ADC Discusses Palestine Issue with Administration; Urges Proactive Role by the United States in Protecting Palestinians
Washington, DC — Dr. Ziad Asali, President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and ADC Vice President Khalil E. Jahshan held several meetings this week with Administration officials at the White House and the State Department to discuss the deteriorating situation in Palestine. On Monday, March 4, 2002, Asali and Jahshan met with Stephen Hadley, Assistant to President Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor at the White House. On Wednesday, March 6, 2002, the ADC leaders met with Ambassador William J. Burns, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. In addition, ADC today joined other Arab-American leaders in a second meeting with Ambassador Burns at the Department of State.
The meetings with US officials focused on the situation in Palestine, the role of the United States in the region, Vice President Cheney‘s visit to the area, and the Saudi proposal made by HRH Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Asali characterized the meetings as “substantive and very important, particularly at this crucial stage where regional security and stability face serious challenges.” Asali added that, “We conveyed to the Administration the serious concerns that Arab Americans have vis-à-vis the critical situation in Palestine and the continued attempts by the Ariel Sharon government to perpetuate the occupation and resolve its differences with the Palestinian Authority through brutal military means.”
Asali and Jahshan presented the Administration with a detailed account of Israeli violations of international law and illegal use of military force, including the use of US-made weapons, against civilian targets in Palestine. They called upon the Administration to forgo its policy of neglect, which is morally and politically unjustifiable, and intervene immediately to effect a ceasefire and extend international protection to the Palestinian civilian population. ADC also urged US officials to support Arab offers seeking a comprehensive and lasting peace, including the Saudi proposal and President Mubarak‘s offer to convene a meeting between Arafat and Sharon.