Category Archives: UFPJ

A Call to the Antiwar Movement: The Need for Unity and Clarity

A Call to the Antiwar Movement: The Need for Unity and Clarity

This is a call for unity and clarity in the US antiwar movement. As activists from a variety of movements, we have a responsibility to articulate a vision for the antiwar movement that moves us forward, at a time when the ravages of colonial occupation are most deeply felt in Palestine, Iraq, and elsewhere around the world, as US imperialism continues to threaten yet more war internationally, and as racism and repression within the United States threaten our lives and our communities.

We believe that it is critical, necessary and essential that the building of the antiwar movement in the United States take place in a manner that emphasizes political unity and political clarity – political unity that links communities and movements in common struggle against US imperialism and political clarity that defines that struggle and its component parts, placing the struggle of the Iraqi and Palestinian people for national liberation at the center of our demands, just as it is in the center of the crosshairs of imperialism and in the center of resistance; as well as the struggles of the people of the Philippines, Colombia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, the Sudan, Haiti, Lebanon, Somalia and everywhere else in the world where imperialism is waging war and occupation and people are resisting, organizing and building. Similarly, the struggles of Black, Chicano, Latino, Asian, Arab, Native and other oppressed nations and communities within the US must be central to our work as an antiwar movement that has real meaning for those most directly affected here; for example, the struggle of Katrina victims to rebuild their communities in the face of racism and oppression, and the struggle of undocumented and other immigrants for full equality, legalization, and workers’ rights.

Therefore, we believe that in order to continue to build a broad, mass antiwar movement, and to create the unity of movements and communities necessary to do so, these issues and struggles must be brought forth in our central demands in a clear and consistent manner, emphasizing the unity of our common struggles against US imperialism, and explicitly focusing on the inextricable linkage between Iraq and Palestine; the Right to Return for Palestinian refugees; the national liberation movements throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America; the struggle for self determination for the Black and Chicano nations, and against racism, national oppression, and all other forms of oppression within the United States; and the centrality of indigenous struggle.

We believe that when these central issues are ignored, or not discussed, in public literature, main calls and key slogans for demonstrations and actions, rather than building unity, this has the political effect of sidelining core issues and strengthening the hand of those who would prefer to see an antiwar movement that challenges only the methods and tactics of US imperialism, while leaving its structures intact. We believe that it weakens the power and strength of the anti-imperialist forces in the movement, and that, instead of providing needed political clarity, forces our entire movement to take a step backward, at a time when forward steps are decisively necessary.

In this context, we are concerned to note that the national demonstration being organized for September 15, 2007, by the ANSWER Coalition and a number of other groups, features, in a break with the legacy, politics and advocacy of ANSWER, one slogan and one alone – “End the War Now!” While we certainly agree that this demand is key, we cannot help but to note with dismay the absence of other, and stronger, demands. We are deeply surprised to see that the occupation of Palestine and the denial of the Right to Return for six million Palestinian refugees – at the center of ANSWER’s principles in the past for antiwar demonstrations, and inextricably linked to the occupation of Iraq – is unmentioned in the literature, slogans and call for the demonstration. In fact, the term “occupation” is unmentioned in the primary slogan of the demonstration, even in regard to Iraq. In addition, the people’s struggles against US imperialism in Colombia, the Philippines, Cuba, the Sudan, Venezuela, Haiti, and around the world – as well as the potential threat of war on Iran – are also unmentioned.

We raise these concerns not because we doubt ANSWER’s commitment to an anti-imperialist, anti-racist vision of social justice. In fact, it is precisely because of the strong commitment of those organizers, expressed through years of work and activity that have consistently delineated a broad, anti-imperialist perspective as a leading force in the US antiwar movement, that we must raise these issues for broader discussion and consideration, so that we may work together, arm in arm, to continue to build an antiwar movement that is capable of providing the support needed to the national liberation movements of the people of Iraq, Palestine, and everywhere; and that is capable of being fully part of and fully linked with struggles against racism and oppression within the United States, from the ongoing criminalization and national oppression directed against communities of color within the US, to the raids and repression against the immigrant community, to the ongoing “War on Terror” that has translated into a war of terror on Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities.

