Washington, D.C. | July 18, 2023 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) voices its staunch opposition to the upcoming address of Israeli President Isaac Herzog to the U.S. Congress. We cannot remain silent while the President of Israel, who is responsible for countless human rights violations and abuses of Palestinians is granted such an influential platform. Congress should hold Israel accountable for its actions, not endorse them.
Our stand is rooted in our commitment to justice, human rights, and international law. The United Nations and a host of globally recognized human rights organizations, have documented countless instances of human rights abuses committed by Israel. These abuses span a wide range of crimes against humanity, from illegal settlement expansion, forced evictions, and restrictions on freedom of movement to a disproportionate use of force, and war crimes, all contributing to a systemic oppression that denies basic human rights to Palestanians.
We find it particularly disconcerting to note the contradiction within the Democratic Party, including many “Progressives”, who position themselves as champions for equality and justice domestically, but appear to overlook these very principles when it comes to the plight of Palestinians. It is crucial to consistently uphold the values of human rights and justice, regardless of geographic boundaries.
In light of these concerns, we also stand against the resolution currently before Congress stating that Israel is not a racist state. Such a resolution fails to acknowledge the mounting evidence of discriminatory practices against Palestinians, which amount to apartheid by a growing number of reputable international human rights organizations. These practices include unequal distribution of resources, restriction of movement, segregation in housing and education, and punitive laws that disproportionately affect Palestinians.
The term “apartheid” is not used lightly. It refers to a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination, a categorization that many believe accurately reflects the situation in occupied Palestine. To ignore this and to affirm the resolution would be to dismiss the lived realities of the Palestinians and to gloss over the systemic injustices they face.
We strongly urge members of the U.S. Congress and the Administration to reconsider both the invitation to President Herzog and the pending resolution. It is crucial to recognize the serious implications of endorsing these measures, which could be perceived as condoning human rights abuses.
To the American public, we call on you to join us in expressing your opposition. Stand up for the principles of justice, dignity, and equality. Let us collectively advocate for a just and lasting peace grounded in the respect for human rights and the end to apartheid.
Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can ensure that platforms of power are used to promote peace, justice, and equality for all, rather than legitimizing a racist government and nations such as Israel.