|Sixty years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing –
Boycott the “Israel at 60” Celebration!
Bernard Regan adds:
I am circulating for information the attached document [text reproduced below] which I have received from Husain Fuqaha, General Secretary of Public Services Union section of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions and a senior member of the PGFTU (See Email below also.). The statement is endorsed by the Public Services Union, the Ramallah Region of the PGFTU and is endorsed by a number of other PGFTU branches. I have asked for information from the PGFTU in Nablus to see if this statement is also endorsed by the PGFTU Headquarters but have received no reply to date. I understand that Shaher Sae¹d is currently out of the country. I have rung and spoken both to PGFTU Nablus and Husain Fuqaha.
However since I have received a number of urgent requests from trade unions in Britain for information on the attitude of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign towards the events celebrating the establishment of the state of Israel I thought it necessary to circulate the attached document. Whilst Palestine Solidarity Campaign has not made any formal statement on this matter we wish to draw your attention the attached statement which reflects the sentiments of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
In particular the statement concludes by saying:
“We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions and communities of faith to boycott the “Israel at 60” celebrations wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights and deepen our oppression. They also render the path to justice, freedom, equality and sustainable peace based on international law longer than ever before.”
In view of the urgency of some of the requests for information I have received from unions here I thought it necessary and urgent to share this information with you.
PSC Trade Union Officer
Email from Husain
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 09:07:41 +0200 (EET)
Subject: 60 years of dispossessionDear All,From the heart of Palestine we send you our brave workers greetings.This year, 2008, marks the passage of the 60 years of Israeli occupation and Palestinian struggle for freedom and to end suppression policies against the us in general and particularly of our workers.This memorial comes while Israeli is celebrating on the ruins of our houses and on the bodies of our children, women and elderly. And, while, the Palestinian people continue the painful struggle for liberation of land and to defend their basic human rights.Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions of Palestine send you their statement on this occasionHusain Fuqaha
the secretary of the PGFTU
Palestinian appeal to international civil society
Sixty years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing
Boycott the “ Israel at 60” Celebration!
How can you celebrate? The establishment of the state of Israel sixty years ago was a settler – colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreads of Palestinian villages. How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe?
Israel at 60 is a state that continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN- sanctioned right to return to their homes and receive compensation, simply because they are “ non- Jews”. It still illegally occupies Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. It persists in its blatant denial of fundmental Palestinian human rights, in contravention of international humanitarian law and human rights conventions. It still subjects its own Palestinian citizens to a system of institutionalized discrimination, strongly reminiscent of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa. And Israel gets away with all this, thanks to the unprecedented immunity granted to it by the unlimited and munificent US and European economic, diplomatic, political, and academic support.
In view of this multi- faceted oppression that is the reality of Israel today, we regard any Arab or international participation, whether individual or institutional, in any activity that contributes, either directly or indirectly to the “ celebrations” of Israel’s establishment, a collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of the occupation, and the deepening of Israeli apartheid. Inviting Israel as a “guest of honor” to the Turin and Paris book fairs, for example, is not only a deliberate betrayal of basic principles of human rights, including those enshrined in the laws of the European Union itself, but is also a deliberate attempt to cover up Israel’s crimes against the Arab pople. Especially its successive war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, and its acts of slow genocide against a million and a half Palestinians in the besieged and collectively punished Gaza Strip. In short, celebrating “ Israel at 60” is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves.
We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions and communities of faith to boycott the “Israel at 60” celebrations wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights and deepen our oppression. They also render the path to justice, freedom, equality and sustainable peace based on international law longer than ever before.