Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Give Us a Clean Break from
Say Something About Gaza
By Cynthia McKinney
June 14, 2009
It is time that the United States negotiate in good faith with Hamas,
the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It is also time
that the U.S. government tell Israel to release the Hamas Parliamentarians
it illegally arrested.
Please say something about Gaza. You have been roundly condemned for
your continued silence in the face of war crimes and crimes against
humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. Silence is complicity. Not one more
bomb for Israel.
Israeli action in Gaza has outraged the world.
Starting with Israel's inhumane blockade of Gaza when it didn't like the
2006 election results that put Hamas officially into power. In September
2007, Israel declared Gaza an "enemy entity." Of course, Israeli efforts
to isolate the Gaza Strip can be traced back to Ariel Sharon as early as
2005. In carrying out its military Operation Cast Lead, Israel not only
committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, it also carried out a
long-standing goal of Gaza isolation. The President's continued silence on
Gaza and the Palestinian right of self-determination is unacceptable.
I would like to commend President Obama for recognizing that peace is
the imperative and that the United States can play a constructive role in
its attainment. However, placing a phone call to an irrelevant "leader" in
an attempt to revive his political standing is not a route to peace: it is
a journey down the same road that we're already on, that is massacres,
genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture--all with U.S.
weapons, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
The President must call the
elected representatives of the Palestinian people and that means dealing
President Obama has already spoken with Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert. George Mitchell, the President's Middle East Envoy,
is reportedly scheduled to visit the region, but is expected to meet only
with Egyptian, Israeli, Saudi, and Jordanian leaders, and the West Bank's
Abbas. Unfortunately, despite worldwide revulsion and United Nations
outrage at Israeli actions in Gaza, Gaza has not been reported to be one
of the Presidential Envoy's destinations.
Even worse, one of the
first officials that Obama called on his first day in office was
Palestinian Mahmood Abbas. Abbas, however, is no longer President, heading
a government that has no opportunity to govern, from a state that exists
only as a construct not made by the Palestinian people. For the United
States to embark upon the path of peace, it must recognize and act on the
fact that Mahmood Abbas is now irrelevant.
I believe that the call
to Abbas occurred because of pressure on President Obama from outraged
activists around the country and around the world calling for him to do
something. But Abbas is irrelevant if the goal is peace.
goal, however, is to appear to be doing something while all the time doing
nothing but allowing the violence of U.S.-sponsored military action to
spread including saber rattling against Syria and Iran, then the President
is on the right path.
The American people voted for change and
peace. President Obama's current path will produce neither.
implored President Obama to say something about Gaza. He has been roundly
condemned for his continued silence in the face of war crimes and crimes
against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza. Silence in the face of such
criminal behavior is complicity.
President Obama must urgently
place a call to the elected government of the Palestinian people.
President Obama can send a strong message to the warmongers inside his own
party and present them "a clean break" from war. I encourage him to do so.
We will not be fooled by actions that have the appearance of putting us on
a path for peace, but that are public relations projects that buy time for
To activists and human rights lawyers around the world I
say: Now is not the time to let up. We must be unrelenting in our pressure
for justice and recognition of the rights of all peoples embodied in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Those rights include the right not
to be occupied. And the right to resist occupation. This is the embodiment
of self-determination. And the Palestinian people are holders of these
It is time that the United States negotiate in good faith
with Hamas, because it is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian
people. It is also time that the U.S. government tell Israel to release
the Hamas Parliamentarians it illegally arrested.
While the United
States Government spends precious resources to imprison Palestinians in
the United States who attempted to ameliorate the humanitarian disaster in
Gaza, I will attempt another trip to Gaza to assess the depth of the
worsened humanitarian catastrophe now there.
I have repeatedly
called on the President to ask for and the Congress to vote not one more
bomb, not one more dime for the Israeli war machine.
Cynthia McKinney is a former US presidential candidate
representing the Green Party and a former Congresswoman from the
State of Georgia, who lost reelection twice as a result of being targeted
by the Israel Lobby machine for her criticism of the Israeli occupation