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From meisenscher@igc.org Mon Jan 8 15:05:11 2001
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2001 22:42:05 -0600 (CST)
From: Michael Eisenscher <meisenscher@igc.org>
Subject: Racism of the Israeli Peace Movement; Right to Return
Article: 112564
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

No return, no justice, no peace: Exposing the inherent racism of Zionist Israeli peace groups

Al-Awda press release, 4 January 2001

Washington, DC (January 4, 2001) - The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) upholds the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return home as an integral component of a just and viable peace. No agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away the right of return or any other inalienable rights can have any legal basis and cannot bind or compel the Palestinian people to accept it.

PRRC strongly condemns the statement published in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (2 January 2001) by Peace Now and other self proclaimed Israeli peace camp which calls for Palestinians to abandon their inalienable right of return. The call by the so-called Israeli peace movement for the abrogation of the Palestinian refugees' right to return home is a clear manifestation that racism and exclusive formulation are in fact an integral part of most Israeli organizations that uphold Zionism.

While such overt racism and dehumanization of the Palestinian people cannot be as easily dismissed as the violations of right-wing extremists like Ariel Sharon, it is equally oppressive of Palestinian rights. These Zionist groups acknowledge the creation of Israel as the instigator of the expulsion and dispossession of the Palestinian people, but their proposed solution is to transfer the Palestinian refugees to whatever land the Israeli administration allocates as the Palestinian state. In the name of a Zionist-defined peace, these groups support the racist and oppressive Israeli occupying power in denying Palestinians their rightful ownership of the land from which they were expelled. These peace advocates call for a positive conclusion that maintains the formula of an exclusive racist Jewish state.

The statement made by the so-called Israeli peace movement exposes their racist position and represents the imbalance of power that allows them to coopt and monopolize the term peace and define it within an oppressive and racist framework. Their paramount concern for maintaining the demographic balance and Jewish supremacy is that of apartheid and contradicts international law and moral imperatives, including countless United Nations resolutions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Strict adherence, de facto and de jure, to international human rights law and international law is the prerequisite for creating trust and strengthening security.

The right to return is an essential and inseparable part of the realization of the Palestinians to their right of self-determination, and is an essential condition for the effective guarantee and observance of individual human and collective rights. The perpetual existence of Palestinian refugees, despite the number, impedes the exercise of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. That is, the right of self-determination is effectively terminated if the majority of the people concerned are unable to return to their homes from which they were either expelled or forced to flee.

Human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. The Palestinian human right to live freely is interdependent for the Palestinian right to return. For the Israeli peace movement to be what it professes, it is insufficient to merely come to a historical realization of the injustices committed against the Palestinian People, but it must also own up to its responsibility for a struggle for justice that dares to include Palestinian inalienable rights in their entirety.

PRRC strongly believes that the struggle for peace and justice must be democratic and reflect the Palestinians' desire and right to return. PRRC appeals to people of conscience and peace advocates to seize the opportunity now to help raise Palestinian voices that have been silenced for 52 years for a just and sustainable peace rooted in granting the Palestinian people their legitimate right to freedom and return.