Terese moaned when she read about the violations since the cease-fire agreement of February 8. “Christ, have mercy! Seventy-five Palestinians, including seventeen innocent children, and fourteen Israelis, including two innocent children, have been murdered. Two thousand Palestinians have been arrested; there have been 2,306 checkpoints imposed, and 8,700 acres of Palestinian land has been confiscated by the Israeli government! And how can these settlers sleep at night, after attacking Palestinians 394 times since the cease-fire agreement? I feel bad about these screwed-up settlers, but they are a cult that has been allowed to get out of control. The Israeli government enticed and encouraged them to settle in illegal land, and this is what it has come to! And yet, the illegal settlements continue!
“And, what a farce the so-called disengagement in Gaza was. The Israeli government still controls all access to Gaza by land, sea, and air. Bargouthi documented that only 25 of over 150 settlements will be dismantled, and only 8,475 of over 436,000 settlers [less than 2 percent of settlers] have been evacuated. Meanwhile, in the past year, 12,800 new settlers have moved into the West Bank--50 percent more settlers than were evacuated.”
“This is no withdrawal, this is BS! Until Palestinians have control of Gaza’s borders and a guaranteed passage between Gaza and the West Bank, it is not a withdrawal; it’s just BS propaganda! And Gaza is less than 6 percent of the occupied territories, and that leaves 94 percent of Palestinian territories under the boot of the IDF. The corruption in the PA government and hot tempers from those under occupation are a powder keg that’s getting ready to blow! What’s it going to take to wake the world up to the fact that most of our problems with radical Islamist fundamentalist militants leads us back to the conflict in Israel and Palestine?
"All roads do indeed lead to Jerusalem. What’s it going to take before the International community gets it together and insists, in unity, upon the upholding of international law as the rule we all live by? And that includes Israel and America, too, for both ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I wonder, what’s the point of signing on, but then not doing it?
“What’s it going to take to wake up the legions of blind U.S. Christian Zionists to their indifference to the misery of their sisters and brothers in Israel and Palestine? Their blind allegiance to the Israeli government has allowed our best friend in the world to become a big bully. What’s it going to take to break through the ignorance that hard-earned U.S. tax dollars are being used to continue the occupation and apartheid wall?”
Jack slammed the U-Haul’s gate down as he told Maureen, “This is the fourth year since Julianne was vaporized on Floor 101 of the North Twin Tower, and it took that misery in the Delta to get me to finally part with her belongings and much more. If you would have told me two weeks ago that I would be driving a filled-to-the-max twenty-four-foot U-Haul down to refugees in Mississippi on the anniversary date of Julianne’s demise, I would not have been able to even imagine it. But, if I don’t do something to help somehow, I will go nuts, or I will fall off the wagon one more time.
“Here we are, two weeks later, and many Gulfport residents still have not seen FEMA! I hope and pray that this misery in the Delta will wake up America to the fact that abject poverty surrounds our cocoons of consumerism and self-absorbed lives. We all need to do something to help those among us who had so little and now have nothing at all.
“Mo! I know what we can do; we can build Habitat for Humanity housing within the gates of South Hampton and Beverly Hills--you know, resettle the refugees equitably, let every state take some in--and let’s build them housing in the best school districts! That could very well break the poverty cycle; what do you think, Mo?”
Maureen smirked and fought back tears as she hugged Jack and spoke. “Brother, I know you are nuts! But, in “Over the Teacups,” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote: ‘There never was an idea stated that woke men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.’ So, Jack, your kind of nuts is good. Out of a town of seventeen thousand, only you thought to contact all the churches around and announce you would drive down donations of food, water, and toiletries to help American refugees on the anniversary of your own misery.”“Watching those images and being powerless to help was excruciating. It also forced me to finally part with some things I needed to let go. Mo, not much matters when one’s heart is broken and soul has been torn, but I have learned that I must do something, or else...”