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 

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING/
EUROPEAN NGO SYMPOSIUM

ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
25 to 28 August 1997
 

            Toynbee, the distinguished British historian said, that 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 nature of things ascertains that a foreign body 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 bearing the banner of peace, and peace here and now.  However, the fanatic party, which aspires for a Great Israel from the river to the river, seems to stumble as they dwell in ethnic and racist superior ideologies that do not foster national and international harmony and tranquility.  This fanatic trend made Israel finds itself more than once taking on one extreme side, and the whole world community standing 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 subsist forever.  The People of the USA will awaken one of these days from the media and political propaganda and re-examine their real interests in the region.  When this realization happens, 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 digest this ancient region.  The end of the twentieth century is unlike the nineteenth century because colonization based on military force and superiority ended without a chance of resurrection. 

            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 which permits any Jew, originally from anywhere in the world, to migrate to Israel and enjoy residency and citizenship rights.  Whereas, this discriminating law prohibits any Palestinian, whether Christian or Muslim, from returning to the homeland where he/she was born as well as his/her 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 insidious meaning.  

            Israel, as everyone knows, was established as a result of a resolution issued by the UN, which was called at the time the “Partition Resolution.”  Nonetheless, 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 from the Likud party think that through their organized influence and 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 the planet has begun, day by day, to get closer to its dream of living as one extended world family.  

            Are we reiterating words that are too rhetorical and sentimental?!  This is what those who have been blinded by hatred, malice, and feelings of superiority might think.  Our words constitute a summary of tens researched documents and studies based on and supported by examined facts and laws presented by the members of our organization who are specialized in different fields and who come from different ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds.  Some of whom are Jews, Christians, and Muslims; among them are the leftists and the rightists, but all strongly condemn the illegal actions and flagrant violations which Israel has been committing in the Middle East. 

            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 artificial peace is worse than the state of “no peace” per se.  That’s because artificial peace will certainly lead, in the short or long-run, to a devastating and an annihilating war which will, eventually, not be in the Jews own interests and welfare.  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 saying 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 responded: 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 said, 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, such as the members of Likud, from committing further atrocities and brutality in the Middle East.  The more rational Jewish activists in Palestine are in much need for 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 fanatics of the likud party 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.  

            Thank you for your attention.