Monday, April 6, 2009

The Forum and Exhibition on Gaza Genocide: Palestine Solution

The London declaration for peace and justice in Palestine

A Forum and Exhibition on Gaza Genocide: Palestine Solution in London was held on March 31. It's a joint effort by the Malaysia's foreign ministry and Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW). Influential speakers who has share their thoughts in the event are Sir Gerald Kaufman (British elected representative who is against the Gaza genocide), Rabbi Cohen (a prominent rabbi who is vocally against Israel’s policy) and Cynthia McKinney (ex-candidate [of the Green Party] for the United States presidency).

Others include Lauren Booth (a human rights activist) and Tony Benn (former British cabinet minister).

Former Malaysian prime minister (and the founder of the KLFCW), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad deliver the keynote address.

Here is Dr Mahathir's keynote address at the Forum:


1. As co-host I would like to welcome everyone to this forum on the Gaza Genocide and the possible solution to the Palestinian problem. This is a forum on the rights of all Palestinians regardless of political affiliations. The internal politics of the Palestinian people is for them alone to resolve. Their humanitarian rights are the concern of the whole human race.

2. I know that many forums have been held recently and more will be held in the future concerning the injustice to and the sufferings of the Palestinian people under the brutal Israeli armed attacks and occupation over the last sixty years.

3. The recent wanton slaughter of innocent men, women and children in Gaza by Israel’s military, supported principally by the United States, Britain and the European Union is another sordid example of the brutality of the strong against the weak and illustrates also the double standards, hypocrisy and the failure by the international community to condemn the crimes committed by the most powerful military power in the Middle-East against the long suffering defenceless Palestinians.

4. Since the holocaust no one can criticise Israel without being labelled “anti-semite” or “anti-Jew”. To avoid such an accusation, I would like to invite you to consider an independent evaluation of the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding before us by a Jew.

5. I refer to the statements of the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in occupied Palestinian territory, former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, who is a Jew.

6. He has unreservedly called the devastation of Gaza “a crime against humanity” and “a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.” He has even called for “the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law.”

7. While also condemning the actions of Hamas, Prof. Falk said that it cannot be cited as a justification for Israel’s “imposition of a collective punishment of a life-and-health threatening character on the people of Gaza, and should not distract the U.N. or international society from discharging their fundamental moral and legal duty to render protection to the Palestinian people. A recent study reports that 46 percent of all Gazan children suffer from acute anemia. There are reports that the sonic booms associated with Israeli over-flights have caused widespread deafness, especially among children. Gazan children need thousands of hearing aids. Malnutrition is extremely high in a number of different dimensions and affects 75 percent of Gazans. There are widespread mental disorders, especially among young people without the will to live. Over 50 percent of Gazan children under the age of 12 have been found to have no will to live.”

8. This independent observation by a Jew should be enough to arouse our conscience, at the minimum to demand that all the relevant parties responsible for this despicable acts must be made accountable and brought before a special tribunal to answer for war crimes charges.

9. If the words of Mr Falk a Jew and a United Nations rapporteur are not enough, let me quote a report by AFP, headed “Israeli soldiers describe wanton killings of civilians”.

10. Datelined Jerusalem: the report said Israeli soldiers have described wanton killings of Palestinian civilians and destruction of property during the deadly 22-day Gaza Offensive, according to a journal published yesterday.

11. One soldier described the case of an Israeli sharpshooter who killed a Palestinian mother and her two children who had left their home on a path the troops had declared off limits, according to the journal of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military academy.

12. The publication which quoted graduates of the colleges military preparation course, also cited the case of an elderly Palestinian woman killed as she was walking 100 meters from her home.

13. Soldiers also spoke of civilians being abused, acts of vandalism, of destruction of homes. – AFP.

14. There can be no more doubt of the brutality of the Israeli military in Gaza.

15. It is therefore most appropriate that this forum in London should deal with the injustice against the Palestinians which has its origins in Britain.


16. We have short memories, and over the years the original perpetrators of this cruel injustice have been forgotten.

17. It is time that we revisit the history relating to the founding of Israel in 1948.

18. But before I do so may I remind everyone of the fundamental tenets of the English Common Law which says that: “Justice Must Not Only Be Done, It Must Be Seen To Be Done.”

19. How often has this been quoted and preached especially here in Britain. But has it always been upheld?

20. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, called the waging of aggressive war and I quote, “essentially an evil thing… to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

21. For centuries, Jews were much maligned in Europe and were persecuted viciously but strangely they had always found comfort and safe havens in Muslim countries.

22. Even Shakespeare caricatured the Jews in The Merchant of Venice in which Shylock, the vengeful money-lender came to be accepted as representative of the Jewish character. There is no such stories in the Muslim world.

