Call to put an end to aggression by Israel

DUBAI — As the West continues to harp on the need for democracy and reform in the Arab world, there is a need to put an immediate end to Israel’s daily transgressions against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

By Hani M. Bathish

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2004, 11:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:30 PM

With the Palestinian elections looming, it is all the more necessary to allow Palestinians to build their democratic institutions.

After the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising against Israeli aggression) in 2000, a first-ever serious campaign in the US for the rights of Palestinians was successfully launched. The campaign aims at encouraging American citizens to divest themselves of financial interests in Israel in support of the Palestinians, according to Francis Boyle, professor of International Law at Illinois University.

“The American people at the grass roots level are selling off investments in Israel. Unfortunately, such news goes unreported in much of the Western media which is mostly Zionist controlled, said Professor Francis Boyle, the man behind the campaign in support of Palestinians.

Professor Boyle told Khaleej Times that the campaign was initiated after the second Intifada in 2000 and is doing quite well, with 70 to 80 college campuses on board and the Presbyterian Church having already divested themselves of businesses in Israel, while the Episcopal Church is considering the move.

“Any progressive change in America since I was a boy, going back to the civil rights movement for black people, has come from the people and not the government. So again, the hope is the American people, selling off investments in Israel at the grass roots level. Right now the whole of the US government and the Congress are in the hands of the Israel lobby,” Prof. Boyle said.

Dr Buthaina Shaaban, Minister of Expatriates in Syria, speaking to reporters recently said that the main obstacle to peace is Sharon, adding that Syria responds to peace initiatives and that Israel always stands an obstacle to peace.

“We should concentrate on one fact, that Arabs are the victims of attacks and occupation and that Arabs call for peace while Israel stands as an obstacle to peace through its colonial expansionist policies.

“Before we talk of democratisation and change we need to be free, to liberate our land. They started talking about the Arab regimes to shift the focus from the basic truth, which is that a solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict is the necessary first step before security, stability and development can be achieved,” Dr Shaaban said.

Dr Hanan Ashrawi has also called for international efforts to put a stop to Israeli transgressions in the occupied Palestinian territories: “We call on the United Nations, the United States, to put a stop to these transgressions so that the Palestinian people may exercise their democratic rights, to run for office, to campaign and to vote. So far there is a lot of verbal support but no practical steps on the ground.”

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