Ramallah Club, San Jose
November 11, 2000

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

I want to thank you for inviting me to speak to you this day. As all of you, I speak to you with a broken heart for what is happening in our home countries.

I ask the same questions that you would ask every second: what we can do? What could be done? Already your gathering today is an answer of what you can do.

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

We do not want to make war against Israel or call for violence, as Catholic priest I am a person who calls for nonviolent resistance.

In fact is this what Ghandi, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandella have understood and found that the best way is a nonviolent movement. Today it is called INTIFADA.

In fact, no war can be won against the Israelis who have all the weapons of the US, money, media at their disposal. The only way to have a fair peace is for the Israeli benefactor, the US means us, is  to insist on educating the American Public Opinion. This is out missoin as Americans.

 Right now the American public is confused because they, like many of our American friends, have only heard twisted facts or half truths for most of their life. When we talk to well educated people about the Middle East situation, most surprising they will make statements like these: The Palestinians probably aren't capable of governing themselves anyhow, they are not a nation; Palestinians want to kill the Israelis and throw them to the sea;  look if the Palestinian have weapons will kill every single Jew; they will insist also on the need of the Israelis to survive and the only way to exist, for Israel, is the only way to kill the Palestinians, after all Palestinians are terrorists etc. This is what they know about us, this what they have been taught now for years.

They think of the current violence for example as something akin to the Watts riots that occurred in LA with black citizens. They don't understand that Palestinians lack basic human right, restricted freedom of movement, deportation, political prisons, abject racial profiling by the police, subject to torture, confiscation of IDs of houses and lands, the thge Israelis are building settlement everywhere any time, they do notr know about the refusal of the Palestinian rights of Return etc. Unfortunately these facts don't make our US news because you know who makes the news in the USA.

On these days we found that the USA do not belong to its people the Americans, it belongs to one only ethnic group who can move the Administration to blame the victims and not the Israeli Occupation, only one ethnic group is able to push the Congress to vote against a people who is only looking for freedom and resisting, by the will of the International law, the Occupiers of their own country.

What makes our US news and for years and years is  the Holocaust that we had nothing to do with and that we condemn and we are sorry that innocent people have  unfortunately been killed in a such horrendous way. What makes our news is Robert Kennedy who was assassinated by a Palestinian as they say. What makes our news is Palestinians who shout fanatical religious slogans and suicide bomb innocents, etc. The picture that is painted is that Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular are mostly fanatical religious types that have a dislike for the US and are overly hysterical and something less than normal people.

Oddly this is exactly how Hitler got the German public Opinion to accept his "final solution" for the poor innocent Gypsies, Jews, and the handicapped. This is exactly what some Whites were saying about the African Americans people before Martin Luther King dreams for social justice. This is exactly what the While government of South Africa were saying about the Black Americans during the Apartheid. All  were depicted as some lesser kind of creatures who did not need to be treated equally as the rest of the populace. This how you prepare the public for their demise and ignore their sufferins and stand with the agressors and forget about the victims. This is exactly the situation on these days in the USA against our innocent children killed with tank missils, Helicpoter Gunships. They do not care for more than 170 Palestinians who have been killed and more than 5000 wounded, they do not care for 5000 child who die every month in Iraq. They only care for an Israeli occuping soldier who dies by the Palestinian resistance and Intifada.

The US Media in many ways and many times was biased these days, they do not want to see the Truth:

When armed Nazi storm troopers entered churches and synagogues,
        We were outraged. The MEDIA was condemning it in details.
Ariel Sharon entered a holy shrine of Moslems with  3000  armed guard.
       Was it different?

When Germany "annexed" Austria based on a "historic claim"
        We were outraged.
When Israel "annexed" the Occupied East Jerusalem and some parts of the Occupied Territories based on a so called "historic claim" or relgious claims:
       Was it different?

When Ethiopians with spears were attacked by Facists with tanks and bombs.
       We were outraged.
When boys throwing stones are killed with bullets and rockets,
      Is it different?
      Where is the outrage?

This is why our people is in INTIFADA. It is not only because of the visit of Sharon to Al-Aksa but because a very long frustration. They find that they have nothing to loose after they have lost their homes, children and dignity.

