Washington State Democratic Convention

June 9, 1990
In Response to Congressman McDermott & #146 ‘s Letter
Washington State Democratic Convention

FROM: Dr. Mohammad H. Said,
Delegate and Platform Member,
13th Legislative District and Vice Chairman Democratic Central Committee,
Grant County, Washington State.

TO: Elected Delegates, Elected Alternates,
the State Democratic Central Committee Members,
County Chairs,
Legislative District Chairs,
Congressional District Chairs,
Democratic Members of Congress,
Democratic State Elected Officials and others.

I am writing you this letter as a Delegate from the 13th District in answer to the McDermott letter which was widely distributed to the Delegates in the last couple of weeks regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am in the process of finishing a booklet about this conflict which I will be glad to send to anybody who requests it in the next couple of weeks but I am compelled to answer the McDermott letter right now and to rush it to you by the time you attend the convention on June 9th in spite of being extremely busy having to attend to my practice and treat my patients. The least I can say about this letter is that it & #146 is a misrepresentation of facts and the misinformation it contains, but before I go into an analysis of this letter, let me explain a few things.

As many of you are aware, there was a resolution regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which was adopted by the Washington Democrats in 1988 calling for a Palestinian state alongside Israel with negotiations under international conference between the Israeli and the Palestinian representatives. That resolution passed by unanimous vote in Ellensburg and by acclamation in the capital in Olympia in 1988. That historic resolution
became a model for other states to follow and the Washington Democrats became a symbol of courage and freedom all over the world. So when I took that resolution as a member of the National Platform Committee to Algeria where I was invited to attend the Palestinian National Council and later on as a member of the Palestinian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations in Geneva in 1988, I was very proud to contribute significantly to the peace process as a Democrat from the State of Washington. I always believed that the Democrats of this State are some of the best in this nation, are independent, intelligent, fair-minded and are not blackmailed or coerced by anybody.

So, when I went this time again as a member of the Platform of the 13th Legislative District to Ellensburg on May 5, 1990, I thought it was going to be very easy to reaffirm that historic resolution. But, to my surprise, at the Subcommittee for National Security and Foreign Affairs, I was handed McDermott & #146’s letter for the first time by a pro-Israeli member trying to influence the Subcommittee members for a minority plank which was adopted originally at the King County Convention using the letter with it & #146’s signatures of 83 important Democrats from the state as an endorsement for his side.

However, my arguments prevailed and the Subcommittee voted against that minority plank and reaffirmed the resolution of 1988, and when we met again as Platform Committee Members on May 12, 1990, that letter was again circulated with a new one drafted by Larry Kenney, the President of the Washington Council of Labor and probably with many other letters which I objected to being read at the meeting. Furthermore, several people who were nonmembers from the Pro-Israeli PACS (Political Action Committees), and especially the AIPAC, the American-Israeli Public Relations Committee were trying to influence members of the committee to pass that minority plank using the McDermott letter. However our views and arguments prevailed as the members voted down that minority plank and any amendment and reaffirmed the 1988 resolution.
Many members, including myself, expressed outrage at this letter which was considered as meddling in our Democratic political process, as contempt to our independence and intelligence.

As you know, the letter is signed by 3 members of Congress: Jim McDermott, Norm Dicks, Jolene Unsoeld, U.S. Senator Brock Adams and Governor Booth Gardner. It is also signed by 3 State Senators, 9 State Representatives, 3 Mayors and 4 council members of big cities, the President of the Labor Council and 56 people who hold important positions in the state such as legislative and chairs of districts, etc., and I won ’t I will be surprised if further signatures and other letters will come out by the time we hold our convention. Even the pro-Israeli forces might try to go around by making deals with the platform chairs since Margarita Prentice, who is the chair of the platform and supposed to be neutral, signed that letter. In my judgment this letter is a disgrace and a sad hour for our Democratic process and our independent thinking.

