An open letter to President Hussein Obama by Ariel Ben Yochanan
President Hussein Obama, Shalom.
Jeffery Feltman, your State Department Assistant Secretary of State, summoned Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren a few days ago over the “unacceptable” and “provocative” evictions of Arabs from Jewish-owned homes in the Sheikh Jarreh neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.
It is not a secret that your Administration is pushing for a freeze of Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and in parts of Jerusalem, considered “occupied territories”.
Even if one agrees with this political rather than legal classification of some parts of our G-d given Biblical Holy Jewish Homeland, and I am certainly not one of them, one must still distinguish between two different levels of relating to a territory: sovereignty and ownership.
The evictions you are complaining about at present are based to this latter category and one does not understand how a US President can declare himself to be on the part of the law-breaker squatters as opposed to of the law abiding owners of any given property.
Is America going to be one of those places in the world that overlay the ethnicity or the religion of the litigants on the merit of their legal positions? Is this one of your highly publicized “changes”? That “you can”? Is this going to be the new American Way? To Liberty?
I happened to have a friend, Mr. President: Yitzhik Herskowitz, a 78 years old American Jew, resident in Kiriat Arba, near Hevron. Like many of the Jews in the area, he lives in a container. Why? Because his Jerusalem house is occupied by Arab squatters and the court order to evict them is held up by fears of the case becoming politicized.
This situation is a huge injustice, a victory of racism, of violence, of lawlessness and of a cynical use of baseless, ethnically oriented propaganda.
Are you sure Mr. President that it serves America’s best interests to encourage decision making processes based on ethnicity rather than on the sound observance of the letter and of the spirit of the law? Are you sure it is a good idea to undermine property rights protection in America and indeed elsewhere in the world?
Ariel Ben Yochanan
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