The organizers of September 15 have traditionally been at the forefront of raising these issues, not as extraneous, secondary or minor issues subject to a “laundry list” of concerns, but rather as inextricably connected, central matters that are vital to creating any real movement capable of substantially confronting and challenging US imperialism; and building the alliances that can continue to raise and mount such a challenge, within the US and at an international level. For years, forces within the antiwar movement, linked to United for Peace and Justice, often supportive of the Democratic party, have done everything possible to minimize, exclude and silence the voices of oppressed communities and national liberation movements, refusing to recognize the linkage of Iraq and Palestine, and the overall war on the Arab people; advocating for internationalized occupation of Iraq; denouncing the Iraqi national and people’s resistance; refusing to address the multifaceted, vibrant and powerful movements challenging US imperialism throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia; sidelining indigenous and Native issues; and refusing to focus on racism and national oppression within the United States. These forces have played this role for years; they have often justified their actions by labeling them “broad,” and stating that they are capable of reaching larger numbers of people without addressing these fundamental issues for any movement seeking social justice or to support the national liberation struggles of oppressed peoples.

Time after time, the work of community organizations and antiwar coalitions – including the ANSWER Coalition – has proven those arguments incorrect; that real, broad movements are built by linking communities and struggles against common enemies, through community and grassroots organizing, and that the vast majority of people in the United States have no more interest in supporting the oppression of people in Palestine, Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela or the Philippines than they do in supporting the occupation and devastation of the people of Iraq. Therefore, we are committed and determined that our organizing must continue along this path – a path of struggle, justice and liberation; a path of anti-imperialism; and a path of political clarity that informs, motivates, educates and organizes people into a mass movement truly capable of providing the much-needed challenge to US imperialism.

It is very difficult to imagine an acceptable tactical choice that results in the marginalization of central issues and the derogation of core struggles to the sidelines of the movement. On the contrary, rather than building unity, such a tactical choice hinders the kind of real unity that has been forged through years of struggle, while strengthening those who have disunited the movement by refusing to recognize these core issues and rejecting a clear anti-imperialist perspective. Thus, it is problematic at a tactical level as well as an overall political level.

Therefore, we believe that it is critical that antiwar organizing not regard these fundamental, key issues, and fundamental struggles, as anything other than inextricable and central to building the antiwar movement. At this time, when the people of Iraq and Palestine are paying daily with their lives against brutal colonial occupiers; when bombing raids, assassinations, mass military lockdowns, mass imprisonment and the attempted fomenting of civil wars and internal conflicts are a constant and vicious reminder of the ongoing colonial occupations; when we are nearing 60 years of occupation in which millions of Palestinian refugees are prohibited from returning to their original homes and land; when we are witnessing new onslaughts against people’s struggles internationally, including the imprisonment of Filipino people’s leader Jose Maria Sison and the killing of hundreds of activists in the Philippines; and when racism in the United States continues to devastate Black, Latino, Asian, Arab, Native and other communities of color within the United States, and the vicious assault of the “War on Terror” continues to terrorize our communities; there is no other place for the movement to go but forward – united as strongly as possible around a clear political program that emphasizes an anti-imperialist perspective solidly confronting these threats.

This is not only a time, however, of devastating assaults. It is also a time of resistance and of popular struggle for liberation. In Iraq and in Palestine, the national liberation movement and the people’s resistance are unbowed and unbending in the face of this brutality, at the very center of the struggle against US imperialism, leading that fight in the most dire of circumstances and with the highest level of courage. In the Philippines, in Colombia, in Haiti, people’s movements grow and continue despite violence, persecution and threats. In the Sudan, in Iran, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Somalia the people continue to resist US threats and war drives. In Venezuela, in Cuba, in Bolivia, in Oaxaca, in Vieques, throughout Mexico, throughout Latin America, popular resistance and people’s movements continue to thrive and grow, engaging in struggles and revolutionary processes that inspire the world. It is a time when oppressed nations and communities within the US are refusing to accept the continuing racist oppression and criminalization that has defined the history of the United States, from the genocide of indigenous people to the genocide of Africans and the horror of slavery to the continuing reality of racist oppression, the prison-industrial complex and police brutality; and it is a time when millions of immigrants have risen to demand their rights. It is a time when the working class of the United States is rejecting the use of their children as war fodder for the imperialist rulers. It is a time, in short, when nothing less is required of us as a movement than to raise the level of our resistance, in terms of our unity and in terms of our collective ability to prioritize the needs of the movement and the needs of the people, and when nothing less is required of us than political clarity that places all of these core struggles against US imperialism at the center of our work and that refuses to diminish, mitigate or ignore any of them.

