US, (Pal Telegraph)–Tick, tick, tick go the sounds of the clock or that of, at least in movies, a bomb getting ready to explode. The sounds we hear though are not of a wall clock or a Hollywood bomb, but those of discontent. Discontented people and a contented elite are definitely the ingredients needed to generate some sparks, but what will it take to cause an explosion to rival any 4th of July fireworks display? Are the death, destruction, genocide and torture of others paid by American taxpayer dollars and an unresponsive US government beholden to Israel and her policies of apartheid not enough?
The US government and its elected officials refuse to cut the funding that pays for the death, destruction and genocide of Palestinians. They provide American taxpayer revenues to Israel so that it can injure, kill and maim women and children, from the old and young to those in sicknesses and in health. US representatives vote and veto consistently at the UN to defend their rightful masters, while passing legislation at home to enslave the American people. While the people have petitioned and protested demanding change, none has occurred. The walls of government may be thick but breached they can be, especially if the foundation upon which they are built is taken away.
Perhaps we, the American people, should divest from the system and refuse to pay taxes. For Americans that recall their history books, ringing loud and clear should be the oft-remembered and admired phrase, and found today on many of the car license plates of the Washington DC native, “Let there be no taxation without representation.” Yet “there is representation in the US,” a voice whispers, but then meekly asks, “Is there not?” There is representation in Washington but it, as alluded to, does not necessarily reflect or represent the people.
Polls consistently across the US have indicated a desire for the government to play a more neutral rather than its pro-Israeli role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Even more voices have joined the public fora questioning the so-called special relationship that exists between Israel and the US. An unchecked so-called special relationship has resulted in government officials paying homage thereto rather than to the people.
Many will recall one-fifth of the US Congress was on a free trip in August, which was sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, an organization that is part of the American-Israeli lobby. During those visits, officials hear and are spoon fed the Israeli narrative, with none of course trekking over to learn of and experience the conditions lived by the Palestinians. They of course will not cross over into Gaza to see the burn scares of those who survived the use of White Phosphorous or hear of those who lost their children with the weapons they funded and provided.
Officials of course will be sure vote to continue providing foreign aid to Israel, as they slash US domestic programs and services for the young and old. The many ensconced in the US governance system have already made sure to reify their allegiance by condemning the upcoming UN vote for Palestinian statehood. Presidential candidates have in the past and will continue to deliver an address before AIPAC, especially as the election campaign gets underway. They of course know their allegiance means money in the electoral coffers. The sums needed for a campaign are far beyond what any ordinary man or woman could afford. The ordinary individual is struggling quite a bit at present in these hard economic times.
Perhaps if we divest from the system by refusing to vote, then there will be change. Can there be legitimacy if the majority refuses to participate in a farce of an election? Does not your vote or participation therein legitimize his or her paying homage to Israel rather that to you? It does because those elected are not of, and are definitely not for, the people. Very few US congressional figures have dared to speak out against US policy toward Israel. They of course did not last long in office. Therefore, those in office that are truly of and for the people should resign, as to stay within is to be complicit in the injury, murder, and torture of others at home and abroad.
A government not responsive to is not capable of representing the people. Rising voices of the voiceless are dismissed as naive at times, and outright ignored a majority of the time. This is in part because those in office only seek to hear that which is music to their ears and will place money in their pockets. It is also in part because for far too long the people have allowed their voice not to matter and let their actions be thwarted by failing to find ways to unite the camps of the far right and left.
For my leftists, I ask you to ponder something philosophical. Marx and others argued that religion was the opiate of the masses. It was so because of diverting the attention of the people and preventing them from realizing the system of exploitation and oppression they were therein living. They were unable to develop the collective consciousness needed to rise up and break the bonds of servitude. Religion, therefore, maintained or prolonged the slave-master relationship, a colonial and feudal system that kept the few reigning over the majority. What I ask, therefore, is whether it was really religion that shackled both the individual and collective?
Could it be that religion was then, at that time, nothing more than a protective bubble? A bubble allowed people to retreat into something where there was solace. It protected them from the reality that surrounded their lives and made the Earth no longer seem so wretched. If this is so, then was religion for them not sort of the way people today use alcohol, computer games, dancing, drugs, and other activities? Are they too not attempting to escape the realities and sufferings of humanity in this world?
