Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, August 03, 2006

NIH Director Joins Call For Mideast Ceasefire

As reported by the Washington Post, the head of the National Institutes of Health has joined a public campaign demanding an "immediate cease-fire" in the Middle East, a position which contradicts Bush administration policy.

Elias A. Zerhouni, appointed as the director of the NIH in 2002, had his name in an ad in the Washington Post which called for "all those in power to stop the violence" through a cease-fire so that "reconciliation and reconstruction" efforts can begin. Zerhoniā€™s name appeared along with the names of 36 prominent Arab Americans. His title as NIH director did not appear with it. "He put it in as a private citizen," said John T. Burklow, an NIH spokesman.

"We reclaim our American values of justice and mercy and compassion, values that abhor oppression and racism," the ad reads in part. "American leadership in the political and humanitarian challenges ahead is a sacred duty."

The Bush administration has rejected Arab and European calls for an immediate cease-fire without being part of a broader agreement.

Some supporters of Israel and U.S. policy find it unusual that a high-ranking administration official would publicly oppose the president on foreign policy, even without mention of his title.

William L. Bransford, general counsel for the Senior Executives Association, said Zerhouni had not crossed any ethical or legal lines -- only political ones.

For the full Washington Post article, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home