Palestinian community leader, Mazen Qumsiyeh, sent out the following appeal today calling for people of conscience around the world to support efforts to create real justice and equality in Palestine and Israel through a one-state initiative. Palestinians, long fatigued of the never-ending process that brings nothing resembling peace, have committed themselves to nonviolently demanding their human dignity and rights under international law. The two-state solution--that Israel continues to block--was always a compromise position from the Palestinian perspective since it only allowed the Palestinian state to be established on 22% of historic Palestine and did not allow the return of the 750,000 Palestinian refugees that Israel has denied the right of return to since their expulsion in 1947-1949.
This initiative aims to establish equality inside Israel by abolishing citizenship laws and other laws and practices that favor Jews over non-Jews.
Many people of good faith yearn for a future that is a joint democratic
pluralistic state that encompasses all of the historic land of Palestine (currently the political entities of the apartheid State of Israel and the post-1967 Israeli occupied Palestinian Territories). It is time to put our beliefs into practice by bringing together all these people to effect the needed transformation socially and politically. We call on you to join us to formulate all the needed mechanisms for this transformation. We are seeking local and international legal experts to draft a constitution for our joint
future state and we are seeking activists with other skills (media, lobbying, civil disobedience etc) to translate the vision into reality. In our joint future state, Palestinian Refugees will have the right to return to their homes and lands and to receive reparation for their suffering as supported by UNGA resolution 194. Return and self-determination are key pillars of peace based on justice.
The validity of all actual laws and policies will be subject to this constitution with a bill of rights. This constitution is founded on the critical principle that all people who live
in historic Palestine as well as Palestinians who will realise their inalienable right of return will have an effective equality of citizenship and will enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Substantively and procedurally, the constitution and structures to effect the needed transformation will be modified and adopted only via democratically structured institutions and, in this vein, we support efforts to reconstitute the Palestine National Council on democratic and representative foundations for all Palestinians regardless of where they currently live. The constitution will enable constant contestation of actual
laws ensuring that structures of power never entrench themselves.
Equal citizenship will have the result that present apartheid-based laws will be abrogated and future social and economic rights will never again be attached to any patterned and structured identity test that necessarily results in discrimination, oppression and domination of those who do not pass it. We believe in popular resistance and an anti-Apartheid struggle to achieve our collective goals. We will build on the previous initiatives and conferences that focused on one state solutions. We urge the international community to support us in ending Israeli apartheid and achieving our goal of one democratic state via the use of Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions
(BDS) and all other means of pressure as articulated in the Palestinian Civil Society Call to Action 2005.
If you would like to join us, go to this link.
This is a hopeful movement that will be built at the grassroots of Palestinian and Israeli society, not in Washington, DC. The Arab Spring knows no borders.