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Date posted: June 12, 2007
By The East Jerusalem YMCA / YWCA of Palestine

Oprah Winfrey
PO Box 909715
110 N Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60690
USA

8th June 2007

Dear Oprah,

Few days ago, Palestinians commemorated the 40th anniversary of Israel's illegal occupation, during a time when international efforts are needed for the achievement of peace with justice in the region and actions are taking place worldwide to demand that Israel respect international law and human rights in the Occupied Territories.

Your image among Palestinians, as it for millions of people all around the world, is one that stands with oppressed, marginalized people, fights racism, and works for justice and human rights. However, your commitment to visit and support Israel was very shocking to us, as it was for many freedom and human rights fighters around the world.

We believe it is a grave mistake to visit Israel and only acknowledge their suffering without any mention of their policies that violate human rights on a daily basis and affect the lives of millions of Palestinians. Its current practices have led many in the region to consider Israel as the source and catalyst of violence and crisis in the Middle East. Not only are Israel's policies in violation of international law but they are representative of a racist and discriminatory state.

As a well-known and successful figure, your support and presence is key to raising awareness about the current situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories. We urge you to come on an unbiased visit to the region, so you can witness firsthand the facts on ground, including the refugee camps, Apartheid Wall, movement restrictions and ghettos. We would also like to extend an invitation to you to plant an olive tree as a symbol to keep hope alive for farmers who lose their land everyday due to Israel's unjust policies. We would be happy to serve as your guide and host on your visit to the Occupied Territories.

Joint Advocacy Initiative
The East Jerusalem YMCA / YWCA of Palestine

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