As the international community condemns and protests against Israel on its controversial law legalizing the building of settlements on West Bank, in Singapore, we are reduced to just handing a letter to its embassy.
We’ve tried applying for a protest of Netanyahu’s visit to Singapore. Although we received a confirmation from NParks to proceed with our event, a day later, a police officer called me up to say that my event requires a police permit.
We were told that such permits would take 2 weeks to process. This effectively disqualifies our event from taking place as we had applied to hold the event less than 14 days.
Not wanting to be daunted by the setback, we decided to write a letter and send it to Israel’s embassy.
Today, a few of us went down to Israel’s embassy to hand deliver the letter to their representatives. While walking up to its perimeter, we were greeted by a few police officers. Two of them were the same officers I met when I went to Myanmar’s embassy during Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit.
They were professional and understanding. They politely asked for our identifications and we obliged. One of the officers started videoing us while the screening was done. We also had a small talk with the officers reiterating the purpose of our visit.
After some time, a man was seen walking out of the embassy’s compound speaking to the guard and the officers. We were then told that its representative is not able to accept our letter. We were told to send an email instead. I almost laugh at the suggestion.
I then asked if there is anywhere I can post the letter to their letterbox but were told there is none. I then insist that there must be an avenue for mails to come through but again we were denied. In the end, we decided to leave the letter at the guard house and left the place.
When I told some friends that I will be handing a protest letter to Netanyahu, some of my friends were concerned. They told me to stand down and not put myself in trouble. I sincerely appreciate their concerns but politely told them that they have nothing to worry as I’ll work within the perimeters of the laws.
It is imperative that Israel should know the world is not with them when they violate international law. The burden is upon us to voice out against atrocities. If we take light of humanitarian issues, cruelty will prosper and we will then fail ourselves as a human being.
Below is the letter that we sent to Israel’s embassy verbatim.
20 Feb 2017
Embassy of Israel
22 Steven Close
Prime Minister of Israel
Mr Benjamin Netanyahu
Dear Mr Netanyahu,
RE: ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT ON PALESTINIAN LAND
We read with disgust that Israel’s Parliament passed a provocative law that would legalize Jewish settlements on privately owned Palestinian land. This new law is making stealing an official policy of Israel.
Despite UN’s resolution demanding on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” Israel has shamefully passed laws that undermine a two-state policy.
The latest act by your parliament shows the hypocrisy of Israel that it is committed to a two-state solution. It is incongruous when a leader of your stature, endorsed such atrocious law to seize private Palestinian land but play the victim on the international stage.
We would like to strongly register our condemnation of your administration for jeopardising the fundamentals of the peace process by disregarding the international community’s disapproval of Israel’s illegal settlement.
Peace cannot prevail when Israel continues to act with aggression.
Concerned Citizens of Singapore
Source: Khan Osman Sulaiman