Opinion

Opinion: Biden must intervene in Israeli land-grab of Palestinian Americans’ lands

A letter to US President Biden

The contents of this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Jersualem24’s editorial stance.

12-July-2022

President of the United States of America

White House 1600 Pennsylvania Street

Washington DC 20500

 

Mr. President

Greetings and respect,

I wanted to talk to you about a specific Issue today, but I find myself taking the opportunity of your visit to the region to express to you the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people from the injustice and bitterness caused by the Israeli occupation, which includes confiscation of land, restriction of freedoms, movement restriction, field executions and displacement of the sons and daughters of this defenseless Palestinian people, and this tragedy has been continuing on for seventy-five years, where catastrophes, setbacks, uprisings, massacres, killings, destruction, displacement, and attempts to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian people inside the occupied land or in exile and alienation has been taking place.

I tried to meet you personally and still, I hope I can meet and hand you this letter, and give you an overview and explain to you the facts about our suffering as Palestinians, especially we Palestinians who hold American citizenship, where many of us are currently residing in the occupied land of Palestine, and most of us are moving with difficulty between the United States of America and the land of our parents and grandparents, or many of us are unable to move within the Palestinian territories. Our human rights are not respected like any other free human being. Rather, our rights as Palestinian citizens who hold American citizenship are being violated by the Israelis.

Mr. President, I am trying to reach you today for an urgent matter, it is regarding more Palestinian lands being confiscated by the Israelis, and most of us land owners are American citizens, where our lands are seized to build settlement roads or build walls of segregation and apartheid entities, that will serve the settlers’ and the occupiers of our land, where the land confiscated is part of the city of Al-Bireh and is taken to serve the illegal settlement of Beit El and its settlers. We are sad and angry that the US government does not stand for the Palestinians’ rights, and does not defend our rights legally or humanely, nor does it return our property to us, but rather ignores our demands.

On March 13, 2013, I sent a message via email and through media outlets to the former President of the United States of America, then-President Barack Obama, when he visited Palestine and he spent a few hours in my hometown of Al-Bireh. And our dream was to see a change in the American foreign policy towards the Palestinian issue and see fruitful results of work in the light of that visit and to contribute to restoring the Palestinian rights and establishing a Palestinian state on our occupied land.

As Palestinian Americans we are addressing you today, Mr. Biden, where you are the President of the United States of America. We are an authentic part of the American people. Our roots as American citizens extend back to more than a hundred years of presence on the American scene and to successive generations of grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren, where we are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are Americans, and we have an active presence and have been contributing to building the American state and its institutions. As Palestinians, we are an integral part of the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity that builds the American cultural, economic and political institutions.

Not only are we entitled to human rights that are granted by humanitarian charters and local and international laws, but also we are Palestinians who hold American citizenship and are American citizens with equal rights like any other American citizen. Our US Government must focus and work honestly on our rights and put our issues and concerns as a priority and defend us and take our rights very seriously like any other American citizen of another race, culture or religion.

American citizens of Palestinian origin, their roots extend back to the early nineteenth century in the Land of Freedom. We are not a marginal thing in American civilization. For example, but not limited to, my great grandfather is a Palestinian, Jadallah Salah, who ended up as an American citizen when the ship carrying him from the shores of Yemen landed on Ellis Island in New York after a long sea voyage through The Red Sea in the early 1900s, and my grandfather Jodah Jadalla since the mid-thirties of the last century worked as a street peddler in the countryside of the United States of America. And later on he worked in steel and iron factories and was a member of labor unions in Youngstown, Ohio.

Other examples of Palestinian Americans and family members’ involvement in defending the US soil include my uncle Zahid Jadallah and my father’s uncle Salem Bahour: they both served in the Korean-American war as American soldiers; as well as my father, Kanaan Jadallah, who lived most of his life in the United States of America, and he joined the troops when he was called up for mandatory military service with the US Army while working on the assembly line of Ford Motor Company in the American city of Dearborn in the sixties of the last century, and he served for two years in the actual Vietnam War, to return from the war and then work in the Detroit municipality until he died, where some medical speculations suggested that one of the complications of his illness and the cause of his death was exposure to the orange element dropped by the US army to clear forests during his military service in the Vietnam War.

It is our right as Palestinian citizens with American citizenship to demand your immediate and rapid intervention as the president of the United States of America on restoring freedoms of Palestinians and bringing a Palestinian state into existence. Human rights and civil society organizations have the proof that the current land being confiscated belongs to the people of Al-Bireh and the neighboring villages (such as Beitin, Ein Yabroud and Dura) who hold American citizenship.

Mr. President Joseph Biden,

We are aware that there are local and international issues and crises on the American agenda that are being pursued by your administration and you personally, but what I have mentioned to you above must be a priority to you and to your administration. Not only as a principle, but the outcome of the occupation of the Palestinian land and the suffering of the Palestinian people is unethical and inhumane by world standards, and it unacceptable by all to watch this silence and negligence, where this has been taking place for more than seventy years. It is the last colonialist occupation on earth in the modern era, and there are continuous attempts to ethnically exterminate and cleanse the Palestinian people, and confiscation of the land and the obliteration of its civilized and cultural identity.

We as Palestinian Americans demand rapid, honest and impartial intervention from the United States of America government, and your active contribution to restoring and establishing the rights of the Palestinian people and not to stand in the way of liberating the Palestinian people and obtaining their inalienable historical rights.

Yours sincerely,

Jad Kanaan Judah Jadallah Salah Al-Taweel

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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