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World Conference Against Racism
August 2001

            Everyone knows that nations in this world have conflicts.  At the same time, politicians have their ambitions and endeavors to run State affairs for the benefit of their people.  What we also know is that these conflicts and endeavors must be in the context of international legitimacy and the laws proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

            However, human beings are only human.  Just as their ambitions and efforts are often well founded and directed, other times they make mistakes.  It is very unfortunate that in recent years these escalating mistakes which are conceived on racial basis, have inflicted several human groups and caused them tragic pain and suffering.  Therefore, such mistakes potentially pose the threat of promoting hatred, violence, terrorism, and even the devastation and destruction of wars. 

            So who then is to bring attention to these mistakes and warn those who are committing them against their wrongdoing.  We think this has to be the responsibility of the international community through meetings as these convened to uphold human rights standards.  Thus, nongovernmental organizations must speak firmly and frankly to alert those driven in misguided paths and appeal to their higher conscience.

            Our key reference is international legitimacy.  It pertains to the resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations and Security Council, as well as the rulings of the International Court of Justice.  What is then the international legitimacy that should be applied and presented to human society concerning the unsettled conflict in the occupied land of Palestine??  Or in other words, to be more concise, what are the resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations and the resolutions of the Security Council concerning this matter???

            Everyone is aware that the State of Israel was established upon United Nations partition resolution 181 issued on 29 November 1947 dividing the land of Palestine between its original Christian and Muslim Palestinians and the migrating Jews from the Diaspora.  Although this resolution was wrong because it was issued on racial basis, and although Palestinians had the right to reject it, it is still, nonetheless, considered the legitimate basis for the establishment of the State of Israel.  Israel is a legitimate State only with the defined borders this resolution had set for it.  It is unlawful for this State to deviate from these preset borders or it would be invalidating the indispensable conditions to its own legitimate existence.

            Besides, the State of Israel is the only State accepted in the United Nations with the following conditions: 

1- To respect the borders set by the partition resolution.

2- Not to interfere with the separate status quo for Jerusalem.

3- To permit Palestinians to return to their homes whether these homes are in the area designated to Israel or in the other part.   

            Has Israel met these conditions???  The whole world knows that Israel flagrantly violated each and every condition altogether.  It did not respect the borders and viciously occupied by force the other part of the partition resolution.  It claimed to overtake East Jerusalem and tampered with the region in an attempt to redefine its boundaries.  It did not permit until now the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes, and dares to claim that stone-throwing Palestinian children are the so called “terrorists.”  For these reasons, this region has become a center stage for international conflicts that warn of wide-scale wars.  The kind that could jeopardize Israel’s stability and its reliance on nuclear weapons which might signal the beginning of the end for this planet altogether.  This is not sentimental rhetoric.  We believe the experts and members present in this meeting must seriously evaluate and weigh these facts and officially incorporate and translate them into their resolutions and recommendations.

            Any freshman in law school can assert that the violation of the conditions for the establishment of a State nullifies its very existence.  This is the international legitimacy which human society must cherish, and warn Israel’s leaders, on the basis of these principles, that the political path they have chosen for this critical region is a misguided path.  A path which will certainly lead to tragic consequences of pain and suffering in the short or long-run for everyone including Israelis themselves.  As Toynbee, the distinguished British historian said, any foreign body that does not adapt to the environment in which it is planted will surely be rejected and uprooted. 


August 2001