Should Muscatine be a Sister-City of Ramallah?
The Palestinian city recently held citywide celebrations for the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for one Israeli soldier, 25-year-old Gilad Shalit.
Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization, more than five years ago and held hostage incommunicado for 1,941 days without even being allowed a visit from the International Red Cross or any contact with his family.
And who are these Palestinian prisoners who were being honored in Ramallah? They are convicted terrorists and criminals, many guilty of vicious mass murders of Israeli women and children.
Ramallah is the newest Sister-City of Muscatine.
Thus, Muscatine is now associated with a city that honors terrorists and murderers as "freedom fighters and holy warriors." Thus Muscatine is now associated with a city that has named many of its street and plazas after terrorists and murderers. Thus Muscatine is now associated with a city whose mayor is in a political partnership with Hamas, that terrorist organization recognized as such by the United States, the European Union, Israel and other countries, and whose charter calls for the destruction of the state of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish people.
Sister-Cities International is an outstanding organization and we applaud Muscatine's efforts over the years with their sister cities programs. However, we are surprised and saddened by Muscatine lending its good name to a city like Ramallah.
Allan G. Ross
Rock Island, Ill.
Editor's note: Ross is executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities.