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:
April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail