A Call for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine
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The Israeli and Palestinian people are our friends. We refuse to be the enemies of either, and we refuse to watch silently as chances for a just peace are undermined by policies that deny fundamental human rights to Palestinians or any other people. When as a nation, we lend support to oppressive governments, we undermine our democratic aspirations.
The Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Tragedy. During the four hundred years of Ottoman rule over Palestine, Arabs and Jews lived together in relative harmony.[i] European Jews were less secure. The Dreyfus Affair in France in 1894 deeply concerned the Jewish Community. At the close of the nineteenth century, the Zionist movement emerged among European Jews, intending to create a Jewish State in Palestine to escape pervasive anti-Semitism.[ii]
Zionism’s goal of colonizing Palestine gained great-power backing with Britain’s Balfour Declaration, issued November 2, 1917, supporting “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”[iii] This settler-colonial endeavor ascribed national rights to “the Jewish people” in a land where the indigenous Palestinian Arab majority constituted 94% of the population.[iv] Thus arose the “the conflict” marked by displacement and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian Arab majority to make way for a Jewish State.
The British army occupied Palestine in December 1917, a month after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, and 11 months before the October 31, 1918 armistice that ended WWI.[v] A League of Nations Mandate, approved in 1922, granted Britain the authority to administer Palestine “in sacred trust” until it could “stand-alone” as an independent state.[vi] However, British support for Zionism’s settler-colonial project outweighed its inconsistent concern for Palestinian self-determination. Tensions between the expanding Jewish settler population and the indigenous Arab population ignited the 1929 riots in which 133 Jews and 116 Arabs were killed.[vii]
The vast majority of Jews living in pre-1948 Palestine emigrated there during the previous 25 years under the British Mandate.[viii] By 1947, only one-third of Palestine’s total Jewish population had acquired Palestinian citizenship.[ix] At the time of the United Nations partition of Palestine, in 1947, Jewish interests owned less than 7% of the land and represented one-third of the population.[x] However, the partition plan allocated approximately 56% of pre-1948 Palestine for a Jewish State.[xi] The leadership of the Jewish Agency, which since its establishment in 1929, was largely responsible for facilitating the settlement of European Jews in Mandatory Palestine, accepted the U.N. partition plan.[xii] The Palestinian Arabs and neighboring States rejected the plan because it violated the provisions of the United Nations Charter, which granted people the right to decide their destiny.[xiii]
Conquest overcame faded prospects of co-existence as Jewish militias attacked Palestinian villages beyond the territory the U.N. had designated for a Jewish State.[xiv] On April 9, 1948, the Irgun and the Haganah attacked Deir Yassin slaughtering more than one hundred Palestinians, sixty-seven of them women, children, and the elderly.[xv] On May 14, 1948, Britain relinquished its Mandate over Palestine, disengaged its forces, and the Jewish Agency proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel.[xvi] Four Arab armies then entered the territory of Mandatory Palestine, but Jordan’s Arab Legion and Iraq’s forces took up defensive positions, never infringing the U.N. partitioned Jewish State borders.[xvii] The Israeli forces outnumbered, outgunned, and quickly defeated the Arab armies.[xviii] By the end of the war in 1949, the new State of Israel controlled 77% of Palestine – all but Gaza Strip and the West Bank.[xix] In the process, Israeli forces destroyed 531 Palestinian villages and emptied eleven urban neighborhoods of their inhabitants, causing 750,000 Palestinians refugees, more than half of Palestine’s native population.[xx] The Palestinians mourn these events, associated with the birth of the State of Israel, as “Al-Nakba” (catastrophe).
