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60 Minutes: Is Israel's free ride almost over?

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Last Sunday, "60 Minutes" ran a segment on Israel and Palestine, and for the most part they did a good job of covering some of the very real issues there. But according to segment host Bob Simon, "Demographers predict that within ten years Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Without a separate Palestinian state the Israelis would have three options, none of them good. They could try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank, or they could give the Palestinians the vote." What? Democracy is not a good option?

Although Simon struggled valiantly with presenting a fair view of the so-called "settler" situation on the West Bank, there were a couple of scenes on that subject that made me almost want to laugh. Instead of showing us footage of the thousands of modern (by American standards) condos that have been built on Palestine's West Bank so that we could get real-life glimpses into the lives of some of these so-called "settlers" as they hung out on their verandas, sipped coffee in their posh living rooms or watched their big-screen TVs, Simon showed us footage of some grubby woman in a headscarf as she wandered around on some rock pile out in the middle of nowhere, wielding a pickax.

This woman had obviously never seen a pickax before in her life. This woman appeared to be straight out of central casting.

But here's one possible scenario script that "60 Minutes" left out, taken from a description of an incident described to me by the head of an American NGO currently in Gaza:

Gaza woman: "I have ten children."

Israeli Defense Force soldier: "Pick out five of them to be shot."

Gaza woman: "I cannot do that."

IDF soldier: "If you don't, then I will." Soldier then picks out five children randomly and shoots them.

And here's another scene possibility, based on witness verification, that "60 Minutes" missed:

Gaza father: "Please! Do not shoot! I only want to retrieve the body of my daughter!"

[IDF soldier shoots at Gaza father, forcing him back.]

Gaza father: "Please! She is only four years old! Let me bury her! Please!

[This scene is repeated many times over the course of five days. IDF soldier then shoots at the child's brother and cousin as they try to retrieve the body, killing them both. Several times, dogs arrive and start chewing on the corpse of the four-year-old. And, in the next scene, IDF soldiers then release their own dogs to chew on the corpses of other dead civilians in Gaza.]

And who is paying for these horrific scenes, now on the cutting room floor? American taxpayers, of course.

American taxpayers, even as many of us are now losing our own homes in these economically-troubled times, are also paying for all those settlers' condos on Palestinian land, many of which are being used as vacation homes by Israeli-Americans who live in the U.S. for most of the year and only fly over to Israel occasionally to relax and enjoy their holiday homes on the scenic West Bank.

American taxpayers are also paying the Israeli Defense Force soldiers' salaries as they go kill children in Gaza. Perhaps the Israeli neo-con government sees this as a form of birth control?

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Stillwater is a freelance writer who hates injustice and corruption in any form but especially injustice and corruption paid for by American taxpayers. She has recently published a book entitled, "Bring Your Own Flak Jacket: Helpful Tips For Touring (more...)
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