ORGANIZATION FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
5 route des Morillons, CP 2100. 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Telephone & Fax: 788.62.33
10: The Right to Return to One’s Own Country
In regards to the right to return to one’s own country as
stated under item ten, we often ask ourselves the same question raised
by many Jews who listen to reason and abide by human standards of
fairness and justice. How can anyone logically and historically accept a law as the
law of return in Israel that permits any Jew, originally from anywhere
in the world, to migrate to Palestine and enjoy residency and
citizenship rights in Israel. Whereas,
this discriminating law prohibits any Palestinian, whether Christian or
Muslim, from returning to the homeland where they were born as well as
their parents and great grandparents for thousands of years.
How can logic and history accept a country without borders since
neither Israel’s constitution nor its laws determine where its borders
begin and end, and where a defining point of its territory meets
extending land belonging to others.
There is no doubt that such unusual and unacceptable situation
conveys a dangerous and deviant meaning.
Israel, as everyone knows, was established as a result of a
resolution issued by the UN that was called at the time the “Partition
Resolution.” But Israel
does not recognize the legally binding conditions of the very same
resolution that brought it into existence, in the first place!
Furthermore, Israel does not recognize hundreds of resolutions
issued by the United Nations. Unfortunately,
fanatic Israeli leaders think that through their influence and organized
manipulation of the media, they can continue to sabotage and ignore
matters supported by documented facts and history.
An attitude which collides with humanity’s stride of the
twenty-first century where our planet has begun, day by day, to get
closer to its dream of living as one extended world family.
As the distinguished British historian Toynbee noted, the Israeli
state is a foreign body planted through force, violence, and conspiracy
in an ancient area that has its own history and triumphs, which is the
area of the Middle East. He
further commented that the natural course ascertains that a foreign
body, (i.e. a foreign force as Israel), either adapts itself to the new
environment, or it will find itself being uprooted and rejected.
There is no doubt that many of the highly intellectual and
rational Jews realize this solid truth.
Therefore, they exert tenacious efforts to get along with their
neighbors and to uphold the banner of peace, and peace here and now.
However, some fanatic Jews who aspire for a Great Israel from the
river to the river, as reflected on their parliament’s motto, seem to
stumble as they dwell in ethnic and racist superior ideologies which do
not foster national and international harmony and tranquility.
This fanatic trend made Israel find itself more than once taking
on one extreme side, as the whole world community stood on an opposite
side. Such indisputable reality is evident in several resolutions
issued by the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United
Nations. In the short or
long-run, such trend will lead to fulfilling Toynbee’s theory.
That’s because the biased supporting position of USA to Israel
will not last forever. The
People of USA will reject this biased position, which is currently
supported by the media and politicians and will then re-examine their
real interests in the area. When
this awareness is realized and as the people of USA awaken from this
media and political propaganda, sooner more likely than later, Israel
will lose the long-standing and most underlying source of support on
which it has relied throughout all of these years.
That is one point. Another
important point is that no matter how powerful and resourceful Israel
can be, it cannot simply swallow up and fully absorb this ancient area.
The end of the twentieth century is unlike the nineteenth century
because colonization based on military force and superiority ended
without the possibility of resurrection.
Logically, historically, over and over again, our words reflect
tens of studies supported by researched facts and examined laws
presented by the members of our organization.
The members of our organization specialize in different fields
and come from different ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds.
Some of whom are Jews, Christians, and Muslims; among them are
the leftists and rightists. But
all strongly condemn the illegal actions and flagrant violations which
Israel committed in the Middle East; confiscating Palestinian lands,
building settlements, demolishing homes, uprooting trees, detaining
prisoners without due process, restricting movements, etc.
And one of the most flagrant violations and discriminating
factors of all is the law of return of Israelis and not Palestinians.
What some of Israel’s leaders sought and still seek through
reaching separate agreements with one party or another in the region is
a pretentious and superficial peace-seeking process that has proved
damaging and harmful to all parties concerned.
The negative consequences of such faint attempts are witnessed in
Egypt, Jordan, and in Palestine itself.
History has taught us that the pretense of peace is worse than
the state of “no peace” per se.
This sham will certainly lead, in the short or long-run, to a
devastating war that will, eventually, not be in the Jews own interests
So, when will Israel’s leaders learn from history’s lessons
and realize that this region is an integrated union that has its
ascendancy, ancient history, civilization, and that a region as such, no
matter how long the struggle takes, will not yield to the logic of
conspiracy and force.
I have to conclude this statement because of the limited time
allowed for interventions. The
best words with which I would like to conclude my statement is a great
lesson from the leader of the leaders of history who once 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.
Will the human rights community, member states, intergovernmental
agencies and non-governmental organizations be able to make a stand to
save Israel against its own will, and to prevent Israel’s fanatics
from committing further atrocities and brutality in the Middle East.
The more rational Jewish activists in Palestine are in much need
of our support and solidarity.
On television a young Israeli peace activist was crying the day
Benjamin Netanyahu won the election against Mr. Pares.
The tears of that young peace activist will stay in the memory of
several people and viewers. Will
we ever wipe fifty years of tears off the face of Palestine?
That young Israeli peace activist represents fifty percent of the
Jewish population in Palestine. The
international community can make it eighty percent or more by standing
together and working jointly against the wild ambition of the fanatic
Jews and their followers.
We should not deceive ourselves or bury our heads in the sand,
ignoring the glaring fact which confirms that there is no solution to
this tragedy other than the establishment of a democratic,
non-sectarian, secular state in which Jews, Christians and Muslims will
cooperate and which will be the foundation of peace in the world.
EAFORD / 21 August 1998
A copy of this
statement was also forwarded to the High Commissioner for Human Rights;
to members of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; to
members of the Human Rights Committee; to members of the Committee on
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; and to the following
Rapporteur on terrorism and human rights / Kalliopi K. Koufa
Rapporteur on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 / Mr. Hannu
Halinen of Finland
Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and
xenophobia / Mr. Maurice Glele-Ahanhanzo of Benin
Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions / Mr. Barce
Waly N’diaye of Senegal
Representative on Impact of armed conflict on children / Mr. Olara
Otunnu of Cote d’Ivoire
Rapporteur on Independence of judges and lawyers / Mr. Param Cumaraswamy
of the Secretary-General on Internally displaced persons / Mr. Francis
Deng of Sudan
Rapporteur on Religious intolerance / Mr. Abdelfattah Amor of Tunisia
Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment / Mr. Nigel Rodley of UK
· Working Group on Arbitrary Detention / Chairman: Mr. Kapil Sibal of India