Land Day 2005: This is No Time for Appeasement

This is No Time for Appeasement

 

Land Day 2005

 

For Immediate Release

No. (E/10/05) 30 March 2005

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This is no time for appeasement says the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories. “Israel's defiance of international law poses a threat not only to the international legal order but to the international order itself.”

 

The decades old policy of constructive engagement with Israel has not brought an end to military occupation nor has it facilitated durable solutions for Palestinian refugees and internally displaced consistent with international law and practice.

 

Palestinian non-governmental organizations from the occupied territories and Syrian NGOs from the occupied Golan have thus called for a broad Israel boycott-divestment and sanctions campaign inspired by the model of South African anti-apartheid campaign.

 

Colonization has continued in all areas of former Palestine under effective Israeli control – inside Israel proper and in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and in the Gaza Strip. The Wall Israel is constructing inside the West Bank is the most recent symbol of this unique form of colonization.

 

According to the UN Special Rapporteur, the Wall aims to incorporate Jewish settlers within Israel, seize Palestinian land, and encourage Palestinians to leave their lands and homes by making life intolerable for them.

 

This is Israel's unique form of colonialism: establishment of Jewish colonies, expropriation of Palestinian Arab land, and the displacement of the indigenous Palestinian Arab population from their homes and from their homeland.

 

More than five decades ago Palestinians owned more than 90 per cent of the land in former Palestine. Today they own or control about 10 per cent. At the same time, more than half of the original Palestinian population has been displaced/expelled from the country.

 

Palestinians are not breaking new ground when they demand return and restitution. Refugees and displaced persons around the world share these rights. No one should be made homeless as refugees and displaced persons recover their properties.

 

International law provides a universal framework to resolve the conflict in Palestine/Israel. Consumer boycotts of Israeli products, non-cooperation with Israeli initiatives in the fields of culture, education and sports, divestment from Israeli institutions and/or stocks and bonds and pressuring governments to impose sanctions on Israel can help bring Israel into compliance with international law.

 

Land Day commemorates events of 29 years ago when Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinians inside 1948 Palestine/Israel who were protesting expropriation of Palestinian land to build new Jewish colonies and expand existing Jewish cities. Now Land Day symbolizes resistance to ongoing land expropriation, unresolved claims to housing and property restitution and the 38-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.