The US has called for a "de-escalation" and support a ceasefire in the current conflict between Hamas and Israel. Yet, while calling for Hamas to cease its rocket fire on Israel, they have failed to clearly call on Israel to cease its artillery, naval and aerial strikes on the Gaza Strip.
The undersigned, American residents of Egypt, are requesting a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to explain to her the dangers of the US' current position. The conflict in Gaza has regional repercussions, and the United States should do its utmost to end the fighting and the mounting civilian death toll is has caused. This begins by making it clear to both parties that military acts must end.
Over the last decade, US citizens residing in Egypt have experienced growing hostility as a result of US policies in the region and US backing of Israel. This was particularly the case at the time of the invasion of Iraq and the George W. Bush administration’s support for Israeli military strikes in Lebanon in 2006 and 2009, during which the United States took shameful stances that prolonged the conflicts rather than seek a resolution and further damaged America’s standing in the region.
We had hoped that the administration of President Barack Obama would take a different approach in the current conflict, but are dismayed to hear yet again one-sided statements, including from you. While the president and yourself have rightly called for a “de-escalation” of the conflict, in repeated statements administration officials have called (appropriately) for Hamas to cease rocket fire into Israel without a parallel call for Israel to cease its aerial, artillery, and naval strikes in the Gaza Strip. Considering the civilian toll in Gaza and the United States’ stated desire for a ceasefire, we simply do not understand why you are not clearly and unequivocally calling for both sides to implement a ceasefire.
This stance is helping perpetuate a conflict that has consequences beyond Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. As residents of Egypt, we fear that your statements further damage the perception of the United States — and by extension, unfortunately, American citizens — in the region. While we understand the US is a close ally of Israel, we find that omitting a call for Israel to also cease fire damages both America’s standing in the region and the Egypt-led efforts to secure a ceasefire.
Thank you for your kind attention to this urgent matter and we look forward to speaking with you directly during your visit to Cairo.