This is a call for the future of the antiwar movement in the United States. It is a call to all of us to examine and develop our political organizing and our grassroots work, and a call to all of us to ensure that our demonstrations shall indeed call to end the war, and shall, inextricably, centrally, address the occupation of Iraq and Palestine, support the Right to Return for Palestinian refugees, emphasize the struggle against racism at home and abroad, and provide support to the movements of people in the Philippines, Colombia, Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba, the Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and everywhere else in the world where people are threatened by imperialism yet continue to resist. This is the way forward, rather than backward, and it is the path needed by the movement today.

It is time to march on September 15. It is time to march on September 29. These demonstrations must be massive and strong. And we call on the organizers of the September 15 demonstration, and all future demonstrations, to place these concerns at the center of their work, and to include these demands in their core demands and main call for the demonstration. Anything else is much less than what is needed now. It is time to move forward together, in struggle and in unity to challenge and confront US imperialism at the center of its power.

In struggle,
Organizational Endorsements:
Al-Awda Nebraska
Al-Awda New York
Al-Awda Vancouver
Arab American Union Members Council
Arab Muslim American Federation
American Iranian Friendship Committee
Harlem Tenants Council
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
New Jersey Solidarity – Activists for the Liberation of Palestine
New York Committee to Defend Palestine
Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago
Students for a Democratic Society – University of North Carolina at Asheville
Students for Justice in Palestine – DePaul University
UMMA (United Muslims Moving Ahead) – DePaul University

Individual Endorsements:
Musa Al-Hindi, member, coordinating and executive committees, Al-Awda,
Palestine Right to Return Coalition*
Dr. Masad Arbid
Dr. Naseer Aruri
Nellie Hester Bailey, Harlem Tenants Council*
Lumumba Bandele, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement*
Amina Baraka
Amiri Baraka
Khaled Barakat, Al-Shorouq Newspaper*
Dr. Hisham Bustani, Writer and Activist, Secretary, Socialist Thought
Forum (Jordan)*, Founding Member, Resistant Arab People’s Alliance
Joe Carr
Bernadette Ellorin, Secretary-General of BAYAN USA*
Kamau Franklin, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement*
Lora Gordon, Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago*
Dr. Nidal Habash, Jordan
Samia Halaby, Palestinian artist and activist
Monadel Herzallah, Arab American Union Members Council*
Basem Khader, Palestinian Activist
Nada Khader, WESPAC Foundation*
Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against the War*
Vanessa Lucas, co-chair, Philippines Subcommittee, National Lawyers Guild*
Khalil Maqdesi, Campaign to free Ahmad Sa’adat*
Ellie Ommani, activist with NoWar Westchester*
Ardeshir Ommani, American Iranian Friendship Committee*
Merrilyn Onisko, co-chair, Philippines Subcommittee, National Lawyers Guild*
Brenda Stokely, New York City Labor Against the War*
Zein Rimawi

*Organizations for identification purposes only.

3.17: Endorse NYCLAW’s Statement for Unified Mass Antiwar Action

Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:00 pm (PST)


NYCLAW is reposting the statement below in support of
unified antiwar action on the fourth anniversary of the war in

This is necessary because of a recent call from United for
Peace and Justice (UFPJ) for a March 18 protest in NYC, which
directly conflicts with longstanding plans by ANSWER, Troops Out
Now Coalition, and many others for a national march at the
Pentagon on March 17, which NYCLAW has endorsed. See: and .

[As in the past, NYCLAW also supports the regional protest by
antiwar GIs, vets and military families in Fayetteville, NC on
March 17. See: .]

Unfortunately, UFPJ has played a similarly negative role before.
See: , .

To endorse NYCLAW‘s statement, please go to

Please also sign the Open Letter to UFPJ, posted at:

Mass Movement to End the War Now
New York City Labor Against the War
January 24, 2007

Despite overwhelming rejection of its policies in the November
elections, the Bush administration has steadily escalated its war in
the Middle East.

This has meant not only ordering thousands more troops to Iraq and
Afghanistan, but arming and financing Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and
its increasingly brutal oppression of the Palestinians, launching a
proxy invasion of Somalia, and threatening to attack Iran and Syria.

As in all wars of conquest, ordinary people pay the price. In Iraq
alone, this war for oil and empire has killed at least 655,000 Iraqis,
caused 50,000 U.S. casualties, promoted civil war, and cost $1.2
trillion — with no end in sight.

Meanwhile at home, the administration continues to attack civil
liberties, the Arab-Muslim community, undocumented immigrants, Katrina
refugees, people of color and labor.

