A large group of left-wing Palestinian and Israeli parties, unions and civil society groups has issued an unprecedented joint statement in support of the Israeli struggle for social justice. The signatories demand unity in the struggle against occupation and racism.
Half-million protest in Tel-Aviv, last Saturday, September 3, 2011 (Photo: Activestills)
For the first time since the launch of social justice J14 movement in Israel, and perhaps for the first time in regional history, official Palestinian parties and NGOs are showing their support for an Israeli civilian struggle against neo-liberalism and capitalism. Alongside their general statement of support, signatories mentioned the influence Arab revolutions have had on the Israeli movement, and stressed the importance they see in the ground-breaking widespread cooperation between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.
In addition, the signatories call upon J14 to connect their struggle with the one against the illegal settlements and the occupation, and to stop the Israeli government’s from attempting to sideline the struggle in the face of “outside security threats” such as the upcoming vote on recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN on 20 September.
Beyond these messages of support, the statement reaffirms the signatories’ commitment both to the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to gain UN recognition for a Palestinian state, and to the joint popular struggle against the occupation. Yet another notion on the agenda is the message of solidarity with all peoples of the region who are currently fighting for freedom and independence from totalitarian regimes.
The statement full text
Together for putting an end to occupation and racism, in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people to attain their national rights and against national and social oppression
Even in light of the encouraging developments in the Middle East, the wave of social protests and the awakening of the peoples’ struggles for freedoms and the right to live in dignity, the Palestinian people still live under the yoke of the Israeli occupation, despite their persistent and on-going struggle for freedom. The international community, for its part, demonstrates its helplessness and does not lend a hand to support the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice.
The protest movements and the winds of change blowing in the Arab world have aroused excitement throughout the world amongst freedom seekers, encouraging many to adopt the model of popular struggle. These protest movements have had a deep impact on various groups in Israel, amongst both Jews and Palestinians, and made an important contribution to the rise of the popular protest movement within Israel for social justice.
Moved by our aspiration to attain a just and fair peace in the region, a peace that is truly essential for the peoples of the region and can assist in promoting the struggle for justice and progress for everyone, we – Palestinian and Israeli social and political forces, representatives of women’s associations and young people from both sides of the Green Line – emphasise the need for a joint struggle, with the goal of liberating the peoples of the region from colonialism and hegemony, particularly that of Zionism, halting the occupation and Israeli military aggression and supporting the just struggle of the Palestinian people for fulfilment of its right for self-determination in accordance with the decisions of the international community.
We look forward to the liberation of all the region’s peoples from dictatorship, ruling tyranny and from all forms of national, social and economic oppression. Therefore, we the signatories on this document, emphasise:
1. We support the Palestinian September initiative in the United Nations, the body which carries responsibility for laying the foundations of peace internationally, in order to demand full membership for Palestine in the UN and recognition of a Palestinian state in the borders of 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to strengthen the efforts to end the occupation of the Palestinian people’s lands, with preservation of the right of the Palestinian people to oppose the occupation and the right of return of the refugees in accordance with United Nations Resolution 194. In this context, we emphasise that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, deriving its legitimacy both from the Palestinian people in the homeland and exile and from the recognition it received from the Arab League and the United Nations.
The UN initiative is a legitimate step. The United Nations must fulfil its responsibility to realize its responsibility to establish peace and justice on the international level. This is a step that strengthens the rights of the Palestinian people and in no way represents a threat to Israel, despite the great efforts of the Israeli government to present this step to the Israeli people as a declaration of war or harming the legitimacy of the existence of Israel.
2. We understand that one of the primary reasons for the social and economic distress of citizens in Israel, in addition to the capitalist economic policies, is the continuation of the occupation and excessive security budgets, which Israel’s government seeks to justify as needed for defending the security of the settlements on the one hand and the state borders on the other. We therefore believe that an end to the occupation and establishment of a fair and just peace are essential for a life of peace and welfare.
We welcome the participation and integration of the Palestinian population in Israel in the social protest. This is an important opportunity to present before various groups within Israeli society the distresses of the Palestinians and the injustices caused to them, so that these groups can take responsibility in the struggle against the marginalizing policies and on-going discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, for putting an ending to confiscation of lands and full equality, and an end to the occupation of the Palestinian lands that were occupied in 1967.
We warn again the familiar attempts by the occupation government to evade the crises and its internal crises and the pressure of the protest waves through the politics of fear which point to an external threat: Whether by presenting the Palestinian appeal to the UN as a “danger” or by military actions, as we have witnessed in the past few days in light of the harsh escalation in bloodletting of the Palestinian people in Gaza.
3. We recognize the right of the Palestinian people, living under occupation, to make use of all the legitimate forms of resistance in accordance with international norms for removing of the occupiers from its land and for self- determination. In this context, we emphasise the importance of the joint popular struggle of Palestinians and Israelis. A popular joint struggle is one of the central guiding principles in the struggle against the occupation, the settlements, racism, colonialism, against policies of exclusion, weakening, impoverishment, and racist separation within Israel.
Association of Palestinian Democratic Youth (Palestine)
Association of Progressive Students (Palestine)
Communist Party of Israel
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (Palestine)
Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Hadash (Israel)
Democratic Teachers’ Union (Palestine)
Democratic Union of Professionals in Palestine (Palestine)
Democratic Women’s Movement in Israel (Israel)
National Campaign for Return of the Bodies of Arab and Palestinian Martyrs Captured by the Israeli Government (Palestine)
Palestinian People’s Party (Palestine)
Popular Campaign for the Boycott of Israeli Products (Palestine)
Progressive Workers’ Union (Palestine)
Tarabut-Hithabrut – Arab-Jewish Movement for Social and Political Change (Israel)
The Alternative Information Center (Palestine/Israel)
Union of Palestinian Farmers’ Unions (Palestine)
Union of One World for Justice (Palestine)
Union of Palestinian Working Women (Palestine)
Workers’ Unity Bloc (Palestine)