I too lack confidence in numbers, Mr. Biden, because I know there are more

(File photo: Jordan News)
Dear Mr. President,

I observed your speech on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, in which you expressed doubts about the accuracy of Palestinian casualty reports. Your words were intended to bring objectivity to a situation with a “complex history,” and ended up dehumanizing an entire population due to a strategic partnership with Israel.اضافة اعلان

‘I have no confidence in the number that Palestinians are using’
You said “I have no notion that Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,” and just when I thought it could not get any worse, you said “I have no confidence in the number that Palestinians are using.”

A recurring theme in the U.S.: dehumanizing the ‘other’
It is unfortunately not uncommon to witness the dehumanization of Palestinians and Muslims, as this has been a recurring theme in the U.S. In the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, my status as a born and raised U.S. citizen changed overnight, and I became "the other."

Regrettably, anti-Muslim sentiment has become an integral part of the U.S. Even though, the church bombing in Gaza continues to remind people that this is not about Islam, this is about every Palestinian living in Gaza.

As you mentioned in your briefing on October 16, 2023, the FBI reported a 25 percent increase in antisemitic hate crimes from 2021 to 2022, with antisemitism accounting for over half of all religion-based hate crimes.

Muslims Americans and African Americans are disproportionately affected
Additionally, you highlighted that Muslim Americans and African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected, although specific numbers were not provided. This discussion was juxtaposed with concerns about violence at home and acts of terror overseas, particularly referring to Hamas in Israel.

We acknowledge the importance of addressing antisemitism, but we also recognize the need to address other forms of hate and discrimination. It is true that antisemitism has no place anywhere, and we commend our Jewish brothers and sisters who stand against inhumanity, war crimes, and violations of international law committed by Israel.

What is the definition of antisemitism and its inclusion in FBI’s statistics?
However, we question the definition of antisemitism and its inclusion in the FBI's statistics. Does it encompass actions such as punishing companies that refuse to do business with illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, or the laws adopted by many U.S. states penalizing those who boycott Israel as the Human Rights Watch reported in 2019? We seek to understand the criteria.

Is it considered antisemitic when individuals criticize Western standards and Israel's policies? Our purpose is not to serve as mouthpieces or to simply hide who we are. Is it merely antisemitic for someone to just show that they are Palestinian.

It is vital to distinguish criticism of Zionism from Judaism.
We are puzzled by the substantial reporting of antisemitism, while the mention of overrepresentation of Muslims and African Americans is brief and lacks specific data.

The rhetoric is exhausting
The ongoing "us versus them," "West versus East" rhetoric is exhausting and counterproductive. We urge reconsideration of such narratives.
To support your quest for an objective truth that avoids dehumanizing Palestinians, many organizations, including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), rely on health authorities' data, as cited by the U.S. State Department.

We encourage you to review this report for a comprehensive perspective:
2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Israel, West Bank, and Gaza

The numbers from the Gaza Ministry of Health, spanning 212 pages, does not include individuals killed but not brought too hospitals or registered at morgues. It is reported that many people are decomposing under the rubble and the Gaza Ministry of Health continues to play the safe game of underreporting to continue not being dehumanized further than they already are.

So maybe you are right Mr. President, I too, am not confident in the numbers being reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health, because I know they are more, much more.

So here, I say it again, don’t release the numbers, continue to release the names.

And Mr. President, I ask you to go to page 46 as you are the 46th President of the United States of America and read these names out loud, read them again, reread them, then read them again. This is the war America is waging on Palestinians, and yet, there is not much more I can say, other than, say their names please.

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