Archive for International community

Ian Pappe: Israel ‘committing memorycide’

Posted in History, International community, Israel, Israeli occupation, Palestine, Pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 12/09/2009 by 3071km

Written by: Ian Pappe

Date published: 6th July 2008

Source: Aljazeera English

_____

Israel ‘committing memorycide’
By Ilan Pappe

Ilan Pappe says Israel needs to acknowledge the crime it committed
against the Palestinian people


As part of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the anniversary of the creation of Israel and the Palestinian ‘Nakba’, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe reflects upon the events of 1948 and how they led to 60 years of division between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Between February, 1948 and December,1948 the Israeli army systematically occupied the Palestinian villages and towns, expelled by force the population and in most cases also destroyed the houses, looted their belongings and took over their material and cultural possessions. This was the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

During the ethnic cleansing, wherever there was resistance by the population the result was a massacre. We have more than 30 cases of such massacres where a few thousand Palestinians were massacred by the Israeli forces throughout the operation of the ethnic cleansing.

Pappe says the Israeli army systematically
forced Palestinians from their homes

The Israeli army became a bit tired toward the end of the operation and the Palestinian villages became more aware of what was awaiting them and therefore in the Upper Galilee the Israeli army did not succeed in expelling all of the villages. This is why today we have what we call the Arab-Israelis or Israeli-Arabs.

This is a group of 50 to 60 villages that remained within the state of Israel and its population was steadfast and was not expelled over to the other side of the border – to Lebanon or Syria.

The international community was aware of the ethnic cleansing but the international community, especially in the West, decided not to confront head on the Jewish community in Palestine after the Holocaust.

And, therefore, there was a kind of conspiracy of silence and again the international community did not react and was complacent and this was very important for the Israelis because it showed them that they can adopt as a state ideology ethnic cleansing and ethnic purity.

Erasing history

Part of any ethnic cleansing operation is not just wiping out the population and expelling it from the earth. A very typical part of ethnic cleansing is wiping people out of history.

For ethnic cleansing to be an effective and successful operation you also have to wipe people out of memory and the Israelis are very good at it. They did it in two ways.

They built Jewish settlements over the Palestinian villages they expelled and quite often gave them names that reflected the Palestinian name as a kind of testimony to the Palestinians that this is totally now in the hands of Israel and there is no chance in the world of bringing the clock backwards.

Pappe says many former Palestinian villages
were turned into recreational spaces

The other way they did it is planting trees – usually European pine trees – over the ruins of the village and turning the village into recreational spaces where you do exactly the opposite of commemoration – you live the day, you enjoy life, it is all about leisure and pleasure.

That is a very powerful tool for ‘memorycide’. In fact, much of the Palestinian effort should have been but was never unfortunately – or only recently began – was to fight against that ‘memorycide’ by at least bringing back the memory of what happened.

I think that there should be no reason in the world that two people – the Palestinians and the Jews – despite everything that happened in the past should not be able live together effective and in one state.

You need three things for that to happen. You need closure for the 1948 story – namely you need an Israeli acknowledgment of the crime it committed against the Palestinian people.

The second thing that you need is you need to make Israel accountable for this and the only way of making Israel accountable is by, at least in principle, accepting the Palestinian refugees right of return.

And thirdly you need a change in the Palestinian and Arab position towards the idea of a Jewish presence in Palestine as something legitimate and natural and not as an alien colonialist force.

I think these principles have to emerge and so far the political elites on both sides are unwilling to accept them.

The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Al Jazeera.

Advertisements

Russell Tribunal on Palestine – May this tribunal prevent the crime of silence

Posted in Activism, Gaza war crimes investigation, History, International community, International conferences, Israel's separation wall, Israeli occupation, Israeli politics, Non-violent resistance, Operation Cast Lead, Palestine, Peace process, Siege, Videos, War crimes with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/09/2009 by 3071km

Date published: 4th March 2009

Source: Russell Tribunal Palestine

_____

The recent war waged by the Israeli government and the Israeli army on the Gaza strip, already under a blockade, underlines the particular responsibility of the United States and of the European Union in the perpetuation of the injustice done to the Palestinian people, deprived of its fundamental rights.

It is important to mobilize the international public opinion so that the United Nations and Member States adopt the necessary measures to end the impunity of the Israeli State, and to reach a just and durable solution to this conflict.

Following an appeal from Ken Coates, Nurit Peled, and Leila Shahid, and with the support of over a hundred well-known international personalities, it has been decided to organise a Russell Tribunal on Palestine.

Based on the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued on the 9th of July 2004 and on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Organisation, this Russell Tribunal on Palestine is a civic initiative promoting international law as the core element of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Further than Israel’s responsibility, it aims to demonstrate the complicity of Third States and International Organisations which, through their passivity or active support, allow Israel to violate the rights of the Palestinian People, and let this situation be continued and aggravated.

The next step will then be to establish how this complicity results in international responsibilities.

Through a decentralised functioning, the organisation of public sessions and other public events, the organisation of a Russell Tribunal on Palestine is designed as a large communication event, with widespread media coverage over the tribunal and its outcomes. Indeed, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine having no official mandate, its impact rests on its ability to mobilise public opinion, so that the latter puts pressure on governments to obtain that they change their policies in the ways that are necessary to reach a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Racism, boycott and a big dose of hypocrisy

Posted in International community, International conferences, Israeli occupation, Israeli politics, Palestine, Siege with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/05/2009 by 3071km

Written by Isabelle Humphries

Date: 28 April 2009

Source: The Electronic Intifada

_____

Mainstream reports on the last UN Durban Review Conference on racism seem only to highlight Ahmadinejad’s discourse and its boycott by Western leaders. However, such reports dismiss the failure of the Conference on discussing racism and its causes.