People seek protective bubbles because of believing and feeling they have no say or means to affect change. How many of have turned off the television or stopped reading the paper because they just do not want to deal with that which is presented? Too many say they have their own hardships to worry over than to deal with those faced by others. Missing though is the realization that we all share those same struggles and experience the same types of heartaches. Granted there are not many willing to be the first to take a stand, to risk public suicide, to be charged with sedition or terrorism, and to be tortured and thrown in prison, but recall that invisible hand. Individual action working in tandem, collectively, even if anonymously, will end misery.
As history demonstrates, there are more people willing to give their lives and freedom for a cause when there is guidance. It, however, does not take one person or group to lead. Rather, it merely takes the people believing that they are and can be the change sought in the world in which they live. It is the people working together, leaderless or anonymously, that will provide the protection that many need not to fear engaging in civil disobedience.
For my rightist, you reject the left because of their position on religion and their calls for a so-called utopia wherein all can live both equally and freely. However, I ask you to ponder something philosophical as well. Does not religion, irrespective of which one adheres, teach us that before Allah (God), all of humanity is one and equal before the eyes of the creator? Does not our faith teach us to strive for an end to injustice, oppression, suppression and repression? The utopias are not so different from one another when you take away the propaganda used to divide the people into camps to support one’s base.
For those on the far right, the left, and all those sitting somewhere in between, our ends are really the same. We seek justice to prevail over injustice and an end to a culture of impunity that pervades the system. That which we have now and those elected do not actually listen to, represent or comprise those that are of the people. The walls must crumble and be rebuilt with a glue that ensures allegiance is to the people and not of Israel.
Many people fear the repercussions for what may happen should they decide to engage in civil disobedience. First, if you fear what may happen, then it is a clear sign the system in which you are living neither promotes nor is concerned with your freedom. Second, look around the streets in which you are living. How many have already lost their businesses, homes and jobs and how many more are on the verge of losing all they have; and, what of our children in high school and colleges or those serving in the military? There will be no jobs for them and no money for education (in spite of what the recruitment officer in armed services promises upon their return).
The fault is neither with the right nor left, nor this or that president. Everyone to a certain extent is to blame for the mess, and demonizing the other will not fix the problem. Minus the rhetoric and propaganda put forward by the right and left to demonize their brother or sister in the opposing camp, the calls and solutions put forward are similar. The far right calls for less government and the left for the right of a people’s government. Does not a communitarian political model, wherein sovereign localities govern themselves, provide the meeting ground in terms of what the system should be at the end? Therefore, divide not our base but unite.
We cannot unite within the system, however. Demonstrated by the many that have run for political office is the inability to change it and its problems from within. Participating therein ensures corruption before there is even a spark to ignite change. Let us together be the spark that ignites the change, working from the bottom-up and outside-in.
American dissent has been brewing for quite sometime, but never to the point of boiling. It is reaching, however, the pots edge. Listen closely, for you will be able to hear the low whistle and feel the breeze blowing in from the seas. As the calls become louder and the force stronger, the chorus of “Washington is coming” will ring across the land. Do not fear, don your scarlet letters, and be the change that neither a US president nor a US congressional representative can be. Let us be a united people.
More often than not, policies proposed and implemented are designed to ensure there are divisions among society. For division entails a home ruled by a master over a slave. A slave is unable to develop an awareness of the system of exploitation and oppression not because of religion, or the lack thereof. Rather, one is not able to develop awareness because the logic of the system, the multiple components thereof, serve as and have mechanisms in place to ensure there many types of opiates for the people to consume. The promise of tomorrow and that which we give to our children can only come about by looking at the root cause, which is an unresponsive system run by elite, unrepresentative of the people.
As the campaigns of protest and the rise of unrest in the US kick off this month and, hopefully, gain in strength throughout the remainder of the year and into next, one wonders where US government officials will be and with whom they will stand. How many officials go before the halls of AIPAC and dig into the bowls of those therewith associated for campaign contributions? These will be sure signs, symbolizing where they stand in relation to the people and determining the latter’s next course of action. A leader and government are nothing without the people; and, a people are the movement. One for all and all for one; we are all anonymous.
Rachael M. Rudolph is head of International Relations for Facilitate Global. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.