Stephanie Z. Bonder
Stephanie Z. Bonder

An open letter to the 500 Biden campaign staffers

Dear Biden Campaign Staffers,

You feel that Israel has committed so many human rights offenses that President Biden needs to speak against Israel. I thought I would debunk your inaccurate claims.

You asked that President Biden demand that the Israeli government:

  • Allow a humanitarian corridor in Gaza to allow for the evacuation of the injured, as well as for the supply of life-saving medicines – Israel had opened the Kerem Shalom crossing to humanitarian aid in the midst of the fighting and then Hamas chose to bomb the crossing. As a result, the crossing was closed. That happened at least twice during the 11-day war.
  • Take action to protect Palestinians in Israel subject to ongoing violent attacks by Israeli mobs that operate with the protection of Israeli police — the majority of the mob violence has been Palestinian against Jew, not the reverse. Israel has worked to find the perpetrators, Jewish or Arab and bring them to justice. You say nothing about the Arab youth attacking Jews at random and posting the videos on TikTok, or the burning of synagogues. The Jews who lynched the Arab in Bat Yam have been apprehended and will be put to justice.
  • Lift the blockade of Gaza, which has made it an uninhabitable open-air prison – The blockade of Gaza exists to prevent the import of weapons. It is important to understand that not only Israel is blockading the Gaza strip, but also Egypt, the Arab nation that borders Gaza on the southern side.
  • End the forced expulsions of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and from all Palestinian homes across the territories – This is a case in which international law recognizes that the landowners have rights. The Palestinians living in these homes have not paid rent in over 50 years. Interesting that you did not mention the forced expulsions of Jews that would take place once Palestine would become a state, or the forced expulsion of Jews from Arab lands in the 1950s when almost 800,000 Jews were kicked out of their homes with no compensation.
  • End settlement expansion in the West Bank — Israel is a sovereign nation, the territories that you refer to were captured by Israel in a defensive war. If you want a free nation for Jews and Arabs side by side, all people should be able to live in that nation.

And,

  • Join our international allies in calling for an end to Israeli violations of international law, or at minimum, stop obstructing efforts by the United Nations to do so – It would seem obvious that the group of recognized terrorists shooting missiles at civilian targets would be the ones committing war crimes and violations of international law not the sovereign nation protecting her people.
  • Ensure U.S. aid no longer funds the imprisonment and torture of Palestinian children, theft and demolition of Palestinian homes and property, and annexation of Palestinian land — Israel does not torture Palestinian children, nor randomly seize Palestinian homes and property. Israel is a law-abiding nation that has laws regarding purchase of property and land use. Those who are imprisoned are those who are caught either inciting violence or committing acts of violence. Jewish perpetrators of violence are also imprisoned.
  • Investigate whether Israel’s most recent assault on Gaza violates the Leahy Law, prohibiting U.S. military aid from funding foreign military units implicated in the commission of gross violations of human rights – Israel’s recent “assault” as you claim only occurred in response to Hamas’ and PIJ’s missile barrages on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and more than half of the nation. Those missile barrages constitute gross violations of human rights, not Israel’s defense of her people.
  • End federal tax breaks for donations to settler organizations that actively fund the ongoing dispossession and expulsion of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and other cities by revoking their 501(c)3 status; — Sheikh Jarrah is in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is not a settlement. Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel. Organizations that own land in Jerusalem, should not be discriminated against due to their ongoing, decade-long legal efforts to gain compensation for squatters living on their property.
  • Support Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Israel has supported the Palestinians’ right to self-determination for over 73 years. The Arabs have been offered a state living in peace with Israel in 1947, 1949, 1967, 1978, 1994, 2000, 2008, 2014 and have never accepted.

So you see dear campaign staffers of President Biden, all of your demands have already been met and you didn’t need to send this letter. What you could be demanding, is for the terrorists who run Gaza, to stop putting their people in harm’s way. You are right. Israel builds bomb shelters for her people, Hamas builds bomb shelters for its weapons. Israel developed the Iron Dome to protect her people from incoming rockets. Hamas developed the strategy of launching the rockets from civilian homes. Those are war crimes.

Campaign staffers, Israel has a right to exist. Jews have a right to a homeland. Palestinians have a right to live in peace. It is time for you to recognize that Israel wouldn’t have to show a strong military force, if it wasn’t attacked on a daily basis. You seem to have your own version of “alternative facts”. President Biden did the right thing to stop the UN Security Council from passing resolutions against Israel during this 11-day war. President Biden did the right thing in stating that Israelis have the right to live without fear and shouldn’t have to run to bomb shelters. President Biden correctly said that Palestinians also deserve to live in peace and security. President Biden should continue to do the right thing and understand that when a nation is attacked, it has the right to self-defense.

About the Author
Stephanie Z. Bonder is a true "Jersey Girl" raised in the beautiful Garden State of NJ. She developed her deep love for Israel when her father first started talking to her about Israel when she was a little girl. The family first went to Israel for her bat mitzvah and her Zionism grew. In college, Stephanie studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for her junior year abroad. Stephanie has dedicated much of her life to teaching young children at Golda Och Academy, a Solomon Schechter Day School in West Orange, N.J. In her volunteer hours, she is part of a 5 generation life member family of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. She currently is a member of the National Board. Stephanie continues to educate teens and adults on Jewish Peoplehood, Zionism and current events in Israel through her involvement with the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest and her synagogue, Congregation Agudath Israel. All of her blogs are her own personal opinions and do not represent the organizations with which she is affiliated.
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