The ongoing carnage in Gaza had its bloodiest day today as Israel shelled two UN schools that were converted into makeshift refugee centers. The aftermath was at least forty people killed including many children. Of course, Israel has prided itself previously in its campaign of death by stating that the residents of Gaza are given forewarning of impending bombs. However, in an occupied strip of land no bigger than the commute from Anaheim to Glendale, there is no safe haven for the people of Gaza to go. Today’s mass killing exemplifies this in a chilling and heartless manner. Upon the news of today’s bombing, President-elect Barack Obama broke his silence – for what it’s worth – in saying that the civilian loss of life concerned him.
But, with the Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, stating his endorsement of Israel’s military action yesterday, will today’s bloodshed serve to temper his support? The pendejo summed up his thoughts ayer when he said “every country has a right to defend itself against attacks from a foreign enemy.” So much for any solidarity notion of ‘nuestras nakbas.’ Exactly how “foreign” are a people who were expelled from their land in a campaign of ethnic cleansing? To add to the foolishness of the Mayor’s statements, he pleaded for all to pray for peace in asking for a halt to the violence on all sides contradicting his initial supportive stance of Israel’s violence!
Villaraigosa would be wise to take a history lesson and see the parallels between the Palestinian loss of land codified in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the Mexican loss of land through U.S. Manifest Destiny ideology exactly one hundred years prior. If Villaraigosa had been alive during the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848, would he have been señor silencio during General Winfred Scott’s bombing siege of Veracruz? Or worse, would he have supported it even as people pleaded in vain for a reprieve in the bombing to evacuate children and women from the port city? There was no reprieve then, and as today’s killings in Gaza show, there is no reprieve now…
Thankfully the Mayor’s supportive statements of Israel’s campaign are not registering without protest. Of course, the Los Angeles Times has solely noted that the Muslim community has voiced its disappointment in Villaraigosa’s position, but so too has the LA Jews for Peace organization. In a press release issued today, the group is calling for a meeting with the Mayor as well as Los Angeles City Councilpersons who have joined in support of the war on Gaza. In protest, LA Jews for Peace co-founder Marcy Winograd stated “We ask that our mayor set aside his personal political ties to work for the greater good.” Now there is some good advice. In the meantime, can someone provide a reality check to Councilman Jack Weiss who actually said,” At a time like this, in a fight like this, where the odds and the deck are stacked against Israel, thank God Los Angeles and thank God Mayor Villaraigosa are there to stand with Israel.”
He’s right about the Mayor’s stance, but dead wrong about the odds and the deck, and most certainly Councilman Weiss does not speak for the entire city as he and Villaraigosa shall see when the people take to its streets this Saturday at noon at the Westwood Federal Building to demand an end to the massacre of Gaza.