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Launch of the "Nakba-60 Campaign" PDF Print E-mail
Nov 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights

29 November 2007

60 Years After the UN Partition Plan

Launch of the "Nakba-60 Campaign" - a Global Campaign for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

"We had a country, but they they came and stole our country", members of the old generation of Palestinian refugees from towns and villages in what is now Israel summarize what happened between 1947 - 1949, and they call it the "Nakba" (catastrophe). "Look, they are stealing our country", say Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank today. They point at Israel's Wall, roads, military checkpoints and Jewish colonies which deprive them of access to some 40 percent of the land and cause more displacement. "This is our Nakba; the Nakba is ongoing", they say.

Today, 60 years after the UN Partition Plan, Palestinians and people of conscience worldwide launch a year-long campaign of public awareness-raising and education about the Nakba and Israel's discriminatory Apartheid-like regime over the Palestinian people in the 1967 OPT, Israel and in exile.

60 years ago, on 27 November 1947, the United Nations recommended partition of Palestine (UNGAR 181) against the wishes and rights under international law of the indigenous Palestinians who composed two thirds of the country's population. The international community envisioned that there should be two states: a "Jewish state" on 55 percent of the land - in the most fertile parts of the country and with access to the sea - for a population composed of an equal number of Arabs and Jews; and, an "Arab state" on the rest of the land, which - arid and land-locked - was to survive with the help of international aid.(1)

Today, the international community rallies around the new "Annapolis process" and continues to pursue partition. Again, there is no political will to respect, protect and promote the rights of the Palestinian people under international law, and international aid is to ensure that the Palestinian Authority and hope for a Palestinian state will survive.

Meanwhile, Israel claims legitimacy based on the historic UN Partition Plan, although the existing "Jewish state" and its proposals for conflict resolution based on "two nation states" or "two states for two peoples" do not respect the right of "non-Jews" (i.e. Palestinians) to equality as required under the provisions of the 1947 UN plan, subsequent UN resolutions and international law. Not held accountable to international law, and in deviation from Israel's common stand that "we must never forget or forgive", Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsipi Livni went even further, when she said to her "Palestinian colleagues" in Annapolis: "Do not bemoan the establishment of the State of Israel ... for us the establishment of the Palestinian state is not our Nakba, or disaster provided that upon its establishment the word "Nakba" be deleted from the Arabic lexicon in referring to Israel."

Palestinians, however, insist in their rights to commemorate suffering and injustice and seek remedy for victims, in particular for Palestinian refugees. The ongoing Nakba is at the core of the agenda. The one-year-long "Nakba-60 Campaign" launched today is carried by Palestinian community networks, the global Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition and the global movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it respects international law and universal human rights. It is supported and coordinated globally by a wide range of civil society organizations and networks, including the World Social Forum and the International Coordinating Committee of NGOs on Palestine (ICNP). The ICNP Call to Action for Nakba-60 is published today; it calls for concerted global civil society efforts to promote the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, in particular the right to self-determination and return (UNGAR 3236 of 1974).

For copies of the ICNP Call to Action and information and events related to the Nakba-60 Campaign see:
www.badil.org/campaign40-60/index.html
(1) UNSCOP Report, 3 September 1947, A/364.
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Vancouver panel says: "Enough!"
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

It is the conviction of Canpalnet that there are many and varied pathways that can and do bring Canadians to a simple conclusion; namely, that Israel's occupation must be ended, for elementary justice, and to salvage the humanity of all.

To illustrate this, a diverse and distinguished panel of speakers assembled in Vancouver at a press conference on June 6th to express their opposition to Israel’s 40 year occupation of Palestinian lands, and to call for the government of Canada to take action against that occupation and in support of human rights and international law. The conference took place in the Bank of Nova Scotia Room at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver.

Dr. Naseer Aruri, noted Palestinian intellectual and prolific author, was a special guest. Born in Jerusalem, now Emeritus Chancellor Professor at the University of Massachussetts, he has been a member of the international board of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (USA), and Palestinian human rights groups. His most recent work is Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine.

A statement of support was sent by the all-party parliamentary group in Ottawa, the Canada Palestine Parliamentary Association.

That message and the statements of the panelists (listed below) are posted on this site.  

  • Svend Robinson, long time member of Parliament.
  • Sister Elizabeth Kelliher, of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement.
  • Murray Dobbin, journalist, broadcaster, and author of books on Canadian politics.
  • David Diamond, founder and artistic director of Headlines Theatre and recipient of the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Harmony Award.
  • Lee Lakeman, organizer of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and a representative for the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers.
  • Carl Rosenberg, editor of Canadian Jewish Outlook Magazine.
  • Terry Greenberg, recently retired member of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Reverend Brenda Faust, Minister of Port Coquitlam Trinity United Church.
  • Henry Krause, pastor of Langley Mennonite Fellowship.
  • Cynthia Flood, prize-winning Canadian short-story writer.
  • Dr. Ivar Ekeland, Canada Research Chair in Mathematical Economics at UBC and former President of the University of Paris-9.
  • Ken Davidson, head of the International Solidarity Committee of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).
  • Thekla Lit, founder and president of BC ALPHA (Association for Learning and Preserving the History of World War 2 in Asia).

To see podcast of press conference:

40 Years of Occupation(Part 1) Press Conf. WM video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

40 Years of Occupation(Part 2) Press Conf. video - 9 mins - June 6, 2007

 

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