An Open Letter to President Biden

biden netanyahu

Mr. President,

More than 20 years ago, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old  American peace activist, was killed in Rafah by an American-made, Israeli-owned Caterpillar bulldozer. Her crime: she protested a demolition campaign by the occupying Israeli government that destroyed over a thousand in the Gaza Strip.

In a letter sent to her family from Gaza, Corrie described the Palestinian suffering she had witnessed. “No amount of reading, attendance at conferences, documentary viewing and word-of-mouth could have prepared me for the reality of the situation here,” she wrote. “You just can’t imagine it unless you see it.”

In another letter she wrote, “I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature.”

Poor Corrie, she did not realize that she herself would soon be a martyr – marked for extermination by the apartheid, colonial-settler statecraft. As expected, the ensuing internal Israeli military investigation cleared the bulldozer driver of any fault, and the ruling judge decided that Israel could not be held liable because the bulldozer was engaged in a “combat operation.”

The next twenty years have witnessed not only the demolition of tens of thousands of homes, but also major genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people over and over again (what is termed ‘mowing the grass’ operation by the apartheid regime), by the same murderous and barbaric statecraft that has no respect for human lives. Thanks to the moral bankruptcy of the West, in general, and the US and the UK, in particular, Israel behaves like a rogue state that is above the international law.

The latest genocidal orgy in the Occupied Palestine, esp. in Gaza, has once again shown the utter savagery and evil side of the Netanyahu government and the western complicity for such horrific crimes against humanity. In Israeli calculus, every Palestinian is a terrorist who does not deserve living alive. And the sad story is, it is our hard-earned US dollars that are paying the bills for those arms and ammunitions used by the IDF to commit war crimes.

The death toll of the Palestinian civilians inside Gaza in less than a month has already surpassed those who died in Ukraine in its 18-month-long war with Russia. They are pulverized, shattered, and blown into pieces. By the way, a stark 70% of the victims are women and children. As of Friday, November 3, 2023, some 40,000 residential units have been destroyed by the IDF. Even the churches, mosques, schools, colleges, universities, utility centers, hospitals, clinics, ambulances and refugee shelters and camps are not off-limits. Nor are the UN-run offices, schools, and hospitals safe from Israel’s barbarism. As a result, more than 70 UN employees (highest ever in a conflict zone) have been killed by the IDF. There is not a single place, including the southern Gaza and Rafah border that is safe from Israel’s brutal attack from land, sea, and air.

Rather than stopping the funding for Israel, your administration has bolstered its coffer. Do the Palestinian lives matter to you? How much blood must the Palestinians shed before you stop rewarding a murderous regime?

What Netanyahu’s government is doing is pure evil. Israel cannot abuse the international laws regarding the ‘right of self-defense’ against people in occupied territories. Only a delusional mind can afford to see ‘no evil’ and ignore such obvious heinous crimes of our ‘reliable ally’ in the Middle East! It is high time to change the course and say enough is enough. Do not let the tail wag the dog.

The entire world is crying out for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. It is the USA, excuse my bluntness, which is behaving like a bully that is allowing the mass slaughter of the Palestinians to continue with no end in sight. They are seeing firsthand your administration’s regrettable double-standards vis-à-vis the Ukraine Crisis, which is contributing to a serious erosion of public trust in you. You cannot preach about human rights, dignity and democracy around the globe while giving a carte blanche to an apartheid regime that treats Palestinians as children of a lesser god. Apartheid system is the worst crime known to humankind. Please, do not reward it.

Whether you like it or not, Mr. President, your naked approval of Israeli war crimes inside Gaza has made you a partner-in-crime of genocide. You have lost credibility not only in the Global South and within the broader UN, but also within the progressives and swing voters here inside America. Please, visit any major university campus to see how most young Americans feel about Israel’s genocidal crimes against the Palestinians. Listen to the voices of the protesters who have been rallying in all the major US cities. Do not be surprised to find that many of the vocal critics of your pro-Israeli policies are Jewish Americans. AIPAC does not speak on their behalf anymore. Please, consider talking to Jewish American academics like Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky to get an objective and more balanced perspective on the Palestinian question.

I am not surprised that Secretary Blinken’s latest trip to Israel has failed. Thanks to the ‘Amen Corner’ in the Capitol Hill, and decades of pampering plus protective shielding offered by our US government in the UN, the ‘little’ rascal Israel has graduated to becoming an obscenely arrogant, purely evil, savage, monster that has the now the audacity to say ‘no’ to your plea for a ‘humanitarian pause’, let alone a ceasefire that is badly needed now in Gaza.

Mr. President, do you recall, what late Secretary James Baker III, had said in June 1990 in comments directed to the Israeli government? “The phone number (for the White House switchboard) is 202-456-1414. When you’re serious about this, call us,” Baker said. If the new government, led by Yitzhak Shamir, which included some of Israel’s most hawkish politicians, were to put unacceptable conditions for Palestinian participation in the talks, “there won’t be any dialogue, there won’t be any peace,” Baker said bluntly. The United States could not get the talks going unless Israel showed willingness.

Mr. President, Tony Blinken is no Jim Baker. Please, find a Jim Baker in your administration to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. If diplomacy will not do the tricks, cut down all the supports that Israel now enjoys. Israel has been an ill-conceived investment anyway that has made the USA isolated in our globe. Do not waste the veto power in the UNSC to justify and sanitize Israeli war crimes.

It is said that an uncouth hog needs whipping and not carrots! Such tough measures will help revive your credibility and spare you from being called to the Hague. Otherwise, even if you manage to dodge such a verdict in the ICC, please, be assured that history will judge you very harshly as one who financed mass murder and aided genocidal crimes of the apartheid state of Israel. And you can say, Sayonara to the next election.

Habib Siddiqui has a long history of a peaceful activism in his effort towards improving human rights and creating a just and equitable world. He has written extensively in the arena of humanity, global politics, social conscience and human rights since his student days in the 1980s. He offers a fresh and insightful perspective on a whole generation of a misunderstood and displaced people with little or no voice of their own.

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