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Feb 21, 2007 at 03:07 PM

adapted from photo of Palestinians climbing the Apartheid Wall in Abu Dis during a demonstration August 2004, News from Within, Aug 2004The world’s highest court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ruled July 9th 2004 that the massive wall Israel is building not only is illegal, but must be demolished. The Palestinians whose lives have been damaged must be compensated. Most important of all, the Court ruled that all nations have an “obligation … to ensure Israel complies with international law”.

No conflict can be resolved so long as one party is given special exemption from the law.

How did Canada respond? When it came to a vote at the United Nations General Assembly to implement the decision of the ICJ, Canada abstained. We joined with Cameroon, Uganda, Papua and New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, El Salvador and Uruguay. We were not with the 150 who voted in favour. As for those against, no surprises there. The USA, Israel, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Australia, Palau.

Even worse. This October Canadian foreign service officials warned that the Martin government is intent on aligning itself completely with Israeli and US policy in the Middle East.

First step towards this campaign is The Wall Must Fall Forum, Friday, November 12, 7 pm at the Vancouver Public Library (downtown). We invite to this forum all those who believe international law, based on human rights, is indispensable if we are to escape from unending wars. There are others who believe “might makes right” — so long as it is their might of course. Join in the discussion on how we can develop the popular strength to compel our government to implement the decision of the International Court of Justice.

Watch here for future developments of this campaign. You are invited to participate in this campaign or to develop ideas in your own community on how to speak out against this wall. You can also participate by in this campaign by sending your own letter or a postcard to the Canadian government asking them what the Canadian government will do to stop the wall and ensure Israel abides by international law.

Demonstration against the Wall, 2002 - photo from www.stopthewall.orgDemonstration against the Wall, November 2002 - The Wall is a violation of international law according to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, July 9, 2004. Insist that the Canadian government speak out on this issue internationally. Mail this postcard to the Prime Minister. Photo from www.stopthewall.org.

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Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy

Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference,
Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007

As part of the effort by the Palestinian civil society organizations to overcome the state of forced Palestinian fragmentation and consolidate the national role of the Palestinian NGOs in all their places of residence, a conference titled "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy" was held in Agros, Cyprus, between 16 and 18 October 2007 at the initiative of Ittijah-The Union of Arab Community Based Associations. Forty-four participants representing a broad sector of Palestinian civil society networks, coalitions, and associations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait, in addition to a number of international partner organizations supporting Palestinian rights, attended the conference. The Israeli occupation authorities banned the travel of a delegation representing civil society organizations in Gaza.

The conference discussed a number of issues, notably: The Palestinian situation and Palestinian, regional, and international developments, including the Annapolis conference; the collective Palestinian strategy against the forced fragmentation; the endeavors to rebuild terms of reference and assert the constant Palestinian principles; the strategy of collective Palestinian advocacy; Palestinian media strategies; and local and international coordination on the Palestinian question.

The participants in the conference set bases that would help strengthen the overall Palestinian struggle for liberation in all its contexts: the occupation, the displacement and uprooting, and the assault on Palestinian existence in the 1948 areas.

A draft of a collective organizational structure and an action plan were also devised, and a follow-up committee to implement this plan and lead the agreed process was set up.

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