Yet this is a bipartisan war, and as a willing accomplice, the
Democratic Party cannot be trusted to end it. Even now, most
politicians refuse to cut-off funding for the occupation of Iraq, let
alone end the war as a whole.

History shows that the U.S. got out of Vietnam only due to tenacious
Vietnamese resistance and to the mass antiwar movement, particularly
among GIs.

Similarly, U.S. war in the Middle East today has been crippled by
overwhelming Iraqi resistance, which deserves the support of a mass
antiwar movement in this country.

This movement — which belongs to rank-and-file participants, rather
than the leaders of any organization — must join together in all
upcoming protests, including those on January 27 and March 17.

To be effective, the movement must be led by those with the strongest
need and greatest power to end the war, including GIs, veterans,
workers, people of color, and immigrants. It must also oppose the
entire war and demand justice — at home and abroad:


1. Immediate withdrawal from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia: No war
funding, timetables, redeployment, advisors, air-war, or aid to U.S.
client regimes. Reparations for U.S. devastation of the region.

2. No Support to the Israeli Apartheid State: End the $5 billion
annual U.S. government aid to Israel, divest all private investments
and union funds, boycott Israel, end the occupation and fully
implement the Palestinian right of return.

3. No Attacks on Iran and Syria — Or Anyone Else.


1. Defend Our Civil Liberties.

2. End Attacks on the Arab/Muslim Community.

3. Full Amnesty for Undocumented Immigrants: No detention or

4. Money for Human Need, Not for War: Rebuild the Gulf Coast for —
and under the control of — Katrina survivors. Decent jobs, food,
housing, healthcare, education and transportation for all poor and
working people.

NYCLAW Co-Conveners
(Other affiliations listed for identification only):

Larry Adams
Former President, NPMHU Local 300

Michael Letwin
Former President, UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys

Brenda Stokely
Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Chair, Million Worker March

[Subscribe to the NYCLAW low-volume listserv: ]

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
nyclaw at
PO Box 620166, PACC, New York, NY 10129

Labor and the Middle East War (NYCLAW)

[To endorse the following statement, please send your name, location, affiliation and title (if any) to, or NYCLAW, PO Box 3620166, PACC, New York, NY 10129]


Labor and the Middle East War
New York City Labor Against the War
August 11, 2006

For weeks, Israel has turned Lebanon into a killing ground, slaughtering and maiming thousands of people, destroying the civilian infrastructure, and turning a quarter of the population into refugees in their own land. At the same time, it continues to brutalize Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel’s crimes are carried out with U.S.-made F-16s, Apache helicopters, and cluster bombs. These high-tech lethal weapons are part of $5 billion that Israel gets each year from the United States, courtesy of the Republican and Democratic parties, with enthusiastic support from Neo-cons and right-wing Christian fundamentalists.

The U.S. does not arm Israel to “promote democracy” or for “self-defense.” Even Zionist historians now admit that Israel’s origins are rooted in dispossession of the Palestinian people — whose labor then built the Israeli economy — through an unrelenting campaign of ethnic cleansing: exile, squalid refugee camps, imprisonment, torture and murder.

Since the 1970s, Israel has also pursued territorial expansion by repeatedly invading and devastating Lebanon, as exemplified by the slaughter of thousands of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla in 982. That occupation lasted until 2000, when Hezbollah forced Israel to withdraw.

Since then, Israel has killed thousands of Palestinians, taken thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese political prisoners, and tried to strangle the democratically-elected government of Hamas. When Hamas and Hezbollah responded by capturing a few Israeli soldiers, Israel unleashed a new, bloody, long-planned attack on Lebanon; only then did Hezbollah respond by firing crude rockets at Israel.

Behind its empty platitudes, the U.S. government supports this Israeli racism and state terrorism because, along with dictatorships in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it is a cornerstone of U.S. domination over the world’s most important oil-producing region.

Now, with the Iraq war in shambles, the U.S.-Israel partnership seeks to break Lebanese and Palestinian resistance, while recklessly provoking confrontations with Syria and Iran. The U.N. has done nothing to stop this war of empire — what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sickeningly calls “birth pangs of a new Middle East.”

It is not surprising, therefore, that Hezbollah has won tremendous support in and beyond the Arab world, even amongst those who question some aspects of its ideology or tactics. For this spiraling cycle of oppression and resistance evokes Iraq, Afghanistan, Soweto, Vietnam, Algeria, the Warsaw Ghetto, or David and Goliath.

