Dear President Biden,
I am deeply concerned that the U.S. has dismissed Amnesty International’s findings on Israel’s Apartheid as “absurd.” There is discrimination against and oppression of Palestinian people via Illegal settlements, demolition of homes and whole villages, long lines at check points preventing easy access to work places and farms and intentional weakening of the Palestinian economy.
It is time for the U.S. to address Israel’s violations of human rights and international law which have produced these conditions. We dare not dismiss them any longer.
Responding to Amnesty’s report by saying that “the Jewish people must not be denied their right to self-determination,” forces us to ask, “What about the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination?
But to make this a political issue is to miss the point. Amnesty’s report is not about politics. It is about Israel’s actions which constitute the crime of apartheid as defined in the UN Convention of 1973. Israel is guilty of every marker of apartheid listed there:
- Systematic oppression and domination
- Widespread crimes that are inhumane or inhuman
- Discrimination of one racial group oppressed and dominated by another
- Intent to maintain that system of domination and oppression
In May of last year, you said that you believe “Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equally measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy.” I call on you to uphold your stated belief. This report clearly shows that when it comes to freedom, prosperity and democracy, there is no equality between Israel and the Palestinians.
Since the U.S. supports Israel’s apartheid activity with $3.8 Billion in foreign aid, failure to address the very real issues raised in Amnesty’s report constitutes a moral failure.
It is time that the United States, and you personally, President Biden, join President Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem, along with Amnesty International, in recognizing that Israel is an apartheid state. Now is the time to act and to bring the full weight of your presidency to bear on insuring equal freedom, prosperity and democracy for the Palestinian people.