Palestinians in Shatat Say NO to Resumption of Negotiations: Sign On

The following statement was initiated by Palestinian activists in North America:

SIGN ON: Email NoToNegotiations@gmail.com or use the form: http://bit.ly/NoToNegotiations

We, the undersigned Palestinians and Palestinian organizations in shatat and exile, write today to express our firm opposition to the resumption of bilateral Israeli/Palestinian negotiations under U.S. auspices in Washington DC, today, July 29.

For twenty years, the negotiations have not served Palestinian interests. Through countless sessions of futile negotiations, Israeli settlement construction has escalated, thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are held behind bars and Palestinian rights – including Palestinian refugees’ right to return – are no closer to implementation. While the Netanyahu government is planning the massive dispossession of Palestinians in the Naqab via the Prawer Plan, the negotiations serve only to provide a thin veneer of legitimacy to the aggressive policies of Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Our rights – the rights of the Palestinian people – and our land – the entire land of Palestine – are not for sale or bartering at the negotiations table. That this process is presided over by the United States government, which provides $3 billion annually in military aid to Israel, and specifically by Martin Indyk, former research director at infamous Israel lobby organization the America Israel Public Affairs Committe, only adds insult to injury and makes clear that these negotiations will bring nothing of value or benefit to the Palestinian people.

Today, we say: PA President Mahmoud Abbas does not represent us! Our rights cannot and will not be bargained away at a negotiating table in Washington, DC.

Instead, we affirm that the Palestinian people are one people and our cause is one cause. Our people have struggled for 65 years in order to achieve the liberation of the land and people of Palestine and the implementation of the right of Palestinian refugees to return their homes.

As Palestinians in shatat/diaspora, we are not being represented here, and we demand to reclaim our voice and role. We do not accept these negotiations, and our rights, our people and our land are not for sale!

SIGN ON: Email NoToNegotiations@gmail.com or use the form: http://bit.ly/NoToNegotiations

Initiating Signatories

Al-Awda NY – Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Canada Palestine Association
Canadian Students’ Coalition for Palestine
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Students for Justice in Palestine at Florida Atlantic University
Students for Justice in Palestine at Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine at Hunter College
Students for Justice in Palestine at College of Staten Island
Students for Justice in Palestine at John Jay College
Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
US Palestinian Community Network
Voice of Palestine

Abdullah Khalifeh, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Amani Barakat, Moorpark, California
Amer Taha, Houston, Texas
Amin Husain, New York City
Aya Dama, London
Dr. C. Nureddin Awad, Cuba
Cynthia George Taha, Bellingham
Dina Omar, New Haven, CT
Fadi Shbita, Montreal, Canada
Falastine As-Saleh, Palestine
Faten Toubasi, Toronto, Canada
Feras Al-Hefnawi, USA
Fuad Abboud, Calgary, Canada
Ghada Talhami, Evanston, Illinois, US
Ghasan Taha, Bellingham
Ghassan Al-Sahli
Gihad Ali, Chicago, IL
Haitham Salawdeh, Wauwatisa, WI
Hanaa Yosef, Lebanon
Hanna Kawas, chairperson, Canada Palestine Association and co-host, Voice of Palestine
Hatem Abudayyeh, Chicago, IL
Hazem Ghanam, Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Ida Audeh, Colorado
Imad Shalbak, Bayshore, NY, USA
Issam Al-Yamani, Toronto, Canada
Jadallah Safa, Brazil
Khaled Barakat, Vancouver, Canada
Lamis J. Deek, J.D., NY/ Huwarra Nablus Palestine
Marsilio Salem
May Abboud, Bethesda, MD, USA
Mazin Al Nahawi
Monadel Herzallah, California
Nahla Abdo, Canada
Rabab Abdulhadi, California
Rajai Ghattas, Vernon, BC, Canada
Rami Alsaqqa, Vancouver, Canada
Randa Kamal, San Francisco, California
Rena Zuabi, Palestine
Sabrina Azraq, Toronto, Canada
Salma Abu Ayyash, Cambridge, MA
Sana Ibrahim, USA
Suleiman Hodali, Los Angeles, CA
Talal A. Kanaan
Yara Erian, London, Ontario
Yasmeen Daher, Montreal, Canada
Ziyad Zaitoun, Seattle

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Boston Bombings. By Mazin Qumsiyeh

Via: Popular Resistance.

