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Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice
I received the following as an e-mail this morning. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone who has read many of my blog articles that I fully support the position of “Jewish Voice for Peace” and the petition they’re asking people to sign. Instead of forwarding this in an e-mail, I’ve decided to repost it on my blog, and hope that many of you will sign the petition.
It’s time, finally, after forty years for the United States to do the right thing for the people of Palestine. Will they?
During Wednesday’s United Nations Security Council debate about Palestinian statehood, once again, the United States announced that it would stand in the way of a vote for Palestinian self-determination.
This isn’t the first time. Nor the second, or tenth or twentieth time. In fact, it’s the forty-first time.
Forty-one times during the last forty years, the United States has said no, one way or another, to the Palestinian struggle for human rights.
Forty-one times, in votes at the UN Security Council, the United States has been the only country to use its veto to override the votes of every other member.
Forty-one times, the US has been the one country to protect Israel no matter how many settlements it builds, orchards it destroys, or acres it takes. The one country to say no to democracy, fairness and justice for Palestinians and yes to more pain and destruction for both Palestinians and Israelis.
Now, as soon as this September, the United States will vote one more time.
It’s up to us to make this the last time. Join me in telling U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Rice that it’s time for them to vote for justice. They must not veto for the 42nd time.
The whole world will be watching. You. Me. Millions of people from around the world will be watching and hoping that the U.S. will not block UN recognition of Palestine as a member state.
We know that the vote is just one step, and only a beginning. It won’t stop the growing pace of Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. It won’t suddenly mean there is a viable Palestinian state, or freedom for those in Gaza, or a just resolution to the problem of refugees.
But it will recognize the right to Palestinian self-determination, give our movement additional tools in moving toward a truly just resolution, and give fresh hope to all the people of Palestine and Israel who deserve to live in freedom and democracy.
Do we think the US will change and finally do the right thing this time? Probably not. The US will likely again stand alone in the Security Council and once again veto, or vote no with the few allies it can find, like Micronesia and Palau, if the vote goes to the UN General Assembly.
But this time, they can’t do it quietly. We won’t let them. This time– this 42nd time– let’s make sure the United States is not what keeps the Palestinians from determining their own future, and of being citizens of the world.
Jewish Voice for Peace
P.S. For a more in-depth explanation of JVP’s approach to the UN vote in September, check out this paper by Joel Beinin, long-time JVP member and Donald J. Maclachlan Professor of Middle Eastern History at Stanford University.