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CanPalNet Statement, November 2001 PDF Print E-mail
Nov 01, 2001 at 12:00 AM

The September 11 bombings shocked us into the realization we too are vulnerable.

Living with the insecurity of being prey to violent, arbitrary, deadly attack has been the fate of many peoples around the globe for all too long a time. That insecurity has become the fate of citizens of the Empire as well. On September 11, terrorism suddenly assumed global dimensions.

The converse is that the security of others is the precondition of our own security. Nothing else is practical. Sowing the seeds of humilation and despair, the "war" being waged against Afghanistan by the United States, Britain and Canada will only serve to perpetuate terrorism.

We need to remedy the misery and injustice western governments have inflicted upon those perceived to be "other". The Palestinian people's tragedy is a case in point. Injustices that are honestly addressed can turn grief into hopefulness and channel pain away from vengence and anger.

For over fifty years, the west has countenanced the destruction of the Palestinian people. Forcibly expelled in the hundreds of thousands from their homes and villages in Israel's 1948 campaign of ethnic cleansing, the Palestinians were driven from their country en masse and turned into statesless refugees.

Backed by America and Europe, Israel had no moral compunctions about erasing their villages from the map and refusing to abide by international laws regarding the treatment of civilians in time of war.

A further massive assault on the Palestinian people was launched in 1967, when Israel occupied the remaining 22% of their homeland - the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Systematically violating international law, Israel moved to annex the land and expropriate the Palestinian population. To this end, apartheid-like structures reminiscent of South Africa have been established.

Palestinian resistance to subjugation and disapropriation has been met with Israeli terror: children murdered by specially trained snipers, political leaders assassinated by Israeli government death squads, residential neighbourhoods bombarded by tanks and helicopter gunships.

By any reckoning, the actions of the state of Israel in the occupied territories constitute violations of international law. Yet the international community, led by the western governments, has refused to prosecute Israel. In so doing, they have aided and abetted the most murderous elements in Israeli society, exemplified by the election of a war criminal as prime minister.

To honestly begin to address these injustices, this grief and humiliation, Israel must be compelled to withdraw completely from the West Bank and Gaza Strip ­ the 22% of Palestine it conquered in 1967 ­ and the Palestinian refugees must be accorded the right to return to their homeland.

Join with Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet) to work for hope and to change our government's present policies. Sacrificing the security of the Palestinian people undermines our own security as well.

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Palestinian Civil Society calls upon Arab Summit

“Protect Palestinian Refugees and Work for their Right of Return”

BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
28 March 2007

“Recent Israeli statements claiming readiness to engage with the Arab Initiative, if Arab states dropped the clause on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in accordance with UN Resolution 194, is nothing but yet another attempt to deceive Arabs and Palestinians and obtain free concessions... Any compromise of the rights of the refugees stands for the continuation of the Nakba (catastrophe) inflicted upon the Palestinian people since 1948 and perpetuates the conflict with Israel,” say Palestinian civil society organizations to Arab leaders convening today, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the summit of the Arab League.

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