Letters to the Editor

by on June 2, 2004

Revolution Youth-Initiated Open Letter to Congressman Tom Lantos

“A True Friend of City College Would Oppose the Occupation of Palestine and Iraq!”

Dear Congressman Lantos,

At a time when City College of San Francisco has decided to award you the Friend of City College Medal, we the undersigned students, faculty, staff and organizations of CCSF, call on you to abandon fully your support to the U.S.-funded occupation of Iraq and Palestine.

These are occupations that have turned into massacres of tens of thousands of innocent people, all fraudulently in the name of “democracy” and “security.”

We are particularly alarmed that on Monday, May 24 you met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem and embraced his criminal attacks on the Palestinians in the refugee camp of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, which left more than 46 people dead and thousands injured and homeless.

The weeklong attack by the Israeli Defense Forces on the Rafah
refugee camp was condemned unanimously (14-0) by the UN Security Council. The European Union said Sharon’s actions in Rafah showed a “reckless disregard for human life.” A top Israeli cabinet member went so far as to compare this most recent attack on the Palestinians with the massacres his own family had endured during the World War II Holocaust in Eastern Europe.

Aside from violating international law, the Geneva Conventions and the most recent UN Security Council Resolution 1544 adopted on May 19, these attacks are a continuation of the Israeli government’s aggression toward all Palestinians as part of the decades-old occupation of their land. At the very moment the international community condemned Sharon and the Israeli government for the unprovoked raids on Rafah, you reached out to embrace a man with so much blood of innocent people on his hands. How can anyone accept this?

We also are strongly opposed to your support for the U.S.-led Gulf War against Iraq in 1991 and your support for the most recent Bush administration war and occupation of Iraq.

The U.S.-appointed authority in Iraq, just like the Sharon government in relation to the Palestinian people, operates criminally, bringing destruction and despair to a nation of proud and ancient people in a direct attempt to break down local and social structures and to deny them their right to self-determination.

The American people are being misled and lied to by politicians and the media. They are conned into believing that the wars funded with our tax dollars are justifiable and legitimate, when in truth they are wars for profit and power waged by the ruling few. They are wars carried out, as well, against working people at home in the form of brutal attacks on our civil and constitutional rights, and the assault on Social Security,
heathcare, labor laws, and funding for education — to mention but a few examples.

We believe that a true friend of City College is a person who opposes war, who fights for human rights, who upholds the right of peoples to self-determination, who cares for the youth and their rights and who contributes to better education for all — everywhere. It is someone who opposes military recruitment of impoverished youth with the false promise of a better education and future. It is someone who joins the world community in condemning Sharon’s criminal actions in Rafah – not applauding them, as you have done.

We call on you, Congressman Tom Lantos, to join the millions and millions of people all over the world who call for the end of the occupation of Iraq and Palestine.

(Follows long list of signatories from petition sheets)

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