Archive for March, 2003

An Open Letter to President Bush

March 18, 2003

By Samia Khoury
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Bush, for your recent statement on the Middle East.

It was beautiful rhetoric indeed. But what else is new? We heard those same words in June 2002, and in previous years as well. Yet no concrete steps have been taken to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which has been on the UN agenda for over fifty years. On the contrary, the conflict is being aggravated by Israel’s impunity as it perpetrates its occupation of our land in defiance of international law, and by its outrageous record of human rights violations. Ironically, the resolve for finding a solution, and the promises to establish a Palestinian state get renewed whenever there is a crisis which threatens your interests in the region.

“The clear principles that your efforts are guided by”, are the basic rights of all people. But you seem to forget, Mr. Bush, that the Palestinians are under military occupation, and so there is no way we can “live in dignity under free and honest governments” when we have no control of our political or civil rights.

You are so right, Mr. Bush, in saying that “people who live in freedom are more likely to reject bitterness, blind hatred and terror.” It is the occupation and state terrorism that is breeding hatred, bitterness, and desperation. That is why we are demanding that the Israeli military occupation and the dispossession of a people of their rights and homeland must come to an end. It is only then that we can ” turn our energy toward reconciliation, reform and development.”

And you are just as right by saying that “there can be no peace for either side unless there is freedom for both.” How can we have freedom under a military occupation, whereas Israel has a choice to live in freedom if it frees itself from occupying another nation?

You are not being fair, Mr. Bush. You are demanding of the Palestinians, victims of the gravest injustice in modern history, to acquiesce to the dispossession process while you allow Israel to resume its the expansionist policy. That certainly is no way to achieve peace.

The whole region, Mr. Bush, has been living under the threat of this looming war which you and your partner, Mr. Blair, are planning to wage against Iraq. You are adamant that Iraq has to abide by the Security Council resolutions, and you are blaming France for splitting the security council through its threat of using its veto power. France plans to use its veto power to avert a devastating war to the whole region, whereas the U.S. administration has constantly used its veto power to assist the Israeli occupation. Israel could not have maintained the occupation for over thirty five years without the unequivocal support of the U.S. in defying UN Security Council resolutions.

Will you, Mr. President, have the courage to force Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories in accordance with UN resolutions 242 and 338 or else!!! No, we are not asking you to wage a war. The region has seen enough suffering and devastation. So please, Mr. Bush, be fair; give us a break. It is not the issue of a new Palestinian prime minister, and the road map for peace, which for all we know could be an endless and futile process, like its predecessor the Oslo Agreement. The issue is the Israeli prime minister and his refusal to end the occupation, which is killing us all; Palestinians as well as Israelis.

Signed: Samia Khoury

A concerned Palestinian woman