Tx. Gov. Rick Perry compares the US and Israel, but reaches the wrong conclusions

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Gabriel Camacho sent the following letter to the Jerusalem Post. Camacho is a regional organizer with the American Friends Service Committee in Cambridge, MA.

Dear Editors,

I found the article "Texas gov. compares Gaza to Mexico" by Abe Selig on August 13, 2009 regarding Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent visit to Israel filled with tragic ironies and historical misgivings.

Governor Perry started with a misguided comparison between Masada and the Alamo. Masada was an example of a people defending themselves from a world power, the Roman Empire. The Alamo was an example of a battle for the nascent empire, that of the antebellum United States.

In 1848 Mexico ceded over 50% of its national territory, including Tejas, to the U.S. in the treaty that ended the U.S./Mexico War. Palestine lost 77% of its territory in the Al Nakba of 1948. Both historical tragedies were preceded by aggressive colonialist settlement activity. Both were justified by ideologies that “ordained” the settler population as superior to that of the native inhabitants. Both Manifest Destiny and Zionism ultimately justified ethnic cleansing by the settlers.

Governor Perry proceeds to make a case that Israel and the U.S. face similar border security problems. Perhaps the most compelling similarity between the two borders is that Elbit Systems, the largest private Israeli military contractor, has been awarded a U.S government contract to install high tech monitors along the newly expanded wall between Mexico and the U.S. Elbit Systems is also the same company that has built the Apartheid Wall well within the West Bank.

Finally as a Mexican American, subject to racial profiling in my own country, I am humbled and honored to be compared to the heroic people of Gaza and Palestinians who are truly fighting for freedom and liberty.


Gabriel Camacho

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