal to gain control of natural gas. Even if this is exaggerated, it is true that Israel’s war economy is dependent on the conflict with Palestine. Just as Anti-Flag sings in Anatomy of the Enemy, Israel has formed the idea of a brutal enemy (Hamas, Hizballah, etc…) and suppressed dissent, as they recently did when police harassed those protesting against the invasion of Gaza inside Israel (also see here) and killed some in the West Bank. There is an incentive to continue militaristic policies as long as there is some real or constructed enemy to fight but once the enemy is gone, the justification for increased military spending and security measures cannot be completely justified, and can be easily questioned. At such a point, the state of fear and terror present in Israel, which makes many support the government’s policies, would be more open to scorn as the basis of fear and terror would be gone. Lest us forget that Israel helped create Hamas, which former Israeli official Avner Cohen called an “enormous, stupid mistake” and said, “Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation.” Glenn Kessler wrote in the Washington Post, that in the 1980s, the Israeli government wanted to weaken the PLO so they promoted “the rise of Islamic parties as a counterweight, on the theory that Islamic groups would not have the same nationalistic impulses” which eventually “fueled the rise of Hamas as a political force.” American sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein added to this that support for Hamas goes back even farther than the 1980s, with Israel giving “financial aid to the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, known as Hamas” in the 1970s in order to “weaken the strength of the PLO among Palestinians,” but eventually Hamas “became an even more vehement and effective opponent of the Israeli state than…the PLO.”
What can be done?
The current violence seems to be never-ending. Israel continues its wars of aggression and violent militants fire rockets and use suicide bombs. But, there is something that can be done other than twiddling your thumbs all day. This section will focus on solutions to stemming the current violence, many which are moderate in nature but will help in some way or another.
Recently, there has been a push even by adamant pro-Israel supporters to end U.S. aid to Israel. A recent poll by Rasmussen shows that the US public supports taking away U.S. aid for both sides (Israel and Palestine) in an effort to bring peace. In his 2001 book, Stupid White Men, liberal billionaire and filmmaker Michael Moore, before he had begun to virulently and blindly favor the Democratic Party, wrote a bit about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Using words I doubt he would use today, he said that he didn’t want “apartheid being funded in my name,” and made four propositions: Congress informing Israelis that “it has thirty days to end the bloodshed perpetrated in…our name” or aid is cut off; making Israel work with Palestinians to create a Palestinian state; the US giving Palestine double what it gives Israel; and the UN committing to defend Israelis and Palestinians.  Moore goes on to recommend a general strike and civil disobedience, in an almost joke letter to Yasser Arafat, as strategies to combat Israeli aggression. The path of nonviolent resistance, which is rarely, if ever, covered in the Western media, is already being taken by many Palestinians, with recent protests in the West Bank and even inside Israel. The movie Five Broken Cameras focuses on such acts of nonviolent resistance in a town in the West Bank.
Moore is not the only one that proposes that U.S. aid to Israel be cut, among other measures. Melvin Goodman, a national security insider, engages in moderate criticism of militarism in his book, National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. Goodman writes that “the United States gives assistance to numerous countries that do not need it or do not deserve it because of serious human rights violations,” pointing out Israel as one such country, saying that it gets “military assistance, although it has military superiority in the region,” which he argues doesn’t contribute to “regional stability in the Middle East or Europe.”  He later brings up the topic again, writing that the U.S. government has been “constantly and deliberately embarrassed by the Israeli government,” despite the huge amount of US economic and military aid to the government, which often times “announcements of settlement expansion to do the most harm to U.S. interests in the region.” 
Beyond cutting U.S. aid to Israel and using money given to Israel as leverage, there is another solution: Jewish groups critiquing Israel and putting forward “less violent, more democratic ways forward.”  It is important to remember that to be a Jewish person you do not have to support Israel and by extension not all Jewish people support Israel. Back in the 1970s, between 1973 and 1978, a group of American Jews, called Breira, worked to “create a democratic space that allowed serious debate about the fate of Israelis and Palestinians beyond the narrow consensus of mainstream American Jewish leadership” and they were “viciously attacked and mercilessly crushed” with people falsely calling them heretics or traitors.  In the present, numerous Jewish publications, in Cornel West’s view, are “slowly beginning to turn against mainstream Jewish imperial identity,” recognizing that the “Israeli colonial occupation of Palestinians and deference to American imperial strategic interests produce neither security for Israel nor justice for Palestinians.”  Such groups stand against what West calls the “major groups of the Jewish lobby,” which could more accurately called the Israeli imperial lobby, including AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. At the present, there have not only been efforts by groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace but also an effort by Israeli reservists to not fight in the recent invasion of Gaza.
There are many measures that can be taken to counter and stop Israel’s oppressive policies and military aggression driven by a war economy. The UNRWA has advocated for two measures: ending the “crippling blockade” of Gaza and demolishing the West Bank wall, which some call the “apartheid wall.”  It is clear that there is a bipartisan consensus on giving Israel weapons of war, shown by $351 million to expand the Iron Dome system and Congressional resolutions blaming Hamas, with Israel taking no blame, for the current invasion. There is hope yet. While a recent Gallup poll shows slim majority support for Israel’s invasion of Gaza among Americans, there are growing numbers of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who do not feel the invasion is justified. Additionally, according to a CNN/ORC poll, 38% of Americans “have an unfavorable opinion of Israel, up 14 percentage points from February.” The pro-Israeli propaganda and views which dominate the mainstream media and “national conversation” are being chipped away. The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, although controversial among people across the political spectrum, is going a good job at helping advance consciousness of Israeli crimes, outlining the brutality of the occupation, highlighting what companies are profiting off the occupation, and so on. These efforts, which rabid pro-Israeli supporters are desperately trying to suppress, are helping to change US opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and are a helpful way to express solidarity with struggling Palestinians. In the end, there is much that can be done and what happens next is up to you.
