Friday, April 20, 2001
President George W. Bush
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to you to express my deep concerns for the unacceptable degree of repression and outright cruelty inflicted on the Palestinian people by the state of Israel.
Bombardments of defenseless civilians, demolition of homes, blockades of villages, destruction of farms, confiscation of land, and indiscriminate killing of unarmed civilians go against the basic values of all decent peoples. It is quite disturbing to note that Israel uses US weapons to inflict and perpetuate these appalling conditions on the Palestinians.
We have seen recently how receptive the Israelis are to any firm position taken by the American government. The US is the only government that has the capacity to put an end to Israeli excesses and lift the nightmare of Israeli occupation off the Palestinian people.
I, therefore, urge you to use your good office to demand that Israel lift its blockades off the Palestinian towns and villages, cease its home-demolition and settlement-expansion policies, and withdraw its tanks and soldiers from Palestinian territories.
The whole world has condemned the apartheid-like conditions created in the West Bank and Gaza. The actions of Israel drew strong criticism and condemnation from every human rights organization of note, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Security Council. The US government should follow suit and makes it clear to the Israeli leaders that occupation and oppression go against American values and ethos.
The US should insist that Israel respect the human rights of the Palestinians and abide by the rules of International Law, including UN Resolutions 242 and 338. Only a clear and even-handed American stance can put an end to the spiral of violence in the Middle East, and free over three million Palestinians from decades of unsparing occupation.
Louay M. Safi
Center for Balanced Development