Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OPT: Israeli killing unarmed protesters 'abominable' says former CIA analyst

London, May 17, IRNA – Former CIA analyst Kathy Christison has condemned last weekend's killing of up 17 protesters by Israel across territories it still militarily occupies in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Jerusalem.

“The Israeli shooting of unarmed protesters is abominable,” said Christison, who for seven years worked with the CIA on the Middle East before her resignation in 1979.

Since leaving the agency, she has worked as a free-lance author and gained recognition as vocal critics of Israel, writing such books as Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on US Middle East Policy and The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story.

In a brief interview with IRNA, Chistison expressed hope that the size and scope of the Palestinian protests in the wake of the Arab Spring “will spark the admiration of peace-loving people throughout the world and finally be the beginning of the road toward justice for the Palestinians.”

'All of their protests,' she said,'were non-violent and undertaken in the name of an irreproachable impulse for justice and redress of long-standing legitimate grievances.”
In her book on Perceptions of Palestine, the former CIA analyst wrote that the dispossession and dispersal of the Palestinians in 1948 to create Israel has “always been and to a great extent remains an unrecognizable episode.'

“For the vast majority of Americans, including the reasonably well informed, Palestinians have never had a history; they were never there until, apparently out of the blue, they began preying on Israel,” she said.

“The frame of reference defines and sets boundaries around thinking on Palestinian-Israeli issues. It is for the most part Israel-centered, approaching the conflict generally from an Israeli perspective and seldom recognizing the existence or the legitimacy of a Palestinian perspective.”
Christison suggested that if public discourse had “not been warped,” US policy dominated by the prevalence of the Israeli perspective might have been quite different.