“…publicly expresses its profound disappointment at the Biden Administration’s treatment of the civil and human rights of Arab Americans…”
“…any substantive issues raised are ignored.”
“We truly believe that there is a path forward where the Arab American community feels recognized and taken seriously, but the President must take action.”
Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | July 12, 2022 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the nation’s largest and longest active Arab American grassroots civil rights organization, publicly expresses its profound disappointment at the Biden Administration’s treatment of the civil and human rights of Arab Americans generally, and Palestinian Americans specifically. Since President Biden took office, ADC and the Arab American community have attempted to engage with the administration in good faith, yet those efforts have not been reciprocated. Particularly when we undertake efforts to discuss items related to the State of Israel any substantive issues raised are ignored.
Recently ADC sent a correspondence to President Biden, detailing common sense ways that he can center human rights during his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Among those requests is for President Biden to call for a full, independent, and international investigation into the murders of Shireen Abu Akleh and Omar Assad, and direct the FBI to conduct its own full investigation into those murders. ADC also raised concern with a reported meeting President Biden will have with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ADC urges President Biden to clearly and adamantly denounce the continued evictions and ongoing home and village demolitions. President Biden must also demand for the rescission of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) ordinance outlining horrific restrictions on travel to the Occupied West Bank, which include inhumane invasions of privacy of any Palestinian American looking to travel there. ADC has not received an official response to our recommendations.
This most recent dismissal of our recommendations only amplifies the Administration’s silence as the Israeli Occupying Forces murder American citizens with impunity. In only the most recent example, our community has heard nothing tangible in response to the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh. Thus far the response from the United States has done nothing to obtain justice for Shireen and her family – the administration is sending a signal that the life of a Palestinian American is not important.
Finally, ADC continues to raise serious concerts with Israel’s desire to join the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). ADC has expressed these concerns directly with senior leadership within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Our concerns regarding the VWP are compounded by statements from members of the Biden Administration, including the President himself, that indicate a desire to admit Israel despite the systematic and discriminatory way they treat Arab Americans. The President sets the example for the rest of his administration; if he acts as if Israel deserves an exception to the law regarding the Visa Waiver Program and can negotiate their way into it, then that is how his administration will act.
If President Biden takes seriously the recommendations made by ADC and other Arab American advocates, he has the opportunity to reverse the narrative surrounding his trip to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Simply put, if the President is truly committed to restoring US credibility in the region he cannot continue to ignore the concerns raised, and recommendations put forward, by ADC and other Arab American advocates.
We truly believe that there is a path forward where the Arab American community feels recognized and taken seriously, but the President must take action.
CONTACT: Chris Habiby, Legislative and Policy Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org