In this article, Isabelle Humphries writes on the failure of the international community to tackle about Zionism, the different approaches towards boycott of Western leaders, and the hipocrisy of the international community when it comes to adressing Palestinian issues.

International activists seeking justice in Palestine call for a radical reflection on the overall framework of Zionism, which as an ideology prioritizes the rights of one racial group over another. While no one was expecting that the Durban Review Conference would adopt an apartheid analogy, in recent years many senior international figures have sharply criticized Israel’s systematic discrimination against the Palestinians. While Palestinians are as aware as any other occupied nation that UN resolutions do not necessarily lead to international action, nevertheless the document resulting from the Durban 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) was considered something of a landmark. Dismissed as “anti-Semitic” by the usual US-Israeli suspects, the declaration named Palestinians as specific victims of racism. Though it failed to mention the source of this racism, many civil society organizations saw Durban as a useful conceptual framework for combating the racism at the heart of the protracted plight of the Palestinians.

The Durban Review Conference held last week was initially intended to be a forum to evaluate the progress towards goals set eight years ago. But bullying tactics by certain European/North American states ensured that the draft Durban Review Conference declaration excluded any criticism of Israel. In the planning process original “offensive” statements such as those referring to “unlawful collective punishment” and “torture” were removed. Israel, Canada and the US — under both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — had no intention of allowing a repeat of the language of 2001. All three boycotted the process from the start. Obama initially rejoined the planning stage but pulled out again.Despite the fiasco of the main event, a successful two-day conference sponsored by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) brought a group of international legal experts and activists together to examine and develop possibilities of using legal instruments to combat Israeli racism.

The hypocrisy of being told by European politicians and media that boycotts against Israel are either anti-Semitic or counter-productive, yet to be instructed that boycott of Ahmadinejad or even the whole UN racism conference is right and justifiable leaves anyone dedicated to justice fuming. That’s what I feel like — I can only imagine how Palestinians feel to be let down by the international community. Again.

Bil’in’s example: between suffering and resistance

Posted in Everyday life in the West Bank, History, International community, International conferences, Israel's separation wall, Israeli occupation, Israeli politics, Non-violent resistance, Palestine, Pictures, Siege, War crimes, West Bank with tags , , , , , on 01/05/2009 by 3071km

Since February 2005, Bil’in has resisted against the Israeli occupation and the construction of the Wall. From the beginning, the village committee chose non-violent actions, which endowed Bil’in inhabitants with the image of pacific resistants. Numerous Palestinian and Israeli organizations, but also organizations from the entire world, have taken up the cause for this village. On a daily basis, Bil’in inhabitants need Israeli and international activists on the ground. Organizations from many countries are setting up “civil missions” in Palestine.

For more information please visit Bil’in’s village website.

A Palestinian village struggling to exist

Bil’in is a Palestinian village that is struggling to exist. It is fighting to safeguard its land, its olive trees, its resources… its liberty.

By annexing close to 60% of Bil’in land for Israeli settlements and the construction of Israel’s separation wall, the state of Israel is strangling the village. Every day it destroys a bit more, creating an open air prison for Bil’in’s inhabitants.

Supported by Israeli and international activists, Bil’in residents peacefully demonstrate every Friday in front of the “work-site of shame”. And every Friday the Israeli army responds with violence, both physically and psychologically.

Bil’in residents have continued to withstand these injustices despite the frequent night raids of Israeli soldiers in the town followed by an increasing number of arrests of inhabitants and of activists. But now, the army has toughened the oppression by systematically arresting members of the Bil’in committee in charge of organizing the non-violent resistance actions. The aim of the arrests is to discourage Bil’in residents and reduce their resistance to the occupation.

Bil’in, an example of the injustice inflicted on Palestine

It is important to realize that what is going on in Bil’in is emblematic of the situation in all of Palestine:

  • The occupation of Palestine by the Israeli armed forces was condemned by United Nations’ Resolution 242, and by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • The colonization of Palestinian lands, whether dubbed legal or illegal by Israel, was also condemned by UN Resolutions 242 and 338.
  • The construction of the Wall and annexation of lands to be converted into military zones are also condemned by the UN and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • According to the UN, the presence of armed forces on a foreign territory, which the village of Bil’in is experiencing, is an illicit situation punishable by an international military intervention (as in Kuwait in 1991), as well as being a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • Armed repression during the demonstrations in Bil’in, equally prohibited by all international courts and bodies, is a violation of human rights, and is also prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • All forms of collective punishments are punishable, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are considered as war crimes by the UN.

Siege shortages

Posted in Everyday life in Gaza, Gaza, International community, Israeli occupation, Operation Cast Lead, Pictures, Siege with tags , , , on 20/04/2009 by 3071km
Hundreds of Palestinians are on the local stations to provide with gas, which ran out in Gaza because of Israeli siege.

Hundreds of Palestinians are on the local stations to get gas provisions since in Gaza it ran out because of the Israeli siege.

Not only this world silences the siege of Gaza, but it has taken serious efforts to tighten the siege on the defenseless people. This has culminated in their efforts to prevent even the simplest forms of life in Gaza. They prevent the entry of milk for kids, food, gas and oil… maybe believing Palestinians one day will think  to knee and surrender.

Over two years 1.5 million Palestinians have been suffering the ravages of the unjust Israeli siege, a siege that is unjust against children before than adults. However, the world keeps describing the cries of Palestinian children aiming for freedom and to live safely in Gaza as the cries of terrorism that must be answered with shells and heavy machine guns.

How long will this world be unjust and quiet and close their eyes towards what is happening in the Gaza Strip?