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April 03, 2002
An open letter to US President George W. Bush

From: Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, an Arab citizen


Mr. President, Please read this:

Saudi Gazette

April 4, 2002

Dear Mr. President,

I've come across an important document, which I felt compelled to have you read. Entitled 'The Declaration of Independence', it was unanimously ratified by the Palestinian National Council on March 31, 2002, which coincided with Easter i.e., the Christian holiday that commemorates Christ's resurrection. This document is quite lengthy, so I will not publish it in full. I'll simply try to summarize it.

This unanimous declaration begins as follows:

'When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We the representatives of the Palestinian people 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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.'

Then it adds:

'But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce the Palestinian people under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future society.

Such has been the patient sufferance of the Palestinian people; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of Ariel Sharon is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the Palestinian people. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.'

Then the document goes on to list Sharon's crimes against the Palestinian people, but I'll just mention a few:

'He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has quartered large bodies of armed troops among us.

He has cut off our Trade with all parts of the world.

He has imposed Taxes on us without our Consent.

He has suspended our own Legislatures and declared himself invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.'

The document goes on to say:

'In every stage of these Oppressions, the Palestinian people have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A ruler, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.'

Then, the document concludes with the following declaration:

'We, therefore, the Representatives of the Palestinian people, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to God Almighty, the Supreme Judge of the world, for the rectitude of our intentions do, in the Name, and by the authority of the good People of Palestine, solemnly publish and declare: That the Palestinian people are, and of Right, free and independent in their own free and sovereign State.'

Dear Mr. President,

You must have realized by now that by simply replacing the phrase 'the Palestinian people' with 'these Colonies'; and 'Ariel Sharon' with 'King George III', you will have reproduced the text of the American 'Declaration of Independence' issued by the US Congress on July 4, 1776. You are undoubtedly aware that this document was the raison d'etre of the American Constitution to which you swore to honor and protect on your inauguration.

There is an old Arab proverb which says: 'One hint to a wise man is enough.' After this hint, I can only wish that you would succeed in protecting freedom, democracy and human rights; and in fighting terrorism in all its forms.

Ghazi Al-Gosaibi is Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UK

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