The American Israeli Action Coalition (AIAC) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to reject the recent apparent conspiracy between 54 Democratic Members of Congress and 7 radical anti-Israel American groups to cast the full blame and responsibility on Israel for the current status of the residents of the Gaza Strip.
AIAC is a non-partisan, non-political, issue-oriented NGO whose purpose is to represent the united voice of the more than 250,000 Americans living in Israel on issues which affect Israel, Israel-U.S. relations, and the Jewish people worldwide. AIAC also called upon all Jewish organizations, as well as all Americans of good will, to advise the White House of their views on this matter.
Following is the text of the letter:
Dear Mr. President:
The American Israeli Action Coalition (AIAC), on behalf of the more than 250,000 Americans living in Israel, abhor the recent apparent conspiracy between 54 Democratic Members of Congress and 7 radical anti-Israel American organizations to use your presidency by each group sending a letter to you to promote the maliciously false charge that Israel has been inflicting “collective punishment” on the residents of the Gaza Strip. We call upon you to loudly and clearly disassociate your presidency from such false charge and state unequivocally that (i) your administration thoroughly rejects it, (ii) such perniciously false charge is clearly motivated solely by anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment, (iii) such false charge is not only anti-American in nature but that Israel’s activities are actually fully in accordance with long-standing American policy and (iv) propagating this false charge is actually an impediment to peace.
AIAC is a non-partisan, non-political, issue-oriented NGO whose purpose is to represent the united voice of the more than 250,000 Americans living in Israel on issues which affect Israel, Israel-U.S. relations, and the Jewish people worldwide.
Mr. President, as you well know, the State of Israel, although beset with its own humanitarian needs and under constant mortal threat from its terrorist enemies, has often provided humanitarian aid– far disproportionate to its small size—wherever needed in the world. The recent, world-recognized, Israeli assistance to earthquake-devastated Haiti is only the most recent example. Other examples are Israeli humanitarian assistance in the face of the Asian tsunami and the Mexico City earthquake.
Accordingly, these recent charges are preposterous and amount to nothing more than outright, outrageous Israel-bashing. Nowhere do the “Gang of 54” Congressmen, or the “Cabal of 7” anti-Israel groups point out that there has not been an Israeli in Gaza ever since the Israeli disengagement from there 5 years ago (other than the approximately one month Operation Cast Lead in 2009, when Israel was forced to conduct a defensive operation against Hamas’ indiscriminate firing of almost 10,000 missiles against Israeli civilians). Nor did they mention that the well-being of Gaza’s population is solely the responsibility of Hamas – which they elected in 2007 – not Israel. The financial assistance given to Gaza by numerous European countries, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in aid pledged by the United States, has been used by Hamas either to further its terrorist activities or to line the pockets of its leaders, rather than to provide for the needs of Gazans. Any problems which the Gazans may have are theirs alone, not Israel’s. Indeed, Israel must continue to deal with repairing the human and economic damages it suffered at the hands Hamas terrorism.
Mr. President, the blatant anti-Israel position of the “Gang of 54” and the “Cabal of 7” amply is demonstrated by their use of the inflammatory phrase “collective punishment,” and the failure to even mention the responsibility of Hamas, which the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization. If Israel has been guilty of “collective punishment” for defending its civilian population from Hamas’ terrorist attacks emanating from Gaza, then why haven’t these same groups similarly charged the U.S. government with inflicting “collective punishment” on the civilian population for the almost 60 year U.S. embargo against North Korea, the almost 50 year U.S. embargo against Cuba and the ever increasing U.S. sanctions against Iran? Why do these groups believe that Israel has any less of a right to defend itself from its enemies than their own government has? Indeed, Israel’s actions are in full accord with U.S. policy, as demonstrated by these U.S. activities. Why do these groups support the Hamas terrorists and not the State of Israel, America’s best friend in the Middle East?
Harvey Schwartz Aaron S. Tirschwell
Mr. President, the American Israelis believe that these misguided groups represent neither the views of your administration nor those of most Americans. They deserve your censure and that of your entire administration.
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