by Justine McCabe
The Hartford Courant
To the Editor:
April 15th always brings the unpleasant reminder that an enormous chunk of my taxes will go to a grossly bloated defense budget. So, having just sent off my tax return again, I found it quite vexing to read David Lightman's description ("Lieberman Blasts US Pressure on Israel") of the new "moral" standard demanded by our morals monitor, Senator Joe Lieberman, with regard to US Mideast policy. If the Lieberman standard were to prevail with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it appears that even more of my hard-earned tax money would be spent by an American-armed, aid-dependent Israel to massacre more innocent Palestinian civilians, to demolish more of their homes and civil society, and to commit more violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
In fact, it is nothing but immorality that characterizes the views of US leaders like Senator Lieberman, who for over 35 years have overwhelmingly supported the very source of the current violence--an illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands. Such leaders have dared to corrupt our American values of fairness and justice by using our tax dollars--$3-5 billion annually--to institutionalize brutal Israeli control over 3.2 million Palestinians, their land and water. They have used our money to build illegal Jewish-only settlements in these Palestinian lands--settlements like Netzarim in Gaza where just 40 Jewish families live on confiscated land that has displaced 80,000 Palestinians and where there are more Israeli soldiers than there are settlers--all to the wasteful tune of $8 million dollars per year to provide such military protection for that one settlement.
If Senator Lieberman is sincere about wanting to point the way to the moral high ground in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, surely he knows that the passage is not through tanks and money to Israel. Rather, it can only be found through justice: ending the occupation.
Justine McCabe, PhD New Milford, CT
Justine McCabe is a Co-Chair of the Connecticut Green Party. The following includes two additional letters published by the Hartford Courant
Taking Issue With Lieberman's Mideast Stand April 18, 2002
I read with astonishment that our U.S. senator - and would-be president - Joseph I. Lieberman blasted President Bush for demanding Israeli Prime Minister Sharon pull back his troops [Page 1, April 15, "Lieberman: Blasts U.S. Policy On Israel"]. The European Union, the United Nations, Arab states and the great majority of people throughout the world support the American demand, while Connecticut's erstwhile representative calls for total support for the Israelis and sanctimoniously condemns his own government.
I find this shocking, though typical of our senator's wholehearted backing of Israel, putting Israel's interests before our own.
While passionately condemning the Palestinians and leading the call for another U.S. invasion of Iraq, Sen. Lieberman doesn't utter the least criticism of Israel or even of the accused war criminal now leading that country. Can anyone imagine President Lieberman mediating impartially in the Middle East?
The United States is certainly ready for a Jewish president, but that individual must also be able to function as a global leader. Unless we wish to become an appendage to Israeli foreign policy, our next president must not be this senator.
David L. Silk
At a time when Secretary of State Colin Powell tried to negotiate a very difficult and sensitive agreement of cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians, Sen. Lieberman, in his quest to become president in 2004, undermined the entire peace process by taking an extremist view.
Both Palestinians and Israelis have a right to exist and have a right to their own homeland. And neither side has a right to violence.
Though I did not vote for President Bush, I find Lieberman's rhetoric both simplistic and prejudiced. At this time, we need political leadership like that of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. We don't need that of narrow campaigners for their own ambitious ends.
This is not only a question of militant Jews vs. terrorist Arabs; this is a question of global survival, as the dangers of expanded war increase. Let diplomacy speak, not Lieberman's one-sided political views.