23. But Shakespeare’s countrymen eventually decided to accept the Jews to the point when a Jew became the Prime Minister of England. The turnaround was complete when in 1917, the then British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour wrote the following letter to Lord Rothschild:

Foreign Office
November 2nd 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild:

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:

His majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Arthur James Balfour (Emphasis added)

24. This infamous letter is now more commonly referred to as the Balfour Declaration.

25. From this Declaration, several facts are not and cannot be disputed as they have been expressly admitted by the then British Cabinet:
1) The entire land was known and recognised as Palestine;
2) There was already in existence in Palestine, non-Jewish communities. In fact they made up the majority;
3) It was the British Cabinet that approved the concept of a “national home” for the Jewish people and not the non-Jewish communities in Palestine who were not consulted;
4) Notwithstanding that Jews have been living in other countries, and have accrued political status and rights, the British Government deemed it fit and unilaterally decided that a Jewish national homeland be established in Palestine;
5) The letter was not addressed to a Head of State or a government but a representative of a mere organisation, the Zionist Federation.

26. I have stated earlier that Jews have been persecuted by the Europeans for centuries. Injustice had been inflicted upon the Jewish people.

27. But can such injustice be compensated by another injustice inflicted on another community, a community which had historically provided asylum for the persecuted Jews?

28. It does not look like Justice is being done.

29. On the contrary, Injustice has been done and worse still has been done blatantly in full view of the world. Equally blatantly the injustice is forcefully upheld, and insisted upon by the very people, the British, who had talked so much about justice and fair play.

30. In simple language, Palestine was stolen from the “non-Jewish communities” in Palestine and given to the minority Jewish community exclusively, to assuage the conscience of the Europeans. Despite British promise of the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities, these people were violently expelled from Palestine and forced to live in exile for the last 60 years with no right of return.

31. Can we accept that this is the way for the Europeans to atone for their sins against the Jewish people?

32. The concept of mandated territory was proposed by the victors in the First World War. The understanding was that when the time came for the mandate to end, the original people of the territory would regain their land. There was no provision for the holders of this mandate to do just what they like to the territory concerned.

33. But it was the British who proposed that the mandated territory of Palestine be established as a national home of the Jewish people and not to the people indigenous to the territory.

34. It was an ill-thought out decision for the British Government must know that taking other people’s land to give to other people is wrong, very wrong. They must know it would lead to violence. They must know that even when they occupied their colonial territories, they had been forced to give them up to the indigenous people.

35. Palestine was not a piece of real estate owned by Lord Balfour or the British Government, to be given away at their whims and fancy!

36. There is no legal basis whatsoever, be it in English Common Law or the existing international laws for this act.

37. It was expropriation without parallel in history! What would the British people think if Surrey in England were to be offered by France or America as a homeland for the Jews, the Kurds or the Tamils of Sri Lanka and the people of Surrey be expelled.

38. Chaim Weizman, was very clear as to the objective of the Zionist Federation. He said and I quote:

39. “By a Jewish National Home, I mean the creation of such conditions that as a country is developed, we can pour in a considerable number of immigrants and finally establish such a society in Palestine that Palestine shall be Jewish as England is English, or America, American.” [i]
(Emphasis Added)

40. In fact, it is very obvious that the establishment of Israel is nothing short of seizing native land from the native people in order to give to the aliens in all but name. This has been admitted by David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel who said, I quote

41. “There is no chance of an understanding with the Arabs unless we first reach an understanding with the English, by which we will become the preponderant force in Palestine. What can drive the Arabs to a mutual understanding with us? Facts … only after we manage to establish a great Jewish fact in this country. Only then will the precondition for discussion be met.” [ii]

42. Obviously a Jewish fact did not exist before. There was only a Jewish minority. They had to artificially create this fact.

43. Israel Zangwill, a prominent Zionist was more blunt in expressing the intentions of the Zionist Federation. He said and I quote:

44. “We must be prepared either to drive out by sword the Arab tribes in possession as our fathers land or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population, mostly Mohammedans and accustomed for centuries to despise us…” [iii]

45. “If we wish to give a country to a people without a country, it is utter foolishness to allow it to be a country of two peoples. This can only cause trouble. The Jews will suffer and so will their neighbours. One of the two: a different place must be found either for the Jews or for their neighbours.” [iv] (Emphasis Added)

46. You may want to remind yourself that as a country with one people (Jews) the trouble that it has caused is horrendous. Ever since the country with one people was created there has been endless violence, conflicts and wars including the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York and the acts of terrorism.

47. Lest I am accused of spreading the perception that all Jews hold the above views, let me say that there are many Jews who have condemned Zionism and the creation of Israel. In a letter dated September 21, 2003 to President George W. Bush, Torah True Jews Inc. wrote:

48. “… the ideology of Zionism is in utter opposition to our religion. We have been enjoined to be scrupulously loyal to the countries we reside in, and never seek to undertake to establish independent sovereignty in the Holy Land or anywhere throughout the world” [v] unquote.

49. I urge the leaders of the Muslim community to acquaint itself with such forthright leaders of the Jewish community.

50. It would be remiss of me, not to mention the courageous work of Rabbi Cohen who has been spreading a similar message for and on behalf of Neturei Karta.

51. I would like to quote Rabbi Cohen’s speech given on the occasion of the Conference – “The Palestinian People’s Right of Return to their Homeland”, in Beirut, Lebanon from the 23rd to 25th February 2005.

