Cartoon editorial relates to current atrocities

The Joe Heller editorial cartoon published Dec. 22 stays with me. His cartoon showed Mary and Joseph at the border just before Christmas day looking for shelter and safety before the birth of baby Jesus, while passing under a US border sign. That image came to mind again this week when President Biden visited our border with Mexico.

So many people at the border are seeking safety, opportunity, and basic human rights, the same as the Palestinian people in historic Palestine are today. So many at our southern border have come from extreme state violence, including at the barrel of guns traded from the United States. And in Palestine, the people face daily state violence by Israeli authorities and live “under the gun,” a tremendous number of deadly weapons originating in the United States and paid for by our taxes.

People in both communities know the suffering that comes with countless forms of state violence.

Our State Department voices moral opposition to the ongoing state violence in Palestine. However, US-made weapons are traded, and our taxes pay $10 million/day to support the Israeli apartheid state that denies human rights for Palestinians.

Our Department of Homeland Security tells us that they are addressing human needs of the migrants at our borders, but the pictures tell a different story so many times.

The parallels between today’s Israel/Palestine conflict and the crisis at the US/Mexico border are undeniable. Both require change in US funding and policy, with basic human rights central to any solutions. I urge all readers to participate in democracy by contacting the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to voice concerns on these situations that are at crisis level for far too long.

— Paula Raine