Join ADC’s call on Albright to include the Lebanese people in US Human Rights Advocacy
Following the release of Human Rights Watch’s report on Lebanese civilians expelled from their homes by Israeli occupation troops, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has issued the following letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urging the United States to extend its human rights policy to include the Lebanese people.
We ask all our members and supporters to write, fax, call or email the Secretary and urge the U.S. government to adopt a single standard of human rights that includes the Lebanese who suffer daily under Israeli occupation and bombardment. The text of the letter below serves as talking points for communications to the State Department on this issue.
Click image above to read the entire HRW’s report.
Secretary of State
2261 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20520
July 30, 1999
United States Secretary of State State Department
Dear Secretary Albright:
On behalf of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the largest grassroots Arab-American organization, and the Arab-American community, I want to express our distress and deep concern regarding recent reports of the expulsion of Lebanese civilians from Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon.
The respected human rights monitoring organization, Human Rights Watch, has recently issued a report detailing these expulsions entitled “PERSONA NON GRATA: The Expulsion of Civilians from Israeli-Occupied Lebanon.” The report details how, over many years and in secret, entire families have been expelled from occupied Lebanon in a summary and often cruel manner. The victims, who have included elderly men and women as well as children, have been forced to leave their homes and villages without any advance notice and were generally not permitted to bring any personal possessions with them. Human Rights Watch concludes that hundreds, if not thousands, of Lebanese civilians have been expelled in this manner by Israeli occupation troops.
This is, of course, only the latest of Israel’s violations of international law in Lebanon. As you know, Israel was ordered by U.N. Security Council 425 in 1978 to withdraw its forces “forthwith” from all Lebanese territory without condition. Israel has been in violation of UNSCR 425 for 21 years. During this the intervening period, Israel has conducted numerous invasions, bombing attacks, kidnappings, assassinations, terrorist attacks, and other violations of the lives, property and sovereignty of the Lebanese people.
All too often, not only has the United States not protested these atrocities and violations of international law, but has actually provided Israel with a measure of diplomatic protection against resulting international criticism and condemnation. Most recently, in the aftermath of the massive Israeli air strikes against Lebanese civilian targets, which killed ten civilians and destroyed infrastructure that was the fruit of a long and painful reconstruction following the devastating civil war, your spokesperson, James Rubin, put the blame for the attack not on the Israelis who carried them out, but on the Lebanese resistance.
Madame Secretary, our country has just fought a major war in Yugoslavia in the name of combating the expulsion of civilians from their homes. The United States government and the State Department cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the abuses Israeli-occupation forces are conducting in southern Lebanon. It is high time that our government intervened and put an end to the occupation and all the abuses that go with it, including the expulsion of civilians from their homes. It is high time that Israel lives up to its obligations under UNSCR 425, which the United States voted for. We urge that you do all in your power to ensure that this horrible occupation come to an end as soon as possible.