An open letter to Jason Greenblatt, Assistant to the US President and Specific Agent for Intercontinental Negotiations
In June 2017, during the month of Ramadan, you unexpectedly attended an “Iftar” meal with some of the quite sick Palestinian small children and their families at Makassed Medical center in East Jerusalem. The Iftar, organized by the Healthcare facility in conjunction with Mr. Donald Blome, the American Consulate Typical in Jerusalem, was to be a information to East Jerusalem Hospitals and their vulnerable people from Gaza and the West Lender, that absolutely nothing much has modified after President Trump has been installed at the helm, that the new US administration sympathises with their plight and will not abandon them.
Staying the CEO of the Healthcare facility at the time, I recall welcoming you but politely outlining how, as Palestinian citizens of Arab East Jerusalem, we felt about the continual aggressive tries to “Judaise” our component of the Town and how our Arab tertiary-stage Hospitals in East Jerusalem, including the Lutheran-operate Augusta Victoria, the Catholic-run St. Joseph and St. John’s Eye Hospitals, were barely surviving in the midst of really difficult economic and political circumstances in order to proceed to serve the pretty ill and vulnerable Palestinian clients who crossed the heartless Israeli checkpoints in get to get life-saving professional medical treatment at price ranges they can find the money for.
I also try to remember getting you on a tour to check out some medical departments. And when you went into the 30-bed Neonatal Device and observed those minimal infants who weighed primarily below 1,000 grammes, you explained to us, with your eyes filling with tears, how that scene reminded you of the delivery of your triplet young children – Noah, Julia and Anna – who years in the past ended up placed in a Neonatal Device in a New York Healthcare facility due to their small delivery body weight.
You seemed to be comprehensive of praise of the Hospital’s do the job especially with the very unwell small children who came from Gaza and “sort of” pledged to lobby on the Hospital’s behalf.
Alas…The tears we noticed were all those of crocodiles! For rather of your stop by staying a blessing for the Hospital and its sufferers, it turned out to be a curse! For one month right after your take a look at, in July 2017, the Israeli forces brutally stormed Makassed Hospital together with the Neonatal Device you visited, wreaking havoc and boasting to be seeking for a corpse of a young man they had shot useless outdoors of the Clinic gates. On that working day, 21 July 2017, a massacre was averted at the previous moment when the seriously armed law enforcement, who turned the corridors of the Healthcare facility into a battlefield, encountered family members and good friends of far more than 100 children wounded whilst peacefully protesting at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest shrine in Islam – towards the installation of electronic gates at the Mosque’s entrances, a final decision later rescinded by the Israeli Government for dread of a entire-blown third Intifada.
In addition, four months following your pay a visit to, I was denied entry to Israel, which includes East Jerusalem, even though I (and both equally my moms and dads and grandparents to the twentieth technology) had been born and raised there. Regrettably, Israel’s Legislation of Return only applies to Jews (which include you of program) but not to the native Arab populace of Palestine (Christians and Muslims) who designed up much more than 90 per cent of the population on the day Palestine was occupied by the British in December 1917. However for us Palestinians, that is to say if you or any of your triplet youngsters want to reside in Jerusalem despite the fact that you had been all born and lived in New York all your life, you will be welcome with open arms but if I desire to return and reside in my birthplace, the discriminatory laws of the Point out of Israel will deny me that “wish/right”.
And to insert insult to injuries, your esteemed Government just lately decided to terminate the $25 million grant that ended up allocated to help the remedy of very ill and very poor sufferers in six East Jerusalem Hospitals, denying lots of lousy youngsters their correct to lifestyle, together with the pre-experienced infants who brought tears to your eyes!
For Makassed and the relaxation of East Jerusalem Hospitals, your pay a visit to was a negative omen… an empty gesture that was whole of smiles and tears but you have been actually considering how to pursue your Government’s ruthless political agenda of aiming to carry the Palestinians to their knees even if you starve their pre-mature babies of intravenous injections!
Mr. Greenblatt, I would like to stop my open up letter with a phrase of assistance to you and your President (and also to Messrs. Kushner, Friedman, Haley, Bolton and the other entourage): No quantity of hunger and misery you impose on the Palestinian people today will work! On the opposite, our response will be like a cat “entrapped in a corner” compelled to defend its susceptible kittens. Regardless of shifting the US embassy to Jerusalem or slicing assist to our Hospitals, we will resist, defy and stand steadfast in defence of our usurped legal rights and stolen land. Remember to rest assured that your intense insurance policies may well have brought a silent response from a several leaders but the Arab persons are lifeless versus your “Deal of the Century” and will not succumb to your futile attempts that are primarily based on the previous colonial basic principle of “Divide and Rule”.
And standing with us will be all the peace – and justice – loving men and women in the world, which includes, in escalating numbers, numerous Jewish people living in the US, Israel, Europe and somewhere else, who are progressively being alienated from the American Machiavellian Mideast policies and the atrocious Israeli steps of killing unarmed civilian protesters in Gaza and the West Financial institution when passing a new racist Nation State Law.
For, in the conclude, Mr. Greenblatt, Palestine/Israel shall be a put where by each and every of us might follow their beliefs without trodding on the legal rights and beliefs of others… a secular democratic point out with equal legal rights and equal obligations for all its citizens irrespective of race, faith, color or creed. You may possibly dismiss this as utopian but you should agree that this is the only plausible, just and democratic option if no a single is to be thrown in the desert or the sea!
Mr. Greenblatt, Make sure you permit the President know that we have existed in Palestine and Jerusalem for over 5,000 a long time and we do not intend to go away. The Palestinians now feel like Rocky Balboa immediately after Round One… But it is still Spherical A person!
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Dr. Rafiq Husseini is Former Coordinator of East Jerusalem Hospitals Network.