Aaron Bushnell, an active serviceman in the United States Air Force, burned himself to death in front of the Israeli Embassy in protest against the US policy in Gaza. Before setting himself on fire in what he called an "extreme act of protest", he said he would "no longer be complicit in genocide". Polls show that the vast majority (63%) of Americans want an immediate end to the carnage being perpetrated by Israel in Gaza.
|USAF Engineer Aaron Bushnell
Although Bushnell resorted to this extreme form of protest against the Biden Administration's policy of unqualified support for Israel, he was not alone in opposing it. American public opinion polls confirm that the vast majority of Americans, including Jewish Americans, want an immediate end to the Gaza carnage.
|Gaza Ceasefire Poll. Source: ISPU
Overall, 63% of Americans support a ceasefire in Gaza, according to a recent poll conducted by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). In terms of religions, 71% of Catholics, 61% of Non-Affiliated, 60% of Protestants, 58% of White Evangelicals, 50% of Jews and 75% of Muslims support an immediate ceasefire, according to the poll.
Jewish and Muslim Democrats, like Democrats in the general public, favor an end to the violence in Gaza. The majority of Republicans in the general public also favor a ceasefire.
So why is President Biden defying the will of the American people on Gaza? The simple answer is AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the most powerful lobby in Washington D.C. This Israel lobby has showered its friendly politicians with money from wealthy Jewish donors. It has also ensured the defeat of those politicians who dared to speak out against Israeli policies in the Middle East. As one former Democratic senator, Ernest Hollings, put it on leaving office, ‘you can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.’ Or as Ariel Sharon once told an American audience, ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: “Help AIPAC.”’
President Jimmy Carter who helped broker peace between Israel and Egypt knows the Israel lobby well. He told Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now" many years ago: "I think it’s accurate to say that not a single member of Congress with whom I’m familiar would possibly speak out and call for Israel to withdraw to their legal boundaries or to publicize the plight of the Palestinians or even to call publicly and repeatedly for good faith peace talks..... And I would say that if any member of Congress did speak out, as I’ve just described, they would probably not be back in the Congress the next term ".
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