Thursday, September 29, 2011

Former US Diplomat to Obama: It’s Time We Let Palestine Be Palestine

WASHINGTON, September 29, 2011 (WAFA) – In a letter addressing US President Barack Obama on September 17, Charles Cecil, a retired ambassador to US said, “The Regan administration launched an international information campaign under the slogan 'Let Poland be Poland.' It’s time we let Palestine be Palestine. Abstain from this upcoming vote. Just think about it.”

He added, “Just think for a minute, what would happen if the United States abstained when the Palestinian question comes before the UN Security Council in the next week or two?”

He said, “The resolution would pass. The world would be stunned. The United States would enter an entirely new era in our relations with the Muslim countries of the world. The vision you outlined in Cairo for better relations with the Islamic world would take the largest step forward of your presidency, the United States would once again have regained the high moral ground we so often claim to occupy. The energies loosed by the “Arab Spring” would continue to be devoted to their own domestic affairs rather than being diverted into condemning the United States. We are hypocrites when we claim to want justice for the Palestinians but we do nothing meaningful to help them achieve this.”

He added, “On the other hand, if the United States vetoes the Palestinian request for statehood, we will damage our position in the Islamic world, not merely the Arab world, for untold years to come. We will become the object of retribution throughout the Muslim world, and we will give new energy to the lagging efforts of al-Qaida to retaliate against us. I served my country 36 years in the Foreign Services of the United States, ten assignments in ten Muslim countries. I know the power of this issue. Why would we want to five new impetuses to anti-American sentiment throughout the Muslim world?”

He said, “Netanyahu’s office has issued a statement, saying “peace will be achieved only through direct negotiations with Israel.” You know, and I know, that Mr. Netanyahu has no intention of concluding a just and fair peace with the Palestinians Authority. His only concern is to continue the inexorable construction of more settlements, creating more “facts on the ground” until the idea of an independent Palestinian state become a mere memory for a bygone era. When Israel declared its independence in 1948 it did not do so after direct negotiations with Palestine. If Israel really wants to negotiate with the Palestinians, why would negotiating with an independent Palestinian government, on an equal footing, deter it from engaging in these negotiations?”

To be noted that, Charles O. Cecil presented his credentials as Ambassador to the Republic of Niger on September 6, 1996. Prior to his ambassadorship, he served in Washington as Deputy Director for West African Affairs from 1995 to 1996, overseeing US relations with the nine Francophone countries of West Africa. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abidjan before he returned to Washington.

He was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on February 13, 1940. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962, and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University in 1964. Upon completion of his education, he served in the Air Force until 1966.

He has published articles in the Journal of Modern African Studies, The Middle East Journal, Our Sunday Visitor, and Aramco World.

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA