Dear President Biden

May 13, 2023

Dear President Biden,

I’m writing today to express my alarm and outrage over Israel’s Operation Shield and Arrow in Gaza which the Haaretz editors have stated “raises moral and legal questions about Israel’s military”. (Haaretz Editorial May 10, 2023).  I assume (hope) that you are receiving daily briefings and so I won’t recap the statistics or the devastation. More than 2 million Palestinians are enduring the trauma of deprivation, fear and potential loss of life as Israel carries out its inhumane aggression against a civilian population trapped in the densely packed Gaza Strip by Israel’s decades-long occupation and siege.   

My specific requests of you are:

  1. Make a public declaration that the U.S. recognizes and supports international humanitarian law and does not condone Israel’s preemptive military actions in the Gaza Strip and call upon the Israeli government to end Operation Shield and Arrow immediately.
  2. Invoke the requirements of the Leahy Law which prohibits the U.S. government from funding units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights. As you probably know, the U.S. now provides Israel with more than $3.8 billion per year. Direct the State Department to investigate Israel’s conduct of Operation Shield and Arrow. Inform the Israeli government that U.S. funding will cease immediately until or unless the State Department’s investigation has cleared Israel of any wrong doing to your satisfaction.
  3. Release your Administration’s report on the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli troops in Jenin a year ago, and publicly acknowledge the FBI’s investigation into her killing.
  4. Redirect the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations who this week blocked the Security Council’s resolution condemning Israel’s current actions in the Gaza Strip. The U.S. must stand in solidarity with the community of nations who recognize and condemn Israel’s war crimes.

I’m making specific requests and would appreciate direct responses to my requests. I’m also mailing to you a copy of Light in Gaza – Writings Born of Fire (edited by Jehad Abusalim, Jennifer Bing, and Michael Merryman Lotze) published in 2022. These are stories written by Palestinians in Gaza about living under Israel’s decades long military occupation.  I believe I sent you a copy of this book late last year, but I hope this copy will make it into your hands.

I look forward to hearing from you or your staff.

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Filed under Politics, Uncategorized, United Nations, US Policy

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