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‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’: A letter to US President Barack Obama

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Mr. President,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

I am very confident that you know those words very well from the United States Declaration of Independence. What I am not sure about if you remember how your fellow black Americans felt about those words some years ago? When they were just wondering if the American government would recognize them among the “all men” which are created equal or not? If they had the same unalienable rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? Those people who suffer from double standards, oppression, injustice, slavery and much more have a very different feeling about those words. As I write to you now there are more than 1400 Palestinians who cannot even have the luxury of feeling angry; they were brutally killed by the Israeli occupation forces. Some were killed inside their own houses, some in the United Nation schools, some in hospitals that were bombed, some children were just playing on the beach.

The killing of those 1400 humans was financed by American tax payers’ money, by the $3 billion you send as military support to Israel. This money could cover the cost for 9 million American citizens in the Obama health care program and guarantee them a better life. I am wondering how you are deciding your priorities?

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Since the peace process started 21 years ago Israel has destroyed 15 thousand houses and has orders to destroy 4,500 more Palestinian buildings in the occupied West Bank. They have doubled their number of illegal settlers and built 53 thousand homes for them. The West Bank is divided into 167 enclaves restricted by 522 check points, and segregated by a 440 km wall; Israel has taken more than 40% of the West Bank to serve the illegal settlements which is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.

In addition, there are thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and hundreds of them are children. Israeli settlers have burnt children alive and tortured others like the American citizen Tareq Abu Khdair. I am sure you know that Israel has not implemented any of the UN resolutions that gives the Palestinians a small portion of their rights. According to those UN resolutions Israel is an occupying force and the Palestinians have the right to resist occupation, especially when the international community is not doing what is needed to stop the occupation and aggression. 

This military occupation, and these apartheid policies and violations of international law, are all financed by the United States.

What would the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat say today? I can see President Arafat, the Nobel Prize winner for peace who was attacked and reportedly poisoned in his residence in Ramallah by the Israeli occupying forces, reading Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail, reminding you that you “have waited for more than three hundred and forty years for our God-given and constitutional rights”, and that “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”.

Here are your own words, the very wise sharp and straight to the point sentences you said at the great Nelson Mandela’s funeral where the whole world mourned his death for the great model he has provided to humanity:

“Mandela taught us the power of action, but he also taught us the power of ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those who you agree with, but also those who you don’t agree with. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet.”  

I ask you to listen to yourself and to listen to those arguments you have decided to ignore for years. It is worthy to remember Mandela’s’ words; “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” The Palestinians had their Mandela, Yasser Arafat who compromised a lot to make the peace without having a real partner, but the world did not give us an Israeli Frederik Willem de Klerk.

While writing those words to you, I was thinking, will you really read this, and if you read it would it make a difference? Or will you only listen to those big players who can finance presidential campaigns and do business? Should I just forget about it? Then I remembered that thanks to the American innovative entrepreneurs we now have social media where the American people who voted for you can read this. Those people who were happy and thought that by electing you they can make a difference, those people who are not getting a fair chance to know the truth that the biased media is hiding. At the end it is worthy to mention that there is an American citizen who did not have the chance to vote for you, her name is Rachel Corrie. Rachel, if you don’t know the story, was an American civilian who came to Gaza and was bulldozed to death by an Israeli armored bulldozer financed by her own tax money.


Mothanna Gharaibeh

A Jordanian like many others in the Middle East who has suffered from the American policies and actions

Mothanna Gharaibeh
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4 Responses

  1. ritzl
    ritzl on August 1, 2014, 11:44 am

    Has Obama given back his Nobel Peace Prize yet?

    If not, why not?

    • eGuard
      eGuard on August 1, 2014, 11:54 am

      He’s silent now, as he was during the 2008-2009 bombing of Gaza. That means he’s up for the Nobel Prize for Literature too.

      • Pixel
        Pixel on August 2, 2014, 12:46 am

        good one

    • phylliprezzel
      phylliprezzel on August 1, 2014, 2:19 pm

      I just called the White House comment line, 202 456-1111 and asked that question: When will the President return his Nobel Peace Prize? The volunteer was professional in her words, but there was a tone of amusement in her voice as she seemed to understand how unworthy Obama has been of that award.

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