Greens Stand up for Peace and Gaza
Greens March for Palestine in Worcester on Black Friday
Hundreds marched past Worcester's City Hall Friday afternoon to support Palestinians in the face of Israel's murderous assault on Gaza and, more recently, its attacks on the West Bank. Many marchers from the Central MASS Green-Rainbow Party carried signs and led chants, including "Israel bombs, USA pays, how many kids did you kill today?”
LEFT: Karen Sargent, also of Central Mass GRP, reminds us the Holocaust in Europe and the mass murder in Gaza are the same, just with different victims.
CENTER: Former GRP Officer, Dick Vaillette, says what he thinks with a sign, while the street sign behind him reminds us all what left-leaning parties need to do.
RIGHT: GRP Central Mass member, Brian Mulhearn, greets a fellow protester in Central Square.
Ceasefire in Gaza
by John Blumensteil, Jack Swindlehurst, Mark Connor Mailhot, and Eileen Wheeler Sheehan
On December 9th the Green-Rainbow Party will consider an updated stand against slaughter in Gaza. This follows a longtime commitment to justice for Palestinians. In 2005, the GRP called for an end to all American military and economic aid to Israel in consonance with its 10 key values. Tragically, the "Nakba" continues to this day. Therefore some members have proposed more definitive steps assuming that the Green-Rainbow Party will seek to implement the statement that will be presented to the State Committee by committed peace activists Lois Gagnon and Daniel Kontoff. There is no waiting for the US government to come to its senses.
We denounce the wanton slaughter of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip. We acknowledge this for what it is: genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Intentional killing of non-combatants, forcing populations to flee their homes under threat of death, and cutting off of basic supplies needed for their survival, all are crimes against humanity. All must be condemned. Neither historic grievances, current accusations, or fear of future threats justify these crimes. Worse yet, condoning one side of a conflict leads to a perpetual cycle of anger, revenge, and escalating violence. As loyal Greens, we support the key values of People, Planet, and Peace. We must stand in solidarity with those who call for an end to violence and an immediate ceasefire.
The government of the United States, our government, is in total complicity with the actions of the Israeli government and its military forces. Further, we understand that this complicity has caused untold pain and suffering to the Palestinian people for decades. As Ramzy Baroud states in The Old and New Nakba, "Displacing Palestinians, or as it is known in Israel's political lexicon, the 'transfer'. is an old idea--as old as Israel itself." When the dehumanization of a people is not challenged, when no accountability is enforced, the world order ultimately decays. In this year's assault, the United States and Israel are guilty of aiding and abetting a global decline into chaos and suffering.
Denouncing the crimes is not enough. Citizens must make clear demands to end the suffering. To this end, we demand the following:
- An immediate ceasefire
- Immediate restoration of aid, water, medical care, fuel, and shelter to Gazans
- Elimination of financial and military aid to Israel, redirecting American financial largesse to restoring the well-being and reconstruction of Gaza.
- Cessation of violence against Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank
- Creation of an international effort to support peace and justice among Israeli and Palestinian people.
- Referral to the ICC of the government officials, both US and Israeli for consideration of charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
AIPAC and the Spiderweb of Corruption
by Gus Steeves
A huge influence on US foreign policy regarding the current war in Palestine is AIPAC, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC is well within the top 1% in terms of "contributions" to Congress (they're #44 of 31,955), according to www.OpenSecrets.org. In 2022 alone, AIPAC gave $9.9 million to incumbents – most of it, $7.9 million, to Democrats. (However) more Republicans get donations than Democrats. In total, AIPAC has given funds to 304 of the 435 House members and 26 of 100 Senators. Beyond that, they spent more than $2.5 million on lobbying in 2022 and $2.2 million this year so far. Recent news reports also show Michigan Senate candidate Hill Harper was offered $20 million by an AIPAC donor to drop out of the Senate race to run against Rep. Rashida Tlaib instead.
Open Secrets also lists four other pro-Israel lobbies: J Street, Christians United for Israel, Zionist Organization of America, and the Republican Jewish Coalition, but they're all minnows compared to AIPAC. Combined, they “donated” just $690,000.
In Massachusetts, five of our state's congressional delegation (all in the House) are in AIPAC's pocket. In 2022, Auchincloss collected $102K, Neal $46.8K, Clark $45K, Keating $10K, and Trahan $10K. That's just direct AIPAC money; I didn't look at the various groups to whom they donate that also donate to candidates.
By Open Secrets definition, "pro-Israel" is an "industry,” but it seems that “pro-Arab,” “pro-Palestine” and “pro-Muslim” are not, because searching for them comes up with nothing. That said, Open Secrets does list eight small "Arab" groups, which donate a combined total of less than $100K to a handful of Congresspeople. The website also lists one "Muslim" PAC in Indiana that donated a whole $100 and the Council on American-Islamic Relations that donated about $5500. There might be others of all those types under generic definitions like foreign affairs, and there are certainly major corporate entities linked to Arab countries such as Saudi Aramco, but I think that highlights how grossly unbalanced our Congress is. If it were proportional to population, Arab groups would have around $3.3 million in "contributions" to Congress and be seen as an "industry" too.
Arabs comprise about 2.1 million, and Jews about 6.3 million, in the US population, but Arabs get disproportionately crushed in the lobbying business. Although normal people think $9.9 million is a lot of money (it'd sure make a big difference to
most of us!), it's a small expense to Israel, which walks away with more than $3 BILLION in US aid every year. That's a “return on investment” of 303 TIMES what they spend, and if they get the $14.3 BILLION Biden tried to send them last month, it'd be a return of 1444 times!
Let's not pretend Israel's the only one playing this game. Other countries and countless huge corporations have found corruption is good for business. Our political finance system is a spiderweb of corruption designed to influence government against the public interest in ways both open and secret. Yes, a lot of it is legal, for the simple reason the corrupt wrote the laws to make it legal and to require those who start honest to become corrupt if they want to stick around. We need to get rid of them ALL.
A new Chapter in Northeast MASS!
by Mark Connor Mailhot
The Northeast Regional Chapter is now in formation. We are determined to build the political infrastructure to foster a productive coalition of progressive, leftist, and young voters while energizing non-voters of Essex & Middlesex Counties to bring systemic change to Massachusetts. We strongly believe in the Green-Rainbow Party’s goal of becoming a viable second political option in our state by working closely with causes & movements that align with the Ten Key Values of the Green-Rainbow Party. Let’s turn Essex & Middlesex counties, and MA at-large Green!”
In the November issue of Green Voices, an error was made in the article "A Trillion Dollars for War Does Not Teach Our Kids to Read". A review of the math indicates that in 2019 if 30% of the Massachusetts federal taxes that go to the military were returned to Massachusetts via a reduction in our military spending, our Massachusetts state budget would have an additional $5.4 billion to educate our children, provide housing to the homeless, provide healthcare to our citizens, all a much better investment than perpetual global war.