Dr. Said Calls for a yes vote on the Israel-Palestine resolution

Ellensburg, Washington, May 12, 1990

To Washington State Democratic Platform Committee,

I am sending you this letter not as a big shot such as Congressman Jim McDermott, Senator Brock Adams or Governor Booth Gardner, but as an ordinary citizen just like you, regarding the resolution on the Israeli—Palestinian conflict and the reaffirmation of the 1988 passed last week by our subcommittee. This resolution was adopted by unanimous vote at the Platform Committee Meeting in Ellensburg, and by acclamation in Olympia in 1988. That resolution was historic, it addressed the concerns of both the Israeli and the Palestinians for statehood, self—determination, safety and security. It dealt with the U.N. resolutions 242 and 338 of which our Government is a signature. It stressed the goal of achieving peace under International conference.

When I visited the West Bank last year, I witnessed the brutality of the Israeli occupation, and the suffering of the Palestinians. I went to my little town, Burin, south of Nablus, with its 5 thousand people, with two surrounding Jewish settlements Bracha and Yetzhar, with hardly enough water to drink, when both settlements have plenty of water for their swimming pools and gardens. I saw the windows at the High School, broken by the settlers, I witnessed my little town trying desperately to collect money to repair those windows, and build a wall around the school, so the kids can have enough time to escape when the settlers arrive, since the Israeli government does not allow money to come from outside. I had to donate my own money at some risk, as a U.S. citizen, to build that wall and to repair those windows. Those settlers, who are supported and financed by the right wing Israeli government are the ones who oppose our resolution of 1988, who illegally occupied a famous Church, in front of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, in the heart of the Christian Quarter, replacing the one thousand year old Cross with a Star of David, which angered not only the Palestinians’, Christians and Moslems, but many of the Israelis. The anger and resentment was so great that they closed the Churches, including the Holy Sepulcher as a protest, for the first time in 900 years.

When I immigrated to this country more than 16 years ago, seeking the American dream, leaving my family members, relatives and friends, I made a commitment that I will carry their message for human dignity, and freedom to the American people. The Palestinian people are not asking for a 3 Billion dollars to raise their standard of living and enable them to vacation in Europe like the Israelis do. They are asking for freedom and self determination. Is this a sin? Didn’t we applaud the same cry at Tianamen Square in Peking, South Africa, East Europe, Nicaragua and Lithuania? Are the Palestinians different; or are we applying a double standard? This does not hold for a moment under our traditional values and Constitution.

There has been a circulating letter from more than 50 elected officials from the State of Washington, including Senators, Congressmen, Representatives and the Governor, and it is so strange that nobody of those elected officials opposed our resolution for 2 years. So after two years of hibernation, they are suddenly awakened to oppose that important resolution drafted by the people. I say to them the opposite, that during those 2 years they were awake but now they started to hibernate.

My friends, I ask you to vote yes for the resolution, because it is a vote of hope, peace, integrity and justice, a vote for the Progressive forces in Israel. A vote that again will be historical and will be on the front pages, in the headline news. You will be heroes, I will carry your resolution and support to the Palestinian National Counsel when we meet in the near future. A vote of no is a vote for the settlers in Israel, a vote for the right wing of the Israeli government, a vote for the status quo, and the subsidy to to Israel for another 50 Billion dollars from American tax payers. A no vote will die out and be buried in a corner of a local paper forever, without contributing anything to history.

Dr. Mohammad Said, Member, Platform Committee, 13th Legislative District