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Don’t Sign for Apartheid in Palestine

The French group “Two Peoples, Two States” calls the public for signing a petition (based on a “Two States Solution”, on the outlines of the Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abbed Rabbo’s “Geneva Initiative”, and the Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh’s “The Peoples Voice”), which “acknowledge the equal legitimacy of both liberation struggle movements”, and which, in a suspicious way, fails to call for Israel’s full compliance with its obligations under international law through ending its illegal military occupation, its denial of Palestinian refugee rights, and its system of racial discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens.

The unfortunate and harmful support to this petition by religious, secular, political, union, antiracist organizations, among others, at Zionists organizations side, reveals either ignorance of the hidden agenda inherent in the whole initiative, deceptively camouflaged as a collective call for peace, or willingness to forfeit the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in return for advancing selfish interests.

We ask the French audience and the supporters of a fair peace in Palestine not to be part of this public relations sham, which covers up a deceitful political agenda that falls significantly short of international law tenets and the Palestinian national program.

The “Two Peoples, Two States” group’s campaign poses many problems, among them, a lack of distinction between the occupier and the occupied, the implicit support to the maintenance of the Israelis settlement blocks, the obvious contempt to the right of return for the refugees, the non-mention to the Israeli illegal wall and the lack of any reference to the international law and/or to the human rights.

As the Oslo Agreements and the “Disengagement Plan from Gaza”, the peace process, currently mulled over, is an initiative aimed at enforcing the Israeli control on the whole historical Palestine, while allowing Israel to get rid of its responsibilities towards an important part of the Palestinian people.

The group “Two Peoples, Two States” quotes and upholds the fundamentals of the “Geneva Initiative” and “The Peoples Voice”:

“The State of Israel as Jewish People’s State, the State of Palestine as Palestinian People’s State, both derived from a legitimate national liberation movement, specifically:

the dismantling of most of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories swaps agreed by both parties on the basis of the 1967 borders”.

Israel will maintain its major population centres in the West Bank; known as settlement blocs, which, according to Perez, represent no more than 5% of the West Bank, and it does not include Occupied Jerusalem, where there are 250.000 Israeli settlers living.

Israel proposes to the Palestinians a swap according to which it would give the same amount of land Israel populated by Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship. This will allow Israel to remove some of its Arab population, which most Jewish Israelis perceive as “demographic threat” to the nature of the Jewish state.

“. a dignified and realistic solving of the Palestinians refugees issue governed by the respect of the Israeli sovereignty,”

In his letter sent to Sharon in 2004, Bush stated: ” It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.”

Consequently, in the Israel’s offer, the right of return will be granted to the Palestinian refugees, not in their homes, but in some small parts non adjacent to their original homeland and divided in separated territorial units (walled up ghettos), without any opportunity to maintain a long-lasting economy and without any control on water, energy or on any other essential resources. They will be allowed to come back in a cage whose door will be controlled by Israel.

“. (…) and a partition of Jerusalem as capital for both States.”

According to several reports, ” There will be two capitals in Jerusalem, one for Israel and one for Palestine. The Israeli neighbourhoods will be under Israeli sovereignty and the Arab neighbourhoods under Palestinian sovereignty. There will be cooperation between both authorities which will allow for better administration of people’s lives. Special arrangements will be prepared to secure access to Holy places for all religions “
Therefore, on September 24, the Israeli military commander of the West Bank has issued an expropriation order for about 120 hectares of land located in the Jerusalem area, in order to build 3.500 new houses as part of Project E1 and in extension of the huge settlement Maale Adumin, where 30,000 Israeli settlers are already living, the Wall and a road for Palestinian use. Then the city of Jerusalem will be completely surrounded by Israeli settlements, and no Palestinian living in the West Bank will have access to it.

Furthermore, it is obvious that Israel is insisting on arrogating large parts of occupied East Jerusalem on the ground that Jewish neighborhoods go to Israel and Arab neighborhoods go to a “future” Palestinian state.

That would be disastrous for the Palestinian cause since it would entail the whitewashing of decades of theft of Palestinian property in Palestine’s holy capital, as there are not “mere neighborhoods.” These are illegal settlements built on confiscated Arab land for the sole purpose of obliterating East Jerusalem’s Arab (Muslim-Christian) identity.

We denounce and oppose to these efforts to violate the Palestinians’ human rights, and we assert that the only solution to the Israelo-Palestinian “conflict” should be based on the International Law and the Human Rights, references which do not appear in the call of the “Two Peoples, Two States”’s campaign.

We maintain that the new Israelis generous offer, a two-states solution promoted by G. Bush and C. Rice, will not actually establish two states, and must not be seen as a solution. It will only be the establishment of Apartheid, with the support of the international community.

We call for the 129 organizations and 7815 individuals that have already endorsed this petition, to withdraw their support to this movement that does not promote, at any time, the right of the Palestinian people to justice, equality and freedom.

We also ask those that have not been engaging yet in this call to help us in asking Israel to respect the international law and to put pressure on our governments, particularly the European Union as member of the Quartet, to implement their own decisions in order to apply the international humanitarian law (2005 / C 327/04), and the imposition of sanctions and restrictive measures.