(Following letter is in response to an address made by Mr. Collin Powell to AIPAC)
Dear Mr. Secretary,
I do not know the Yiddish words for “disappointment” or “pandering” but, Sir, your speech to AIPAC was a most egregious and disappointing example of our government’s continued pandering to a foreign lobbying group intent to ensure Israel’s health and wealth no matter the cost to us as Americans or to the hapless Palestinian prisoners in their own land. As much as this country and the world places a high premium on your character and integrity, as far as I’m concerned today you’ve lost it. You simply chose the easy non confrontational path and followed every American President, Senator, Congressman, or Cabinet Secretary’s pandering to an organization that holds Congress by its Cojones.
You likened yourself as a military General becoming the Secretary of State to the great General George Marshall. I’ve studied General Marshall, Mr. Secretary, and you are no General Marshall. Marshall was willing to risk his career and Truman’s Presidency to stand up for his patriotic duty by insisting Truman not recognize Israel. Truman, however, needed New York’s Jewish vote more than he needed Marshall.
I can’t tell whether you are unaware of Israel’s history of belligerency, murder, land confiscations, house demolitions, mass imprisonments and torture, human rights abuses that your own Department highlights, its total siege of Palestinians (did you read Lee Hockstader’s column today in the Post?), and so much more or whether you are aware but for the sake of career, money, prestige, and a lucrative post government job, you don’t mind selling your immigrant soul to the devil. You’re not alone, almost all of Washington and our institutions have sold America’s morality, soul, leadership, credibility, and even their patriotism to AIPAC.
It’s obvious you’re already aware of AIPAC’s money and power otherwise it’s difficult to rationalize the “clichs” you uttered knowing the right Zionist buttons to push for an applause and perhaps a future campaign donation to the Powell Presidential candidacy.
“POWELL ASSURES AIPAC” cried the Post’s headline as if AIPAC was a foreign government (it is). How in God’s name can you speak of the security and safety of Israel living in a “hostile neighborhood” when it is Israel with its nuclear might that has invaded, occupied, murdered and pillaged its Arab neighbors for 52 years? I poured my blood into the bodies of American marines in Beirut in October 1983 when they were bombed because of our stupidity in sending them there in the first place due to Israel’s request? As a General you might be a little concerned about our brave sailors killed by Israel in 1967 during its deliberate attack on the USS Liberty?
You are a General, a man of war as you said, who needs quick simplified facts to make decisions just like you stated in the Persian Gulf war: “we’ll surround it, then we’ll kill it.” Can such a General survive in the complicated back stabbing forked tongue world of Washington with so many constituencies to please, having to deal with Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Haas, Satloff and other Zionist hawks? They’ve already undermined your credibility given your Freudian “slip” on Jerusalem.
You had a great chance to show your metal and take the reigns early. Now you’ve permanently lost that chance especially now after your AIPAC speech. Now everyone knows you can be manipulated and that you’re not that “powerful” after all.
You had a chance to make a strong legacy for yourself upholding American principles of fairness, equality, and justice for all. Unfortunately, the lure of this world’s kosher realities with its temptation of carrots if you played the game was too much. Palestinians will continue to die because Powell and America can’t stand up to AIPAC with allegedly 50,000 members. Do you ever wonder why the rest of American Jews don’t join AIPAC or speak up against it? They’re just as brave as you are, General.
You know very well that all the Palestinians have asked for since 1988 is the implementation of UN Resolution 242 (America introduced) to live on 22% of what’s left of their land. That was the basis of the Camp David and the Madrid Conference. Apparently, it’s okay with you to see only Yiddish signs all over Jerusalem to the exclusion of Christians and Muslims. That’s not okay with God who chose the promised land for Abraham’s “seeds”–all three Abrahamic faiths.
Mr. Mohamed Khodr is an American Muslim physician and a native from the Middle East. He has worked in Academic Medicine and Public health with national and international health experience. He is a freelance writer who often writes columns on the Palestinian cause, Islam and on America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East. He lives in the Washington DC area.