Mr. Shelby Scates, who is a well known, respected journalist, wrote in the Seattle PI on May 3, 1990, that the letter was initiated with the help of information supplied by ADL (Anti-discrimination League) which is a Jewish lobby advocating the interests of a foreign country 6,000 miles away called Israel. The letter bashed 21 Arab nations because they have an economic boycott of Israel when we know that boycotts of governments who are in disagreement with us, not even with war, just with ideology, is a common practice. Just look at our government and the boycott of Cuba, other communist countries, and some of the Middle East countries such as Libya. We still classify the countries with favored or unfavored nation trade status. Sometimes we give them favored trade status in spite of their violation of human rights such as China and Romania under Ceausescu who was one of the worst dictator leaders in Eastern Europe. He enjoyed most favored nation status because he allowed massive emigration of Romanian Jews to Israel and Chief Rabbi Moses Rosen of Bucharest used to come to the United States and with the help of American
Jewish leaders, the Congress kept silent about the Romanian leader until the last few years when he was reclassified as an unfavored nation because there were no more Jews to emigrate to Israel. Even the Soviet Union now will be given most favored nation status as soon as they sign the emigration bill which will allow massive emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel In the past most of Soviet Jews came to this country or other Western European countries, but now, once the door was open it appears as if a conspiracy was started by
Israel and the Jewish leaders of this country that lead the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to severely restrict the Soviet Jews coming to the U.S. In other words, to force them into a one-way ticket to Israel which will translate into more misery, more suffering and more displacement of the Palestinians.
Finally, we should not blame the Arab countries for boycotting Israel, we should look at the real problem and after all, even the pro-choice in the U.S. were threatening to boycott Idaho potatoes if Cecil Andrews, the Governor of Idaho signed the bill to restrict abortion.

Second, in the letter, they attack the PLO for what they call terrorism against Israel. I condemn terrorism. I made this very clear when I addressed the session of the Intifada at the Palestinian National Council in Algeria in 1988.1 supported the plank on terrorism on the platform. However, to be fair, we should condemn terrorism from any sources, individual or state so if Arafat is a terrorist so is Shamir, Prime Minister of Israel, who blew up King David’s Hotel killing civilians, so is former Prime Minister Begin responsible for the massacre of Deir Yassim, a little village near Jerusalem where 250 villagers were massacred by the Zionist paramilitary organization, the Irgun Zvai leumi. The atrocity was deliberately done to cause panic and flight and terror so the civilian population would leave the villages for the Israelis. Even today, Rabin, who ordered the shooting of children who are uprising against the Israeli army is considered a terrorist as is the government of Israel itself. It is a double standard that when a Palestinian commits an act of violence the news media and the pro-Israeli’s in this country make it a big issue, out of proportion; but when Israeli’s attack refugee camps with planes and kill women and children indiscriminately, that act is a surgical strike or better called a cosmetic surgery.

Just look at the statistics about the Israeli human rights violations through November 1, 1989, or two years since the uprising of the Palestinian people: 793 killings, 75;000 serious injuries, 6O,OOO house demolitions & #07;~5,()0(~ curfew days and this is a staggering proportion if you consider that the population is only 1,000,000 50 you multiply this by 270, that will become the figure if it was in the United States, or by 10,000,000 if you consider the killing at Tianimen Square in China. Just tell me, in this century, where have you found any brutality against civilian population, most of them women and children, except under the Nazi’s in Germany or under Stalin in Russia. My people have not been faced with such brutality since Joshua, the son of Nun, who invaded their ancestors: the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites and utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both men and women, young and old and ox and sheep and ass with the edge of the sword in the plain of Jericho.

However, there is a big difference, we are not living in the time of the Bible but rather in the 20th Century at the time of 60 Minutes and Night line. After all, the Palestinians: Christian and Moslems are believers! It is also of historical fact that the Israeli of today who started to invade Palestine with the help of the British Imperialism in 1917, most of them have very little of the land of Palestine and are descended not from the Biblical Hebrews, but from later converts to Judaism whose ancestors never lived in Palestine. Notably, the Caucasian Khazer people who embraced Judaism in the 8th century AD.

