Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Congressman Emmanuel and President-Elect Obama:

(Sorry I've been a little bit quiet. I've been busy)

Well, for Palestinians I fear that the bloom is already off the rose. President-Elect Obama has appointed Rahm Emmanuel to be his Chief of Staff. Emanuel's father's response: "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."

All right, then. That's not okay.

I wrote Obama a letter. You can too.

Dear Mr. President-Elect

I can't tell you how excited I was on November 4th to see you by elected our president. I'm living in Chicago right now and my friends keep bringing me to tears by telling me the stories of their night at Grant Park. I felt that it was inevitable that we would have one day a black person as our president, but I never believed that we could elect a community organizer. As some one who has done that sort of work myself, you've lifted my spirits in ways I never expected.

I'm writing you, though, because I am so profoundly sadden the statements made by Congressman Emmauel's father. "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House." That's not appropriate. It has no place in your administration or any other. It's not why young people, like me, worked so hard to elect you. Please address this publicly and promptly.

I also want let you know that I am well aware that you know what is happening in Palestine, that you know that the way the Palestinians people are being treated is wrong, and that you want to see it stop, for the good of everyone in the region. I just want to remind you that because you do know what is going on, I sincerely believe you will be held morally accountable for what you do (or do not do) about this problem. You can't hide behind ignorance.

Thank you so much.

In hope,
Joy Ellison


@bdul muHib said...

I'm concerned too. Rahm's dad was part of the terrorist Irgun Gang too, and Rahm a civilian contractor for the IDF. It is hard to see how Rahm's dad wouldn't be correct, and Rahm would influence Obama negatively.

Anonymous said...

"I will publish any comment on this blog, including those which vehemently disagree with me,"
Hi there,
just wondering if you got my comment?
Take care,

joy_in_palestine said...

Well, anonymous, I got this comment. I'm not sure if you're referring to something thing else. If you are, than I don't think I did. But you're missing part of my policy: "expect comments that threaten myself or others."

Once I started writing about At-Tuwani, I started getting threats every time I posted. If these threats were against me, I would have just let them go. But they were against people in At-Tuwani and they were really ugly and violent. I just couldn't stand to let that hate stay on my blog and I honestly couldn't stand to read it every time I posted. So I enabled comment moderation and it stopped.

Since then, I've gotten nasty comments and I've published them all. I haven't gotten any more threats, that I recall, but if I did, I still wouldn't feel at all bad deleting them. The world doesn't need more of that. Yes, disagree all you want, but play by the rules of human decency and don't threaten violence. That's not nice. (For Quakers and other sarcasm impaired individuals: that's a deliberate understatement, folks.)

So, if I did miss a comment of yours, please send it again. If you're a troll just commenting to comment, well that's kind of sweet. Didn't think this blog could ever get trolls. I feel almost normal. And if you're a certain Israeli settler in charge of "security" for Ma'on who has told me that you read this "crappy" blog, well, hello! I'd been wondering if you would ever comment.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Im actually quite harmless! my first comment was that, concerning your article, I would be worried if you thought people should loose their jobs if you didnt like what their father said - it seemed profoundly Mcarthyish (however you spell that)
That was all.

joy_in_palestine said...

Oh, well then. :-) Sorry to jump all over you. After getting so much nastiness, I've gotten a little sensitive.

No, I don't think that people should lose their jobs over something their fathers said. I generally really dislike how in American politics we, progressives especially, seem to criticize people for everything EXCEPT their actual policies - Sarah Palin is a perfect example of that. If instead of ranting about caribou barbie, we'd talked about what a terrible governor she's been, she might not be running in 2012, but I digress. I am concerned about Emmanuel's views, especially his experience as a civilian IDF contractor. But I am also really sicken by what his father said and I do feel that a repudiation was appropriate - and apparently so did Obama.

I didn't make this especially clear, but I also decided to write the letter in the way that I did because American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee was asking for that and I wanted to support the tactics they were choosing to use. I tend to believe that there are a lot of different ways to apply nonviolent pressure and to some extent, one is as good as another. There are some ways that I prefer and even some that I wont participate in, but I am convinced that movements are where we draw strength. I wanted to defer to the ADC's wisdom on how to deal with this. It's really important to unite together whenever possible. I thought this was one of those moments.

Well, this is a really long answer for a simple (and very nice, harmless) comment. Take care.

@bdul muHib said...

I agree. A son is not bound by the sins of his father. But sons often do go down the same road of sin as their father, for they were taught by him- unless they actively work against it. If I had a father who was a former terrorist, I would feel impelled to release a statement saying, "I love my father. But I do not support his terrorist actions, and will not support such actions in this position." If I did not release such a statement, it would imply that I supported my father's actions.