Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Appeal To First Lady Michelle Obama - Free the Children of Palestine!

December 8, 2010 Al-Awda

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls on all its
members, supporters and people of conscience to write to First
Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama to request that she intervene to help
stop the systematic and institutionalized abuse of Palestinian
Children.
BACKGROUND

According to Israeli police, 1200 Palestinian children have been
arrested, interrogated and imprisoned in the occupied city of
Jerusalem alone this year. The youngest of these children was
seven-years old. Children and teen-agers were often dragged out of
their beds in the middle of the night, taken in handcuffs for
questioning, threatened, humiliated and many were subjected to
physical violence while under arrest as part of an ongoing
campaign against the children of Palestine. Since the year 2000,
more than 8000 have been arrested by Israel, and reports of
mistreatment are commonplace. Further, based on sworn affidavits
collected in 2009 from 100 of these children, lawyers working in
the occupied West Bank with Defense Children International, a
Geneva-based non governmental organization, found that 69% were
beaten and kicked, 49% were threatened, 14% were held in solitary
confinement, 12% were threatened with sexual assault, including
rape, and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a
language they do not understand. Minors were often asked to give
names and incriminate friends and relatives as a condition of
their release. Such institutionalized and systematic mistreatment
of Palestinian children by the state of Israel is a violation
international law and specifically contravenes the Convention on
the Rights of the Child to which Israel is supposedly a signatory.

ACTION

Please write to First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama to request that she
intervene to help stop the systematic and institutionalized abuse
of Palestinian Children. A sample letter that you may use is
posted below.


Sample letter to First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama

Dear First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama,


As the loving mother of two beautiful daughters, I am sure that
you would be concerned about any systematic and institutionalized
abuse of children anywhere in the world. Therefore, I am sure also
that you would not only be shocked and disturbed to learn about
the systematic arrests and abuse that Palestinian children are
experiencing at the hands of the Israeli state, but that you would
do all in your power to convince the president, your husband and
father of your children, to demand an end to their torment
forthwith.


According to Israeli police, 1200 Palestinian children have been
arrested, interrogated and imprisoned in the occupied city of
Jerusalem alone this year. The youngest of these children was
seven-years old. Children were often dragged out of their beds in
the middle of the night, taken in handcuffs for questioning,
threatened, humiliated and many were subjected to physical
violence while under arrest as part of an ongoing campaign against
the children of Palestine. Since the year 2000, more than 8000
have now been arrested by Israel. Further, based on sworn
affidavits of 100 of these children, lawyers working in the
occupied West Bank with Defense Children International, a
Geneva-based non governmental organization, found that 69% were
beaten and kicked, 49% were threatened, 14% were held in solitary
confinement, 12% were threatened with sexual assault, including
rape, and 32% were forced to sign confessions written in Hebrew, a
language they do not understand. Such institutionalized and
systematic mistreatment of Palestinian children by the state of
Israel is contrary to international law and specifically
contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which
Israel is supposedly a signatory.


First Lady Obama, I appeal to you to ask the president to direct
Israel to release all Palestinian children immediately from their
torment of being kidnapped at gunpoint from their homes and beds
in the middle of the night, and to the systematic and
institutionalized abuse that it is directing against them. Ask him
to demand an end to the torment that the children's parents are
also suffering of having their children wrenched from their
families, and every single day not knowing what their children
must endure. No person of conscience can live with this stain on
their lives. What the Israeli state is doing to Palestinian
children amounts to psychological terrorism. I hope you can help
end these terrible deeds that are being inflicted on the
Palestinian people, especially the children, with the intention of
breaking their spirits, and to shatter and fragment the very basis
of their family life.

I thank you for your kind attention to this urgent matter. I
realize this burden may weigh heavily on you. The Palestinian
people are steadfast in their determination to achieve their
freedom. I hope you can assist by bringing freedom to their
children.


Sincerely


Your name
Address
Phone number
Email Address


Please contact the first lady by:

Fax: 1-202-456-2461


Mail:


Attn: First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500


The White House online form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Please be sure to keep the size of your letter below 2500
characters when using this form to contact the first Lady.

Please inform us or cc your correspondence to
child.rights@al-awda.org


Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Tel: 760-918-9441
Fax: 760-918-9442
E-mail: info@al-awda.org
WWW: http://al-awda.org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) is a not
for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3)
organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of
the United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations
to PRRC are tax-deductible. To donate, please go to
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the instructions. To
become a member, go to http://al-awda.org/membership.html

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