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October 23rd, 2015

To Mayor De Blasio On His Visit to Israel

Mayor De Blasio

Having followed events of your Israel visit, I write to say I believe it unfortunate that ‘short shrift’ was made of the plight of Palestinians and that the role of long term ongoing ‘cause and effect’ factors were ignored when you focused on Palestinian action.

Obviously the human rights violations which have been and are being committed against Palestinians are major factors in the current action.

Palestine is the ancestral home of the Palestinians. Prior to partition, Arabs and Jews lived in British Mandatory Palestine. Yes, there were conflicts, but they did live together. After the partition (and contrary to the earlier Balfour Declaration provision “…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine….”) that provided for a Jewish State and an Arab State, began the Nakba — early, e.g., Deir Yassin; later, e.g., land grabs for the building of settlements, such as in Hebron where settlers have rights denied Palestinians there in their own city. But this, as you know, is the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ It is ironic — the Palestinians had no involvement in the Holocaust — it was European;  the Palestinians did not turn back a ship (the St. Louis) of Europeans seeking asylum — that was the U.S.

The Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are in East Jerusalem (Palestine) — that should be evident.

Questions for consideration — why is the U.S. wary of pressing the Government of Israel to comply with international law with respect to Palestinians before providing it the approximately 3 billion dollars a year (approximately 10 million dollars a day) military aid?  That Israel is considered a U.S. ally is fair enough, but the U.S. does have also a responsibility to the Palestinians (though our government as a matter of course has vetoed Security Council resolutions drafted on Palestinian behalf), the U.S. having supported the partition.  Could not lessening of aid to Israel be considered and additional funds be directed to a “Marshall Plan” for the Palestinians?

– Barbara Walker
for the Granny Peace Brigade

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