Bassem Eid, SFMEW Speaker 6/23/16, Briefs Congress

CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, reported on Bassem Eid’s briefing to Congress here.  Eid will be SFMEW’s speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Santa Fe facility, 107 W. Barcelona Rd., Santa Fe (not a program of the UUSF) at 7:00 on June 23rd.  The talk is also sponsored by the ADL-New Mexico and the Jewish Federation of New Mexico.  This talk is free and open to the public.  Please encourage your friends, neighbors, congregants, and others to attend.

If you or someone you know has the ability to video-record this presentation, we’d appreciate your letting Lance Bell, our Speakers Committee chair know –

Highlights from CAMERA’s report:

CAMERA hosted Bassem Eid, a veteran Palestinian Arab human rights activist, for a Capitol Hill briefing on June 14, 2016 attended by more than 80 congressional staff members and interns, as well as representatives of other organizations.  Eid, the founder and director of the former Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, a non-profit organization based in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), offered his views on the Arab-Israeli conflict in a Longworth House office building talk that was facilitated by the office of U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).

In his remarks, Eid called for greater economic cooperation between Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) that controls the West Bank. Eid said that economic zones and agreements between the three parties would help “the average every-day Palestinian.” He suggested that a similar economic zone between Israel, Egypt and Palestinian Arabs living in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip also could be beneficial.

However, Eid acknowledged that Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews, would never work with the Jewish state and did not prioritize the well-being of the people living under its oppressive rule.

Eid said that most Palestinian Arabs are “seeking dignity, not identity.” Their identity, he asserted, they have. What they lack, the human rights activist elaborated, is leadership that can or wants to build opportunities for jobs, education and health care for themselves and their loved ones. This concern for their individual and family welfare trumps any current attention on diplomacy about a Palestinian state.

Eid noted that the PA has received “billions in aid” from the international community, including the United States, but despite this, the authority has “failed to create jobs for Palestinians.” He called corruption among Palestinian leadership “big and wide.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is busy “fighting for his own empire in the West Bank” instead of trying to improve the daily life of Palestinians, Eid told the audience. “If you ask Palestinians who Abbas represents, they would say himself, his wife and two sons,” he asserted.