“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
–Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Speech, 1986
Dear Mr. President Barack Obama:
Again, congratulations on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Hundreds of Millions of people around the world hoped and prayed that this prize will give you the courage, motivation, and strong will to bring peace to the world, most especially in Palestine.
But Israel in its humiliating defiant “slap and insult” to you and your government’s stated policy to freeze settlement construction, even temporarily, continues unabated to build more illegal settlements, demolishing more Palestinian homes, expelling Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank, continuing its inhumane siege of Gaza, now for 3 years, continuing to build the Apartheid Wall that annexes more Palestinian land; steals water from Palestinians, and allowing daily settler violence against Palestinian civilians including children; all with total impunity knowing that our government always “caves” in to the assault by Israel’s powerful lobbies such as AIPAC with support from an AIPAC compliant Congress and a media that portrays Israel as infallible. Former Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) upon leaving the Senate noted: “You can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.”
Your wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are causing daily civilian deaths with no end in sight. Iraq is still occupied by our military and mercenaries and when we allegedly leave we would’ve established permanent military bases to ensure oil and contain Iran. You’re blind adoption of Israel’s demand to bomb Iran is a repeat of the same lies and media hysteria that pushed us into devastating Iraq.
But first I feel compelled for the record to inform you that I am a SEMITE while Elie Wiesel and the rest of the American Jewish community are not.
It is you Mr. President who’s been disrespectfully called an “Anti Semite” by Hagai Ben-Artzi, Netanyahu’s brother in law.
Sir, If the U.S., the most powerful nation on earth can easily be “slapped” and “insulted” and still remain politically paralyzed to respond and deal with a small nation who’s very founding and support is due to this nation, do you then expect the Palestinians to have any say in their future or for that matter Arab leaders who’s regimes are dependent on our protection?
What conceivable concessions can the Palestinians offer Israel except to voluntarily leave their remaining land, a mere 12% of their previous homeland.
You began your presidency with some chutzpah in dealing with Israel but like all previous Presidents you’ve retracted any semblance of courage in dealing with the Israeli Palestinian issue or facing down Israel, the little nation that could.
You’ve gone out of your way to appease the Jewish community, having lunch with Elie Wiesel (imagine a U.S. President meeting with one Jew to comfort his concern about Jerusalem, ignoring Christian and Muslim concerns), sending Clinton to comfort the American Jewish Community on Israel while joining the Zionist call of the wild to attack Iran, forcing General Petreus to withdraw his remarks that link the Israeli Palestinian conflict as a direct threat to the lives of our military men and women in the Muslim world, and your repetitive reassurance to Israel that their “security” is sacrosanct while it is the brutal military aggressor, occupier and dictator of millions of Palestinians. Mr. President, what about the security of Palestinians who are killed on a daily basis either by Israeli troops or terrorist settlers? You’ve been unable to convince Israel to even allow meager food, water, and medicines into besieged Gaza.
On May 10 you announced your nomination of Elena Kagan as the third Jewish American to the Supreme Court, if confirmed, making the Jewish constitution of the Supreme Court to be one third although they only make up 1.7% of the U.S. population. The Supreme Court has no Protestant Justice despite their constituting the largest percentage of the U.S. population. I am confident that this appointment of a lawyer with no judicial experience is just another appeasement to the Jewish community to comfort their concern about your Israeli policy and to keep their money flowing to the Democratic Party. They needn’t worry. No politician at any level in America dares to speak out against Israel if he/she seeks office. It’s a death sentence.
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The entire world wants Israel to end its illegal Occupation as per hundreds of U.N. Resolutions but your administration is adopting the hypocritical position that it’s Iran, not Israel, that is in violation of Security Council Resolutions.
Israel and its supporters have brilliantly succeeded in inflaming one Arab/Muslim nation after another to divert the world’s attention from its murderous regime in the Occupied Territories. First it was Egypt, then Libya, Lebanon, Syria, then Iraq, Darfur, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and now Iran. Does anyone remember Darfur after years of hysterical obsession by our politicians and media? The media has passed on to Israel’s diversion du jour, Iran, deliberately not reporting that a peace agreement has been reached between the Sudanese government and the militias in Darfur.
As Ariel Sharon said: “The Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.”
What incredible manifestation of Jewish power exists then that one Jew, Elie Wiesel, is able to convene a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, accompanied by the hapless George Clooney, to discuss the situation in Darfur. No other ethnic American could convene the Security Council on any other issue.
Our government has been Israel’s poodle and patsy since 1948. Pity the American people whose consumer obsession and disinterest in governmental affairs, except along party or single issue lines, has created a void in Washington D.C. that is filled by powerful Corporate and foreign interests.
Mr. President, your Cairo words now run hollow, your courage is wanting, thus peace in the Holy Land is once again dead until the next President picks up the mantle of a “peace process” knowing he too shall fail.
Again in our capitol Wall Street comes before Main Street and our national interest is subservient to Israel’s interest. Our citizens continue to pay hundreds of billions of dollars of their hard earned tax dollars during periods of ballooning deficits to a rich nation, Israel, while our young men and women in the military die for a forced “passionate attachment” to a foreign nation.
With all due respect Mr. President, the love and enthusiasm you received in Denver upon your election is slipping wide and fast. How ironic, how tragic, that a black President ignores what it means to be enslaved by white European colonial powers.
The persecuted Jews of Europe are now the brutal persecutors in Palestine with our money, weapons, and vetoes.
For 62 years Israel has foiled and sabotaged every American, U.N., and International peace initiative as it strives for a “Greater Israel”, an Israel without Arab Christians and Muslims. The followers of Jesus Christ have been intimidated into silence about the brutality and ethnic cleansing of their Christian brethren in the Holy Land
Mr. President, under Jewish influence, you and Congress immediately rejected the much respected and accepted Goldstone report on Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza without even reading its content and evidence. That’s power that no American person or group can ever dream of achieving.
How hypocritical and ironic that Netanyahu at the U.N. General Assembly chastised the world for its “silence” on Iran’s nuclear program with these words: “Have you no shame, have you no decency?” Where is Israel’s shame and decency in its commission of “war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and genocide” against millions of Palestinians made refugees in their own homeland.
“Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country … There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So it is simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army”
–David Ben Gurion, in Nahum Goldman, ‘The Jewish Paradox’, translated by Steve Cox, 1978
How will your conscience, Mr. President, answer God when your held accountable for failing to use America’s power and might to bring peace to the Holy Land choosing instead to appease a small minority of Jewish Americans whose policies run counter to the majority of Jewish Americans who want a two state solution, simply to keep your power, rain in Jewish millions, and through shameful appeasement seek their support for a second term. Like every American politician you’ve sold your soul to kosher dollars and thus the legacy of your memory and soul will join the tragic dustbin of failed men in the annals of humanity. .
I am confident that your administration’s feigned work for peace will again be blown in the wind of history.
With due respect, I remain
* Mohamed Khodr is a political activist who frequently writes on the plight of Palestinians living under the brutal occupation of Israel, U.S. Foreign Policy, Islam, and Arab politics.