The more sinister motive of course is to siphon off the West Bank aquifer and leave the Palestinians thirsty.
90%of the western aquifer is siphoned-off by Israel. The small northern aquifer is to be shared. The negligible eastern aquifer is to be left to the Palestinians.
This is the Odyssey of Balfour’s original sin. But we cannot just blame Balfour himself for every evil. His legacy, his policy, his colonial mentality still pervades halls of power in America and Europe.
There is only one way to atone for these sins, to alleviate the endless suffering. It is to restore rights and apply justice.
We know that the Right of Return has been enshrined in international law, supported by the international community over 130 times.
But Zionist myths and fabrications are still being propagated. They say the return is not feasible, not possible. Even if it were, that is no reason to deny justice. But these claims are entirely false.
50%of the refugees are within a hundred kilometers from their homes.of the refugees are within 40 km from their homes, a mere bus ride. Many can see their homes.
Another myth: there is no room for returning refugees. Wrong. The truth is 80% of the Israeli Jews live in 14% of Israel. The rest is refugee land inhabited by the Kibbutz and the army. It seems Israel finds room only for one million Russians, equal in number to all refugees in Gaza and Lebanon.
Another myth: villages are built over. Wrong. 90% of the villages sites are vacant. The built-over areas are around Tel Aviv, Haifa and West Jerusalem.
They tell us we must maintain Israel’s Jewish character. There is no moral or legal obligation for the Palestinians to remain in exile in order for Israel to import immigrants. But what is the meaning of the Jewish character… (Four aspects).
Thus there is no moral, legal, physical or geographical reason why the refugees cannot return home. Here is a plan in seven phases.
In the northern district, there is no problem. All village sites are vacant with very few exceptions.
The demographic picture confirms that town by town.
The southern district is even easier. The number of rural Jews in the southern district is less than a single refugee camp in Gaza. The area of this district is 40 times the size of Gaza Strip. True half of it is desert but with the billions of dollars Israel receive, it could revive the fertile part.
The towns can easily accommodate population
The central region has somewhat more difficult problems, especially around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem but they can be solved as in similar cases in Bosnia and Kosova under the UN supervision.
Thus Return is not only just, it is (Slide 26) inevitable.
This presentation before you reveals, I hope, several facts:
First, starting with Balfour, continuing on today with Sharon, the Palestinians have been subjected to the largest, longest ethnic cleansing operation in modern history. It has come about through an unholy alliance between Western colonialism and anachronistic racist Zionist ideology. This evil must be reversed. It is a shame for all of us today to condone it or do nothing to eliminate it.
Second, the universal rise in the awareness of upholding human rights the world over and the efficiency of electronic communications created a genuine people’s voice, parallel to, sometimes better than, elected parliaments. This voice is increasingly gaining importance in making political decisions. Witness the great show of people’s voice against racism in Durban, against pollution in Seattle and against the war in Iraq and for the support of Palestinians in many cities in Europe. Here in Britain, the voice of the people transcended the political turn-speak and became a force to be reckoned with.
Third, refugees have returned home in Kosova, Bosnia, East Timor, Ruwanda, Guatemala, Abkhazia, Afghanistan and Iraq. They returned everywhere on the strength of international law, enforced by the Security Council and at times by Nato soldiers. Everywhere except in Palestine. Why? Because US supports Israel unconditionally in every field – politically, economically, militarily, even to the detriment of US interests.
Fourth, the international law is solidly behind Palestinian rights. The international consensus, barring the rogue states, is solidly behind them. So are the Treaty-Based Human Rights Committees. So are practically all human rights groups in the world. But there is an anomaly. Compare the extent and strength of people’s support for the Palestinian rights with the strength and persistence of Western governments’ to support Israel and to undermine Palestinian rights. Tolerating Israel’s policies today means that no Western politician has learnt anything from Balfour’s shameful legacy.
Last but not the least, in spite of 88 years of continuous struggle, the Palestinians did not surrender or give up their rights. They never will.
It behooves every man and woman in the world with a free conscience to support them.
For peace has only one road leading to it. That is justice. Let us follow that road.