Sunday, 20 May 2012


            While the Western world is pre-occupied with saving the Euro, deficit reduction and increasing the banking system's liquidity, Israel continues with its policy of purloining Palestinian land, while at the same time pursuing its agenda of genocide against the Palestinian people. If you have a look at an old map and look at the territory that was marked as Palestine and compare it with what is now considered Palestinian land you get quite a shock. Not only is the land just a fraction of what it was, this land grab by Israel has been allied to thousands of Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israeli state. In man's blood soaked history I doubt if there has been a longer, more one-sided war. On the one side you have one of the most modern, powerfully equipped military machines in the world, on the other a people armed with second rate makeshift rockets, improvised home-made weaponry and stones, and after approximately 50 years, still the uneven struggle continues. None of this could happen if it was not for the financial and military support of America. What is happening in Palestine is part and parcel of American foreign policy in the Middle East, all the West is also complicit in the death of the the Palestinian people, the destruction of their farms and property and the grabbing of their land.

On May 15, across the shatat and in the homeland, Palestinians marked the 64th anniversary of the Nakba of 1948 in a multitude of ways. We rallied, we held vigils, and we took a quiet moment to remember, reflect, and mourn. On this anniversary, we particularly honored our heroes in Israeli prisons, who conducted the longest, and one of the largest, hunger strikes in history. In our long march to liberation and return, it has always been our people, their undiminished courage, and their towering fortitude, that have carried our struggle through. We are honored to be Palestinian, proud of our people, and the nobility of our cause.
It is therefore with grave concern that we issue this letter expressing our dismay at the continued disregard and disrespect for our struggle and our people by the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), and its President, Ziad Asali.
At this time of remembrance, two photos were widely circulated of Asali embracing Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at a celebration of Israel’s independence hosted by the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC. While Palestinians were mourning the destruction of 531 of our villages, and the expulsion of nearly 800,000 of our people, Asali saw fit to attend a celebration of that moment, and shake the hands of a man whose task it is to silence us and defend the destruction of our homes, theft of our land, starvation of our prisoners, and elimination of our people.
Indeed, this incident is merely the culmination of a long history of ATFP’s betrayal of our people. Since its inception in 2003, with Asali as its President, ATFP has consistently found itself the focus of the Palestinian community’s ire, and the organization’s history carries a string of resignations by one Board member after another in disgust. In the wake of Israel’s 2008-2009 war on Gaza, several Board members stepped down in protest of ATFP comments to CNN effectively absolving Israel of responsibility for its crimes. In his resignation letter to the Board, one member wrote:

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