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May 05, 2002
An Open letter to Colin Powell

By Dan Amarito


May 5, 2002

Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Fax: 202-261-8577

Secretary of State Colin Powell:

I am writing to urge that the United States condemn Israel's latest attacks on civilians in Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem and numerous West Bank Towns using American weapons. As a concerned citizen, I demand that the US cut off its over $6 billion in annual aid to Israel immediately. These US taxpayer dollars are being used to suppress the Palestinian struggle for liberation from 35 years of occupation. The US must not fund Israel's brutal military repression and its persistent violations of human rights.

Our US Tax dollars (Israel gets $15 Million a day or $ 6 billion / year) should not continue to be used to support the 35 years of illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israel. Israel has one of the highest standards of living in the world but continues to be the number one recipient of foreign aid. Although the International community and human rights organizations have condemned Israel, this Human rights Tragedy will continue to be perpetuated with the America's unconditional support of Israel.

Contrary to the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 adopted by Congress, Israel has used American-made heavy weapons to attack Palestinian civilians. Israel has used American supplied armored pile drivers and armored bulldozers to destroy Palestinian homes and agricultural land, and used American-made heavy weapons to attack Palestinian civilians, buildings and vehicles. Involving the American people in funding Israeli abuses of international law and human rights is unacceptable, and illegal. Israel's attacks on defenseless innocent civilians are a gross misuse of US military and economic aid.

Since 1967, the Israeli Army has illegally occupied modern-day Palestine (Gaza and West Bank). Over the years, the Israeli Army has been seizing Palestinians' land at the rate of about three (3) square miles per month. This stolen land has been used to build Jewish settlements and a network of roads. While Israeli settlers have swimming pools and green lawns, the Palestinians live have open sewers and water shortages. The continuing confiscation of private property (homes, business, and farms) from Palestinians by the Government of Israel is the driving force behind the present killing of over a thousand and injuring of thousands on both sides in the Middle East. I recommend the following steps toward a long-range solution.

* Stop all economic aid to Israel until it has pulled completely out of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank) in compliance with United Nations Resolution 242. For the US to do otherwise is to continue to reward tyranny and war crimes.

* Insist Israel start reimbursing the individual Palestinians and the Government of Palestine for the damage it has caused.

* Start helping the Palestinians establish an economically viable nation and a democratically controlled government.

The American Media and the US Government have deliberately misled the American people about what was in the "offer Israel never" made at Camp David and why the peace process really broke down. The main myth is that the Palestinians rejected a "generous" Israeli offer at Camp David two years ago. It is time for some truth about the offer Israel never made, rather than continuing to blame the Palestinians as unwilling to compromise. Barak's proposal for a Palestinian state based on 91% of the West Bank sounded substantive, but was not an economically viable solution. It carved the West Bank into three chunks, surrounded by Israeli troops and settlers, without direct access to its own international borders. Furthermore, the land swap to compensate the Palestinians for the loss of prime agricultural land in the West Bank added insult to injury. The territory swap offered to the Palestinians was stretches of desert adjacent to the Gaza Strip that Israel currently uses for toxic waste dumping. With respect to East Jerusalem, the Palestinians were offered control of a few scattered fragments of what had been theirs before 1967.

It has become clear that US aid to Israel is now doing much more harm than good to stability in the Middle East. The US should cease delivery of all economic and military aid to Israel immediately.


Dan Amarito
Seattle, WA

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