Sunday, June 10, 2007
An Excellent Piece
by Sonja Karkar
(founder and President of Women for Palestine in Melbourne, Australia)
"......The final solution – ethnic cleansing
The diabolical endgame is closing in. Left on the board are apartheid, enslavement, transfer, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Unpalatable as these terms are, more and more people are beginning to see just where Israel’s policies and practices are heading.
The first person to coin the term “genocide” was a Polish-Jewish legal scholar Raphael Lemkin whose idea was widely accepted by the international community and it became one of the legal bases of the Nuremburg Trials. It is interesting to see the parallel between his definition and what is happening to the Palestinians today:
“Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.” Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (Wash DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944), p79.
For those people who think that what is happening to the Palestinians is not apartheid or ethnic cleansing or genocide, ask the Palestinian parents who have just lost their children, the Palestinian families who are watching bulldozers rip into their homes, the Palestinian children who are too afraid to go to school, the elderly and the handicapped who are too afraid to stay at home, the Palestinian mothers who have lost their babies, the Palestinian children who wet their beds, the half-alive Palestinians without legs and arms and only half their face.......
You might well ask the Palestinians to make the concessions for the sake of peace: to desist from violent resistance; to give up the right of return; to forfeit East Jerusalem as their future capital; to agree to Israeli control of their borders; to accept the Jewish settlements, the Israeli-only roads and military posts in their midst; to agree to a Wall that separates them from those they love; to accept that they can never own their own piece of land or their own house; to suppress the feelings of humiliation and shame that they have borne for over half a century; and then what? That is really the question.
Forty years of oppression and almost sixty years of dispossession are too many years of pain for any human being. It is time for the Palestinians to be released from Israel’s vice-like control. It is time to balance the scales of justice. It is time to stop killing the Palestinians."