How Much Longer?
by Eduardo Galeano
Friday, July 28, 2006 -- (IPS) -- One country bombed two countries. Such impunity might astound, were it not business as usual. In response to the few timid protests from the international community, Israel said mistakes were made.
How much longer will horrors be called mistakes?
This slaughter of civilians began with the kidnapping of a soldier.
How much longer will the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier be allowed to justify the kidnapping of Palestinian sovereignty?
How much longer will the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers be allowed to justify the kidnapping of the entire nation of Lebanon?
For centuries the slaughter of Jews was the favorite sport of Europeans. Auschwitz was the natural culmination of an ancient river of terror, which had flowed across all of Europe.
How much longer will Palestinians and other Arabs be made to pay for crimes they didn't commit?
Hezbollah didn't exist when Israel razed Lebanon in earlier invasions.
How much longer will we continue to believe the story of this attacked attacker, which practices terrorism because it has the right to defend itself from terrorism?
Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon: How much longer will Israel and the United States be allowed to exterminate countries with impunity?
The tortures of Abu Ghraib, which triggered a certain universal sickness, are nothing new to us in Latin America. Our militaries learned their interrogation techniques from the School of the Americas, which may no longer exist in name but lives on in effect.
How much longer will we continue to accept that torture can be legitimized?
Israel has ignored forty-six resolutions of the General Assembly and other U.N. bodies.
How much longer will Israel enjoy the privilege of selective deafness?
The United Nations makes recommendations but never decisions. When it does decide, the United States makes sure the decision is blocked. In the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. has vetoed forty resolutions* condemning actions of Israel.
How much longer will the United Nations act as if it were just another name for the United States?
Since the Palestinians had their homes confiscated and their land taken from them, much blood has flowed.
How much longer will blood flow so that force can justify what law denies?
History is repeated day after day, year after year, and ten Arabs die for every one Israeli. How much longer will an Israeli life be measured as worth ten Arab lives?
In proportion to the overall population, the 50,000 civilians killed in Iraq -- the majority of them women and children -- are the equivalent of 800,000 Americans.
How much longer will we continue to accept, as if customary, the killing of Iraqis in a blind war that has forgotten all of its justifications?
Iran is developing nuclear energy, but the so-called international community is not concerned in the least by the fact that Israel already has 250 atomic bombs, despite the fact that the country lives permanently on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Who calibrates the universal danger-ometer? Was Iran the country that dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima?
In the age of globalization, the right to express is less powerful than the right to apply pressure. To justify the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, war is called peace. The Israelis are patriots, and the Palestinians are terrorists, and terrorists sow universal alarm.
How much longer will the media broadcast fear instead of news?
The slaughter happening today, which is not the first, and I fear will not be the last, is happening in silence. Has the world gone deaf?
How much longer will the outcry of the outraged be sounded on a bell of straw?
The bombing is killing children, more than a third of the victims.
Those who dare denounce this murder are called anti-Semites.
How much longer will the critics of state terrorism be considered anti-Semites?
How much longer will we accept this grotesque form of extortion?
Are the Jews who are horrified by what is being done in their name anti-Semites? Are there not Arab voices that defend a Palestinian homeland but condemn fundamentalist insanity?
Terrorists resemble one another: state terrorists, respectable members of government, and private terrorists, madmen acting alone or in those organized in groups hard at work since the Cold War battling communist totalitarianism. All act in the name of various gods, whether God, Allah, or Jehovah.
How much longer will we ignore the fact that all terrorists scorn human life and feed off of one another?
Isn't it clear that in the war between Israel and Hezbollah, it is the civilians, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Israeli, who are dying?
And isn't it clear that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the invasion of Gaza and Lebanon are the incubators of hatred, producing fanatic after fanatic after fanatic?
We are the only species of animal that specializes in mutual extermination.
We devote $2.5 billion per day to military spending. Misery and war are children of the same father.
How much longer will we accept that this world, so in love with death, is the only world possible?
* 1972-2002 UN Vetoes by the USA:
Year -- Resolution Vetoed by the USA
1972 Condemns Israel for killing hundreds of people in Syria and Lebanon in air raids.
1973 Affirms the rights of the Palestinians and calls on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
1976 Condemns Israel for attacking Lebanese civilians.
1976 Condemns Israel for building settlements in the occupied territories.
1976 Calls for self determination for the Palestinians.
1976 Affirms the rights of the Palestinians.
1978 Urges the permanent members (USA, USSR, UK, France, China) to insure United Nations decisions on the maintenance of international peace and security.
1978 Criticises the living conditions of the Palestinians.
1978 Condemns the Israeli human rights record in occupied territories.
1978 Calls for developed countries to increase the quantity and quality of development assistance to underdeveloped countries.
1979 Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.
