Letter: Why Sanders should go to Gaza

Editor of the Reformer:

Thanks go to Sen. Bernie Sanders for humane comments about policy and responsibility regarding atrocities unfolding against Gazan Palestinians. As I am sure he is aware, the Gazans plan to march out of their concentration camp on Tuesday, May 15. They have indicated unwillingness to negotiate this date. I am extremely concerned about the Israeli response. This could be a lethal spark in the Middle East tinder. The past and current Israeli/Gazan relations are already so untenable; any new mass killing of Gazans would likely prompt West Bank violence and more from Hezbollah in Lebanon. Worse, Israel may reiterate its hostile actions toward Iran in Syria, igniting a wider conflict or even world war. Iran might even attack opportunistically without direct antagonism since Israel's apparent purposeful attack on Base T-4 in Syria killed several Iranians, and Iran has promised retaliation. This could be very bad for Israel.

Fifty-one percent of Gaza's population are children under 18, and as casualties could not be considered collateral damage. Given everything together, intentionality and premeditation may be hard to deny, and the definition of evil could be fulfilled. Israel seems to be walking a plank open-eyed into a nasty, roiling sea, and one can only wonder if they understand their own peril. Or is there no decency to waken in them? They seem poised to force the world to decide.

Last but not least, since the IDF tend to be very young while conducting profoundly influential operations without the leadership of mature sergeants, they are often not well disciplined, and have in the past done stupid macho things like machine gunning innocent Palestinians who are just putting their wash out. So I'm asking the Senator to drop everything and travel to Gaza, as the Gazans have requested, to give his light and hope, to bring mainstream media attention to the situation despite the counterinfluence of the Israeli lobby. And would it be possible to bring a friend, perhaps one of Senators Collins or Grassley?

Given the resurgence of Evangelical influence, perhaps the presence of a Republican colleague could bring bipartisanship to the venture, in light of the benefit to Israel of preventing what could be a suicidal gesture on their own part. You are a hero in the Gaza Strip, Senator Sanders, and if you would do this, you'd be mine too.

Wat Stearns

West Brattleboro, May 7


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