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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

my letter to President Obama about his Netanyahu meeting

My letter inspired by this kiss and make up session by Obama and Netanyahu is below. What prompted Obama to make amends, I wonder? Did Israel agree to stop building settlements (illegal under international law) and get rid of existing ones?

July 5, 2010

Dear Mr. President,

First, I want to commend you on your courageous response to Israel’s snub of Vice President Biden in March 2010. It was appropriate and well deserved; I think you finally got their attention. I think some in Israel started to think that perhaps a bit of accountability would finally be required of them in order to reap the benefits of their special relationship with us, the American superpower.

Second, I want to address your troubling description of the “special relationship” between the US and Israel. I cannot understand why we should have an unbreakable bond with any country that is independent of its actions. Settlements and the Occupation are still illegal and both are still plaguing the area - we need to be blunt with Israel. They are still using our military aid to kill disproportionate numbers of Palestinian civilians as a rule and this violates our own Arms Export Control Act. Our lack of support for investigations into Israeli war crimes (recently- Goldstone report, flotilla incident) seriously undercuts the capital you brought to the table as a well-traveled new President in favor of diplomacy and peace. Our hypocrisy in calling on beleaguered, occupied individuals to “take steps for peace” and end violence while ignoring Israel’s crimes is embarrassing and gives us no moral authority to act as an honest broker.

Having good relations with Israel is ideal, but right now I believe it conflicts with our American interests, integrity and relationship with the rest of the world.

You are in my prayers.

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