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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Open Letter to Senator Obama on Palestine

Dear Senator Obama,

Yesterday in a moving speech you gave on racism, you put our country on notice that we must look forward and not back in tackling the still existing cancer of racism in our country. Your words moved me Senator as they have moved me since your famous speech at the Democratic national convention which thrust you on to the public scene. I have listened to you when you speak of the "Audacity of Hope", because as an American, I wish to hear someone of your stature tell all of America that to "hope" is not audacious, it is a basic human instinct which must be honored and allowed to be implemented with the work which goes in to making "hope" manifest itself in reality.

Yet a portion of your speech yesterday disturbed me very much. It was when you stated the following in referring to your pastor's comments concerning Israel's actions:

"Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

Today I read yet one more disturbing report of Israeli actions against the Palestinians. It is posted below.

Senator Obama, you are too young to have actually marched in Reverend King's protests, having grown up in a country that due to MLK's and other's valiant sacrifices the Civil Rights Act was passed which is the basis of protection for minorities in our country, that which is turned to at all times to fight still lingering racism.

Senator Obama, you were excoriated for your statement, "No one has suffered more than the Palestinians". After you were brought to task for such a statement, you have made every effort to let the public and those who "support Israel" know that you are indeed a "supporter of Israel". Last year you attended an AIPAC conference at which you sought to alleviate any doubts that you "support Israel"in your speech that day. Then, recently, at the request of the Simon Wiesenthall Center (Specifically, we are referring to your recent letter (following the urging of the Simon Wiesenthal Center ) to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations requesting a veto of the Security Council resolution related to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza source) who has stepped up to defend you against the accusations that you are a "secret Muslim", you penned a letter to Ambassador Khalzid at the UN condemning the rocket attacks coming out of Gaza. I too am against rocket attacks Senator, but I am also against the siege of Gaza which is starving the people there, something you have chosen not to condemn, but rather to support to show you are indeed a "supporter of Israel". Have you read another letter to you Senator concerning this matter?

In yesterday's speech Senator, once again you sought to confirm your identity as a supporter of Israel and even go further to state that it is "radical Islam" and not Israel's actions which is at the root of the problem in the Palestinian/Israeli dispute. I ask you Senator, how many times have you marched in protest? I also ask you, were African Americans ever in the history of this country imprisoned behind a wall because they sought equality and freedom from oppression?

Read Senator Obama, the wall that Israel has erected has been deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice.

Read Senator Obama, this "security wall" is simply a land grab to create facts on the ground for Israel's benefit.

Read Senator Obama, this "security wall" and the Jewish only roads leading to ILLEGAL Jewish settlements in the West Bank make a viable Palestinian state impossible.

You have joined the chorus of those chanting "Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East", you have even hired a former AIPAC board member as an adviser to your campaign. You FIGHT racism Senator, yet you have sold your soul to the devil of racism itself, Zionism.

This is the article I would like you to read Senator. Please keep in mind that our generation has been the beneficiary of those willing to march and put their lives on the line before us. Also, keep in mind that Israel is a signatory to the International Covenant of Civil Rights and Political Rights which clearly states:

Article 4 General comment on its implementation
1 . In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.

One must of course think that it is permisable to shoot at protesters to begin with Senator Obama, which clearly it is not when those protesters are fighting an ILLEGAL wall. Israel is claiming this right Senator, when it is not theirs. Please note, China received world condemnation when they opened fire killing Tibetans trying to enter Nepal illegally claiming they fired in self-defense. China is continuing to illegally and brutally occupy Tibet Senator and you just recently were one of the first to come out openly condemning Chinese actions, yet you have chosen to side with those "Israel supporters" in your public statements concerning Palestine

Now Senator Obama, since giving your historical speech on racism yesterday, what do you have to say for our "stalwart ally" which chooses to only shoot the legs of Palestinian protesters? This "exclusive" target shooting which has been approved by Israel's attorney is being done with AMERICAN made Ruger rifles Senator. I have little "hope" in receiving an answer Senator, my "hope" lies in your own efforts towards fighting racism in our country, that it might be a seed planted within your promise of "change" and respect for all human life.

Border police snipers have already started applying new regulations

Israel snipers get OK to fire at barrier protestors

Attorney general eases firing regulations against Palestinian demonstrators damaging Jerusalem barrier.

JERUSALEM - Israel's attorney general has eased firing regulation restrictions against Palestinians demonstrating at the separation barrier near Jerusalem, a justice ministry official said on Wednesday.

The decision allows border police snipers to fire at protestors damaging the controversial barrier that Israel is constructing in occupied east Jerusalem and across the West Bank, he said.

Under the new regulations, snipers may fire at the legs of adults tagged as "key instigators," according to the mass-selling Maariv daily. Firing on Israeli and foreign citizens remains banned.

Border police snipers armed with Ruger 22 rifles have already started applying the new regulations, and over the past month alone 13 Palestinians have been shot in the legs in the Jerusalem area, the report said.

The semi-automatic Ruger 22 is widely used for target shooting sports and for hunting, but Israel's security forces have been using the American-manufactured rifle for sharp shooting.

Israel says the massive barrier, made of electric fencing, barbed wire and concrete walls, is needed to stop potential attackers from infiltrating the country and Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians have denounced it as an "apartheid wall" aimed at grabbing their land and undermining the viability of their promised state.

In 2004, the International Court of Justice issued a non-binding ruling that parts of the 650-kilometre (410-mile) barrier criss-crossing the West Bank are illegal and should be torn down. (source)


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