Evelyn Garcia welcomes a debate on US Middle East policy — not smears and misrepresentation and hate mail

Israel/Palestine
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Evelyn Garcia for Florida House District 88

We’ve done several posts about Evelyn Garcia, the Florida politician who had the guts to speak up for Palestinian rights but then had to resign from the Democratic National Committee when her emails were made public. Garcia is now running for statewide office. She sent along the following statement about her situation last night.

As was accurately reported in the Palm Beach Post on July 3rd, 2012, within a few hours of the publication of excerpts from my private, year old, email correspondence with Lauren Londner and Dan Liftman by Bizpac Review, the elected Party leadership accepted my resignation from the Democratic National Committee post to which I was elected in 2008. I resigned to distance the controversy from my candidacy for Florida’s State House District 88 seat as well as from the elected Democratic Party leadership and my friends and colleagues who had nothing to do with my emails. I will continue working hard to win the race for State House Dist 88 on 8/14/12.

In the meanwhile, some questions have been raised by my supporters in addition to those that come to mind. Why did Lauren Londner and/or Dan Liftman wait one year to release these private emails to members of an unelected Palm Beach County political action group? And, were whoever performed the deed directed or authorized to release private emails to the media–Bizpac Review? Was it Diana Demarest, former Palm Beach County Democratic Party Secretary or another member or surrogate of “the PAC”? What was their intended purpose? Was it to spur a debate about U.S. policy in the Middle East? Did they not anticipate the barrage of hate mail and threats I’ve been receiving from places as far away from Palm Beach County as Oklahoma? And, who are “they” anyway and what do “they” stand for? Did this unelected so-called leadership demonstrative sound leadership in contributing to tactics which appear to be pathetic attempts to silence or crush an opposing point of view? Don’t our loyalty and patriotism belong first to our country–the United States of America? Or, did they really intend a conversation among the wider electorate of the extent to which U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing an illegal occupation by Israel? And, who says it’s an occupation and illegal? Well, let me count the ways: numerous United Nations resolutions, J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Presbyterian Church, CodePink, religious and political leaders and public opinion worldwide. And what I did was to express my views in private to a friend as it is my right to do under constitutionally protected free speech. Likewise, the hate-mail authors also have their right to free speech and I respect their courage in expressing their point of view. But I will not tolerate further threats to me and my family. 

I hold this unelected political action leadership fully responsible for unleashing the barrage of hateful and dangerous threats against me from what I hope is a very small group of extremists. Who do they think they are fooling by accusing me of anti-Semitism? I believe they and the entire world know that criticism of U.S. foreign policy vis a vis Israel is NOT anti-Semitic and saying so doesn’t make it so. It just means that some extremists will intimidate and persecute anyone who doesn’t follow the company line. While they tried to punish me for my views, I think in so doing they have presented an opportunity for discussion on the issue in question, namely: how much longer will U.S. taxpayers subsidize the illegal, immoral occupation of Palestinian territories? How about conducting a discussion on that topic instead of persecuting one messenger? Don’t Palestinians deserve their homeland too? After conducting guerrilla warfare and with United Nations votes of nations worldwide, including The Republic of Haiti, Israelis established their homeland some 60 years ago.

The Jewish State of Israel is a legitimate, sovereign nation that I have long admired for its self-determination and generosity to others, including the recent victims of the Haiti earthquake. Haitians and Israelis have have excellent foreign relations ever since Haiti voted for Israeli statehood some 60 years ago. Personally, I’ve fought anti-Semitism starting in my high school sorority many decades ago and have never stopped championing freedom, human rights, civil rights, and the right to self-determination. I intend, in whatever role or position I may hold in the future, to remain true to these principles.

Happy Independence Day to all.

Sincerely, Evelyn Garcia

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