Remember These Children Mr. President – OpEd


By Clive Hambidge

Happy Christmas Mr President or may I call you Barack this Yule Tide? As you know ‘Christmas is the day that holds all time together’ (Alexander Smith) certainly as you rustle through your Christmas stocking and wrestle with your conscience perhaps to find as you dig deep in both and  past ‘hegemonic imperatives’ an  olive twig or a so-called ‘peace process’? Perhaps not. But as you dig, can you hear the whispers?  No. They are not the whispers from the Presidents of Christmas past, we will come to them; no? You are not listening attentively Mr President; that’s because you’ve been genuflecting on the Christmas message of that other great statesman Prime Minister Netanyahu, “we are living in a time of great uncertainty and instability in the Middle East and Israel, throughout this instability, remains a beacon of religious freedom and pluralism.” Wow. On what rock is Israel built and how Netanyahu bestrides it as America holds it, for “As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser” (Plato). And which is which?

No Mr President the whispers are coming from the stones of Palestine and Israel and they do “cry out” for past Presidents have remained quiet behind lofty rhetoric and where are they now? “It was [is] the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”(Dickens). You’re a “keen student of history” Mr President what about the human condition and the children lost to a sordid history created by Israel and paid for by American tax dollars? Below are some of their names, the stone told me to tell you their names. God Bless you and God Bless America.  Which way are you going?

Remember these Children Mr President:

• “Yael Ohana, 11, of Hamra settlement, killed by Palestinian gunfire while in her home. 6 February 2002.”
• “Fadi Tayseer al-Azazi, 16, of Rafaha, Gaza, killed by IDF shelling to his chest. 6 February 2002.”
• “Total Israeli Deaths since September 2002 125” children
• “Total Palestinian Deaths since September 2002” 1470 children

The Stoned

The American stone cast, that gave rise to the ripples that became the waves that is the American Israeli tsunami that engulfs Palestine today, was even in the beginning unusually dense, in the sense obtuse. Quarried and romanced in the USA this stone was to be formed, scuffed then ruthlessly scored by matchless Zionist discontent and ambition, tossed, retrieved, polished and tossed again by successive American Presidents into the same murky American Zionist Israeli foreign policy sea. The rising waves, Israeli aggression and ambition, supported by Zionist America and Presidential weakness, merciless waves beating against the blameless lives of countless Palestinian children past and present and their valiant resistance through the lengthening shadows and dark hours of a brutal occupation as the international community crept decade after supine decade to rectify this grave and ongoing crime against humanity with all the energy of a sloth on diazepam.

American Presidential rhetoric the becoming edict that led to endless Israeli  atrocities   “unlawful Israeli behaviour [supported by US Aid] that start[ed] out as “facts” have over time been transformed into “conditions”, or in the words of the American Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, “subsequent developments” that are treated [unlawfully] as essentially irreversible.” Moreover, “USAID and American taxpayers [are] financing, and thereby further entrenching, the Israeli de facto annexation of the West Bank.” (Richard Falk, UNHRC, 16th Session, Agenda Item 7, A/HRC/16/72, 10 January 2011), and the ruinous blockade and the deaths of Palestinian children.

For these two states America and Israel have been / are up to no good; are, in this criminality together, up to their necks “because everything that Israel does is  done up to the limits that the United States supports and authorizes. So it’s U.S. Israeli atrocities.” (Noam Chomsky, Power And Terror). America and Israel justifying, “represent[ing] the institutionalization of a system of power in which justice is inoperative and its perversion hidden in clouds of rhetoric and obfuscation.” and where, “The rule of law implicitly applies only to others.” (Edward S. Herman and David Peterson)

Successive American and Israeli Administrations, each, an apostate to the other: “See!” he said to all the people “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.” Joshua 24:27.

All the Presidents Then

President John Adams, his mind high on effulgent heroic, saw conquest, envisioning Mordeca Manue Noah in 1819 “Marching with them [the Israelites] into Judea & making a conquest of that country & restoring your nation to the Dominion of it”. An “independent nation” thought John Quincy Adams, because, they deserved declared Abraham Lincoln a “leg up”. All saw the stone that would be a rock and declared it an American good. And the die and the dying in the stone were cast. Time then, wrapped around the stone, ran through it, became beloved in an American Hegemonic Zionist dream warping space and time, imprisoning Palestinians in a boxed ‘continuum’. An American red hot wax seal legitimising the continuum making it ‘official’ in 1948 as the Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the stealing bit by bit of ‘Mandated Palestine’ had begun and in ferocious fashion. The Israeli aggression rewarded with a hundred thousand US dollars in 1949 and Israel’s aggression rewarded with billions of dollars in 2011.