The Ongoing Occupation. In 1967, Israel conquered the Syrian Golan Heights and the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza, displacing another 250,000 to 300,000 Palestinians.[xxi] Israel continues a military occupation of the West Bank and the Golan, and a siege of Gaza.[xxii] Excluding the occupied Golan, these geographical remnants, 22% of pre-1948 Palestine, were internationally acknowledged to become the State of Palestine in the so-called “two-state solution.”[xxiii] However, in contravention of international law that no state may acquire territory by force, the State of Israel built settlements and by-pass roads throughout the West Bank and the Golan with the stated intentions of annexing this territory[xxiv] It has already formerly annexed East Jerusalem and the Syrian territory of Golan.[xxv]
Regardless of which Israeli political party held power, Labor or Likud, the settler population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (a combined area slightly less than half the size of Connecticut) increased each year from 1,500 in 1972, to 520,000 in 2011, to more than 750,000 in 2019.[xxvi] Settlement expansion will likely accelerate as Israeli leaders announce additional annexation of territory under President Trump’s misnamed “Peace Plan.”[xxvii] Israel and our nation ignore the International Court of Justice 2004 Advisory Opinion that Israel’s settlements and separation wall within the Occupied Palestinian Territories breach international law.[xxviii] The Obama administration’s abstention from the U.N. Security Council’s 14-0 vote in favor of Resolution 2334 on December 23, 2016, represented a single exception to the more than 40 years of shielding Israel from U.N. censorship. Resolution 2334 condemns Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory as a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Unconditional Support for Israel Must End. Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II, having received through 2018, $142.3 billion.[xxix] U.S. policy shields Israel from the very international pressure necessary to bring about a just end to this ongoing “conflict.” In December 2017, the United States vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that rejected President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the 43rd time the U.S. exercised its veto power against an Israel-related UN Security Council draft resolution.[xxx]
AIPAC and its allies work to ensure that our nation’s political establishment ignore the colonial-settler character of this conflict. The billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a fundraiser of far-right Israeli causes has funneled tens of millions into Trump’s and other Republican campaigns.[xxxi] In 2016, the Democratic Party platform committee defeated an amendment by Bernie Sanders’ supporter James Zogby that would have called for an end to the occupation and illegal Israeli settlements.[xxxii] Democrat and Republican politicians condemn the Palestine civil Society’s call for Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) intended to pressure Israel to grant freedom, justice and equality to the people.[xxxiii] Many of these establishment politicians are willing to sacrifice our First Amendment rights to suppress this growing international human rights movement.[xxxiv] Opposing anti-BDS legislation’s infringement on our First Amendment right of protest promotes Palestinian human rights and defends our civil liberties.
We have a responsibility to act. Our nation’s failed policy of unconditional support for the State of Israel encourages rightwing, racist, nationalist forces intent on denying Palestinian human rights and annexing ever more of the disappearing Palestine.[xxxv] The State of Israel, like that of former apartheid South Africa, will not change course absent meaningful international pressure that demands an end to the occupation and respect for the human rights of all of the people of Israel/Palestine. It is up to each of us to confront our elected officials and demand respect for human and civil rights for all.
End West Bank Settlements. The Israeli settlement project with its violence, home demolitions, and land dispossession must stop.[xxxvi] We support the U.N. Human Rights Council’s 2013 recommendation that Israel “cease all settlement activities without preconditions” and ” immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”[xxxvii]
End the Occupation; Remove the Wall.[xxxviii] The settlement infrastructure, including Israel’s military checkpoints, by-pass roads, and separation wall built on Palestinian lands, subject the people of the West Bank to humiliating and oppressive living conditions that stifles freedom of movement and the economy.[xxxix] This matrix of control and subjugation must end. So too must stop, the Israeli occupation policy of “demonstrating a presence” through intrusive home searches, arrests, imprisonments, and indefinite detentions, including that of minors.[xl]
End the Arrest, Detention and Torture of Palestinian Children. Each year Israeli military detains and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children.[xli] More than 10,000 Palestinian children have been arrested, detained, and abused by Israeli security forces in the Israeli military court system since 2,000.[xlii] At the end of December 2019, Israeli prisons held 186 Palestinian children, according to the latest figures released by the Israeli Prison Service. We must demand support for the Congressional bill introduced by Representative Betty McCollum that forbids the use our tax dollars for the arrest and detention of children by any foreign government. (at this writing H.R. 2407)
End the Arrest and Detention of Palestinian Political Prisoners. More than 750,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned since 1967.[xliii] Currently there are 5,250 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons, a consequence of Israel’s military occupation and Palestinian resistance to the unlawful occupation.[xliv] Contrary to Israel’s contention, international humanitarian law must be applied to those subject to unlawful detention or convicted of crimes associated with resisting an unlawful occupation.[xlv]
End the siege of Gaza. Israel’s imprisonment and blockade of Gaza, in effect since 2007, must end. Israel has launched three savage air and ground assaults on Gaza in 2008, 2012, and 2014, leaving its cities and refugee camps in rubble and struggling with rolling blackouts and contaminated waters.[xlvi] These three onslaughts killed 3,804, mostly civilians, and almost a third, minors.[xlvii] 87 Israelis were killed, mostly military personnel engaged in these offensives.
