An Open Letter to the Consul General of the United Kingdom

Posted on Oct 21, 2019

Image: Samia Khoury enjoying the Birzeit countryside in 1948

Samia Khoury enjoying the Birzeit countryside in 1948

Samia Khoury writes from East Jerualem

The following Headline appeared in Al-Quds, our local Arabic newspaper, on Friday, October 18. 2019: “Britain joins the Palestinians in the olive picking season”.

It is quoting the Consul General of the United Kingdom in Jerusalem Mr. Philip Hall, that for the sixth consecutive year the UK has been supporting the Palestinians during the olive picking season. It is an opportunity for the staff of the consulate and other international volunteers to take part in this activity which is very vital for the Palestinian economy, over and above its cultural and social significance. He further emphasized the violence of the settlers in this season, and that fifteen diplomats from the Consulate and other international representatives were able to help the farmers in the Makhrour Valley where a Palestinian restaurant was recently demolished so that the settlers could start another building there.

He further referred to the increasing violence of the settlers and that this activity is considered part of the humanitarian, and political support to the Palestinian towns, especially the marginalized ones in Area C.

I could not help but respond to the item by writing back to the paper an open letter to the Consul General which I will translate in the following lines:

I am sure the farmers and the owners of those olive trees are very grateful to the Consul General of the UK for this support, especially that the olive picking season has become a nightmare for the Palestinians due to the raids of the Jewish settlers with the support of the Israeli army.

 

As we express our gratitude to the representative of the government of the United Kingdom for this initiative, I would like to draw his attention and the attention of the government of the United Kingdom, that the Palestinians expect much more from the United Kingdom than its support of the olive picking season.

 

To start with, an apology for the infamous Balfour Declaration which facilitated the road for the Palestinian Nakba. Furthermore for the withdrawal of the British Mandate on May 15, 1948 without taking responsibility for the consequences of this withdrawal, over and above the consequences of the partition of Palestine.

 

After seventy one years of the Palestinian dispossession and fifty two years of a brutal Israeli military occupation of the remaining Palestinian territories, don’t you think it is high time for the government of the United Kingdom to take a Moral Stand and recognize a Free Palestinian State that has a right to self- determination?