The Children of Palestine in 1948 were standing in an American Israeli wind tunnel they are standing in it today. And as we come back from the future and indeed as we move from the past to the present, we see the pernicious results of successive Presidential and illegal leg ups the art of hubris and a continuum of failure. Here then an American Presidential Israeli nightmare and the subtitles of the Palestinian river of suffering that runs through it:

• “14th November 2011, Israeli aircraft attacked a small naval post building in North Gaza district. As a result, one police officer was killed and ten persons were injured, including one woman and six police officers.”
• “In 2009 in North Gaza, Gaza, Dair El Balah, Khan Younis, and Rafah, 1061 Palestinians lost there lives to Israeli aggression. In the Gaza strip in that same year, 323 children and 104 women were killed by the occupying forces.”

Remember this Child Mr President:

• “Basel Muhammad Nafe abu-Edwan, 14 killed by an unexploded IDF ordinance while he and his brother were herding sheep near their home.” Died 27th January 2011.

The stone was picked up and skimmed across the surface of the brimming Zionist sea by the deft wrist of Woodrow Wilson 3rd of March 1919 in reaction to the Balfour Declaration, the text of which was presented to him for approval before publication, “The allied nations with fullest concurrence of our government and people are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish commonwealth.” Then President Warren G. Harding grabbed the stone from the Zionist air stating “the Hebrew people restored to their historic national home,” would enter a “new and yet greater phase of their contribution to the advance of humanity.”

• “Number of houses demolished in Gaza strip, since the beginning of the intifada until the end 2009.  North Gaza, houses 5399, residents, 54900. Gaza houses, 7060, residents,73149. Dair El Balah, houses 1004, residents, 8925.  Khan Younis, houses, 1596, residents, 12247.  Rafah, houses, 3774, residents, 32284.  Total houses 18833, Total residents, 181505.”
• “The number of damaged water wells.  North Gaza, 120.   Gaza, 154.  Dair El Balah, 62.  Khan Younis, 23.  Rafah, 14. Total, 373.”
• “2008 Women and children killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.  Children, 107, women, 23.”

Remember this child Mr President:

• “Shiran Ismail Abdullah abu-Shawareb 11, of Nuserat refugee camp, Gaza died of heart problems at Nasr paediatric Hospital in Gaza, which lacked necessary equipment, after Israel denied her entry for medical treatment. Doctors had requested transfer to an Israeli hospital on Dec. 27 [2010] On Jan. 10, believing permission for a transfer had been granted, Shiran’s father took her to the Erez checkpoint where Israel again denied her entry.” Died 15th January 2008

The stone retrieved by Coolidge was polished with expressed “sympathy with the deep and intense longing which finds such fine expression in the Jewish National Homeland in Palestine.” then caressed in short sighted rhetoric by President Hoover who as other Presidents before and after him couldn’t see around histories sharp corner or dint want to saying  1932, “I am interested to learn that a group of distinguished men and women is to be formed to spread knowledge and appreciation of the rehabilitation which is going forward in Palestine under Jewish auspices.”

• “Number of damaged industrial establishments by IOF’s, in 2006 19, 2005 7, 2004 86, 2003 77.”
• “Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza strip; 2006 531, 2005 99, 2004 646, 2003 398.”
• “Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza strip (women, children) 2006 children 115, women 34, 2005 children 32, women 1, 2004 children 156, women 10, 2003 children 81, women 17.”

Remember this child Mr President:

• “Muhammad Jaber hassan Adila Said, 15, of osreen, near Nablus, killed by IDF gunfire to his chest.” January 2004.

Franklin Roosevelt viewed the stone empathetically, could feel its vital pulse, perhaps he had a pet name for the stone perhaps it was ineluctable? Or was it inexorable he had in mind as he sat to write to Senator Tydings on October 19, 1938 as The Nakba loomed. “I have on numerous occasions, as you know, expressed my sympathy in the establishment of a National Home for the Jews in Palestine and, despite the set backs caused by the disorders there during the last few years, I have been heartened by the progress which has been made and by remarkable accomplishments of the Jewish settlers in that country.”

