A letter in the June 17 Tomahawk Leader:
Dear Letters to the Editor,
On May 19, an unarmed, 16-year-old Palestinian boy, Fihme Abdel Jawad Dardouk, was shot multiple times and killed by Israeli soldiers at the Huwara checkpoint in Nablus, which is part of Israeli-occupied Palestine. He was shot at close range while standing motionless with his arms in the air. This type of tragedy is not uncommon in Palestinian lands now occupied illegally by Israel. This is not just another unfortunate statistic of Middle East conflict. The boy was a relative of a Lincoln County family.
Although the Israeli soldiers claimed that Fihme had pipe bombs strapped to his body, multiple eye witnesses claim that was not true. Witnesses also reported that others trying to help the fallen boy, even paramedics at the checkpoint, were prevented from doing so by Israeli soldiers. They also reported that when those soldiers scanned the boy’s body for explosives, none were found.
The checkpoint was then cleared by soldiers using sound bombs and tear gas, and closed for several hours. No news media were allowed near the site of the murder. This barring of news coverage is contrary to Israeli practices when real events of bombs at checkpoints occur. The Israeli government normally brings in the media and uses a bomb incident as a public relations exercise.
Why should this concern you? Before you answer that question, please consider the following. It is likely that the weapons and ammunition that killed the boys were paid for by American tax dollars, as were the sound bombs and tear gas. And my quote of the amount of American aid in a previous Letter to the Editor was a gross underestimation. According to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, from 1949 to 1997 alone, the U.S. government has given over $133 billion, that’s with a B, to Israel. That’s more federal aid to the average Israeli citizen than to the average American citizen in a given year.
Make no mistake, I condemn anti-Semites and their hate crimes. But I will not sit silently while a corrupt U.S. government policy aids and promotes an illegal occupation in Palestine. The only ones benefiting from this horror are military contractors, and that is not the America I believe in.
Diana C. Smith