Over a hundred Palestinian noncombatants, mostly women, children and elderly people, have been killed by the Israeli attacks on Gaza. There are at least 850 injured people. The toll can only grow as Israel intensifies its attacks.
And yet, when Rep. Eric Swalwell decided to speak about the conflict in Gaza, it wasn’t to condemn the vicious attacks on the Palestinian civilian population, attacks that Human Rights Watched has deemed to be war crimes, but to support them:
Swalwell made no mention of the Palestinian civilians killed by Israel. Israel’s security matters. Palestinian lives do not.
Swalwell was challenged by the majority of the people who left comments. “Did we Forget about the countless Palestinian children and women not to mention the men and homes/land lost to Israel,” wrote a Castro Valley resident in a comment that received 40 “likes”. “I’m an Israeli-American and even I am not that naive.
Congressman, you are pandering,” offered a Hayward man, who also urged the Congressman to read this article. “First time you have UTTERLY disappointed me!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wrong side because there is no side in this one that doesn’t harm kids! Peace is the right side of this battle and Israel isn’t for peace AT ALL!!!” said a Hayward woman, in a statement that was made, in slightly different words, by many of the other commenters. A perhaps now-former supporter added “[t]he appropriate action would be “to right the wrong ” ( in your own words) your statement of today caused. Congressman Swalwell, the community has supported you and we are dumb founded , when asked “why did we support this congressmen?”
Swalwell’s response was to make a vague post hoping for peace:
He said nothing about the attacks on Palestinians, the death and injuries of countless children.
Alas, Swalwell’s lap dog behavior towards Israel is not surprising. He has gotten close to $50,000 in campaign contributions from pro-Israel interests, which makes pro-Israel interests his fourth largest contributors . With money, comes the power to make Rep. Swalwell sing your song, even if it’s a disgraceful one.
Swalwell is unlikely to pay any political cost, at least in the short term, from his anti-human rights stance. He faces a Republican opponent in November, in a race that he will win without effort. Had Ellen Corbett survived past June, it would have been another matter altogether. If she had the political smarts, she could have capitalized on this issue into a November win. That is not to be.
It is now clear, however, that Swalwell’s contempt for human rights and the rule of law – not to say his callousness towards the lives of Palestinians – mean that he is not a good representative for his district. Indeed, there should be no place in politics for any person who can look upon the limbs of an injured or dying child, and praise those who attacked him.