Former US Ambassador: “One state is a reality in Palestine.”

October 30, 2012

At a recent conference in Washington DC, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman offered a surprisingly blunt assessment of the Israel/Palestine conflict:

Israel has now effectively incorporated almost all the territory of Palestine, if not its inhabitants, under its sovereignty.  There is no longer any prospect for a two-state solution in Palestine, unless one considers Indian reservations or Bantustans to be states.  One state is a reality in Palestine.

Ambassador Freeman’s speech was the keynote address at the annual conference of the National Council of US-Arab Relations. The sponsors were a who’s who of commercial interests in the Middle East:  Chevron, ExxonMobil, Boeing, and more.  Speakers included US Vice Admiral Robert Harward, Prince Turki Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, and the CEO of Qatar Airways.

In other words, the event was as mainstream a gathering as any in Washington DC.

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“I’m here to tell you we do exist.”

February 5, 2012

At a recent Republican presidential primary debate, Palestinian American Abraham Hassan said the following to the Republican candidates:

“I’m here to tell you we do exist.”

Abraham Hassan

Hassan is a self-described Palestinian American Republican from  Jacksonville, Florida.  During the debate, he asked the following question:

“How would a Republican Administration help bring peace to Palestine and Israel, when most candidates barely recognize Palestine or its people?”

Former Governor Mitt Romney and Speaker Newt Gingrich both responded with one-sided answers that laid all the blame at the feet of Palestinian leaders.

But the first step is to ask the right question — and we applaud Mr. Hassan for doing so.

Analysis: A US Diplomat Ignores Israel’s Occupation

December 26, 2011

In a speech delivered last month, US diplomat Andrew J. Shapiro revealed the enormous extent of US military aid to Israel — including his goal of increasing that aid and reducing Congressional oversight.

Freedom Forward Analyst Patrick J. Finn, PhD, has written an insightful review of Shapiro’s speech — as well as what Shapiro failed to mention.  While Shapiro spent an awful lot of time talking about the “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” he didn’t once mention the word occupation.

In his speech, Shapiro also didn’t mention that the gift of US weapons is what helps Israel maintain that brutal occupation of Palestinian communities.

Shapiro is the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs — the man whose team is the US State Department’s “principal link to the Department of Defense.”

Click here to read Patrick Finn’s insightful analysis.

Thank Nicholas Kristof for challenging US tear gas sales to Bahrain’s dictator

December 18, 2011

Will you thank Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times?

Mr. Kristof has written a moving piece showing the deadly costs of US tear gas sales to Bahrain’s Khalifa dictatorship:

People here admire much about America and welcomed me into their homes, but there is also anger that the tear gas shells that they sweep off the streets each morning are made by a Pennsylvania company, NonLethal Technologies. It is a private company that declined to comment, but the American government grants it a license for these exports — and every shell fired undermines our image.

Kristof goes on to write:

The repression is ubiquitous. Consider Zainab al-Khawaja, 28, whose husband and father are both in prison and have been tortured for pro-democracy activities, according to human rights reports. Police officers have threatened to cut off Khawaja’s tongue, she told me, and they broke her father’s heart by falsely telling him that she had been shipped to Saudi Arabia to be raped and tortured.

She braved the risks by talking to me about this last week — before she was arrested too.

Reporting like this is what forces US officials to back away from policies that stand in the way of democracy.

Please join us in thanking Mr. Kristof for this important piece.

Thumbs Down on Netanyahu’s YouTube Speech

December 10, 2011

On the eve of International Human Rights Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “Israel will continue to proudly raise the torch of freedom and human rights.”

The YouTube speech was published online the day before International Human Rights Day — Saturday, December 10th.

In that speech, Netanyahu made no mention that the Israeli military uses US taxdollars to force millions of Palestinians to live under a brutal occupation.

Don’t let this blatant misrepresentation of Palestinian suffering go unchallenged.

1.  Click “thumbs down” on YouTube.

2.  Tell Congress that you reject Netanyahu’s latest falsehoods. US taxdollars should not fund Israeli occupation.

If elected US officials or their staff watch this speech, they need to know that voting constituents find it reprehensible.

The Palestinian people deserve freedom.  So long as US tax dollars bankroll the Israeli military, their cause is our moral responsibility.

Thank UNESCO for Recognizing Palestine!

December 4, 2011

Will you support UNESCO’s call to protect Palestinian heritage and culture? 

Your action is especially important because opponents of Palestinian freedom in the US are emailing UNESCO with messages of opposition.

One month back, Palestine was accepted as a full member to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a landslide vote. Out of 173 total votes, 107 votes supported the move, 52 abstained, and only 14 voted no.

In response, laws written by Congress were immediately triggered that cut off US funding to the UN organization.  US law currently requires a cutoff in aid to any UN organization that recognizes a Palestinian state.  Until the aid cut, US funding for UNESCO accounted for 22% of the agency’s total annual budget — $80 million a year.

Why is UNESCO being punished for recognizing the right to freedom for the Palestinian people?

Please thank UNESCO for its vote.   Palestinians deserve freedom and international recognition.  Congress should stop standing in the way.

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Will Egypt’s military hear the vote of the people?

November 28, 2011

Egyptians deserve the democracy they’ve been struggling for. Our own US government should not stand in the way of their progress.

Unfortunately, the US is providing over $1 billion a year in military assistance to an Egyptian military that continues to violate its people’s rights.

As the US Congress debates budget cuts at home, the US Senate has considered new language that would restrict $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt until the Egyptian government completes democratic elections and ensures its citizens’ rights.

Please urge Congress to end US taxpayer support for Egypt’s military regime. The Egyptian people deserve democracy, not another unelected government.

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