Horrified by the images from Palestine and Lebanon, international labor has strongly denounced Israel’s attacks.

On July 10, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urgently called for sanctions and boycotts against the “apartheid Israel state,” which it branded worse than the former racist regime in South Africa.

On July 31, the General Union of Oil Employees in Iraq issued an “appeal to all the honorable and free people of the world to demonstrate and protest about what is happening to Lebanon.”

On August 5, major British trade unions supported a massive London protest against Israel’s attacks. Even before the current escalation, several labor bodies in Britain, Canada and elsewhere called for divestment from Israel.

In the United States, however, nearly all labor bodies either support Israel or say nothing at all.

State employee retirement plans and union pension funds invest hundreds of millions of dollars in State of Israel Bonds. In April 2002, while Israel butchered hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Jenin, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney spoke at a “National Solidarity Rally for Israel.” The American Federation of Teachers has specifically embraced Israel’s new assaults.

In the antiwar movement, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), which consistently segregates the Palestinian cause, has organized no mass response. U.S. Labor Against the War, which promotes union resolutions against the war in Iraq, remains disturbingly silent.

Fortunately, growing protests have been organized by the Arab-Muslim community, people of color, anti-Zionist Jews, and other activists who recognize that Lebanon and Palestine are inseparable from Iraq and Afghanistan.

New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) is part of this grassroots movement, and with Al-Awda New York, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, a cosponsor of Labor for Palestine <>.

NYCLAW believes that the labor and antiwar movements in the United States have a special obligation to speak out and demand:

1. End the U.S.-Israel war against the Palestinian and Lebanese people.

2. No aid for Israel.

3. Boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

4. End Israeli occupation, and fully implement the Palestinian right of return.

5. Out Now from Iraq and Afghanistan — No timetables, redeployment, advisors, or air-war.

NYCLAW Co-Conveners (other affiliations listed for identification only):

Larry Adams
Former President, NPMHU Local 300

Michael Letwin
Former President, UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys

Brenda Stokely
Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Chair, Million Worker March

Issues for UFPJ SC Meeting (NYCLAW)

From: Michael Letwin <>
Date: Thu, Dec 11, 2003 at 10:05 PM
Subject: [ufpj-sc] Issues for UFPJ SC Meeting (NYCLAW)
To: “” <>, UFPJ Iraq <>, UFPJ Palestine <>, UFPJ Steering Committee <>

The following is a *brief* summary of New York City Labor Against the War’s position on a number of issues facing UFPJ.  We look forward to constructive dialogue at this weekend’s Steering Committee meeting.

1.  UFPJ Should Consistently Advocate “End the Occupation and Bring the Troops Home Now!”

In contrast to empty promises by Bush and numerous other politicians, protests on October 25 and U.S. Labor Against the War’s conference on October 24-25 unambiguously demanded “End the Occupation and Bring the Troops Home NOW.”[1]

This cutting-edge slogan effectively conveys growing sentiment amongst Iraqis, military families, vets, G.I.s, workers and people of color -– those who suffer the war most acutely and whose resistance is critical.

While its importance may seem obvious, “now” does not appear in UFPJ’s campaign plan.  One result is the proposed demand that presidential candidates “commit to withdrawing all troops from Iraq by a fixed date.”

We propose instead that UFPJ consistently and prominently emphasize “now” throughout our work.

2.  UFPJ Should Not Endorse U.N. Military Occupation of Iraq

UFPJ member organizations almost certainly agree on the need to oppose U.S. military and economic occupation; to demand reparations for sanctions, war and occupation; and to support Iraqi trade unions and other democratic institutions.

But it would be presumptuous, unnecessary and divisive for UFPJ to call for military occupation by the U.N. — whose brutal sanctions, complicity in the war, and collaboration with U.S. occupation has earned it well-deserved Iraqi enmity.

3.  UFPJ Should Not Endorse “Geneva”

Palestinians throughout the world have denounced the “Geneva process” as a betrayal.  As one recent statement argues, “Geneva” would “terminate the Palestinian march to freedom . . . nullify indefinitely and de-legitimize the Palestinian right to return, and . . . subordinate the Arab nation to a heavily militarized outpost.”[2]  Numerous other Palestinian statements express the same view.[3]

It may not be essential for UFPJ, as such, to take any position on “Geneva.” But given the overwhelmingly (and understandably) negative Palestinian response, we certainly have no business adopting Tikkun’s proposal that UFPJ support it.  Member organizations can express their individual positions on this issue.  But UFPJ should remain focused and united in opposition to U.S. support for Israeli apartheid.

