The letter was obviously drafted by the PLO, as it echoes similar letters ghost-written by Abbas to Obama in the same time period.
This is a cynical ploy, akin to presenting a petition with fake names. It is a good example of the deception that the PLO uses when trying to influence world leaders. Even more cynical is that the fake "businessmen" can tell baldfaced lies to Obama without being called out for being liars - something that the PLO negotiators cannot do directly. Some are highlighted below.
November 10th, 2009Of course, the Palestinian Arab economy has boomed since Netanyahu has been in office. And the relevance of "East Jerusalem" and "refugees" to "businessmen" is never quite explained.
Dear President Obama,
As Palestinian businessmen, we wish to share with you some major Palestinianes concerns about todays deteriorating situation brought about by Israels ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory.in our long-lasting conflict with Israel.
We are grateful for your diplomatic efforts and will to solve the Palestinian-e Israeli conflict, d. This despite the fact that for almost a whole year, the United States has been unable to impose a settlement freeze by Israel.
Mr. President, nothing sows more distrust in the Palestinian minds than crushing Palestinian homes from which families are ejected for the purpose of replacing them with Jewish settlers. True some Israeli checkpoints have been dismantled; but with more than 500 checkpoints and physical obstacles still in place in both the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza, Palestinian business remains fragile. Israel continues to retain control of all borders. Nothing can get into or out of the West Bank or Gaza without Israeli permission. Because of the tenuous political situation, few domestic or foreign investors are willing to invest in the Palestinian economy, and many Palestinian businessmen holding American passports are being denied entry by the Israeli authorities to Palestine.
Israeli restrictions, together with Israels fragmentation of the occupied West Bank, remain the greatest impediment to economic development in Palestine and to reaching a two-state solution.
Mr. President, as Palestinian businessmen, our hope and dream is to build a sovereign, viable and thriving Palestinian state, alongside Israel.
But without a political outcome that secures Palestinian territorial rights, including East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and a just solution for refugees, more problems will lie ahead. A settlement freeze is a crucial first step to saving the two-state solution. What is needed is an intensification of your will and a display of greater resolve by taking some bold steps forward to ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
get more exact number
This is nothing but cynicism and an easy excuse to promote lies.