- Published on Sunday, 15 April 2012 15:54
By Mousa Alshanteer- PNN
Am I wrong when I say that Palestine isn't the only country living under occupation?
According to our government, the puppet to the AIPAC frontrunners, the United States should eliminate prior aid to the Palestinians as a result of their bid for statehood. The disciples of AIPAC, seated in the House of Representatives today, believe that the Palestinian people don't deserve allotted funding on the basis that they refuse negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. Are the Palestinians refusing to sit at the table with Israel or is it the other way around? According to Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian president), "Israel refuses to hold serious talks that would commit it to halting settlements within the 1967 borders." Well of course they would. How could Israel allow its influence to evaporate from the newly represented state of Palestine? The fear of Palestine becoming an independent state would grow rampant had not these settlements been established. In order to eliminate violence at the hands of the Israelis, "the Palestinians should think twice, reverse course and get back to the negotiating table where Prime Minister Netanyahu awaits them." That's the opinion of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, who supports the decision to cut funding to the Palestinian authority. Congresswoman Lowey would most likely agree with this point of view. According to Ms. Lowey, the "Palestinians have not been forced into this position, and the circumstances are not beyond their control". Yes, because the Palestinians have control over the repeated construction of illegal settlements within their borders, the murder of hundreds of their own children, and the checkpoints which forbid them from entering their own homeland. That's completely understandable, because it's supposedly wrong for Palestinians to protest against the inhumanities and the illegal occupation of their own land.
According to our government, we should eliminate the measly 500 million dollars that we provide Palestine on an annual basis as a result of their bid for statehood. Yes. Going against the occupier is wrong, but it was understandable during the British occupation of the Americas during the 1700s. The U.S. government doesn't realize that it has contradicted itself on many occasions. Has our government ever threatened to eliminate the extensive 3.5 billion that we allocate toward Israel annually? No. It will surprise many Americans to find out that nearly 1 cent on every taxable dollar goes toward the illegal and inhumane occupation of the West Bank.
Based on government policies, it's comprehensible to go against the Palestinians as a result of their bid for statehood and still support Israel in light of their rejection of US requests to ease the Gaza blockade, prevent violence at the hands of Israeli citizens, and to halt the construction of illegal settlements. Yet, we have never threatened to cut funding to Israel's government, nor have we ever included Israel in any budget cut propositions!
As a matter of fact, Netanyahu's stubbornness is the reason behind Abbas' bid for Palestinian statehood. Who is behind the proposed cut to Palestinian foreign aid? The answer is quite simply the one lobbying group that breathes down the necks of and stares directly in the eyes of US policy makers. AIPAC.
In the eyes of the AIPAC delegates, the Palestinians aren't a people; therefore, they don't have rights, nor do they deserve self-determination in their own land, occupied illegally by the Israelis for decades. It's not surprising that these are the people who control our country's foreign policy issues. The way our legislator operates, re-election campaign finances are the chief concern for policy makers, and what better way to raise millions of dollars for your campaign than to support Israel, disregard the Palestinians, and thereby gain the support of AIPAC. This conflict, according to our president and congress, is merely a means of winning the next election.
That is why Palestine isn't the only country occupied by Israel. Sadly enough, America is as well.
Mousa Alshanteer is a Palestinian-American teenager who advocates for the Palestinian cause. He is a senior at High Point Central School in High Point, North Carolina and is a bi-weekly columnist for the Palestine News Network.