Dear Mr. President,
I believe, Mr. President, that you are badly advised and poorly surrounded and I sincerely hope that you will unburden yourself of the shallow and belligerent neo-conservative ideology and the delirious Christian fundamentalist theology. As a descendent of the early Christians – who were, by the way, converted Jews- each time I hear the evangelicals, I feel a need to proclaim and defend ” the innocence of God”. My understanding of the Christian faith is that Christ has never left us and that there is no need to support unquestioningly Israel’s territorial appetite to accelerate His return.
Since the end of bipolarity and the mergence of a unipolar international system, I personally believe that nonalignment should be what characterises American foreign policy. America is a fascinating society because it is ” a nation of nations”. When the American administration sides, in a regional conflict, with one of the belligerent parties, it not only antagonises all the other actors in the region but it also alienates and ghettoises one component of the domestic national social fabric. And in the Middle East, one ought to remember that it is Israel that occupies Palestine and not the other way around.
Mr. President, the perceived collusion between the American and the Israeli agendas has put America on a collusion course with the Arabs and the Muslims. The unresolved Palestinian tragedy is what is poisoning international relations. America gives Israel a lot of aid and, occasionally, some advice. You seem, Mr. President, to have grown accustomed to see Israel take all the aid and leave the advice aside. Many senior Americans have been for long advocating that the administration should link its aid and its advice to “save Israel in spite of itself” (George Ball, among others, since over 3 decades).
We Arabs, have understood that the U.S.A. is committed to Israel’s existence. But are you, Sir, committed to its expansions? The Arab world has been unreasonably reasonable. In the Fez summit in 1982, again proposed by the Beirut summit in 2002, all Arab leaders offered the Israeli society a formula for a historical compromise: if you withdraw from the 1967 expansion, we are ready to recognize Israel’s existence.
Israeli public opinion should be made to understand that security and peace will result from regional acceptance and not territorial aggrandisement. And we, the Palestinians, are the key to the regional acceptance of Israel. A Palestinian State is not only our right, but it is also a Jewish duty, an Israeli moral obligation, bearing in mind the enormous human price, individual and collective, we have had to pay for the birth of Israel.
In the gloomiest of times, I remain confident that Palestine will resurrect and, as you know Mr. President, we in the Holy Land, we have had some previous experience in Resurrection.
Afif Emile Safieh
Palestinian General Delegate to the
United Kingdom and to the Holy See
18. november 2003