January/February 2000

Copy Of Letter From MK Uzi Landau To President Clinton Protesting US Activities Inside Israel

The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC

February 14, 2000
Dear President Clinton,

I would like to draw your attention to a matter of grave concern that threatens
to cast a shadow over the special relationship between Israel and the United
States, which we all hold so dear.

The following headline appeared in Yediot Aharonot, Israel's most widely-read
newspaper, on February 11: "U.S Embassy Tries to mobilize Arab support in the
Referendum". According to the article, senior U.S. Embassy officials have of
late conducted a series of meetings with Israeli Arab leaders. The express aim
of these meetings, according to the report, is to pressure Arab leaders to
produce a large turnout among their constituency in the event that a referendum
is held regarding the future of the Golan Heights, as the Arab vote could prove
decisive. In addition, the report states that the U.S. diplomats promised to
arrange financial assistance to back information campaigns that will be
undertaken by Israeli Arab groups for this purpose. In response, the U.S.
Embassy spokesman did not deny this information.

If the information in the article is accurate, this would constitute an
unprecedented an intolerable act of gross interference in Israel's internal
affairs. I can not emphasize enough the severity of this act, which demonstrates
blatant disregard for the most elementary norms of accepted international
behavior between states and nations. For over fifty years, the U.S.-lsrael
relationship has been based on intimate ties of friendship and mutual trust.
There can be no greater blow to a friendship, be it between two people or two
nations, than a breach of faith. I pray this is not the case.

Accordingly, I request that you immediately instruct the American Ambassador to
Israel and the U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem, as well as all American
diplomats posted to Israel, to investigate this matter, and if it turns out to
be true, to refrain forthwith from any and all such activity. I would also like
to request that the Secretary of State reiterate publicly America's commitment
to refrain from interfering in Israel's internal decision-making process.

The people of Israel may have to face troubling and fateful decisions in the
months and years ahead. We have the right to expect that our closest friends and
allies will allow us to make such decisions by ourselves.

Uzi Landau, Member of Knesset

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