Sunday, June 3, 2007
By Mazin Qumsiyeh
".....The solutions are not too difficult to see. Segregation in America in the South and in Apartheid South Africa was the etiology of the disease so why do some still consider it a solution. The history of this issue and its resolution based on International law is well recognized around the world bud buried in America thanks to hijacking our institutions by those with racist ideologies. This hijacking is to the detriment of all involved (Americans, Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis). At the core of this is that Palestinian refugees and displaced people must be allowed to return to their homes and lands according to their rights supported by International law (530 villages and towns were completely depopulated, see palestineremembered.com). For a real road map to peace, all we need is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to implement all relevant UN resolutions starting with UNGA 194 of 1949. Many churches, unions, and student groups heeded the Palestinian civil society call that focuses on non-violent actions including boycotts, divestments, and sanctions similar to what was applied on South Africa. Most recently this included the large Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and University and College Union in England (representing 120,000 academics in higher education). The racist attacks on this growing movement proved its effectiveness.
America in the past and Israel more recently both shared visions of “manifest destiny” to conquer untamed "wilderness" of which the natives were the main obstacles. Vilifying the natives was thus a common feature in America then and in Israel today. (Of course, the percentage of Native Americans who remained alive is very small compared to the percentage of Native Palestinians and the latter issue is dragging us to a World War.) It is time to seek real reconciliation both in America and Israel. On June 10, thousands will be in DC for a rally and march demanding an end to the occupation (see endtheoccupation.org). We collectively work for peace so that the 60-year anniversary of the beginning of the Palestinian dispossession (November 1947) will be a new turning point for real peace based on justice and equality."