The living situation for the 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza (140 sq. m.) has become increasingly desperate.[xlviii] 90% of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption.[xlix] Unemployment exceeds 40%, and 57% of the Gaza population is food insecure.[l] Through the first 86 weeks of the Great March of Return protest, until December 2019, Israeli soldiers killed 217 civilian protestors, including 48 children and 9 persons with disabilities, and wounded more than 14,500 others.[li] Of those wounded, 207 have become permanently disabled, among them 149 amputation cases.[lii] Ending the Israeli siege of Gaza and negotiating a just peace will eliminate conditions that trigger this cycle of death and destruction.
Share Jerusalem. We recognize that Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Christians – all part of the history and life of that holy City. A just peace must include the sharing of that great City.
Palestinian Refugees. Since 1948, the Palestinian refugee population has grown to more than 6 million, of whom more than1.7 million live in 58 refugee camps scattered through Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.[liii] The Palestinian refugees’ right of return must be upheld consistent with U.N. Resolution 194.[liv]
Mutual Respect and Recognition of Human Rights. Believing as we do in self-determination, the people of Israel and Palestine must chart their future together, consistent with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[lv] All of the people residing in Israel, Palestine, and the Golan deserve to live in peace, freedom, and equality.
Our Call to Action. Our government has acted more as Israel’s lawyer than as a fair peace broker. We demand that our government work with Israelis and Palestinians in a manner consistent with democratic values necessary to reach a just peace that provides the security and freedoms that all people deserve. We encourage the use of non-violent forms of civil and economic pressure including the tools of diplomacy, boycott, divestment and sanctions as a means of bringing peace and justice to the people of Israel and Palestine.
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A Call For A Just Peace In Israel/Palestine
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[i] Menachem Klein, Lives in Common, Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Hebron, (Oxford University Press, 2014).
[ii] Victor Kattan, From Coexistence to Conquest, International Law and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1891-1949 (Pluto Press, 2009), 8-37; Rashid Khalidi, The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine – A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017 (Metropolitan Books, 2020), 5-15; Mazin Qumsiyeh, Sharing The Land of Canaan, (Pluto Press, 2004) 18.
[iii] R. Khalidi, supra, 23-54; V. Kattan, supra, 42-44, 58-63; Mazin Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance in Palestine (Pluto Press, 2011) 39.
[iv] R. Khalidi, supra, 24
[v] V. Kattan, supra, 120
[vi] V. Kattan, supra, 120-145 (Palestine was designated a “Class A” Mandate in which the principle of self-determination was applicable. Other Class A Mandates such as Syria, Lebanon, or Transjordan achieved self-determination. However, Britain’s administration of the Palestine Mandate and Zionism’s success in achieving a Jewish State collided with Palestine’s right to self-determination.) See also, R. Khalidi, supra, 34-36, 52-53.
[vii] Bernard Wasserstein, The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929 (Blackwell Publisher, 1991) 237; V. Kattan, supra, 88; M. Qumsiyeh, supra, 66-67.