 Zinn, H. (2002) Terrorism and War (p. 26). New York: Seven Stories Press.
 Yergin, D. (1992). The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (p. 61). New York: Simon & Schuster.
 Ibid, 396
 Zinn, H. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present (Fifth ed., p. 414). New York: HarperCollins.
 The Prize, 425.
 Ibid, 425-6.
 Ibid, 426. Former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, in his account of the US recognition of Israel, quotes then-Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett as saying that “it would be highly injurious to the United Nations to announce the recognition of the Jewish state even before it had come into existence…such a move would be injurious to the prestige of the President. It is obviously designed to win the Jewish vote, but in my opinion it would lose more votes than it would gain.” Other historians have written that even if the policy of endorsing Israel was “an attempt to win Jewish votes, it failed” since he “squeaked through in the 1948 election” and that President Truman’s advisers seemingly exaggerated “the importance of the “Jewish vote” for the next presidential election,” convincing Truman that all Jewish voters supported a new Jewish state in Palestine.
 Robinson, F. (2009). The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World (Reprint, p. 105-6). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
 Ibid, 106.
 Barraclough, G. (1982). The Times Concise Atlas of World History (p. 141). London: Times Books Limited.
 Cambridge, 141.
 Sardar, Z. and Davies, M.W. (2002) Why Do People Hate America? (p. 36-7). New York: The Disinformation Company.
 Kober, A. (2009). Israel’s Wars of Attrition: Attrition Challenges to Democratic States (p. 55). New York: Routledge.
 Eilam, U. (2011). Eilam’s Arc: How Israel Became a Military Technology Powerhouse (p. 27). Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press.
 Ganin, Z. (2005). An Uneasy Relationship: American Jewish Leadership And Israel, 1948–1957 (p. 191). Syracuse University Press; Shlaim, A. (1999). The Iron Wall (p. 91). Norton; and Morris, B. (1993). Israel’s Border Wars, 1949–1956: Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War (p. 258-9). Oxford University Press.
 The Prize, 554.
 Chomsky, N. (2001). Propaganda and the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky, pp. 45. Cambridge: South End Press.
 The Prize, 554.
 Ibid, 555.
 Ibid, 555-8.
 Propaganda and the Public Mind, pp. 196-7.
 The Prize, 606-7.
 Ibid, 607.
 Ibid, 602-3.
 Ibid, 663-5.
 Ibid, 607.
 Ibid, 608-9.
 Cambridge, 113.
 Ibid, 113-9.
 Ibid, 119.
 Hedges, C. (2010). Death of the Liberal Class (p. 148). New York: Nation Books.
 Ibid, 149-156.
 Why Do People Hate America?, pp. 5-6.
 Ibid, pp. 47-8.
 Ibid, pp 51.
 Chomsky, N (2007). What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. power in a changing world (p. 126). New York: Metropolitan Books.
 Ibid, 127.
 Ibid, 128-9.
 Ibid, 129.
 Ibid, 134, 136-7.
 West, C. (2004). Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism (p. 116). New York: Penguin Books.
 Ibid, 117.
 Ibid, 118-9.
 Why Do People Hate America?, p. 203.
 Blum, W. (2000). Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower (p. 30). Monroe: Common Courage Press.
 Johnson, C. (2004). Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (Second ed., p. xi). New York: Henry Holt & Company.
 Ibid, 3.
 Terrorism and War, p. 13.
 Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror (p. 134).Washington, D.C.: Brassley’s Inc.
 Ibid, 135.
 Ibid, 227.
 Ibid, 229-30.
 Ibid, 257.
 Hedges, C. (2010) Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (p. 142). New York: Nation Books.
 Death of the Liberal Class, pp. 28.
 Blowback, pp. 13, 66, 123.
 Caldicott, H. (2002). The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s military-industrial-complex (p. xxxi, 44, 157). New York: New Press.
 Ibid, 158.
 Garner, B. A. (2006). Black’s Law Dictionary (Third Pocket Ed., p. 713). St. Paul: Thomson West.
 Phillips, K. (2002) Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (p. 269). New York: Broadway Books.
 Klein, N. (2007). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (p. 541-2). New York: Picador.
 Ibid, 542-3.
 Ibid, 547-8, 550.
 Ibid, 550.
 Ibid, 551.
 Ibid, 552, 555.
 Ibid, 556.
 Ibid, 557.
 Ibid, 558.
 Moore, M. (2001) Stupid White Men … and other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! (p. 179-181). New York: HarperCollins.
 Goodman, M. (2013). National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (p. 349). San Francisco: Open Media Series. Goodman is arguing here that military assistance to Israel doesn’t contribute to regional stability.
 Ibid, 381.
 Democracy Matters, pp. 121.
 Ibid, 120-1.
 Ibid, 121-2.
 See tweets by UNRWA here, here, here and here.