At first I thought I should not comment on the Boston bombings as it is obvious that we in Palestine, under siege and regular bombardment would clearly sympathize with the victims. But then I saw the usual pundits on mainstream media trying to spin the tragedy to serve racism.

The Israeli Consul-General in Boston told the Jerusalem Post that “Boston is a very quiet and calm place, especially when we come from Israel…..Still, the Jewish community and the consulate are on alert and security has been increased”.  He speaks as if he represents Jews of Boston (and only them) and insinuates as usual that problems in Palestine (‘Israel’) are because of the native “Arabs” not because of the Zionist colonization.

CNN gave extensive time to the Zionist ex-congresswoman Jane Harman who claimed this terrorist attack is likely linked to AlQaeda Islamists while trying to connect herself to victims when she supports terrorism herself. Besides her appalling record in voting for more weapons and money to Israel to kill Palestinians, she was unashamedly more pro-Israel to the point of challenging US interests on several occasions. Continue reading

When the Yarmouk Palestinian Camp Fled

Palestinian Refugees - Al Nakba

Via: CounterPunch.

By Franklin Lamb

Yarmouk Palestinian Camp, Damascus

History is nothing if not interesting. And that it most definitely is.

Today, Palestinian refugees are being severely punished in Lebanon and deprived of their most elementary civil right to work or to even own a home. This massive volition of international humanitarian law is partially being inflicted out of revenge for some Palestinian refugees’ alleged short-term involvement in Lebanon’s civil war back in 1975–nearly four decades ago.

Today however, Palestinian refugees are being severely punished in Syria out of revenge by jihadst factions and others, for not becoming involved in the current Syrian civil war as they insist on staying out of this incredibly tragic mess.

Some Palestinian teenagers here in Damascus call it “Yarmouk-Shatila,” as in: “Our neighbors or friends had to escape from Syria and are now in Yarmouk-Shatila camp” in Lebanon. Shatila was probably the most grotty, tightly packed sardine-canned camp of the 12 in Lebanon and of the 59 in the region, even before 600 more families arrived recently, with more arriving daily. Continue reading

Every President and Congress Are Complicit in Israel’s War Crimes.

Via: Intifada Palestine.

By Mohamed Khodr

“He (Netanyahu) thinks he is the superpower and we are here to do whatever he requires. Who’s the (expletive) superpower here”?” –President Bill Clinton after meeting with the newly elected Benjamin Netanyahu

Under International Law and America’s War Crimes Act, all U.S. Presidents and the 535 members of the U.S. Congress are “complicitors” in Israel’s long history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; and as such are “war criminals” themselves.

Since 1922’s Congressional Adoption and Support of the illegal Balfour “Declaration” gifting Palestine to European Jews as “A”, not “The”, national homeland for Jews, Congress and every Administration have either remained silent or directly and indirectly supported Zionism’s use of terrorism and force to ethnically cleanse Palestine’s indigenous inhabitants and strongly supported the establishment of an illegal nation that was founded by terrorism and lives by terrorism. By being complicitors in such war crimes they are under International Law guilty of war crimes themselves.

Under the U.N. Charter member states must promote: “Universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

The U.S. and Israel are signatories to the U.N. Charter and as such violate this fundamental principle of the Charter.

Israel is also in violation of the U.S. War Crimes Act which states, “An Act to amend title 18, United States Code, to carry out the international obligations of the United States under the Geneva Conventions to provide criminal penalties for certain war crimes” Continue reading

Why We Boycott Israel. By Art Young

Via: Socialist Voice.

