Hanan Ashrawi: “Lieberman’s letter to Quartet is outright racism”

PLO Executive Committee Department of Culture and Information
August 22, 2012

Dr. Ashrawi on Lieberman’s Letter to the Foreign Ministers of the Quartet

PLO Executive Committee member and head of the PLO Department of Culture and Information, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly condemned Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent letter to the foreign ministers of the Quartet:

“This letter exposes the real nature of Israel’s occupation which is characterized by arrogance, manipulation of facts, and outright racism.  Rather than complying with international law and signed agreements, the Israeli government has launched a deliberate campaign of distortion, hatred and incitement.”

Dr. Ashrawi stressed, “Official statements and policies such as those espoused by Lieberman and his ilk are creating a culture of impunity, racism and exclusivity.  Last week’s provocations which include (but are not limited to) the lynching of three Palestinians by a Jewish mob in occupied Jerusalem and the serious burns incurred by a family of six Palestinians as a result of a firebomb in Hebron by Jewish settlers are not isolated incidents.”

“In this context, it is not surprising that such a culture is generating violence, hate crimes, and settler terrorism.  The main obstacle to the “peace process” is not the Palestinian leadership.  Rather, the real threat to peace and stability in the region is Israeli intransigence and Israel’s system of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, which include the annexation of Palestinian land, the expropriation of resources, its construction and expansion of illegal settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the continued displacement of Palestinians.  Israel’s total disregard for international law and the most common norms of human decency in relation to Palestinians have backfired within Israel and are distorting its own moral fabric,” said Dr. Ashrawi.

“We call upon members of the Middle East Quartet to end their tolerance of Israeli excesses and violations of international and humanitarian law.  The lack of willingness of the international community to hold Israel accountable has already resulted in the degradation of moral values and human rights principles, particularly when the victims are Palestinian.

The status quo is not sustainable, and the international community must act now before such a culture of impunity creates irreversible damage,” concluded Dr. Ashrawi.