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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Has the Peace Movement Addressed Israel-Palestine?

The Peace Movement Addresses Israel-Palestine (Finally)

Anti-occupation rally in Washington, D.C., June 10, 2007. Photo by Thomas J. Dooley.
In my Inbox last Friday was an email from Peace Action, the country’s largest peace group, encouraging its members to join the thousands of peace and human rights activists from across the country in the June 10 march in Washington against the Israeli occupation. This otherwise unremarkable letter served as an important reminder that U.S. support for the Israeli occupation is finally becoming an issue for the mainstream of the peace movement.

This was not always the case. Peace Action is the successor organization of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (better known as SANE) – founded fifty years ago by Norman Cousins and other prominent intellectuals concerned with the nuclear arms race – and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, which emerged in the early 1980s under the leadership of Randall Forsberg and others. These two leading peace organizations merged in 1987 to form SANE/Freeze, which changed its name to Peace Action six years later. Yet even the merged organization, with its broader mandate, initially avoided seriously dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Peace Action was certainly not alone, however. The peace movement has largely ignored the Israel-Palestine issue. This has not only hurt the cause of peace in the Middle East, it has harmed the movement as well.

The Israel Exception

During the 1980s, the Coalition for a New Foreign Policy – the lobbying arm of a broad coalition of peace and human rights organizations – took the position that while they supported the “sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence” of Middle Eastern states, they also insisted that such a principle “does not necessarily apply” to lands seized by Israel in the 1967 war. The Coalition also made an explicit exception for Israel in its otherwise strict standard of opposing unconditional U.S. military aid to countries that engaged in gross and systematic human rights abuses or developed nuclear weapons programs.

To read the rest of the article>>>>>

Bravo for the "peace movement", they are reluctantly coming around. But does the "peace movement" slash so called "progressive Democratic" monolithic meglomaniac entity address this issue as it should? ABSOLUTELY not. For to be a bonafide peace movement, to BE progressive, one CANNOT fall into the trap of ONLY opposing the occupation which anyone with clear vision can see is a violation of not only international law, but also a violation of the most basic of human rights. When the "peace movement" in the US wakes up and smells the coffee of the inherent racism of Zionism itself which created the state of Israel resulting in 750,000 Palestinian refugees fleeing and some 120,000 internal refugees left remaining within Israel's borders, when the "peace movement" reads history and chooses to either remain supporters of Zionism or chooses instead to except FACT, and REALIZE that the state of Israel itself IS their exception to their rules, those supposedly based on human rights and EQUALITY of all, THEN they can call themselves a "peace movement".

So what do I have to say to the "peace movement", I say stop being HYPOCRITES and making exceptions, because your "exception" has resulted in more than four million REGISTERED Palestinian refugees !

From UNWRA :


"Under UNRWA's operational definition, Palestine refugees are persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. UNRWA's services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. UNRWA's definition of a refugee also covers the descendants of persons who became refugees in 1948. The number of registered Palestine refugees has subsequently grown from 914,000 in 1950 to more than 4.4 million in 2005, and continues to rise due to natural population growth.


One-third of the registered Palestine refugees, about 1.3 million, live in 58 recognized refugee camps in the area of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A camp, according to UNRWA's working definition, is a plot of land placed at the disposal of UNRWA by the host government for accommodating Palestine refugees and for setting up facilities to cater to their needs. Areas not designated as such are not considered camps. However, UNRWA also maintains schools, health centres and distributions centres in areas outside camps where Palestine refugees are concentrated, such as Yarmouk near Damascus.

The plots of land on which camps were set up are either state land or, in most cases, land leased by the host government from local landowners. This means that the refugees in camps do not "own" the land on which their shelters were built, but have the right to "use" the land for a residence.

UNRWA's responsibility in the camps is limited to providing services and administering its installations. The Agency does not own, administer or police the camps as this is the responsibility of the host authorities. UNRWA has a camp services office in each camp, which the residents visit to update their records or to raise issues relating to Agency services with the Camp Services Officer (CSO). The CSO, in turn, refers refugee concerns and petitions to the UNRWA administration in the area in which the camp is located.

Ten of the camps were established in the aftermath of the June 1967 war and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, to accommodate a new wave of displaced persons, both refugees and non-refugees.

Socio-economic conditions in the camps are generally poor with a high population density, cramped living conditions and inadequate basic infrastructure such as roads and sewers.

The other two-thirds of the registered refugees live in and around the cities and towns of the host countries, and in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, often in the environs of official camps. While most of UNRWA's installations such as schools and health centres are located in refugee camps, a number are outside camps and all of the Agency's services are available to both camp and non-camp residents.


Now keep in mind "peace movement", these are the REGISTERED Palestinian refugees SOME of whom are receiving aid from the United Nations. This number does NOT take into consideration Palestinians living world wide who are NOT registered with UNWRA who would NOT be necessarily living where they are AT ALL had not they been turned into refugees when the state of Israel was created.

KEEP IN MIND that Israel agreed to abide by UN resolutions when being accepted as a member which INCLUDED acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:

Article 13.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    So "peace movement", what say you?

    You may find yourself in contradiction to your so-called values on this one!

    Oh and just in case you want to learn more, link here (If Americans Only Knew)

    And GOD BLESS all those of the Jewish faith themselves who are ardent Anti-Zionists,

    Those who DEPLORE the use of their religion as a sacred cover for oppressing others in POLITICAL action.

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