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November 2011 Postcard

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DEAR PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

Palestinians see being a U.N. member state as completely compatible with negotiations—not, as Israel charges, incompatible. (As you know, Israel did not negotiate with the Palestinians before declaring itself a state.) Nor is the Palestinian bid unilateral. Appealing to the 193-member U.N. is the essence of multilateralism.

The president of the United States who opened the door to Palestinian state membership at the United Nations last year cannot slam it today. Congress should not withhold funds from a struggling democratic government while giving billions to the nation that is illegally occupying it.

It’s time to examine your conscience and work to do what is right for both the Middle East and America. You cannot celebrate the democratic aspirations of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa but condemn Palestinians to an Endless Winter.

DEAR SENATOR:

Palestinians see being a U.N. member state as completely compatible with negotiations—not, as Israel charges, incompatible. (As you know, Israel did not negotiate with the Palestinians before declaring itself a state.) Nor is the Palestinian bid unilateral. Appealing to the 193-member U.N. is the essence of multilateralism.

The president of the United States who opened the door to Palestinian state membership at the United Nations last year cannot slam it today. Congress should not withhold funds from a struggling democratic government while giving billions to the nation that is illegally occupying it.

It’s time to examine your conscience and work to do what is right for both the Middle East and America. You cannot celebrate the democratic aspirations of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa but condemn Palestinians to an Endless Winter.

DEAR REPRESENTATIVE:

Palestinians see being a U.N. member state as completely compatible with negotiations—not, as Israel charges, incompatible. (As you know, Israel did not negotiate with the Palestinians before declaring itself a state.) Nor is the Palestinian bid unilateral. Appealing to the 193-member U.N. is the essence of multilateralism.

The president of the United States who opened the door to Palestinian state membership at the United Nations last year cannot slam it today. Congress should not withhold funds from a struggling democratic government while giving billions to the nation that is illegally occupying it.

It’s time to examine your conscience and work to do what is right for both the Middle East and America. You cannot celebrate the democratic aspirations of the Arab Spring in the Middle East and North Africa but condemn Palestinians to an Endless Winter.


altAn Egyptian cartoonist's view. (Copyright Cartoon Movement Sherif Arafa)Imagine for a moment that you are an American teacher, doctor, business person, diplomat or even a soldier living in the Middle East today. Or perhaps you’re working abroad for an NGO dedicated to peace, justice, human rights and democracy. How do you begin to explain America’s recent actions in regard to Palestine?

Or imagine you’re a Muslim, Arab or Jew living in the U.S. or the turbulent Middle East, concerned about the economy, your family’s health, education, housing and future. The vast majority of people on this planet want to live in peace. They want a resolution to Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Put yourself in practically anyone else’s shoes right now—preferably someone who is not obsessed with votes in the next election. And if votes are all you care about, you’ll discover most Americans will support you if you’re working for an end to conflict and bloodshed in the region.

It’s time for Americans to get on the right side of history and support freedom and democracy in Palestine.