A REPLY TO THE U.S. SOCIALIST WORKERS PARTY

When Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters on May 31, murdered nine humanitarian aid workers and seized the cargo of badly needed supplies for Gaza, they touched off an international storm of outrage that continues to this day. The widespread anger has galvanized the international movement in solidarity with the Palestinian people, drawing in new forces and producing new initiatives.

Following the attack on the flotilla, Palestinian civil society issued an appeal to progressive forces around the world to redouble their solidarity efforts and to strengthen the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) against Israel. On June 7 the major Palestinian trade union federations appealed to dock workers to refuse to handle Israeli cargo. They said:

Gaza today has become the test of our universal morality and our common humanity. During the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the world was inspired by the brave and principled actions of dockworkers unions who refused to handle South African cargo, contributing significantly to the ultimate fall of apartheid. Today, we call on you, dockworkers unions of the world, to do the same against Israel’s occupation and apartheid. This is the most effective form of solidarity to end injustice and uphold universal human rights.[1]

Workers in a number of countries responded to this call. Continue reading

The Practice of Neoliberalism: How Think Tanks, Foundations, Big Oil and the CIA Undermine Democracy. By David Livingstone

Via: Global Research.

Canada’s Fraser Institute

How American right-wing foundations, Big Oil and the CIA collaborate to undermine the social democratic systems of Canada and other countries around the world.

Since the early 1970s, there has been a broad international agenda led by right-wing American foundations to sway public opinion towards greater acceptance of an economic philosophy called Neoliberalism, of which Canada’s Fraser Institute has been a pivotal part.

It is by tracing the connections between the Fraser Institute and several prominent Canadian politicians, like Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and other far-right conservatives, including BC Premier Campbell of British Columbia, that we can identify the source of their disdain for democracy, a penchant for slashing social programs, their unconditional support for American foreign policy expeditions, and an utter refusal to condemn the gross human rights abuses of Zionism in Israel.

Every year, the Fraser Institute announces a Tax Freedom Day, the first day of the year when the country of Canada has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual tax burden, and its “Report Cards” of schools and the health care system, designed to convince Canadians of the importance of reducing public spending and privatizing these and other social services.

As reported in The Tyee, Paul Shaker, dean of the faculty of education at Simon Fraser University, said recently:

“Part of the international movement of neoliberalism is to treat schools as simply another service that can be commodified and deserve no special place in society. This movement has been coming along since Thatcher and Reagan, and reached a fevered pitch over the last 10 years.” If you want to analyze why things have deteriorated in Vancouver, Shaker said, “it probably has to do with this global and political movement.” The premise of Neoliberalism, and that of Neoclassical Economic theories in general, is the pessimistic view that human beings are selfish creatures. It develops from a crass darwinian attitude, that deems that people aught to be responsible for their own “failings”, like poverty, and therefore, that governments should not provide services to assist them when they are in need.

Ultimately, the pursuit of self-interest is thought to create efficiencies that should be favored over any form of government activity. However, while the profit motive is certainly tolerable in certain cases, it is actually contrary to the public good in others, as in cases of essential human needs, like education, health, water, energy sources and so on.

Essentially, Neoliberalism draws support from the philosophy of Adam Smith, who maintained it was not necessary for governments or any other social organizations to enforce a redistribution of wealth, because the free pursuit of self-interest would create enough surplus to benefit all. The disguised intent is to induce societies to expose what should be publicly held assets or industries to exploitation by private interests, and to then prevent governments from taxing these corporations, or regulating their activities in ways that might restrain their lust for profits.

The chief propagandists of Neoliberalism, were Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, who, in 1947, founded the Mont Pelerin Society, to coordinate the creation of an international network of think-tanks and foundations, to spread their philosophy of corporate greed. The basis of their propaganda was a scare-tactic of equating “big government” with totalitarianism. In Capitalism and Freedom (1962), Milton Friedman proposed that centralized control of the economy was always accompanied with political repression. Similarly, in The Road to Serfdom (1944), Hayek argued that “Economic control is not merely control of a sector of human life which can be separated from the rest; it is the control of the means for all our ends.” Continue reading