1979 Strengthens the arms embargo against South Africa.
1979 Offers assistance to all the oppressed people of South Africa and their liberation movement.
1979 Concerns negotiations on disarmament and cessation of the nuclear arms race.
1979 Calls for the return of all inhabitants expelled by Israel.
1979 Demands that Israel desist from human rights violations.
1979 Requests a report on the living conditions of Palestinians in occupied Arab countries.
1979 Offers assistance to the Palestinian people.
1979 Discusses sovereignty over national resources in occupied Arab territories.
1979 Calls for protection of developing counties' exports.
1979 Calls for alternative approaches within the United Nations system for improving the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
1979 Opposes support for intervention in the internal or external affairs of states.
1979 For a United Nations Conference on Women.
1979 To include Palestinian women in the United Nations Conference on Women.
1979 Safeguards rights of developing countries in multinational trade negotiations.
1980 Requests Israel to return displaced persons.
1980 Condemns Israeli policy regarding the living conditions of the Palestinian people.
1980 Condemns Israeli human rights practices in occupied territories. 3 resolutions.
1980 Affirms the right of self determination for the Palestinians.
1980 Offers assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement.
1980 Attempts to establish a New International Economic Order to promote the growth of underdeveloped countries and international economic co-operation.
1980 Endorses the Program of Action for Second Half of United Nations Decade for Women.
1980 Declaration of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
1980 Emphasizes that the development of nations and individuals is a human right.
1980 Calls for the cessation of all nuclear test explosions.
1980 Calls for the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
1981 Promotes co-operative movements in developing countries.
1981 Affirms the right of every state to choose its economic and social system in accord with the will of its people, without outside interference in whatever form it takes.
1981 Condemns activities of foreign economic interests in colonial territories.
1981 Calls for the cessation of all test explosions of nuclear weapons.
1981 Calls for action in support of measures to prevent nuclear war, curb the arms race and promote disarmament.
1981 Urges negotiations on prohibition of chemical and biological weapons.
1981 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights.
1981 Condemns South Africa for attacks on neighbouring states, condemns apartheid and attempts to strengthen sanctions. 7 resolutions.
1981 Condemns an attempted coup by South Africa on the Seychelles.
1981 Condemns Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, human rights policies, and the bombing of Iraq. 18 resolutions.
1982 Condemns the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. 6 resolutions (1982 to 1983).
1982 Condemns the shooting of 11 Muslims at a shrine in Jerusalem by an Israeli soldier.
1982 Calls on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights occupied in 1967.
1982 Condemns apartheid and calls for the cessation of economic aid to South Africa. 4 resolutions.
1982 Calls for the setting up of a World Charter for the protection of the ecology.
1982 Sets up a United Nations conference on succession of states in respect to state property, archives and debts.
1982 Nuclear test bans and negotiations and nuclear free outer space. 3 resolutions.
1982 Supports a new world information and communications order.
1982 Prohibition of chemical and bacteriological weapons.
1982 Development of international law.
1982 Protects against products harmful to health and the environment .
1982 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development are human rights.
1982 Protects against products harmful to health and the environment.
1982 Development of the energy resources of developing countries.
1983 Resolutions about apartheid, nuclear arms, economics, and international law. 15 resolutions.
1984 Condemns support of South Africa in its Namibian and other policies.
1984 International action to eliminate apartheid.
1984 Condemns Israel for occupying and attacking southern Lebanon.
1984 Resolutions about apartheid, nuclear arms, economics, and international law. 18 resolutions.
1985 Condemns Israel for occupying and attacking southern Lebanon.
1985 Condemns Israel for using excessive force in the occupied territories.
1985 Resolutions about cooperation, human rights, trade and development. 3 resolutions.
1985 Measures to be taken against Nazi, Fascist and neo-Fascist activities .
1986 Calls on all governments (including the USA) to observe international law.
1986 Imposes economic and military sanctions against South Africa.
1986 Condemns Israel for its actions against Lebanese civilians.
1986 Calls on Israel to respect Muslim holy places.
1986 Condemns Israel for sky-jacking a Libyan airliner.
1986 Resolutions about cooperation, security, human rights, trade, media bias, the environment and development. 8 resolutions.
1987 Calls on Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.
1987 Calls on Israel to stop deporting Palestinians.
1987 Condemns Israel for its actions in Lebanon. 2 resolutions.
1987 Calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon.
1987 Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States.
1987 Calls for compliance in the International Court of Justice concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua and a call to end the trade embargo against Nicaragua. 2 resolutions.
1987 Measures to prevent international terrorism, study the underlying political and economic causes of terrorism, convene a conference to define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle of people from national liberation.
1987 Resolutions concerning journalism, international debt and trade. 3 resolutions.
1987 Opposition to the build up of weapons in space.
1987 Opposition to the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
1987 Opposition to nuclear testing. 2 resolutions.
1987 Proposal to set up South Atlantic "Zone of Peace".
1988 Condemns Israeli practices against Palestinians in the occupied territories. 5 resolutions (1988 and 1989).
1989 Condemns USA invasion of Panama.
1989 Condemns USA troops for ransacking the residence of the Nicaraguan ambassador in Panama.
1989 Condemns USA support for the Contra army in Nicaragua.
1989 Condemns illegal USA embargo of Nicaragua.
1989 Opposing the acquisition of territory by force.
1989 Calling for a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict based on earlier UN resoltions.
1990 To send three UN Security Council observers to the occupied territories.
1995 Affirms that land in East Jerusalem annexed by Israel is occupied territory.
1997 Calls on Israel to cease building settlements in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories. 2 resolutions.
1999 Calls on the USA to end its trade embargo on Cuba. 8 resolutions (1992 to 1999).
2001 To send unarmed monitors to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
2001 To set up the International Criminal Court.
2002 To renew the peace keeping mission in Bosnia.