Brian Eno is an artist, musical innovator, record producer for artists ranging from David Bowie to U2 and Coldplay. He has been a consistent supporter of Stop the War Coalition since it was first founded.
Dear All of You:
I sense I’m breaking an unspoken rule with this letter, but I can’t keep quiet any more.
Today I saw a picture of a weeping Palestinian man holding a plastic carrier bag of meat. It was his son. He’d been shredded (the hospital’s word) by an Israeli missile attack – apparently using their fab new weapon, flechette bombs. You probably know what those are – hundreds of small steel darts packed around explosive which tear the flesh off humans. The boy was Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra. He was 4 years old.
Murdering, mistreating, or deporting civilian residents of an occupied territory to slave labor camps
Murdering or mistreating prisoners of war or civilian internees
Forcing protected persons to serve in the forces of a hostile power
Killing or punishing spies or other persons convicted of war crimes without a fair trial
Wantonly destroying cities, towns, villages, or any object not warranted by military necessity
I suddenly found myself thinking that it could have been one of my kids in that bag, and that thought upset me more than anything has for a long time.
Then I read that the UN had said that Israel might be guilty of war crimes in Gaza, and they wanted to launch a commission into that. America won’t sign up to it.
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Israel is guilty of war crimes. America is aware of this and is using its influence to silence western criticism of Israel and it will use its Security Council Veto to prevent this issue being considered by the UN. America has a tradition of preventing those who have committed the worst crime possible... genocide.... facing justice. Be it the Nazi scientists saved at conclusion of WWII or the Rwandan Hutu genocidairs given carte blanche by the Americans and French to kill around a million Tutsi over the course of 3 months in 1994.
The terrible reality of America's behaviour is that further crimes against humanity are then facilitated by the survivors of such atrocities due to American guilt. Be it Israel in Gaza or Rwanda in the DR Congo today.
What is going on in America? I know from my own experience how slanted your news is, and how little you get to hear about the other side of this story. But – for Christ’s sake! – it’s not that hard to find out. Why does America continue its blind support of this one-sided exercise in ethnic cleansing? WHY? I just don’t get it. I really hate to think its just the power of AIPAC… for if that’s the case, then your government really is fundamentally corrupt. No, I don’t think that’s the reason… but I have no idea what it could be.
The America I know and like is compassionate, broadminded, creative, eclectic, tolerant and generous. You, my close American friends, symbolise those things for me. But which America is backing this horrible one-sided colonialist war? I can’t work it out: I know you’re not the only people like you, so how come all those voices aren’t heard or registered?
" More than half of Americans - 54per cent - have never traveled outside the U.S., and 35per cent admit that they do not even own a passport.
According to a survey of 2,105 Americans, conducted by CouponCodes4u, 41per cent of travelers who have never been abroad feel that everything worth visiting is in the U.S.
Only 15per cent of respondents said they planned on vacationing abroad this year.
Of those who said they would remain in their own state, 22per cent admitted that they had never ventured outside its borders before. "
How come it isn’t your spirit that most of the world now thinks of when it hears the word ‘America’? How bad does it look when the one country which more than any other grounds its identity in notions of Liberty and Democracy then goes and puts its money exactly where its mouth isn’t and supports a ragingly racist theocracy?
I was in Israel last year with Mary. Her sister works for UNWRA in Jerusalem. Showing us round were a Palestinian – Shadi, who is her sister’s husband and a professional guide – and Oren Jacobovitch, an Israeli Jew, an ex-major from the IDF who left the service under a cloud for refusing to beat up Palestinians. Between the two of them we got to see some harrowing things – Palestinian houses hemmed in by wire mesh and boards to prevent settlers throwing shit and piss and used sanitary towels at the inhabitants; Palestinian kids on their way to school being beaten by Israeli kids with baseball bats to parental applause and laughter; a whole village evicted and living in caves while three settler families moved onto their land; an Israeli settlement on top of a hill diverting its sewage directly down onto Palestinian farmland below; The Wall; the checkpoints… and all the endless daily humiliations. I kept thinking, “Do Americans really condone this? Do they really think this is OK? Or do they just not know about it?”.
As for the Peace Process: Israel wants the Process but not the Peace. While ‘the process’ is going on the settlers continue grabbing land and building their settlements… and then when the Palestinians finally erupt with their pathetic fireworks they get hammered and shredded with state-of-the-art missiles and depleted uranium shells because Israel ‘has a right to defend itself’ ( whereas Palestine clearly doesn’t). And the settler militias are always happy to lend a fist or rip up someone’s olive grove while the army looks the other way.
Remember that the map is now 14 years out of date. And the reason ?" The two-state solution refers to a solution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict currently under discussion, which calls for "two states for two peoples." The two-state solution envisages an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River.
The framework of the solution is set out in UN resolutions on the "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine", going back to 1974. The resolution calls for "two States, Israel and Palestine ... side by side within secure and recognized borders" together with "a just resolution of the refugee question in conformity with UN resolution 194". The borders of the state of Palestine are "based on the pre-1967 borders". The latest resolution in November 2013 was passed 165 to 6, with 6 abstentions. The countries voting against were Canada, Israel, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau and the United States.
The Palestinians have "shown serious interest" in a two-state solution since the mid-1970s, and its mainstream leadership has embraced the concept since the 1982 Arab Summit in Fez.
Over the years, polls have consistently shown "respectable Israeli and Palestinian majorities in favor of a negotiated two-state settlement."
It will not happen. As Eno points out above " a whole village evicted and living in caves while three settler families moved onto their land "
By the way, most of them are not ethnic Israelis – they’re ‘right of return’ Jews from Russia and Ukraine and Moravia and South Africa and Brooklyn who came to Israel recently with the notion that they had an inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that ‘Arab’ equates with ‘vermin’ – straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It’s like sending money to the Klan.
Israel and America think of him as vermin:" The term describes farm pests which raid farms as opposed to infest farms—mainly predators such as... "
Israel are far worse than vermin they raid and infest.
As for giving the
Klan Israel tax money Eno is correct the only difference being that the Klan saw a value in property and didn't always kill.
But beyond this, what really troubles me is the bigger picture. Like it or not, in the eyes of most of the world, America represents ‘The West’. So it is The West that is seen as supporting this war, despite all our high-handed talk about morality and democracy. I fear that all the civilisational achievements of The Enlightenment and Western Culture are being discredited – to the great glee of the mad Mullahs – by this flagrant hypocrisy. The war has no moral justification that I can see - but it doesn’t even have any pragmatic value either. It doesn’t make Kissingerian ‘Realpolitik’ sense; it just makes us look bad.Actually I disagree. New Zealand under previous administrations has disassociated its self from the " West " I am sure we will again. The West needs to disassociate from America. If America wishes to remain a nation caught in the amber of the 20th century so be it. Empires fall when they become irrelevant, ask Britain.
I’m sorry to burden you all with this. I know you’re busy and in varying degrees allergic to politics, but this is beyond politics. It’s us squandering the civilisational capital that we’ve built over generations. None of the questions in this letter are rhetorical: I really don’t get it and I wish that I did.