• “Number of Palestinians killed by Israel occupying forces in the Gaza Strip, 2003 North Gaza 89, Gaza 118, Dair El Balah 75, Khan Younis 42, Rafah 72.”
• “Palestinians killed by Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza strip (women children) 2002 children 94, women 25, 2001 children 69, women 4, 2000 children 38 women 0.”

Remember this child Mr President

• “Muhammad Jamal Muhammad al-Durrah, 12 of Burejj refugee camp, Gaza, killed by IDF gunfire to his chest as his father tried to protect him during a demonstration at Netzarim Junction.”

Then shining with Zionist zeal, it was to morph into a rock in 1948 enfolded in to Israel’s emboldened clenched fist, and as the British looked the other way, smashed Palestine leaving Palestinians between it and a hard place, supported by intellectuals with nothing in their heads but the propaganda they were fed, and a Presidential endorsement. Eleven minutes after Israel’s proclamation of independence President Harry Truman declared, “I had faith in Israel before it was established; I have faith in it now.” He further said in 1952 “I believe it has a glorious future before it- not just another sovereign nation, but an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

• “The majority of these [Palestinian] children were killed and injured while going about normal daily activities, such as going to school, playing, shopping, or simply being in their homes. Sixty-four percent of children killed during the first six months of 2003 died as a result of Israeli air and ground attacks, or from indiscriminate fire from Israeli soldiers”.(Catherine Cook)

Remember these children Mr President:

• “Ophir Rahum, 16, of Ashkelon, killed by Palestinian gunfire in al-Birah after being led to believe he was meeting an internet acquaintance, 17th January 2001.”
• “Omar Farouq Khaled 11,of al-Bireh, died of head wounds sustained Jan.7 2001 from IDF gunfire during a demonstration.”

And after 1948, a Presidential stream of consciousness compounding the problem for Palestine with unquestioning and ever increasing aid for Israel’s gluttony, her voracious appetite to oppress and appropriate, and kill those who would thwart her:

Eisenhower: “our forces saved the remnant of the Jewish People of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn Israel. Kennedy: “Israel was not created to disappear- Israel will endure and flourish.” Nixon: “The United States stands by its friends. Israel is one of its friends Peace can be based only on agreement between parties and agreement can only be achieved only through negotiations between them. The United States will not impose the terms of peace. [But] The United States is prepared to supply military equipment necessary to support the efforts of friendly governments, like Israel’s to defend the safety of their people.”  Carter: “a few days ago in a conversation with about 30 members of the House of Representatives, I said that I would rather commit suicide than hurt Israel.” President Regan: Israel exists; it has a right to exist in peace behind secure and defensible borders; and it has a right to demand of its neighbours that they recognize those facts.” Bush Sr: “The friendship, the alliance between the United States and Israel is strong and solid, built upon a foundation of shared democratic values.” Clinton: “The United States admires Israel for all that it has overcome and for all it has accomplished.” And President George W. Bush: “Israel is a small country that has lived under threat throughout its existence. At the first meeting of my National Security Council, I told them a top foreign policy priority is the safety and security of Israel.”

Remember this child Mr President:

• “Sara Abdul-Azim Abdul-Haq Hasan, 18 months, of Sarah, near Salfit, killed by Israeli settler gunfire to her head while riding with her father in a car. 1st October 2000.”

And last but not the least short sighted lacking historical memory, also will  as did the others President Barack Hussein Obama: “The American people and the Israeli peoples share a faith in the future and believe that democracies can shape their own destinies and that opportunities should be available to all. Throughout its own extraordinary history, Israel has given life to that promise.”

Remember this child Mr President:

• “Haitham Ahmad Mustafa Maruf, 13 of Beit Lahiya, Gaza, died in Shifa Hospital, Gaza, of wounds sustained from an IDF drone attack while working on his family farm 29 August 2011.”

(Click here to read a sourced version of this article.)

– Clive Hambidge is Human Development Director at Facilitate Global. Contact him at: [email protected]. (This article was contributed to

Palestine Chronicle

The Palestine Chronicle publishes news and commentary related to the Middle East Peace Conflict.

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