Monday, October 26, 2009

Retired CIA Analysts Bill and Kathleen Christison talk BDS, Military Aid with Jeff Gore on Counterpunch

Check out a thoughtful interview with retired CIA analysts Bill and Kathleen Christison by Jeff Gore of Counterpunch: The Christison's comment on the connections between working to cut off U.S. military aid and the growing movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions directed against Israeli occupation and apartheid, and respond to the question of whether such actions "target innocents":
"Does it harm innocent Israelis to cut off or cut back U.S. aid to Israel—which would be the ultimate sanction? Under a long-term ten-year agreement, the U.S. gives, not lends, Israel $3 billion of military aid every year—in cash, at the beginning of each fiscal year—plus additional increments of economic aid and loan guarantees on a year-by-year basis. Aid of this magnitude and given under these terms obviously greatly helps the Israeli economy. It also gives Israel virtually total impunity to commit whatever atrocities it wants against the Palestinians without fear that the U.S. will cut it off. So if we’re worried about harming individual Israelis, we have to worry about the guy in an electronics shop who is harmed economically because he no longer gets the subcontract for some airplane or tank part, but we also have to worry about the innocent Palestinians—the literally millions of innocent Palestinians—in Gaza particularly, but elsewhere as well, who are being killed by those airplanes and tanks and other military equipment that Israel uses with the impunity granted it by the U.S. If blind justice weighs these two groups of innocents and the harm done to them on her scales, we believe she would conclude that the “innocent” Israeli is after all not so innocent. Although it may be clearer how the scales should balance when we’re talking about military aid, the same factors must be weighed when we deal with boycotts of non-military products and academic and cultural boycotts, and we think the same conclusions must be reached: ending Palestinian suffering at Israel’s hands is a more worthy, more just objective than saving the economic hide or the jobs of any Israelis....We Americans are just as responsible for the killing and atrocities visited by U.S. forces on Iraqi and Afghan civilians and in past eras on civilians in places like Vietnam, and we would not claim that sanctions against the U.S. were unfair, even if these caused us to suffer personally. Perhaps this should be the criterion: that innocence lies in greater measure with the people being oppressed and bombed and occupied, and we must be more concerned with ending harm to them than with causing incidental harm to individuals in the oppressor-occupier nation."
You can read the full article here. Agree with the Christisons? Join the largest coalition of organizations and individuals working to end U.S. military aid to Israel and promoting boycott and divestment against companies profiting from Israeli occupation and apartheid. Get involved with the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation today!