You Don't Speak for All
Americans on Palestine
A Challenge to Nancy Pelosis
By MAHMOUD El-YOUSSEPH
01/06/07 "Counterpunch" -- --
Newly elected Speaker of
the House Nancy Pelosi should heed former President
Jimmy Carter's leadership in crafting a Middle East
policy toward a just and lasting peace between Israel
and the Palestinians. Instead, she lashed out at the
former president even before his new book, Palestine:
Peace Not Apartheid made it to the stores. Mrs. Pelosi
stated, "Carter does not speak for the Democratic party
on Israel ". Maybe he should because it was President
Carter who negotiated a peace agreement between Israel
and Egypt at Camp David in 1979.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've agreed
with Nancy Pelosi on any issue, but her criticism on
Jimmy Carter goes beyond poor judgment.
In 2001, Mrs. Pelosi told a pro-Israeli conference that
the real issue surrounding the Palestinian/Israeli
problem is not the occupation, but Israel 's right to
exist. She added that the occupation argument is
United Nation resolution 242 of 1967 called upon Israel
to withdraw from occupied Arab land. Forty years later,
Israel has not complied. For nearly 60 years,
Palestinian refugees have neither been allowed to return
to their homes nor receive compensation from Israel as
stated by U.N. Resolution 164.
The truth is: occupation is evil and repugnant. It
creates terror and resistance, be it in Iraq ,
Afghanistan , or Palestine . In 1776, America fought for
its freedom and independence from a foreign government,
so why condemn others when they aspire for the very same
Both Prime Ministers of Israel and Iraq addressed a
joint session of Congress last May and July,
respectively. Mrs. Pelosi rounded up her troops to
welcome the Israeli Prime Minister who came to thank the
lawmakers for passing legislation against Iran and the
Palestinians. By contrast Mrs. Pelosi threatened to
boycott the Iraqi Prime Minister's speech unless he
retracted his remarks on Israel over its inhumane
bombardment of Lebanon .
During the last mid-term election, Mrs. Pelosi stated
repeatedly that the single most important accomplishment
of the Twentieth Century is the formation of the state
of Israel . Apparently the moon landing, the invention
of the internet, nuclear energy, the Civil Rights Act,
or the fall of communism was less important.
Since Mrs. Pelosi is so concerned about America 's
tarnished image abroad, she should stop pandering to the
powerful pro-Israeli lobby. Maybe then we can have a
genuine and just peace between Israelis and
Palestinians. All she needs to do is to call the Nobel
Peace Prize recipient, Jimmy Carter, for help. The
Jewish Voice for Peace group already did. Or, maybe Mrs.
Pelosi shouldn't speak for all Americans on Palestine.
Mahmoud El-Yousseph (TSGT / USAF [Ret.]) lives in Ohio.