Friday 3 April 2009

Justice for Palestine

Justice for Palestine is the simple demand that is increasingly bringing together people from all backgrounds and from all over the world. This simple call has led to the creation of thousands of Groups for Justice for Palestine – many Universities and colleges have their own students for Justice in Palestine group and there are even a number of Jews for Justice in Palestine groups. I have recently discovered that there is now a Tayside for Justice in Palestine group.

What though is behind this apparently simple demand – Justice for Palestine? One of the key strengths of the call is that it does not ask anyone to commit to any particular outcome – two states, one state, confederation or any other political solution. Rather what unites all the groups is their commitment to a set of guiding principles. Student groups in the USA commonly express these principles thus:

We believe that while the Palestinian people must ultimately be able to decide their future in Palestine, certain key principles, grounded in international law, human rights, and basic standards of justice will be fundamental to a just resolution of the plight of the Palestinians.

This leads to three key demands:
1.An end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine
2.Recognition and implementation of the Right of Return for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants
3.An end to the Israeli system of apartheid and discrimination against the indigenous Palestinian population

A just and lasting solution to the conflict can only be based on the acceptance of these three principles. The parameters of a final settlement and of any interim proposals is of course primarily the responsibility of the people who live in Israel/Palestine. Those of us on the outside can only support and campaign on behalf of all those in Israel/Palestine who struggle to bring about a just settlement based on the above three principles.

To further the cause of Justice for Palestine requires active campaigning, which can take many forms. The Tayside group supports the Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel with local campaigns against shops selling Israeli goods. On the 11th April the group is to sponsor a public talk by two members from the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network – 12.30 – 2.00pm at the Friends Meeting Room, Whitehall Crescent, Dundee. Anyone living in the area is invited to attend and hear this particular perspective on the conflict.

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