Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Educating Senator Toomey

A couple of days ago I signed a petition regarding Khader Adnan that was sent to "my" members of congress, including Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). Today I received an e-mail from the senator, which had nothing to do with my original letter. I just wrote back to him. I am pasting my response, along with the senator's letter.

Senator Toomey:

I am pasting below your reply to my urgent message regarding the administrative detention of Mr. Khader Adnan, a resident of the West Bank village of Arrabeh, by the State of Israel, of which I am a citizen (I am a permanent resident of the United States).

Clearly, you were in error sending me a form letter affirming your love and devotion to Israel as a beacon of democracy. I spent most of my life in that country, and I know how false that characterization is. Furthermore, it is completely irrelevant to the life of Mr. Adnan and the 308 other Palestinian individuals currently being held in Israeli jails without being indicted or charged of any specific crimes, without them or their attorneys having access to any evidence the state may have against them, without any possibility to cross-examine witnesses, and without recourse to any meaningful appeal process.

Mr. Adnan has been on hunger strike for 66 days. It seems as if, following a preliminary hearing in the Israeli Supreme Court, he may be willing to resume eating today in exchange for a commintment by the state to release him on April 17, 2012. But this is inadequate. He is still held without charges, and so are over 300 of his compatriots.

I strongly urge you to contact your friend and ally, Mr. Netanyahu, and explain to him, that as a democracy, Israel cannot behave like the dicatatorships from which it so fervently seeks to distant itself.

Uri Horesh

From: "Senator Pat Toomey"
Subject: Reply from U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
Date: February 21, 2012 12:27:02 PM EST
To: urihoresh@gmail.com

February 21, 2012

Dear Uri,

Thank you for contacting me about support for Israel. I appreciate hearing from you.
I believe that Israel is the United States' greatest ally and friend in the Middle East and is among its best allies in the entire world. Israel is a beacon of democracy and freedom in an area of the world largely suffering under dictatorships and political persecution. A strong relationship with Israel strengthens both countries in the continuing fight against global terrorism.

In addition, I recently travelled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other senior officials. During my discussions there, it was apparent that Israel continues to face extraordinary challenges to its security and general welfare. Israel deserves no less than our full assistance as it continues to struggle for its survival.

In the Senate, I also have had the opportunity to cosponsor important measures backing Israel. For instance, I am a cosponsor S. Con. Res. 23, which declares that it is the policy of the United States to support Israel in maintaining defensible borders and that it is contrary to U.S. policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.  I am also a cosponsor of S. Res. 185, reaffirming U.S. commitment to a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and reaffirming opposition to the inclusion of Hamas in a unity government unless it is willing to accept peace with Israel and renounce violence.

That said, I understand your views about Israel and value your input. As I continue working with my Senate colleagues on this important issue, please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind.
Thank you again for your correspondence. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of assistance.


Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania

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