FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

An Appeal for Bethlehem

Dear Mr. Secretary,

Bethlehem University issued the enclosed press release on January 5, 2003. As you will see, Brother Vincent Malham, President-Vice Chancellor, describes conditions around the University where Bethlehem’s residents have been subjected to continuous curfews imposed by Israeli occupation forces. Similar press releases have been issued over the past several months by other Palestinian universities and human rights organizations.

The situation in the West Bank, and particularly in Bethlehem, has become intolerable. The abhorrent tactics employed by the Israeli military–the use of collective punishment against unarmed, innocent Palestinians, has forced residents of the Bethlehem area, and Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah before them, to live under conditions not fit for humans.

While we condemn the Israeli military oppression of innocent Palestinians, we also acknowledge the suffering of and condemn all acts of violence against innocent Israeli civilians.

The State Department, under your leadership and guidance, must take an active role in ending the suffering of innocent civilians under a foreign occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. We call upon you to design and implement a solution that will protect them from mistreatment. It is our moral obligation to intervene. As an ally of the state of Israel, we have given financial and military aid to Israel has enabled the Israeli military to engage in acts of brutality against innocent civilian populations. As a nation that promotes human rights and democratic principles, we have an obligation to ensure that US military equipment is used by other countries for defensive purposes only, and not to oppress an entire nation that refuses to allow its will to be broken. As a government that has taken an active role in promoting and brokering peace in the region, US credibility and effectiveness is significantly compromised by our blind support for the Israeli government.

Israel is obligated, under many UN Security Council Resolutions, including UNSCR 237, “to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants. and respect the humanitarian principles contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.” How can we justify enforcing UN Security Council resolutions pertaining to Iraq while we ignore those more basic and more serious resolutions that pertain to the mistreatment, by Israeli occupation forces, of the Palestinian civilian population?

Mr. Secretary, please remember: The Israeli oppression of Palestinian civilians is done with the help of our U.S. tax dollars and our gifts of military equipment to the State of Israel; it is facilitated by ongoing moral and political support. We, the American people and government, are therefore guilty of encouraging Israel’s brutal occupation of lands that it occupies in contravention of international law. As a nation, we can not legitimately claim that we have no part in the oppression of the Palestinian people. I call upon you, as a proponent of freedom, liberty and human rights, to work to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people. At the very least, we must end United States’ complicity in this horrible injustice.

I leave you with the words of Martin Luther King: “Every person must decide, at some point, whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”

Respectfully,

MICHAEL S. LADAH Las Vegas, Nevada

MICHAEL S. LADAH is an Arab American who lived and worked in various parts of the Middle East. He is the author of “Quicksand, Oil and Dreams: The Story of One of Five Million Dispossessed Palestinians.” He can be reached at: mikeladah@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail