THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (EAFORD)
5 route des Morillons, CP 2100.  1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Telephone & Fax: 788.62.33
 

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Fifty - seventh  session (19 March - 27 April 2001)

Item 5:  The right of people to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation 

Mr. Chairman, 

Our organization would like to raise a question that might lead participants in this meeting to think about, and perhaps reconsider positions and points of view.  This question is the comparison between the attitude of the western community concerning the coming to power of the right-wing, racist, and fanatic leader in Israel during the recent few months, as opposed to the attitude of the same western society concerning the coming to power of another right-wing leader in Austria last year.  The western attitude unanimously congratulated Ariel Sharon for winning the Israeli elections.  Whereas these same countries stood jointly to demand the suspension of international relations with Austria if Haider and his Freedom Party remained in power.  Although Haider’s party has had some dreadful racist attitudes, nonetheless, he did not act on his racism to the degree of subjugating those perceived as opponents to extreme cruel and inhuman treatment.  Haider and his party did not massacre thousands as Sharon and the Likud Party have done in Deer Yaseen and in Sabra and Shateela, as well as in many more racist incidents of blood shedding and degradation of others only because they are not Jews.   

No one should think that by this comparison we are opposing in any way the western attitude against the racist right wing party in Austria.  In fact, we actually fully support it because it is for the welfare of all human community.  Nevertheless, we are surprised and have the right to be surprised that this western attitude does not include in its candid and firm position what is taking place in the occupied land of Palestine.  We are surprised that the western attitude does not condemn in a candid and firm position the most extreme manifestation of racism that Zionism and its right wing parties are openly committing against the people of this land?!!!!   

Mr. Chairman, 

Every society in any place on earth has its good and peace loving people and its extremists who drive their communities toward evil schemes and tragic ends.  We also know that millions of Jews in Israel and outside of it strongly oppose this racist trend against Christian and Muslim Palestinians and its daily consequences of blood shedding and pain and misery.  There is no doubt that those who are peace-loving are indeed hoping and patiently looking forward for the day they can live in peace and cooperation with their neighbors in a land, which is the cradle of civilizations and divine prophecies.  It is our hope that the international community should stand by them and help them reach this noble objective. 

Mr. Chairman, 

The international community and public opinion was able to defeat the hideous racism that was degrading to human dignity in South Africa.  It did so by its candid and firm stand against apartheid and by suspending all international relations with that racist State and preventing it from participating in United Nations activities.  Now blacks and whites in South Africa live equally in peace and cooperation.  The crime of apartheid and the turmoil of bloodshed and misery, which it generated in the past, ended forever.  It has been a great victory for humanity at large. 

This victory, Mr. Chairman, can be repeated in Palestine if the international community stands against the rampant racism, which has manifested itself throughout this land in the most despicable form.  In fact, it has reached more alarming degrees of cruelty and more extensive massacring and subjugation of human beings than apartheid in South Africa.   It is enough to point out the criminal “law of return” which is an affront to humanity that is being carried out by Israel in the Holy Land.  Israel’s law of return allowed any Jew, regardless of his or her nationality, to come to Palestine and live as an Israeli citizen.  This same law prevented millions of Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, to go back to their lands and homes and properties for no reason other than they were not Jewish.  The entire world knows what is happening in this land whereat the helicopters and tanks reap the souls of hundreds of children without mercy only for desperately throwing stones to rebel against this unbearable situation that dehumanizes their very being and strips them of every ounce of their dignity. 

Mr. Chairman, we conclude this statement with words of wisdom by the great historical leader who said to his followers: stand by your brother whether he is the oppressed or the oppressor.  His followers questioned: we stand by him when oppressed, that is his right, which we will respect and provide, but why and how can we stand by him when he is the oppressor?!  He answered; you do so through standing by him against his oppression, forbidding him from proceeding further into it.  

Isn’t time to help those in Israel by preventing them from proceeding any further in their oppression and subjugation of Palestinians as we had done to apartheid in South Africa??!! 

EAFORD

22 March 2001