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Thursday, October 16

Momentum for Palestinian Statehood
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by Stephen Lendman

Britain's symbolic vote brings it closer to reality. It's just a matter of time before Palestine takes its rightful place among other world nations officially.

Expect America, Israel and a few Pacific islands Washington dominates to be final holdouts.

Expect world public opinion and near universal acceptance to sway their eventual coming aboard. It'll take time. It's inevitable.

It's essential for regional peace. It's impossible without it. Since 1947/48, Palestinians suffered horrendous injustice.

Israel stole their homeland. Slaughtered and expelled their people. Prevented them from returning.

Continues stealing remaining land they own. Systematically violating core international humanitarian and human rights laws.

Maintaining repressive militarized occupation. Conditions exceed the worst of South African apartheid.

Colonization and apartheid are particularly serious international law breaches. They violate core legal standards, values and norms.

Self-determination is a fundamental human right. It's inviolable. It's universally recognized.

Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:

"All peoples have the right of self-determination."

"By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

"All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence."

"The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations."

Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights repeats the same language.

General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 (November 1978):

"Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle."

General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) (November 1974):

"Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples' struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle."

"Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the Palestinian people."

General Assembly Resolution 2649 (1970):

"Affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal."

According to Princeton University Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination director Wolfgang Danspeckgruber:

"No other concept is as powerful, visceral, emotional, unruly, or as steep in creating aspirations and hopes for self-determination."

The 1960 General Assembly decolonization resolution states:

"The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation."

"All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

"Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom."

"All States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity."

General Assembly Resolution 181 called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948.

It asked "all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations."

It called for the Security Council to be empowered with "the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation."

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) calls self-determination "one of the essential principles of contemporary international law."

All nations are obligated to respect, observe and promote it. Longterm militarized colonization is in clear violation.

The 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (the Declaration on Colonialism), condemns colonialism in all "forms and manifestations."

The 1973 International Convention for the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (the Apartheid Convention) calls this practice state-sanctioned discriminatory "inhuman" racism "committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them."

Apartheid is an international crime. The 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls it one under ICC jurisdiction.

Israel has yet to be held accountable. It's high time this changed. Every country is legally bound to observe and enforce universally accepted international laws.

They're obligated to work cooperatively to end nation-state violations. Deny scofflaws recognition. Refuse them aid.

Core international law affirms Palestinians' right to self-determination. Rejects Israel's lawless occupation.

Its illegal land seizures and settlements. Its Separation Wall ICJ judges ruled illegal in 2004. Ordered its dismantlement.

Mandated reparations for the "requisition and destruction of homes, businesses, and agricultural holdings (and) to return the land, orchards, olive groves, and other immovable property seized."

Mandated Member States reject illegal construction. Demanded Israel comply with international law.

Horrific human and civil rights violations persist. Israel bears full responsibility. Accountability is nowhere in sight. Nor is long denied justice.

Resistance is universally recognized. According to Francis Boyle:

"Palestinians have a perfect right under international law to resist an illegal, colonial, genocidal, criminal, military occupation regime of their lands and of their homes and of their People that goes back to 1948 so long as it is done in a manner consistent with the requirements of international humanitarian law."

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states grants "(e)veryone…the right to life, liberty and security of person." No one may deny them.

Israeli state terror persists. Inhumane and degrading treatment is longstanding practice. So is collective punishment.

A matrix of draconian security laws and policies permits the domination of a colonial power over its subjects.

Jews alone have special rights. Palestinians are systematically denied. Institutionalized repression reflects daily life.

Longstanding Israeli practices are illegal under international law. Resolution demands recognizing Palestinian self-determination.

Freeing it from Israeli control. Things are moving in this direction. Among the world's 193 countries, 134 recognize Palestinian statehood.

Expect increasing numbers to join them. Major countries already did so. China, Brazil, India and Russia among them.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Moscow intends backing a Palestinian draft resolution setting a timeline for ending occupation and self-determination.

"I cannot see any reasons to cavil about this text, or about Palestinian people's wish to say once again 'let's have a look at this situation, in the UN framework,' Bogdanov said.

"So we (tell Palestinians), if you find one option or another suitable, then we will support you as friends."

"You know better what you need and how to achieve it. We think that the Palestinian case is fair, meaning that people have a right to self-determination, up to establishing their state."

Monday's UK vote sent a strong message to world governments. Recognizing Palestinian statehood is an idea whose time has come.

Militarized occupation no longer is acceptable. Nor should Israel be allowed to dominate Palestinians any longer.

At issue for Washington, Brussels and Tel Aviv isn't if, but when, Palestinian statehood will be realized. Militarized occupation ended.

Yasser Arafat said earlier the march to Palestinian statehood is "unstoppable."

Palestinian Christian leaders urge European nations to recognize it.

"From Jerusalem, our occupied capital, we send our urgent message to the whole world and particularly to Europe: We are yearning for justice and peace," they said.

"Recognizing Palestine and defining Israel's borders is a first step towards that goal."

"We have endured dispossession and forced exile since 1948, when the majority of Palestine's Christians were forcibly expelled from their homes in the Holy Land."

"We have persevered through 66 years of exile and 47 years of occupation, holding on to the message of peace of Our Lord."

"We are tired of calls for resumptions of negotiations while we can't reach our churches due to a foreign power and our people continue to be humiliated by an undesirable occupation."

"We are waiting for the day that our churches will ring celebrating freedom and justice."

"Christians have a duty to resist oppression. We believe the international community and particularly Europe has not done enough in order to achieve a just and lasting peace."

"You cannot continue holding our right to freedom and self-determination as an Israeli prerogative."

"We have a natural right to be free, and Europe has a moral, legal and political duty to hold Israel accountable and support Palestinian non-violent initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, including the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital."

Changing conditions today are too strong to prevent it. Real self-determination. Within June 1967 borders.

Controlling their resources therein. Borders, air space and coastal waters.

East Jerusalem their exclusive capital. Diaspora Palestinians able to return. Compensation paid for stolen land and property.

Liberation at last. Long denied justice ended.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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