(As submitted to the Bangor Daily News)
Every day I look for letters from Maine Jews condemning Israel's genocidal bombing of trapped, starving Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children. The Israelis are even deliberately bombing schools and hospitals.
Such filthy, Nazi-like barbarism must surely be repulsive to many in Maine's Jewish communities, but I search in vain for a word from them.
I am so sickened by what the Israeli government has been doing since 1947 to the Palestinians, who have lived there for thousands of years, that I can scarcely bear to read or think about what's going on now. But we must speak out when we know something is wrong, or we lose our humanity.
No more free passes for Israel. No more "Oh, we Jews suffered so much during WWII," when we know that Jews were not the only ones to die terrible deaths in WWII. This does not justify ANY killing of neighbors to steal their land, water, and oil. About 70 million other people, mostly civilians, also died ghastly deaths in WWII, including many Christians who were sent to the gas chambers for helping Jews escape. Jewish lives are no more important than other people's. This Jewish martyrdom complex has been used to justify too many heinous acts.
Israel has caged in the Palestinians, cut off their food and electricity, smashed down people's houses, killed UN and other aid workers, built a wall separating farmers from their land, built illegal Jewish settlements in Palestinian lands, and now is attacking with white phosphorus (causes terrible burns), fully-armored troops, and USA-built bombs dropped from USA-supplied fighter jets.
The USA government gives Israel USA-taxpayer billions every year. I say not one penny more until they act like a civilized nation and stop killing their neighbors – who are their close relatives, after all - the Palestinians and other Arabs with whom they share that region.
Israel brags that they run our country, the USA, especially now that Barack Obama's right-hand man, Rahm Israel Emanuel, has dual Israeli-USA citizenship. Where do his loyalties lie?
If American Jews do not speak out against the slaughter of children in schools and in their beds, they are complicit with those acts. The Israeli government purports to act for world Jewry, so Jews have a special responsibility to condemn atrocities committed in their name.
And yet we wait for Maine Jews to speak out.
While not a Jew, I'm on an email list for Tikkun magazine, edited by Rabbi Michael Lerner, also a voice for Interfaith Spiritual Progressives, who has inveighed against this invasion and slaughter. That website is
I urge Maine Jews to read on that website, and the websites (listed on the Tikkun site) of Jewish peace groups in Israel. They're speaking out more openly than American Jews, who seem afraid to do so.
Read what these Jewish peace people are saying. Then say what you know to be true: that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is wrong, wrong, wrong, and deserves to be condemned. No more carnage in the name of World Jewry.
I believe American Jews should either speak out for what they know is wrong, or go to Israel and help slaughter babies. Genocide is not an acceptable way of dealing with a political problem. Israelis, of all people, should know that.
Not one more penny of American money until Israel stops the carnage, and negotiates in earnest for a just solution.
Nancy Oden lives in Jonesboro, a recent candidate for Governor in Maine.