[viii] The Elements of the Conflict, A/364, Official Records of the 2d. Session of the General Assembly, Supplement No. 11, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, Report to the General Assembly, Vol. 1, September 3, 1947, ¶¶‘s 10-13. P. 10, http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/07175DE9FA2DE563852568D3006E10F3
The settled population of Palestine at the end of 1946 was estimated to be near 1,846,00, nearly three times the total population revealed in the census of 1922. The Jewish community increased from 83,790 in 1922 to 649,048 by the end of 1946. The Arab population was 565,258 in 1922 and 1,237,334 by the end of 1946.Thus, largely through emigration to Palestine, the Jewish population increased from 13% of the Palestinian population in 1922 to 33% by the end of 1946
[ix] V. Kattan, supra, 142
[x] Id.; For land ownership statistics, see, Abraham Granott, The Land System in Palestine, (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1956), 278; see also, Sami Hadawi, Palestine: Loss of a Heritage, (San Antonio: Naylor, 1963), 18 (In 1918, the Jews, who numbered 56,000 out of a total of 700,000 owned 2% of the land, or 162,500 acres out of a total of 6,580,755 acres. During the ensuing 30 years, the Jews purchased additional property, bringing their total holdings on the date of the termination of the Mandate in May 1948 to 5.67% of the total land area of the country. Viewed in terms of total land area, individual Arabs owned 3,143,695 acres or 47.79%; Jews owned 372,925 acres or 5.67%; other residents owned 35,512 acres or 0.54%; and finally state domain (registered and recorded) comprised 3,028,623 acres or 46% of which 384,779 acres were in Palestine, excluding the Negeb, and 2,643,844 in the Negeb.); see also Aida Asim Essaid, Zionism and Land Tenure in Mandate Palestine, (Routledge 2014), 8, 9.
[xi] John Quigley, The Case For Palestine, An International Law Perspective, Revised and Updated (Duke University Press, 2005), 36; see also, Summary of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, BBC World News Edition, 11/28/2011, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/middle_east/2001/israel_and_the_palestinians/key_documents/1681322.stm
[xii] John Quigley, The Case For Palestine, An International Law Perspective, Revised and Updated (Duke University Press, 2005), 38; see also, http://www.jafi.org.il/JewishAgency/English/About/History/
[xiii] The Question of Palestine and the United Nations, (U.N., 2008), 9, 10, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/DPI2499.pdf
[xiv] Benny Morris, Righteous Victims (Vintage Books, 2001), 205-214; John Quigley, The Case For Palestine, An International Law Perspective, Revised and Updated (Duke University Press, 2005) 39-44, 57-65; Thomas Suarez, State of Terror, How Terrorism Created Modern Israel, (Olive Branch Press, 2017) 242-274; M. Qumsiyeh, supra, 95-97; Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel – Myths and Realities, (Pantheon Books, 1987), 92-94; R. Khalidi, supra, 72-80.
[xv] R. Khalidi, supra, 74.
[xvi] The Question of Palestine and the United Nations, (U.N., 2008), 9, 10, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/DPI2499.pdf
[xvii] R. Khalidi, supra, 77.
[xviii] Id.; see also, Flapan, The Birth of Israel; Tom Segev, 1949: The First Israelis; and Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.
[xix] John Quigley, The Case For Palestine, An International Law Perspective, Revised and Updated (Duke University Press, 2005) 39-44, 57-65, 89; see also, Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2001), 47 (“Israel had expanded its territory from 55 percent of Mandatory Palestine allocated to it by the United Nations to 79 percent.”); see also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1949_Armistice_Agreements; see also, Ari Shavit, My Promised Land, (Spiegel & Grau, 2013), 273-333 (For an example of the displacement, dispossession and murder of Palestinians in Lydda, July 1948)
[xx] Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, (One World Publications, 2008), xii-xiii; The United Nations and the Palestinian Refugees, (UNRWA, January 2007), 2, 6;
http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/2010011791015.pdf ; see also, http://www.unrwa.org/palestine-refugees, see also, Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall, (W.W. Norton & Company, 2001), 54; Rabbi Michael Lerner, Embracing Israel/Palestine, (Tikkun Books, 2012), 123-139
[xxi] Tom Segev, 1967-Israel, The War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East (Metropolitan Books, 2005); R. Khalidi, supra, 96-129; M. Qumsiyeh, supra., 109
[xxii] The Question of Palestine and the United Nations, (U.N., 2008), 17 (map, territories occupied by Israel since 1967), http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/2010011791015.pdf;
see also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Palestine ; Oslo Process 20 Years, (PLO Negotiations Affairs Department, September 12, 2013), 4
(On June 5, 1967, Israel occupied the remaining 22% of historical Palestine and imposed a system of military rule on the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israel also occupied parts of Egypt’s Sinai and the Golan Heights of Syria. On November 22, 1967, the Security Council of the United Nations adopted resolution 242 that required the “Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”). The Golan and West Bank and remain occupied, and the Gaza Strip remains under Israeli siege.
[xxiii] “U.N. defies U.S. to recognize the sovereign state of Palestine”, The Telegraph. November 29 2012;
see also, “Palestinians win de facto U.N. recognition of sovereign state”. Reuters. November 30, 2012
[xxiv] The Humanitarian Impact of Israeli Settlement Policies, United Nations, Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian Territory, Updated, December 2012
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_settlements_FactSheet_December_2012_english.pdf; See also, The Times of Israel, 01.28.2020, West Bank Settlements Report Rapid Growth in 2019.
[xxv] R. Khalidi, supra, 105.
[xxvi] The Times of Israel, 01.28.2020, West Bank Settlements Report Rapid Growth in 2019
[xxviii] Id.; see also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law_and_Israeli_settlements ; see also, Legal Consequence of the Construction of a Wall In the Occupied Territory, International Court of Justice, July 9, 2004 http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/131/1671.pdf ; see also, Benveniśtî, Eyāl (2004). The International Law of Occupation. Princeton University Press. p. xvii.ISBN 978-0-691-12130-7. “In its advisory opinion of July 9, 2004, on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the International Court of Justice found Israel in breach of several international law obligations by its construction of a separation barrier on West Bank territory. … The Court flatly rejects the Israeli claims concerning the inapplicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the West Bank and concerning the inapplicability of Article 49 to the Jewish settlements in the areas occupied by Israel. Neither of these claims gained serious support from the international community.”
[xxx] Middle East Eye, 12.19.2017, The 43 Times U.S. Has Used Veto Power Against U.N. Resolutions on Israel.
[xxxi] Khaled Elgindy, Blind Spot America and the Palestinians from Balfour to Trump, (Brookings Institute Press, 2019), 246.
[xxxii] Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, 07.25.2016, Betraying Progressives, DNC Platform Backs Fracking, TPP, and Israel Occupation.
[xxxv] New York Magazine, April 6, 2019, Netanyahu Vows to Annex West Bank, Never Allow Palestinian State, If Reelected.
[xxxvi] Israeli Settler Violence in the West Bank, Fact Sheet, November 2011, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_settler_violence_FactSheet_October_2011_english.pdf ; Demolitions and Forced Displacement in the Occupied West Bank, Fact Sheet United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory, January 2012, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_demolitions_factSheet_january_2012_english.pdf
[xxxvii] Report of the Independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (U.N. Human Rights Council, 22d Session, 2013), http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/FFM/FFMSettlements.pdf
[xxxviii] Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada, 10.08.2019, Builders of Israel’s apartheid wall profit from US border militarization. Technology utilized on Israel’s illegal Apartheid Wall supplied by Elbit Systems, a major Israeli weapons company, is utilized by the U.S. on the Mexican border wall. Elbit Systems has secured border contracts worth $187 million from the U.S. government to build surveillance towers near the US-Mexico border. Ten of those towers will be on land belonging to the Indigenous Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona; See also, Todd Miller’s Report – “More Than a Wall: Corporate Profiteering and the Militarization of US Borders” – recently published by human rights research group the Transnational Institute, in collaboration with No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization which protects migrants along the southern US border.
[xxxix] The Humanitarian Impact of the Barrier, Fact Sheet, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory, July 2013;
see also, The Humanitarian Impact of Israeli Settlement Policies, Fact Sheet,
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory, December 2012, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_settlements_FactSheet_December_2012_english.pdf
see also, The Humanitarian Impact the Takeover of the Palestinian Water Springs by Israeli Settlers, Fact Sheet United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory, March 2012, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_springs_factSheet_march_2012_english.pdf’
[xl] Breaking The Silence, Our Harsh Logic, Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies From the Occupied Territories, (Metropolitan Books, 2012) 32-34, 39, 83, 138, 175 (We go into the houses of innocent people. Every day, all the time,” says one soldier. Another describes tossing stun grenades into a village in the middle of the day, a policy known as “demonstrating a presence” that, according to the soldier, is often unconnected to a specific security threat and equally routine.); http://www.btselem.org/administrative_detention/statistics, (As of January 2020, at least 431 Palestinian administrative detainees were held in facilities run by the Israel Prison Service).
[xli] https://nwttac.dci-palestine.org; see also, https://www.btselem.org/publications/summaries/201803_minors_in_jeopardy
[xliii] Ramzy Baroud, These Chains Will Be Broken – Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons, (Clarity Press, Inc., 2020) 2.
[xlv] Id., at 170
[xlvi] R. Khalidi, supra, 223-224
[xlvii] Id., citing to B’Tselem, the Israel Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. https://www.btselem.org/statistics/fatalities/during-cast-lead/by-date-of-event; and https://www.btselem.org/statistics/fatalities/after-cast-lead/by-date-of-event
[xlviii] The Gaza Strip: The Humanitarian Impact of Movement Restrictions on People and Goods, Fact Sheet (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Occupied Palestinian Territory, July 2013), http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_gaza_blockade_factsheet_july_2013_english.pdf
[xlix] Id. p. 7
[l] Id. p. 7
[li] 2nd Anniversary of the Great March of Return: Impunity Continues to Prevail, Palestine Center for Human Rights, 03.30.2020 Fact Sheet. https://www.pchrgaza.org/en/?p=14387
When the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of approximately 750,000 Palestinians registered refugees, defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period of June 1, 1946 to May 15, 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” (https://www.unrwa.org/who-we-are). As of 2019, some 5.6 million Palestinian refugees are eligible for UNRWA services. (Id.) Another 626,753 Palestinian “registered persons” i.e., displaced Palestinian not fitting the UNRWA “refugee” definition, also receive UNRWA services. (Id.). Of the total 6,171,703 total registered persons dependent on UNRWA services, 1,728,409 reside in 58 refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. www.unrwa.org › resources › about-unrwa › unrwa-figures-2018-2019
These figures do not include the approximately 300,000 additional refugees that resulted from Israel’s 1967 assault.
[liv] Resolution 194, U.N. General Assembly, http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/C758572B78D1CD0085256BCF0077E51A
[lv] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
Tree of Life Educational Fund is honored to have among its Advisory Board members two distinguished scholars and authors, Mazin Qumsiyeh and Ilan Pappé. Some of their publications are cited in the endnotes to this pamphlet.
Mazin Qumsiyeh is a Palestinian scientist, a professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, the director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History, and works with a number of civil society organizations.
Sharing the Land of Canaan (2004)
Popular Resistance in Palestine (2011)
Ilan Pappé is Professor of History at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the College of Social Sciences and International Studies and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. John Pilger calls him ‘Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.
A History of Modern Palestine (2004)
The Modern Middle East (2005; 3rd ed. 2014)
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007)
Gaza in Crisis, (With Noam Chomsky) (2010)
The Forgotten Palestinians – A History of the Palestinians in Israel (2011)
The Idea of Israel – A History of Power and Knowledge (2014)
Israel and South Africa – Many Faces of Apartheid (2015)
The Biggest Prison on Earth – A History of the Occupied Territories (2017)