The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Calling on Hillary Clinton to do the right thing

A group of Americans citizens residing to Cairo are taking advantage of US Secretary of State Clinton's visit to Egypt to request for a meeting. We want to communicate to her that US statements on the conflict in Gaza, including her own, have been insufficient in pressuring both sides to cease fire. Having lived through regional previous conflicts in which the US issued one-sided statements, we believe it's urgent to correct this stance as soon as possible.

We are modest in our ambitions. This is not about assigning blame in the conflict or deciding who started it — even if many differ with stated US government positions. It's about getting Washington to do its utmost to stop this senseless killing that is mostly affecting civilians.

It is about getting a clear, unequivocal statement out of the Obama administration that BOTH sides should ceasefire and that the US is not giving Israel carte blanche to conduct whatever military operations it wants to. We believe this is crucial at this point where the hopes for a ceasefire appear to be deteriorating and the attacks on civilians on both sides are escaling. We believe this is crucial because Egypt should be given all the possible backing in its efforts to secure a ceasefire. We believe this crucial because the US should not be giving the impression, particularly at a time of region-wide turmoil, that it is giving license to Israel to continue its attacks even as it calls on Hamas to stop its own. This is too reminiscent of the disastrous policies pursued by the Bush administration during the 2006 Israeli-Lebanese war and the 2009 Gaza conflict.

We have sent a letter to Secretary Clinton which she should receive as she lands in Cairo, any time now. And we have opened this petition for US citizens in Egypt to sign. 

We are taking this step because alternatives we considered — such as staging a peaceful protest at the US Embassy are impractical considering the current tension around Tahrir Square and Mohammed Mahmoud St. and the heightened security presence around the embassy in the last few months. We hope she will receive a small delegation that will explain our position and get her feedback.

If you're an American living in Egypt, please sign our petition.