Saturday, January 18, 2014

One Democratic Secular State for all its citizens in Israel and Palestine


As Israel and the US squabble and talks grind to a halt, PLO could come out fighting for its people

Five things the PLO could do now

They could now withdraw from the Oslo package and end their role as a “Palestine Authority”: administrators and security intermediary for Israel’s military rule in the West Bank.
They should fully back the BDS call and lobby for international sanctions against Israel until it meets its obligations respects international law. Doors will surely open to them in countries that voted for their UN upgrade, and in blocs like the EU and the huge South American Mercosur bloc who are already considering cutting Israel out of some trade, financial, academic and cultural deals.  
They could take practical measures to enable and support the grassroots actions against the Wall, for prisoners’ freedom, for freedom of movement, and against the lawless vandalism and land-grab of the Israeli state and its aggressive settlers: couldn’t their well-equipped police be deployed to defend the lands, buildings and crops against the marauding settlers and the army’s bulldozers, and to defend the shepherds of the Jordan valley against those who steal their water? And isn’t it time they opened up their prisons and released all political activists?
At the UN they should press for its Year of Palestine Solidarity to have real teeth, and to take serious measures to enforce the rulings in UN Resolutions 181, 194 and 242 that required Israel as a UN member to accord equal rights to all its citizens, to allow return of the excluded refugee population, and to end its military rule over the West Bank.
Their remit since Oslo has shrunk down from the entire Palestinian people, to just those under occupation. They could start to reverse that by leading a call for an emergency food airlift to the besieged Yarmuk camp in Syria where Palestinians are dying of hunger. And they could go on to ensure that the ruling bodies are truly representative by holding global elections and including delegates from far and wide.

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