In response to the recent statement made by Mr. Bush that indicated his failure to address the real issues
in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and for his uncalled comments on Palestinian internal affairs, I
sent a short "letter to the editor" of the International Herald Tribune. It was published in today's - June 28, 2002- issue of the Tribune, but
both the title and the last sentence in the "letter" were deleted. As such, one of the main themes in the "letter" was unfortunately lost and the "letter"
itself lost some of its essence! For your information, following is a copy of the "letter" in its original form:
The American People Deserve a Better Leader.
People in the area used to joke that Mr. Bush's long awaited speech about the Middle East conflict was delayed because it was being translated from Hebrew.
Unfortunately the joke turned out to be a reality - or at least very close to it.
Bush insulted the Palestinians in no uncertain ways. He slandered their leadership - an elected leadership
chosen by their own choice. He gave the Palestinians very little hope for an end of the Israeli military
occupation and as such, his speech would probably inflame terror rather than subdue it.
Occupation came before terror. Without condoning terror, one has to understand that the violence witnessed on the ground is simply a reflection of a
cause and effect situation. A call for an end of occupation should have been the operative term in a speech of a leader who understands the situation and
is truly interested in an end to the conflict.
Israeli leaders stress the issue of terror while intimidating the world to ignore the root causes of it. It suits them not to talk about the occupation,
the illegal building of settlements on Palestinian soil and the confiscation of lands or the grave violations of human rights that have been going on for
more than 35 years.
Unfortunately, in his speech, Mr. Bush seems to have succumbed to this intimidation. While the world was
waiting for the speech of an honest broker and a leader of a superpower to pave the way for peace in the Middle East, Mr.Bush found it convenient to
reiterate a biased Israeli point of view which essentially allows the military occupation to linger.
It is a point of view which compromises American ideals of justice and human rights. What a shame!
The American people certainly deserve a better leader.
H. Nasir, President