Dr. Leahy’s lecture took a look at the relations between the United States and the Arab World while examining the reasons why there are anti-American sentiments proliferating in that region of the world. First, she talked about 9/11 as a starting point, as many Americans were shocked at the events of that day. Many could not understand and an article was published in Newsweek entitled, “Why Do They Hate Us?” This article addressed the question that many Americans were asking.
The United States has intervened in the Arab World for a long time, and certainly has not acted with motives of justice and peace during all of this time. The US has played a role in brokering peace between Israel and Palestine (such as at Camp David, the Oslo Accords, Wye River, Clinton’s Camp David, and the Annapolis Talks), but one of the reasons that this occurred was because they had to, as they were very involved in the events in that area of the world.
One of the points that stood out to me the most from Dr. Leahy’s talk was the fact that many of the numerous acts of atrocity that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) committed was partially aided by US weapons and such. In the Battle of Jenin (April 1-11, 2002), the armored bulldozers that were used to demolish homes and kill civilians were made in and shipped from a US company in Pennsylvania. It is very understandable why the people from that area might hate the US, as they flee their homes and try to save themselves while being chased by machines from America.
I was shocked to hear that Israel, which is one one thousandth of the world population and yet has the 16th highest pc income, gets 40% of US aid. Israel commits many crimes against civilians and yet nothing is done by the UN. Even when an American citizen, Rachel Corrie, was killed by one of the US made armored bulldozers nothing was done about it. And when reports are made, such as the United Nations Special Rapporteur report or the Goldstone Report, nothing is done about it. In fact, the government tried to hush up the Goldstone Report and the Jewish author of the report was dismissed as a “self-loathing Jew.”
Dr. Leahy made many good points during her lecture, and I agree that something must be done. The US cannot continue to act like a hypocrite and say that they do not support acts of terror against innocent civilians while they are fully cognizant of the situation in Palestine. I do not think anything will be done about the crisis until more people around the world begin to become more informed about these events and are vocal to world leaders that they will not continue to accept such blatant acts against civilians in their own land.