Hamas’ slaughter of Israeli civilians is as reprehensible as Israel’s killings of Palestinians over the last 75 years, and are all war killings.

Palestinians rescue a young girl from the rubble of a destroyed residential building in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike Tuesday. Fatima Shbair/Associated Press

That said, the Maine congressional delegation response to the Hamas attack on Israel is disappointing, as is President Biden’s embrace of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s scorched earth retribution, as usual ignoring Israel’s criminal history; forcible, murderous theft of nearly half of Palestine; land and water thefts; home demolitions; licensed continuing killings (including the recent assassination of an American journalist); arbitrary imprisonments; denials of travel; proliferating settlements now occupied by violent thugs, and endless harassment.

Rep. Chellie Pingree notes that the attack was “unprovoked.” I suspect that most Americans would find provoking 17 to 18 years of a short-of-starvation illegal and inhuman embargo that Israel imposed after Hamas, which better served Gazans, won an election commanded by Israel and the U.S. and blocks medicines and construction materials as well as food and travel. U.S. mass media largely ignore this provocation as they do Israel’s periodic “mowing the lawn” aerial bombardments in Gaza to remind Gazans of their Zionist-appointed subservience.

Nor do any of Maine’s delegation part from common Washington manners by mentioning that Israel was born of a small group of European Jews, who, following the wrongful persecution of Alfred Dreyfus and further pogroms, determined to have a Jewish state in Palestine by forcibly removing its Palestinian population (justice, the victims’ human dignity and international law be damned). In the World War I Balfour Declaration, Britain presumptuously promised a Jewish homeland in Palestine to reduce Jewish immigration and win American Jewish support for U.S. entry in that war and encouraged Jewish immigration to Palestine before World War II.

Now we finance Zionist racism with arms and billions of dollars annually and afford U.N. vetoes to give endless Israeli violence against Palestinians impunity. Sen. Susan Collins mouths Zionist propaganda in California; Sen. Angus King ignores all of this history for the saw that the Palestinians lack negotiating leadership and Hamas rockets are terrorism. President Biden recognizes Catholic social teaching but consistently embraces Israeli racism and now rushes more bombs with which Israel can wreak limitless revenge for Hamas’ presumptuous exercise of an occupied people’s right, under international law, to forcibly oppose their occupation. Simple justice and Israel’s lack of negotiating leadership and its terrorism are unrecognized.

Instead, Biden gives a green light to Netanyahu’s genocide in Gaza.

Oh, for a voice on high to cry out to stop abetting the denial of Palestinians’ human dignity. They may not be Black, but their lives matter, too.

I do not speak in righteousness. I awoke to this licensed injustice only after the second intifada, when Ed McCarthy and I founded what is now Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights.

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