ADC Raises Israeli Assassination Policy with Bush
Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest Arab-American grassroots organization, wrote President George W. Bush to express its outrage at today’s extra-judicial execution by Israel of eight more Palestinian civilians in Nablus, including two brothers, Ashraf and Bilal Khader, aged five and eight. The letter also raised ADC’s frustration with “the inability or unwillingness of the Administration to take a more assertive role in extending international protection to the civilian population in occupied Palestine and bringing an end to thirty-four years of Israeli occupation.”
Ziad Asali and Khalil E. Jahshan, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of ADC, reminded President Bush that over the past ten months, the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon committed more than forty assassinations of Palestinian civilians under the guise of “active self-defense.” This policy, which is in clear violation of international law, has been publicly endorsed by the Israeli kitchen cabinet and by Chief Rabbi Meir Lau.
Asali and Jahshan wrote President Bush that, although cognizant of his Administration’s repeated criticism of this practice by Israel as excessive and provocative, “The Administration must reassess its handling of this matter and espouse a more effective approach to impress upon Mr. Sharon that he cannot serve as prosecutor, judge and jury while claiming to lead a democratic state.” They emphasized that “Sharon’s policy of liquidation is a grave violation of international human rights and humanitarian law. Such practices would not be tolerated anywhere in the world and should not be tolerated in Israel.”
The ADC letter further urged President Bush “to immediately take a more assertive and visible role to put an end to the practice of extra-judicial executions by Israel, end the ongoing clashes, and bring about a genuine, just and durable peace in the region.”