Hundreds of letters have been sent by readers of CounterPunch (see Gays Under the Occupation) to the Interior Minister and President calling on them to grant Fuad a Jerusalem residency card. From a phone conversation with the Interior Minister’s Office it appears as if the minister is in the process of reconsidering his original decision. This is precisely the time to increase the email campaign. Please read the original article and send a letter if you have not already done so. Also forward the original article to friends.
Simultaneously, Israel’s President has been sending the following response to all those who sent email. We are posting after it a response from one of Fuad and Ezra’s supporters, which, we think, is the kind of response the President should receive. Finally, Fuad and Ezra want to thank all the people that took the time to fax and email letters.
Letter from the President:
Dear Sir, We are writing to you in reply to your letter to the President of Israel, Mr. Moshe Katsav with regard to Mr. Fuad Mussa. From our enquiry of the Israeli Police, we obtained the following information:
Mr. Fuad Mussa stayed illegally in Israel, not having receiving a permit neither from the Ministry of the Interior, nor from the Commander of the Region and, therefore, the Police is entitled to demand his extradition from Israel.
On the 6th November 2003, Mr. Fuad Mussa was brought to the Magistrates Court which discharged him on condition, among other undertakings, that he would not enter Israel illegally.
He appealed to the District Court. The District Court, in its decision, of the 19th November, 2003, accepted the appeal in part and instructed that he be under full house arrest in the home of his life partner, Mr. Yitzhak Ezra. In addition the court permitted Mr. Fuad Mussa to go to work between 8:00 and 18:00.
The Israeli Police also informed us that, until the end of the judicial proceedings against Mr Fuad Mussa in the file regarding the conditions of his release and/or any other judicial decision and on condition that he fulfil the conditions of release, the Police will not arrest him for illegal residence.
Miriam Yosef Assistant to the Advisor on Welfare and Social Affairs
This is the Response of one of the supporters to the President’s Advisor
Thank you for your prompt response. You omitted in your response a small detail, which was at the very center of my protest. Fuad Moussa is homosexual. Further he has a Jewish Israeli civil law husband. In addition, being a homosexual, Fuad’s life is threatened if he is deported. Because Fuad is not the only homosexual Palestinain refugee in Israel, I addressed the issue of what your policy is in this group of cases.
The casestands at the crossroads ofthedenial ofcivil rights to homosexuals, the discrimination of Arabs and theban of mixed marriages in this country as well as the hunt on homosexuals in the Palestinian territories under Israeli military rule. Your response — just as the police proceedings you cite from -ignore all these dimensions essential to the understanding of this case and similar cases. This ignorance is the very reason why I wrote my letter.
I request another response of you that addresses my concern in the fullas I have described it here and in my former letter. If you should not becapable of addressing my concern, I suggest you pass both my letters to your superior.
NEVE GORDON teaches human rights in the department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, and can be reached at email@example.com.