The Israeli government opposing any UN Resolutions with the US blessings despite of the International Community who continue to condemn Israel:

a. The closure is still clamped over the Occupied Territories and areas under the P.A. The Israeli authorities can close off the Gaza International Airport, and the borders to Jordan and to Egypt anytime and all the times as the borders are on Israeli hands. So what dignity do you give to a Palestinian people who feels that he is in an open prison everytime any time.

b. Between the Palestinian cities and  villages, the freedom of movement of people and goods is restricted as Israel controls all the roads, freeways and streets. So you can imagine how many kinds of foodstuff, medicines and necessities are becoming rare on the markets.  At the same time, the Israeli authorities so as to get the Palestinian money and make from them needy of Israel are allowing only Israeli products and not Jordanian, Egyptian or any else to be sold in the Palestinian market.

c. As a result of controlling the borders, Israel do not allow the Palestinian industrial and agricultural products to be transported anywhere on these days, they cannot be sold in Israel, they cannot be sent to any Arabic countries, they can allow it when they want as a way to pressure the P.A to obey to their will for making peace. October is the month of picking and collecting Olives in Palestine and to produce oil became a prohibited month for them, Palestinians cannot go to their farms, some of them have been killed by the settlers...thousands of olive trees have been destroyed by other Israeli settlers...

c. Hospital and schools are suffering the first from lack of medicines. Doctors cannot travel, the students and teachers cannot go to schools, although teacher should be paid when it is impossible because of the high unemployment  that is prevailing now to ask parents for tuition fees.

That is why your gathering is important today more than any other day. The money that you will be raising today should come from the work of your front and from your hearts because they are going to your bloodbrothers and sister who are giving their life for the DIGNITY of your home land. So be very very generous.

I do not know if we can work a kind of statement before the end of this gathering that could be singed by every one of you and could be sent to the Supervisors of the City asking them to adopt a resolutions to call for justice for Palestinians. I am sure that we will not be able to ask them to adopt a resolution to condemn the killing of our people. But at least a resolution that Israel should implement after 33 years the UN Resolutions that our Country USA and Israeli have voted for.

I do not know if we can ask them to call for an international Investigation on the violence and killing in our home country.

I do not know if you are ready to put before you go to bed a candle on the window or the door that looks to a street or neighbor with a banner and a message: Stop killing the Palestinians, Israeli Occupation of Palestine should stop or any other message.

American Public Opinion should be our news strategy.
I am the owner of a book: America and the Founding of Israel, an Investigation of the Morality of America's role. I hope that everybody will get it and give it to an American friend. I am working for the second issue of the book, I hope that the second one will help us all to know more truth on our Country involvement for the what made from a Palestinian as Afif Safieh have said: "A child of a lesser God".

 I cannot imagine that my democratic country the USA, the country of world wide dreams, of human rights, of Miss America holding the flame of freedom and justice could be such a biased country and inhuman country were the dreams of my Palestinians people are scarified on the alter the Jewish people, a people that my country have received with open hand when they were persecuted and executed in Europe.

We do not have anything against the Jews, we are not anti-Smites, we are not calling for violence. We are calling for justice, is it too much to ask from the USA Public and non Public opinion.

I believe that we do have an important mission.

We cannot accept anymore that peace for Israel is continuous confiscation of our lands and bringing settlers from all over the world and building settlements everywhere anytime.

We cannot accept anymore that peace for Israel is a half way between the Labor party and the Likud, a political game played at the time US elections.

We cannot anymore accept that peace for the USA is half way beteen the Congressmen and the White house with Jewish pressure on both.

We cannot anymore accept that peace for the US is half way to please the Jewish voters and please the US interests in our home countries.

We cannot accept anymore that peace for the US and Israel is frustrating our people, killing them, blaming the victims and giving green light to destroy our aspirations, our dreams, our rightful hopes to be people as any other people in the world.

Give me your hearts and I will as a priest make from the them hearts of people who will not seek violence, but call only for justice.

Give me your minds I will educate you how to love everybody equally and where we should share the same rights, duties and responsibilities.

Give me your hands and I will help you to build, as a priest, as better live for your children where Justice, truth and peace should be our everlasting song.

Give me your children and allow me to walk with them all the streets and cities of the USA with a nonviolent INTIFADA calling: NO JUSTICE NO PEACE

Let us put our hand together do not leave me and many others alone after our meeting, you have been trapped with the TRUTH. You do not start with peace, you start with educating on the TRUTH. Truth will bring justice and justice will lead to a comprehensive peace.

Do not go away I did not finish my speech I have more things to tell you. I just started to have your hearts, your minds, children, I just TRAPPED YOU ALL with the TRUTH.

Follow me on my website www.Al-Bushra.org and tell all your frinds about our important mission. I trust you all and I love you all. We just started an INTIFADA in the USA. A nonviolent one.

Thanks,

Fr. Labib Kobti