Mr. Larry Kenney, the President of the Washington State Labor Council wrote a letter on May 8, 1990 to persuade the platform members to vote against that majority plank of 1988. What is outrageous is that Mr. Kenney was a platform member in 1988 and he voted for that resolution at the state convention in Olympia and when I went to Denver, Colorado as a platform member of the national committee representing Jesse Jackson from the State of Washington, Mr. Kenney sat beside me. At that platform national committee we presented a resolution about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which was much milder than the one we
adopted at our state convention. However, when the vote came, Mr. Kenney voted against it and when I asked him about that he said something like this: It was the policy from above, or from the headquarters. I got very upset and walked away after I told him, Well, we are not in Poland or Czechoslovakia, we are in the United States of America. Now, after the changes in Czechoslovakia and Poland, I feel the McDermott letter represents those countries before the changes. Also, in Mr. Kenney’s letter, he states that he visited Israel and the West Bank and I suspect that he was escorted by the Israeli establishment showing him what they wanted him to see. He states that he was involved in promoting the rights of working Israeli and Palestinians and this is the culmination of deception. Mr. Kenney should know very well that the Palestinians who work in Israel have very low wages, less than a third of what the Israeli gets without benefits or rights. They have to carry identity cards when they travel to Israel to work and they are not allowed to stay, they have to go back to their ghettos in the West Bank and Gaza and Mr. Kenney should know those same people used to own those lands and sites where they work, before they were expelled by the Israelis in 1948. Is not this Apartheid, just like South Africa?
It is no surprise to me that some members of Congress or the Senate advocate unconditional support for Israel. Indeed, I just received in a letter from Bob Packwood, the Senator from Oregon, asking for contributions and in his flyer he does not mention anything about how well he has done for the State of Oregon, but he gives statistics of how support and money appropriated to the State of Israel over the years. His computer made a mistake to send this letter to Mohammad Said, he probably thought my name was Mike Stern.

Mr. Ralph L. Hallo and Alan McConaghan wrote, in the Washington Times on January 18, 1990, that there are more than 4,000 pro-Israeli PACS registered with the FEC according to a national journal survey last year. The top 10 pro-Israeli PACS are hiding behind other names like many other PACS all over the nation.

To give you an example, those big pro-Israeli PACS names are Nation PAC, Hudson Valley PAC, Washington PAC, Desert Caucus, Delaware Valley PAC, San Francisco for Good Government, Joint Action Committee for Public Affairs, Florida Congressional Committee, Multi-Issue PAC, etc.

The Jewish vote is only 1% of the vote in this country but through the pro-Israeli PACS they have tremendous influence through their contributions and sometimes through intimidation and scare tactics such as using their secret weapon of labeling anti-Semitic anybody who criticizes their sacred cow, Israel. That influence is holding our foreign policy that deals with the Middle East as hostage which is detrimental to our national interest. The pro-Israeli PAC collected almost 27 million dollars in the last decade and distributed about 13 million dollars to U.S. Congress candidates. Most of them were elected. Israeli interest was very well served since during the 1980’s Israel has received over 30 billion dollars from the U.S. Treasury, all of it by legislative degree~ free of any scrutiny. Israel is the only country recipient whose assistance is not subject to the Agency for International Development or General Accounting Office Oversight. Thirteen million dollars investment in Congress with 30 billion dollars returned. Carumba! What a bargain! This staggering amount of money which goes to Israel at the rate of more than 3 billion dollars a year translates into $1,000 dollars for every Israeli a year. This does not include the special Israeli benefits which might exceed another billion dollars a year.

Some of them were mentioned in the Congressional Quarterly reports on Defense and Foreign Policy by John Falcon which includes the following: Grants, Advance, LAVI provisions, Defense program, Debt-refinancing, Cranston amendment, Fair pricing, Stock piling, Israeli transmitter, Refugee aid, Schools/hospitals, Technology programs and I may add free tax donation to the United Jewish Appeal, most of its money ends up in Israel. Also the Israeli bonds which are sold in this country. This is not to mention the 2 billion dollars Egypt is getting annually for the last 10 years because they made peace with Israel, as if we are the ones who are supposed to pay for this. Also, the loss of revenue by our companies who do not trade with countries such as Libya because of radical approach to Israel The loss of revenue from American companies who cannot do business in the Arab countries because of investment and involvement in Israel. Also, the money wasted to beef our security in the Mediterranean, the 6th fleet, to beef our security around our embassies and bases for fear of attacks against us for our unconditional support of Israel. My calculation is that because of Israel we are spending out of our taxpayers more than $13 billion a year. I always felt it was much cheaper if we transplant the whole state of Israel into Wyoming or Montana where there is plenty of empty land, more than the whole of Palestine, where the land can bloom quickly!

