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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When Israeli Denial of Palestinian Existence Becomes Genocidal

Via: The Electronic Intifada.

By Ilan Pappe.

In a regal interview he gave the Israeli press on the eve of the state’s “Independence Day”, Shimon Peres, the current president of Israel, said the following:

“I remember how it all began. The whole state of Israel is a millimeter of the whole Middle East. A statistical error, barren and disappointing land, swamps in the north, desert in the south, two lakes, one dead and an overrated river. No natural resource apart from malaria. There was nothing here. And we now have the best agriculture in the world? This is a miracle: a land built by people” (Maariv, 14 April 2013).

This fabricated narrative, voiced by Israel’s number one citizen and spokesman, highlights how much the historical narrative is part of the present reality. This presidential impunity sums up the reality on the eve of the 65th commemoration of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine. The disturbing fact of life, 65 years on, is not that the figurative head of the so-called Jewish state, and for that matter almost everyone in the newly-elected government and parliament, subscribe to such views. The worrying and challenging reality is the global immunity given to such impunity.

Peres’ denial of the native Palestinians and his reselling in 2013 of the landless people mythology exposes the cognitive dissonance in which he lives: he denies the existence of approximately twelve million people living in and near to the country to which they belong. History shows that the human consequences are horrific and catastrophic when powerful people, heading powerful outfits such as a modern state, denied the existence of a people who are very much present.

This denial was there at the beginning of Zionism and led to the ethnic cleansing in 1948. And it is there today, which may lead to similar disasters in the future — unless stopped immediately. Continue reading

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

Apartheid Israel’s Palestinian Genocide. By Dr Gideon Polya

Via: Information Clearing House.

Coinciding with the formerly pagan celebration of New Life, at Easter time the Christian world pauses to consider the Passion of Christ and the story of His crucifixion and resurrection. Mainstream media will cover this major annual religious event but will largely ignore a crucial message of the Passion story – our critical obligation to bear witness and speak out against evil.

I endlessly repeat a key message for the people of the endlessly war-making but internally peaceful and democratic nations of US Alliance: “Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity”. 12 million people have died from violence or war-imposed deprivation since 1990 in the Zionist-backed US War on Muslims but the Western mainstream media and most of the citizenry of the West look the other way from the suffering of Palestinians, of Muslims and indeed of all Third Worlders under US hegemony.

For the humanity-ignoring citizens of the US Alliance countries, the most personally poignant part of the Passion should be how Peter denied Christ thrice at the time of his arrest by the soldiers of the chief priests. Continue reading

Truths, Facts and Facts on the Ground. By Joseph Massad

With Obama’s visit to the Israeli apartheid state, it is important to point out the old lies about Palestine that Obama and Netanyahu insist are “facts”.

This article originally appeared on english.aljazeera.net on 27 October 2011.

Much of the international support that Israel receives is based on several lies it tells and re-tells as “facts”.

In 1991, negotiations started officially and unofficially between the Palestine Liberation Organisation (and the Palestinians associated with it) and the Israeli government. At the time, Israel had occupied the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip for the previous 24 years.

Today, 20 years later, Israel and President Obama insist that the only way to bring about peace, and presumably end the Occupation, is to continue with negotiations. It is unclear if what Obama and Israel are claiming is that Israel needs 24 years of negotiations in order to end its 24-year occupation of Palestinian land, so that by the time the occupation ends, it will have lasted for 48 years.

This of course is the optimistic reading of the Israeli and US positions; the reality of the negotiations and what they aim to achieve, however, is far more insidious.

The negotiations have been based on specific goals to end certain aspects of the Israeli relationship to the Palestinians, namely some of the parts introduced since the 1967 war and the occupation, and the beginning of exclusive Jewish colonial settlement of these territories.But what always remains outside the purview of negotiations is the very core of the Palestinian-Israeli relationship, which the Palestinians are told cannot be part of any negotiations.

These off-limits core issues include what has happened since 1947-1948, including the expulsion of 760,000 Palestinians, the destruction of their cities and towns, the confiscation and destruction of their property, the introduction of discriminatory laws that legalise Jewish racial, colonial and religious privilege and deny Palestinian citizens of Israel equal rights and reject the right of the expelled refugees to return.

Yet, this core, which the Israelis summarise as Israel’s right to be, and to be recognised as, a “Jewish” state, is what is always invoked by the Israelis themselves as central to beginning and ending the negotiations successfully and which the Palestinians, the Israelis insist, refuse to discuss.

But the core issues of the question of the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis have always been based on the agonistic historical, geographic and political claims of the Palestinian people and the Zionist movement.

While the Palestinians have always based their claims on verifiable facts and truths that the international community agreed upon and recognised, Israel has always based its claims on facts on the ground that it created by force and which parts of the international community would only recognise as “legitimate”, retroactively.

How is one then to sift through these competing notions of truths and facts on the one hand, and facts on the ground, on the other? Continue reading

The Futile Undertaking of Palestinian Statehood. By Esam Al-Amin

Palestinian refugees separated from their home by the “green line”. 1948 UNRWA photo

Via: CounterPunch.

One State, Two States, No State

Today, September 23, Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas submits, to the UN the application for Palestinian statehood for the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

What are the implications of this effort? Does it serve the Palestinian cause? And why do Israel and the U.S. oppose this action? What’s the alternative?

Paradoxically, this month marks the eighteenth anniversary of when Abbas stood alongside Bill Clinton, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn in a ceremony celebrating the signing of the Oslo Accords.

As one of its architects, Abbas sold the Oslo agreement to the Palestinian people as the vehicle towards the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people.

But throughout the past two decades lofty promises were offered to the Palestinians, while endless negotiations across continents took place between Israel and the PA, which Abbas has headed since the death of Arafat in 2004: Madrid (1991), Oslo (1993), Wye River (1997), Camp David (2000), Taba (2001), Quartet’s road map (2002), Annapolis (2007), bilateral negotiations (2008), Obama’s promises for settlements freeze in Cairo (2009) and declaration of statehood within one year at the UN (2010).

But despite the fact that international law and world public opinion are overwhelmingly on the side of the Palestinians, all these efforts for establishing an independent Palestinian state were futile as they confronted the hard reality of brutal military occupation on the ground and Israeli intransigence at the negotiating table. Continue reading