ADC Condemns Cantor Statement that Palestinian Culture is "Infused with Resentment and Hatred"

Washington, DC | | December 27, 2011 -- ADC strongly condemns House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R) offensive and ridiculous statement that Palestinian culture is "infused with resentment and hatred." The sheer ignorance of such remarks, particularly from someone in his prominent position, is both distressing and depressing to millions of Americans.

"Palestinian culture" is, of course, not "infused with resentment and hatred," but it is true that Palestinians resent intolerance and hate injustice. Palestinians resent being discriminated against by dozens of Israeli laws that render them second-class citizens in their own country. Palestinians hate having to use segregated roads rather than being free to travel on the same roads as Israeli Jews. Palestinians in Gaza resent that they are subject to an inhumane Israeli blockade that has deprived them of essential foods, medicines and building supplies. Palestinians hate the fact that they have lived under oppressive Israeli military rule for more than 44 years. And they resent that so-called "leaders" who are embarrassingly ignorant of Palestinian lives, circumstances, ideals and, yes, culture, deem themselves fit to speak about such subjects with even a modicum of authority.

ADC President Warren David stated, "Like Americans, Palestinians love freedom. Like Americans, Palestinians love justice. Like Americans, Palestinians love their families. Like Americans, Palestinians create and love art, music, literature, film, cuisine, and every other aspect of human culture. We invite Mr. Cantor to experience that rich and beautiful Palestinian culture." He went on to say, "As an American and as majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Cantor should stop publicly making a fool of himself and a mockery of American ideals with incendiary and ill-informed statements and instead focus his energy on pressuring Israel to ensure that Palestinians are afforded the same rights that Americans hold dear and that Palestinians have been unjustly denied for far too long."

ADC challenges Mr. Cantor to spend one week in the occupied Palestinian territories listening to the stories of Palestinians who have been denied their freedom for more than 63 years and then revisit his views on "Palestinian culture."