You might think that Israelis will be grateful forever to America since we Americans through our President, Harry Truman, were the first to recognize the state of Israel in 1948 after 5 minutes of its declaration of independence and our unconditional support, economically, militarily and politically since then. However, the Israeli action is far from grateful. Sometimes I feel their action is contempt of our intelligence, they treat us like stupid with low IQ, just look at the statistics: Spying against us with the conviction of Jonathan Pollard. The destruction of the American Liberty Ship deliberately in international waters during the 1967 war after they were able to intercept some communication the Israelis did not want anybody to know about, Israeli involvement in transferring ballistic missile technology to South Africa and their cooperation with them in the nuclear field. Israel refusal to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Israeli cases of smuggling American technology and using that to advance their own technology and to compete with us in the international market. Israeli ties to drug cartels, particularly in Colombia. Their military ties to dictators in Central and South America. Their deep involvement in the sales of arms to Iran and supplying the Contras Members of the House and Senate declined to examine Israeli roles in the affair. Senator Daniel Inoueye, Democrat from Hawaii, and Representative Lee Hamilton, Democrat from Indiana, chairs of their
respective committees, agreed to allow Israel to conduct its own investigation of its role in the affair, in other words a total cover-up. Inoueye, whose virtually uncontested race in 1984 received almost $50,000 from Pro-Israeli PACS and Hamilton raised more than $47,000 from the same PACS, and I would like to challenge the people who signed the McDermott letter, particularly who are members of Congress and the Senate, to make a public disclosure of the money they received from the pro-Israeli PACS or from the
pro-Israeli fat cats.

The American Jews are only 6% of this country and I do not give a damn if they contribute all the money they want from their net income after they pay taxes to Israel, but I resent very much their trying to impose their will on the rest of the country, on the 94% of the American people, to pressure them through all kinds of means to contribute heavily to a state whose policy is repression and human rights violations.

The Palestinians are the primary victims of the U.S.policy and their story has not been told well or accurately reflected in the mainstream media in the U.S. though there has been some improvement since the uprising of the Palestinians 2 years ago. The Palestinians are not illegal aliens who are crossing the border to harass Israel. They are descendents of the people of the Biblical land of Philistines or the peoples of the sea. The predominant native stock were the Canaanites, the rest of them are a mixture from the Arab people who came from Arabia in the 7th century, descendants of the sons of Ishmael, the son of Abraham who was also the father of the Jews and if the Jews of today claim they are the true heirs or descendants from Abraham as truly Semite, I challenge them to a study of genetics to know exactly who is truly Semite! I don’t understand why we have to treat the Jews differently from any other people. I understand the suffering inflicted on the Jews in the Middle Ages and in World War II but certainly not by the Arabs or the Palestinians. Many people suffered in World War II and millions were killed from Russians, Germans, Polish, Ukrainian, etc… To exploit the suffering and what is referred to as the Holocaust in order to generate material support for Israel is unacceptable. When we supported Israel in 1947 after they established their independence state, most of it was out of compassion, a feeling of guilt about what happened to the Jews in Europe. After the state became strong we considered them as our ally. To check expansion of communism when indeed the Israeli presence was the most important factor to introduce the communism in the Arab countries since many people who felt they were betrayed by the West tried to seek help from the Eastern Bloc. After the 1967 war, Israel became a strategic asset and this was very much advocated by Alexander Hague and the U.S. administration.

Then General Brown, former Joint Chief of Staff, said at one time that Israel was a burden and liability to the United States.

In 1988, during the national platform meeting in Denver, Colorado, Israel was mentioned, not as a strategic asset ally but as a country who shares with us moral and democratic values and I totally rejected this, I don’t believe we have common values with a government who suppresses other people and whose policy is anything but moral or democratic.

To illustrate the tremendous influence of the pro-Israeli lobby on our Congress, look at the Jerusalem vote when, a few weeks ago, Congress passed a resolution with the help of important people such as Tom Foley, and declared Jerusalem as a united city under Israeli rule which is against the international law and the Geneva Convention since East Jerusalem is considered an occupied land by Israel since 1967. All the countries of the world do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, including the U.S. Administration. The Christians consider Jerusalem as a holy city and the policy of the Pope is to leave Jerusalem as an open international city.

It is also a holy city for more than 1 billion Moslems, of whom 4 million are Americans, including myself. So the legislative branch of the U.S. government voted to please a foreign group against the executive branch and U.S. national interest and I put this to Mr. Foley, how he could do that. Is the Jewish religion and Jewish tradition more important and sacred than the Christians and the Moslems? Or because many people are still believing that the Jews are the chosen people. My religion and the Holy Book, the Koran, teach me that was in a short period of history during the prophets, probably for 200 hundred years. Any human being who believes in God, Prophets, the Day of Judgment and is good to himself and others, is a chosen person.

I believe that Christianity is not far from this doctrine.

Fellow Democrats, I am sending you this letter in memory of a great lady, a legendary Palestinian whose name was Afeefa. That lady was my father’s sister, my aunt, who gave us love and shelter when we were expelled from our home in Haifa by the Israelis in 1947. We were lucky not to go to a refugee camp and when my mother died and my father went to Saudi Arabia where he remarried and never returned, my aunt worked very hard in the fields as a laborer, but that lady, who was illiterate managed to send us, 3 brothers out of 4, to universities. She also was a compassionate lady. She took me, a couple of times, to Bethlehem, to the caves where Jesus Christ was born to get the blessing though she was a devout Moslem. When we used to pass to walk through Jerusalem she would look at the Israeli side and refer to the Jews as your cousins. A few years ago, when she was going blind, she wanted to see my children but the distance and political boundaries prevented us from going to see her in the West Bank and she became blind. When she became ill a few years ago she wanted to touch my children and when my sons Yasser, Hashem and my daughter Noor Philistine (the light of Palestine) were excited to go and see their grandma for the first time, the news came she had died. Her dream was to bring my brothers from different countries and their children to come to our little town, Burin, a few miles south of Nablus, on the West Bank to have a picnic under the fig and almond trees she planted more than 50 years ago. But now my little town is terrorized, it is under siege. Their mosque was burned. The windows at the schools are being broken over and over again by Jewish settlers. I feel I have a commitment and moral obligation to speak on their behalf. After 40 years of misinformation by the pro-Israeli group in this country.

My fellow Democrats, I ask you for the majority plank which was adopted in 1988 and reaffirmed again by the platform in Ellensburg of this year. Finally, I ask Mr. McDermott and other members of Congress about the letter dated October 20, 1989, which was sent to James E. Baker, III, Secretary of State, by members of Congress, urging him to interfere, to the Israeli government to open the schools in the West Bank. I did not see any of their signatures in that letter. It is ironic that the only name I saw in that letter from the Washington Congressional Delegation was the Honorable Sid Morrison, the Republican and conservative. I applaud his human touch and progressive idea.

Finally, your vote is not going to create a Palestinian state tomorrow or next year, it might not come in my lifetime but my son will carry the torch like many other Palestinians. Your vote is a symbol of justice, a message to our government that we Americans care, we help the oppressed, the underdog, people who yearn for freedom and liberty for all, including the Palestinians. I am sending this letter overseas and will make sure it is translated into Arabic and read in my town after Friday prayer so that my little town knows that their favorite son, who now lives a comfortable life in the Columbia Basin, did not forget them and he is with them in this time of adversity and that the broken windows of the high school will be repaired and the protective wall around the school will be rebuilt.

In memory of my aunt, God Bless her soul, I finish this letter.

Thank you.
Dr. Mohammad Said
Delegate 13th District
Ephrata, WA 98823