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Over 300 academics urge Biden administration to uphold Palestinian rights

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Joe Biden (Photo by Reuters)

More than 300 Palestinian, Arab, and international academics have signed an open letter addressed to the administration of US President Joe Biden, calling on Washington to uphold the fundamental rights of Palestinians.

They urged the Biden administration to respect the rights as outlined in the recent speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The rights include recognition of the State of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations, condemnation of denial of Nakba Day or “Day of Catastrophe,” when Israel was created on May 15, 1948 at the expense of the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland, respect for Palestinians’ right to self-determination, as well as cessation of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and crimes of apartheid.

The academics also called on the Biden administration to adopt policies that align with these principles across all spheres and fields.

The White House has repeatedly expressed disapproval of many statements and policies emanating from members of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline administration, as well as with the so-called judicial overhaul plan.

Proponents of the plan say it helps redistribute the balance of power between the politicians and the judiciary. Its opponents, however, accuse Netanyahu of trying his hand at a power grab. They say the premier, who is on trial on several counts of corruption charges, is also attempting to use the scheme to quash possible judgments against him.

Israeli academics, artists, businessmen and even military reservists have come out against the controversial overhaul.

Biden expressed concerns when Israel's parliament slammed through the first piece of legislation in July, calling the outcome “unfortunate.” 

The Biden administration has also voiced increased frustration with the Israeli regime’s settlement growth in the occupied West Bank, which the US and most of the international community consider a main obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.

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