The news of ongoing massacre of Palestinian people (61 killed in the last attack to Rafah camp) and destruction of houses (1750 houses completely demolished) and the destruction of all aspects of livelihood in this land (including 4 thousand hectares of agricultural land) has awakened consciousness around the world. Amnesty International, human rights institutions, and justice seeking people in Israel, including dissident soldiers (approximately 1600 strong), as well as angry protesting masses around the world, are all speaking out against war crimes and crimes against humanity. Because of this resistance, the ongoing silence is broken and even Yoseph Lapid, minister of justice in Sharon’s cabinet, seeing the pictures of ruins of Rafah recalls the crimes of Nazis.
Israel, with unconditional U.S. support, after 37 years of occupying the West Bank, Gaza and the eastern Jerusalem, and ignoring all the UN resolutions on Palestine (even the ones bearing Israel’s signature, resolution n° 194: the right of refugees to return), has gone beyond limits in isolating and destroying the Palestinian nationhood; Israel is ridiculing the world.
Palestinians have agreed to recognize the state of Israel in 78% of the land historically known as Palestine. This, in order to reach a peace agreement with an enemy that has occupied their land so that in the remaining 22% (occupied by Israel in 1967) they could build a sovereign state and achieve the right, respect and dignity of nationhood like any other nation. But Israel has set up a 600 kilometer wall to expropriate half of this land and thereby destroy any peace plan.
The supporters of Israel’s invasion who call themselves the “International Community” speak of the occupying forces and the ones who have their land occupied as equals. In order to justify occupation, they call resistance against state terrorism and occupation terrorism. Criticism against expansionist policies of Sharon is marked as anti-Semitic. This is done in order to justify the suffocation of any cry of protest. In the point of view of “International Community” there is no difference between one side armed to the most sophisticated weapons of mass killing, and another who has no defense but to throw stones and self-sacrifice as a means of resistance. They see no distinction between Israel, one among the two most influential powers in the world, and Palestine whose elected leader Yaser Arafat has been under arrest for two years; and Bush still talks about the right of Israel to self-defense. If any other state in the world had committed even one tenth of what Israel has done, it would have been most probably overthrown by the United States. But this “International Community”, this collaborator of Israel, only in words condemns the atrocities committed by Israel. In action it is supporting Israel in a variety of ways. The European Union is the number one trade partner in bilateral agreements with Israel. Against the recommendations of European Parliament on suspending the bilateral agreements with Israel, last April, the Council of European Union continued and extended the agreements. The overwhelming support and collaboration of the “International Community” has reinforced Israel’s position, given them a free hand to deny the rights of Palestinians and impose their racist policies to the point of enforcing capital punishment against a nation in the 21st century. Israel must be boycotted as was the apartheid regime in
South Africa.
We are Iranians against the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, exiled because of our commitment to the principals of democracy, freedom and social justice, and we are following the tragic situation of Palestine and Iraq with great concern. The self-centred policies of the United States, Israel and their various allies have replaced civilization with savagery. This is a threat to the future of humanity. Destruction of Palestine is not only the tragic annihilation of a nation but is a threat leading to the undermining of the whole of humanity. We raise our cries against this wave of “modern savagery.” Silence amounts to participation in this crime. We condemn the atrocities of the United States and Israel, including the occupation of Palestine and Iraq, and praise the resistance of people in both countries.
People of Palestine have been buried a thousand times but have never died. They will go on to fight colonialism, imperialism, and occupation, as if on behalf of other nations too. The battle between Palestine and Israel reminds us of the Spanish Republic and the need for International brigades to support it. Any support of the rights of people of Palestine and Iraq against the reactionary occupation and savagery is our political and humane obligation.
May 27, 2004
(This declaration was signed by over 400 persons.)