Ramallah (QNN)- Palestinian-Americans held on Wednesday a press conference to highlight how Israeli violations of Palestinian rights are enabled by the U.S government’s silence ahead of President Joe Biden’s visit to the occupied lands and the West Bank.
In light of President Biden’s visit to the region, U.S. citizens with dual nationality (Palestinian Americans) who have been subjected to the Israeli occupation’s brutal regime of repression and persecution held early on Wednesday a press conference to push Biden to help Palestinians win their rights and to shed light on the Israeli violations which “are enabled by the U.S government’s silence even when it comes to the rights of U.S. citizens of Palestinian descent.”
“We wanted to take advantage of President Biden’s visit [to ‘Israel’ and occupied West Bank] to provide an opportunity for Palestinian-Americans affected by the occupation and continuous violations to have a platform to express their concerns directly and have their voices heard.. the voices of Palestinian-Americans here need to be heard,” said Munadel Hirzallah, a member of the US Palestinian Community Network.
During the press conference, held in Al-Haq Center for Applied International Law, in Ramallah, a statement was read by Palestinian Americans and several testimonies were also given on the experiences of U.S. citizens and the discrimination they face.
Fadi Quran, a Ramallah-based political and social activist, stated,“In advance of President Biden’s arrival in the region, we take this opportunity to remind the US government, especially the State Department, that Palestinian Americans expect their rights as US citizens to be given an equal protection and attention to those of other US citizens of dual mationality.”
“To continue denial of the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation under its apartheid regime also impacts American citizens and their right to life, liberty, and the pirsuit to happiness.”
Quran added, “Those of us who have experienced life under occupation first hand appreciate the rights that may be taken for granted in the US, but none of us are truly free until the values of freedom and equality are enjoyed by all.”
“We did not expect, as US citizens, that the US State Department would contribute to the denial of these rights by applying its discriminatory policy of engaement in a discriminatory manner.”
“The freedom of some people should not come at the expense and oppression of others. Likewise, the conviction to principles and values should not be diluted crossing from one shore to another.“
The Palestinian-American citizens also referred to the recent killing of Palestinian-American journalist of Al Jazeera Shireen Abu Akleh and elderly Palestinian-American Omar Asa’d, saying their killing served to highlight the lack of political well in genuinely addressing the graveness of US citizens from Palestinian decent and their families calls for accountability.”
The statement also pointed to the occupation’s entity denying them access to their properties in the occupied territories and family reunion, and even subjecting them to administrative detention and torture.
“We are not naive in our request,” stressed the statement, adding “ignoring the political reality of American foreign policy. We do, however, genuinely believe that silence in the face of injustice not only makes one complicit over time; the effects of injustice in one part of the system will eventually spread throughout the system as a whole.”
Sahar Askar, a Palestinian-American citizen who had her land seized by ‘Israel’ to expand an illegal Israeli settlement said at the press conference that the US Administration was informed and chose to do nothing.
A Carter Centre representative also read a statement, issued on July 11, in the conference.
The statement called on Biden to make human rights a central theme of his meetings with Palestinian and Israeli occupation leaders.
The Centre said it was encouraged by the Biden administration’s commitment to pursue “equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy” for Palestinians and ‘Israelis’, adding that concrete steps are needed to bring that commitment to life.
The Centre also called for a clear path for ending the 15-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, facilitating freedom of movement to allow Palestinians to receive medical treatment and exit to other countries, and protecting the rights of Palestinian-American citizens who face administrative detention, denial of travel, family separation, and lack of access to their property in Palestinian territories.
(Source / 13.07.2022)