December 2, 2023

CHICAGO: The previous mayor of an prosperous stedwardcorona suburban village outdoors Chicago, Illinois, stated he’s “pained” and “very involved” after having misplaced contact with shut members of the family fleeing Israel’s navy violence within the Gaza Strip the place he was born.

Anan Abu Taleb, who served as mayor of Oak Park from 2013 till 2021, stated he has misplaced contact with household residing in Gaza, together with his two sisters, three half-brothers and their households, because of the violent onslaught in Gaza by Israel.

Greater than 12,000 Palestinians, together with nearly half who’re youngsters, have been killed through the Israeli assault launched in response to a Hamas assault from Gaza that killed an estimated 1,400 Israelis on Oct. 7, a determine that was scaled all the way down to 1,200 on Friday by Israeli authorities.

Abu Taleb stated he’s deeply upset by US President Joe Biden’s failure to cease the violence, or “to place himself within the sneakers of Palestinians” and perceive how they’re victims of a “double commonplace” in American international coverage and mainstream information media protection that distinguishes between the killing of Israelis and the killing of Palestinians.

“What occurred on Oct. 7 is a horrific act. Based mostly on what I’ve learn in worldwide regulation, it’s a struggle crime taking hostages and killing civilians. And I additionally wish to say that killing civilians, if they’ve fallen sufferer to a knife, a gun, a missile, or in the event that they have been buried alive beneath the rubble of their destroyed properties, can be a struggle crime. I’m completely in opposition to that. We must always all get up for civilians and youngsters, irrespective of the place,” Abu Taleb instructed Arab Information.

“We’re witness now to crimes being solved by extra crimes. We should get up in opposition to fixing crimes by committing extra crimes.”

The second eldest of 13 youngsters, Abu Taleb was born in 1959 in Beit Lahia, a Palestinian metropolis on Gaza’s northern border close to the notorious Erez Crossing. He emigrated to the US when he was 18 and earned an MBA from the College of Chicago.

After launching a restaurant in Chicago’s western suburbs together with his spouse, Abu Taleb ran for mayor in 2012 with none earlier political or election expertise. He received in a landslide with 58 p.c of the vote, pushed by a marketing campaign slogan to make authorities extra conscious of taxpayers.

Abu Taleb stated his love for the US and democracy fuels his emotions that not sufficient is being performed to cease the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, the place greater than 1.5 million individuals have been compelled to flee their properties, together with his household.

He stated his sisters and brothers and their households had nothing to do with the bloodbath of Israelis by Hamas, however Palestinians are being punished within the worst doable manner, with their properties and lives being destroyed with out anybody defending their rights as law-abiding civilians.

“My father (Hassan) was an elementary college instructor and a farmer. He lived his entire life beneath occupation. He died with a damaged coronary heart as a result of he couldn’t shield his youngsters. That (Israeli) troopers may stroll any minute into your home, take no matter they need and switch issues the wrong way up at any time when they need. And that’s what is being performed on daily basis within the West Financial institution,” Abu Taleb stated.

“My sisters and half brothers and their households have needed to flee south. I pray for them.”

Abu Taleb stated that there’s a “hypocrisy of emotions” and a “double commonplace” on justice that “damages America.”

“We shouldn’t have double requirements. We shouldn’t be for freedom and be in opposition to freedom. We shouldn’t be for human rights and be in opposition to human rights. We shouldn’t be for some youngsters due to the place they have been born however not for different youngsters born someplace else. And Israeli youngster and a Palestinian youngster haven’t any say in what a part of the world they’re born at. They don’t. And so they don’t have a say on what faith to observe when they’re born,” he stated.

“These are our kids. These youngsters who lose their dad and mom and lose their properties, who’re disadvantaged of water, disadvantaged of meals, vitality. What do you assume goes to occur to them 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now? Are we going to be stunned once they don’t love us 20 years from now? That’s the long-term drawback that we have to undertake now so we will have a greater tomorrow.”

Abu Taleb stated that US information media performs a major function on this imbalance.

“Sadly, the mainstream information media seems at Ukrainian youngsters totally different than they take a look at a Palestinian youngster. And so they take a look at an Israeli youngster otherwise than they take a look at a Palestinian youngster,” he stated.

“When the media covers the Israelis, they emphasize how they really feel once they see a civilian being harm or being killed. One can see their feelings and their tears and their coronary heart. However with regards to a Palestinian, it’s a casualty of the struggle.”

Abu Taleb stated that he has not dominated out operating for increased elective workplace, saying extra should change to deliver peace to Gaza and Israel.