4.  UFPJ Should Not Seek to Marginalize ANSWER.

Notwithstanding backlash and some red-baiting, October 25’s display of broad and growing antiwar sentiment vindicated UFPJ’s decision to cosponsor with ANSWER, which, like UFPJ, has played a major role in mobilizing thousands of people against the war and occupation.

Therefore, while UFPJ’s recent outreach to other coalitions is welcome, it should not serve as a maneuver to marginalize or isolate ANSWER.


1.  See, for example, NYCLAW Report on October 25 Protests, USLAW (November 17, 2003), <> .

2.  The Reality of the “Geneva Accord,” December 11, 2003, at
<>.  So far, at least two UFPJ Steering Committee members have signed this statement.

3.  These include, in chronological order:

**Throwing away Palestinian refugee rights, (BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, October 13, 2003), at
< >

**Al-Awda Action Call: The Right to Return Under Attack (October 13, 2003),
at <>

**Haithem El-Zabri, Palestinians Outraged by Geneva Accord,, October 19, 2003, at

**Ali Abunimah, A disastrous dead end: the Geneva Accord, The Electronic Intifada, October 28, 2003, at

**The Geneva Accord: Beyond Time and Space, Challenge Magazine editorial, November 3,  2003, at <>

**Final Statement:  4th Annual Meeting Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition (November 5-10, 2003), at

**Switzerland and the Geneva Accord: Undermining the Rule of Law (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, November 13, 2003), at

**George Bisharat, Who caused Palestinian Diapora?, Sacramento Bee, November 30, 2003, at

**Marwan Bishara, The Geneva Accord: a critical assessment, The Daily Star (Lebanon), December 1, 2003, at

**Iqbal Jassat, “Geneva Accords” Endows Spurious Legitimacy to a “Bantustan” Palestine, Media Review Network, December 3, 2003, at

**Khaled Amayreh, Geneva dissension, Al-Ahram Weekly, December 4-10, 2003,
at <>

**Ali Abunimah, The False Hope of the Geneva Accord, Chicago Tribune, December 3, 2003, at <>

**Fateh, What Palestinians are saying about the Geneva initiative (BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, December 5, 2003), at <>

**James Bennett, An Ally of Sharon Foresees a Palestinian State, N.Y. Times, December 6, 2003, at

**Abdul-Ilah As-Saadi, The right of return, Aljazeera, December 9, 2003, at

RE: [ufpj-news] Israeli Left praises Geneva

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Michael Letwin <>
Date: Tue, Dec 2, 2003 at 9:42 PM
Subject: RE: [ufpj-news] Israeli Left praises Geneva

UFPJ should *not* support the Geneva Initiative, which is premised on maintaining Israeli apartheid.

As the Palestinian American Congress stated yesterday:  “the right of return of Palestinian refugees is a natural individual right, and that this right can not be part of any concessions by any party. . . . We urge the Palestinian Authority not to endorse the Geneva Accord.”  (Full text below.)

Michael Letwin
New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
UFPJ Steering Committee


Palestinian American Congress Nixes Geneva Accord


For Immediate release

December 1, 2003

Media Contact: Marwan ElMasri


The Geneva Accord was launched today in Switzerland at a ceremony in the presence of former American President Jimmy Carter. While it is an unofficial document, it proved to be of considerable controversy.

In response to the launching if this document, the Palestinian American Congress categorically rejects this document. The Geneva Accord contradicts with our principle of adhering to the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their land as emphasized by international law, in particular UN resolution #194.

According to the Geneva accord, Palestinians would give up the right of return for the millions of refugees who were forced to leave their lands. It is worth noting that a few might be allowed back, that number will be determined by Israel, while the rest would be allowed to live in a Palestinian State and host countries mainly Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Also, a few will be entitled to some form of compensation.

We at the Palestinian American Congress, feel that the right of return of Palestinian refugees is a natural individual right, and that this right can not be part of any concessions by any party.

We urge the Palestinian Authority not to endorse the Geneva Accord.

We urge the US administration to pursue a peaceful solution to the Middle East based on UN resolutions, particularly #242, and #194.


For the full text of the Geneva Accord, please visit our web site


The Palestinian American Congress is a national grass roots organization that defends and represents the interests of Palestinian Americans