Palestine - An Appeal For a Non-Violent Global Resistance Movement Against the Violent, Extremist Policy of the State of Israel
by Tariq Ramadan
[Note: Please go to Tariq Ramadan’s site here and add your signature to this appeal]
The crisis in Gaza today underlines once more the horror—and the impasse—that the Palestinians face. We cannot simply wish a plague on both their houses; cannot hope for a negotiated settlement in the absence of direct, forceful outside involvement and intervention. To adopt a stance of false neutrality, to pretend to be powerless onlookers means letting events take their course; it means concluding, after every massacre, after every crisis, that the “peace process” has lead nowhere, that the situation grows more desperate with every passing day. A significant number of organizations around the world, and particularly in the West support the Palestinian cause. But these organizations are seemingly unable to agree on a common vision and strategies. In their discussions, they often confuse analysis of causes with the principles of resistance, or with the most effective methods of seeking support and the solutions to be put forward. In such circumstances, it is difficult to articulate a clear and coherent platform from which we can address the issues, engage in multi-dimensional action and build a solid united front. We must begin with a minimum program of principles we can all agree upon:
- The Israel-Palestine conflict is primarily a political one (even though it has a religious dimension that implies the obligation to respect religious freedom for all—Jews, Christians and Muslims—and freedom of conscience for all, irrespective of religious or non-religious persuasion.
- There is an oppressor (State of Israel) and oppressed population (the Palestinian people).
- The Palestinian resistance is, de facto, legitimate.
- The Palestinians have the right to their own state, and to full freedom within it.
- The equal dignity of the Palestinians requires full equality of rights and treatment, no matter the proposed solution.
- Palestinians expelled from their lands have a natural right of return.
- Our commitment is based on an unconditional and equal rejection of racism of any kind, be it anti-Jewish, anti-Arab, anti-Christian or anti-Muslim.
Based on these seven principles, we can build local, regional and national collectives and platforms. They can then determine the priorities and objectives of the local/global resistance movement. The examples of “collectives” or “coordinating committees” in England and France, and in certain regions (the United States, Europe) must now be expanded to all countries on all continents, especially considering that the ostensibly local Israel-Palestine conflict has a global impact on the political and economic realities of today’s world. These local, regional, national and international coordinating committees should pursue the following objectives:
Disseminate constantly updated and relevant information on the Middle East, in the form of websites, newsletters, lectures and teach-ins, videos, books, etc.; develop and sustain a citizen’s awareness of the issues, above and beyond moments of crisis and media coverage.
Determine appropriate non-violent, legal and global resistance strategies (boycotts and coordination of concrete action: demonstrations, appeals to political leaders, etc.) already developed by some organizations but lacking sufficient coordination and collaboration except in times of acute crisis.
Support and mobilize the economic solidarity movement for development and reconstruction projects (infrastructures, schools, etc.).
The most recent events in Gaza and the attitude of governments East and West make it clear that their widespread passivity and hypocrisy will rule out any solution to the conflict. It is as if the State of Israel, with the support of the United States and several European governments, has created an atmosphere of international intellectual terror: no one dares utter a word, speak the truth, or denounce the unacceptable. At the same time, the people of the world are far less gullible; increasingly large numbers of citizens are refusing to be brainwashed by the media, to be reduced to impotent spectators. These are the people who must be mobilized. Our task today is to state clearly our principles, to determine the most effective methods of resistance, and to coordinate our actions. Recent national experiences prove that this process can be generalized. We call upon those organizations with years of experience, as well as new structures and individuals, to view the creation of this global movement as imperative, and to build it by setting up broader-based, more effective local chapters and regional and national coordinating committees. We must reject both divisions and political manipulation: we must, instead, establish a platform of shared principles to shed light on our shared commitment; we must undertake actions that express the determination of our global resistance. Because we cannot stand idly by while the Palestinians are being humiliated, while their rights are being trampled, while they are victimized by atrocities, we are launching the Non-Violent Global Resistance Movement. We call upon public personalities (intellectuals, artists, etc.) to join the Movement; we appeal to activists and ordinary citizens around the world, to organizations committed to the defense of individual rights and dignity; we summon to our cause all those who refuse to tolerate the silent complicity of governments East and West, while in Palestine civilians are being slaughtered, or relegated to the new Bantustans that the Occupied Territories have become under Israel’s policy of colonization and apartheid.
Our only hope for success is a broad-based international mobilization.
Sign this Appeal, make it be known, be informed and keep people around you informed and aware. Join the already existing organisations, collectives and plateforms or help creating new ones wherever you are. Multiply information activities and civil and political resistance around the world.
First Signatories :
Karen Amstrong (UK), Moazzam Beg (UK), Tariq Ramadan (UK), Michael Hudson (USA), Tariq Modood (UK), Michael Warschawski (JERUSALEM), Jean-Claude Meyer (France), Fareed Elshayyal (UK), Syed Faiyazuddin Ahmad (UK), Jeremy Henzell-Thomas (UK), Wilfried Mourad Hoffman (Germany), Roger Abdul Wahhab Boase (UK), Elfatih A.A/Salam, International Islamic University Malaysia (Malaysia), Ahmad Abuljobain (UK), Iftikhar H. Malik (UK), Sergio Yahni (Jerusalem), Lea Tsemel (Jerusalem), Nassar Ibrahim (Beit Sahour), Ahmad Jaradat (Hebron), Harfiyah Haleem (UK), Françoise Duthu (France), Umar Chapra (Pakistan/Saudi Arabia), Tahir Abbas (UK), Rafik Beekun (USA), Louay Safi (USA) , Sheila Musaji (USA), Bob Crane (USA), Jafar Siddiqui (USA), Muqtedar Khan ( USA), Charles Butterworth (US), Jocelyne Cesari (USA- France), Istishhad Mousa (Canada), Yahya Birt (UK), M Nasir (canada),Dr.Mario Liguori Presidente I.T.I. Istituto Tributario Italiano Centro Studi di diritto e tecnica tributaria (Italia), Tarik Ramdani (France), Remi maliz (France), Nadia BITTAME (France), Jeanne-Marie El Mejjad Marrakech (Maroc), Sadeekah Saban - CT (South Africa), Homera Ansari (India), Zineb RABI ANDALOUSSI (France), Shaheryar Akbar (Pakistan-USA), Gemma Slack (USA), Amjad Saleem (Sri Lanka), David Burrell (USA), Dr Serena Hussain, Loubna Youssef, PhD. Cairo University (Egypt, Claude Calame, le conseil scientifique d’Attac (France), André Tosel, Revue Contretemps (France)
European Muslim Network, Présence Musulmane Montréal, Présence Muslmane Toronto
Please visit Tariq Ramadan’s site at http://www.tariqramadan.com