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ADC Urges President Bush To Protect Palestinian Property

Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the largest Arab-American grassroots organization in the United States, urged the Bush Administration to strongly condemn Israel’s campaign of home demolitions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza. Over the past 48 hours, Israeli army bulldozers, protected by Israeli border guards and police, demolished forty homes in Gaza and the Shu’fat refugee camp near Jerusalem. The demolition raids rendered homeless dozens of Palestinian families.
In his letter to President George W. Bush, Khalil E. Jahshan, President of NAAA-ADC, the government affairs arm of ADC, emphasized to the President that “the United States should first condemn such practices . . . as a form of collective punishment that constitutes a violation of international law.” The Administration was also urged to “actively oppose the deliberate incitement that accompanies such measures, which clearly increase tension in the area.” Jahshan characterized as “arrogant and defiant” Israel’s attempt to justify the demolitions as “engineering work” of essentially “uninhabited” structures.
While acknowledging repeated statements by US officials urging Israel to stop its home demolition practices, Jahshan reminded President Bush that “it is quite clear that this approach does not work.” Instead, ADC recommended that, in the face of Israeli obstinacy, Washington should “support practical measures at the United Nations to guarantee the safety of the civilian population under Israeli occupation and seek compensation from Israel for the confiscation and destruction of civilian property.” Jahshan reminded President Bush that, “Short of offering Israel such a practical incentive to cease and desist from its illegal practices, US criticism will remain in the realm of lip service.”