Friday, July 25, 2014

Do Republicans Hate Children?

The hue and cry about the children entering the US from Central America has reinforced my impression that Republicans don’t like children.  It is hard to know what all the motivations are for their coming to the US, but at least part of the motivation is that their lives are threatened if they stay at home.  There is at least some chance that if they stay, they will die, or they will be drafted into drug gangs and be forced to kill other people.  To some extent they are escaping a culture of extreme violence.  The Republicans don’t seem to care about this; they seem perfectly willing to deport these children even if returning them to their homes means certain death.  When Ted Cruz was asked about this he avoided the issue of threats at home by talking about how dangerous the trip to the US is, and how the coyotes who transport them for thousands of dollars take advantage of them sexually and financially, and endanger or desert them on the trip.  He implied that he had no responsibility for what their life was like at home.  Yet, while they may not be political refugees, they appear to be refugees from fighting as much as Syrians, Palestinians, Ukrainians and others around the world.  You are just as dead if you or killed by a drug cartel or a rebel terrorist group.

This example of not caring about children is added to domestic attitudes, where they oppose abortion, forcing mothers to have unwanted children.  Then they cut off or reduce food stamps and other programs that would help the mothers take care of these children after they are born.  It’s almost as if they enjoy the screams of hungry children.  Perhaps it makes the Republicans feel better about their own coddled children who attend private schools and have everything they want.  They profess to be Christian but ignore the injunctions to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  The government may not be the best institution to carry out these Biblical injunctions, they should at least recognize that, and say who or what will help take care of these endangered children, or at least make the case that we (our society) would like to do so, but cannot afford to.

If we cannot take these children into the US, could we at least help set up safe havens for them in their own countries where their lives would not be in danger?  Could we do more to reign in the drug gangs?  Could we do more to stop Americans from strengthening the drug cartels by paying them billions for the drugs?  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Israeli Ghettos

It is interesting that Israel has created a hellish ghetto in Gaza.  You would think that Jews would be sensitive about creating and ruling a ghetto after all the time that Jews spent living in ghettos in Europe.  I’m guessing that Gaza today is about as bad as the Warsaw ghetto was during World War II.  Of course it is not like Auschwitz and other death camps, but not that many people were actually killed in the ghetto except during the Warsaw ghetto uprising near the end of the war.  Jews were usually shipped from the ghetto to the death camps, not killed in the ghetto itself, although many were, just as many Palestinians are being killed today in Gaza by Israeli Jews.

Israel is a fairly modern, democratic country compared to most of its neighbors in the Middle East, but that moderate democracy mainly applies to Jews.  Even Arabs, who are citizens of Israel itself, rather than of Gaza or the West Bank, are pretty much second class citizens.  One of Israel’s main worries is that Jews will become a minority in Israel, and thus Israel will lose its identity as a Jewish state, unless Israel does something to reduce the number of Arabs in Israel by stuffing them into ghettos like Gaza, or something worse.  This is a significant concern of Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman, and other powerful, politically conservative Jews in the Israeli government.  But in the process, Israel risks losing its reputation as a modern, democratic state.  It more and more becomes a repressive, apartheid state, allied with its repressive neighbors like Egypt.