52. Rabbi Cohen said, “I bring you today a short simple message from Orthodox Jewry. Zionism and Judaism are total opposites, incompatible and diametrically opposed. Zionists can in no way represent Jewry. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. It is in the light of this statement that I wish to put over to you today the Orthodox Jewish approach to the question of the ‘Right of Return for the Palestinians’.

53. “Firstly, what is an orthodox Jew? An Orthodox Jew is a Jew who endeavours to live his life completely in accordance with the Jewish religion. The Jewish Religion absolutely forbids Zionism both on grounds of religious belief and on grounds of Jewish Religious values of humanitarianism as I hope to explain. This of course has a tremendous impact on the subject of this conference namely ‘The Palestinian People’s Right of Return’.

54. Rabbi Cohen continued, “Even if you see and hear on the media what appears to be Orthodox Jews supporting Zionism, rest assured, as I will explain, their approach is an aberration and a distortion of Judaism, an absolute departure from the teaching that has been handed down to us through the generations.

55. “Zionism has the ideal, and has always had the ideal, of imposing - let’s face it - a ’sectarian’ State over the heads of the Palestinians, the indigenous population. This has resulted in a terrible confrontation; a confrontation which has cost many lives both Palestinian and Jewish with no end in sight unless there is a very radical change.”

56. When I read these words of Rabbi Cohen, my faith in humanity in ensuring that Justice for the Palestinians will not only be done, but will be seen to be done, is reinforced.

57. There is indeed hope for the future.

58. There is hope for the Jews and the Palestinians to live in peace in the Holy Land, as indeed they had done for centuries before the creation of Israel.

59. There is hope that the three Abrahamic Faiths will co-exist in peace, so that the message of our one true God will bring joy and blessings not only for the present generation but to our children and their children too.

60. This surely must be the Justice that we should strive for.

61. The Jews and the Arabs are great people who have contributed much to humanity and civilisation. And both have suffered so much from colonialism and persecution through the ages.

62. Yet, today we see merciless wars being waged and wanton destruction inflicted on both sides.

63. The fog of wars has blurred our vision and our ability to grasp the fundamental truth that only in peace, will we find justice.

64. There cannot be justice when men, women and children are massacred with impunity, massacred legitimately.

65. There cannot be justice, when mothers and children are starving.

66. There cannot be justice, when children are denied their basic right to education and to realise their fullest potential.

67. There cannot be justice when there is no hope for a better future.

68. The Preamble to the UNESCO constitution states:

69. “… wars begin in the minds of human beings, it is in the minds of human beings that the defenses for peace should be built.”

70. But, instead of building defences, society has allowed and tolerated the young, our children, to be brainwashed for war, and more often than not, in the name of democracy and freedom.

71. The barbaric invasion of Iraq was grounded on the so-called irrefutable intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and he was ready to unleash wanton destruction within 45 minutes and devastate Britain as alleged by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and asserted in the “sexed-up intelligence dossier” headlined in leading British Tabloids and the BBC.

72. When the lie was exposed, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair justified further killings because tyrants needed to be overthrown for democracy and freedom to prevail!

73. Hamas was elected as the government for Palestine in place of Fatah in a fair and free election, but such an exercise in democracy cannot be tolerated because in the eyes of the United States, Britain, the European Union and Israel, an independent and sovereign government would not serve the interests of occupying powers.

74. The Palestinians in Gaza must therefore be collectively punished for committing the ultimate crime as defined by the Zionists and their allies – to elect a government of their choice and not that of Zionist Israel!

75. The punishment was massive and prolonged, starting with the blockade and deliberate starvation of the entire population of Gaza. When the war criminals felt sufficiently confident that the Palestinians would no longer be able to resist, they launched a bloody invasion to terrorise the people of Gaza into submission.

76. But the heroic Palestinians, uniting as one, put paid to these evil plans and persevered in defending themselves. There was no surrender despite the killings of their women and children.

77. The fate of the Gazan struck at the hearts of decent people everywhere and many risked their lives to go the aid of the Palestinians.

78. I am proud to have with us this morning in London, the Rt Hon Cynthia Mckinney, former member of the US Congress and lately, Presidential Candidate for the Green Party who together with the founders and members of the Free Gaza Movement braved stormy seas and Israeli gunboats to bring food and aid to the starving Gazans.

79. In one of these efforts, in which Cynthia was a participant, Israeli gunboats rammed her boat, knowing full well that she and her friends were on a humanitarian mission to save lives. She survived this ordeal and no doubt, later in the morning she will tell us her trials and tribulations in overcoming this ordeal.

80. Ladies and gentlemen, we must salute this courageous and indomitable lady fighter for justice and freedom.

81. A few weeks ago, another courageous man took up the challenge and led a convoy of over one hundred trucks to bring aid to Gaza and broke through the Rafah Checkpoint. The convoy traveled overland from UK to Gaza, a distance of over 20,000 kilometers.

82. He exemplifies the best qualities of the British.

83. In 2005, he joined us in Malaysia to launch the Kuala Lumpur Declaration to Criminalise War. He spoke with passion against war and crimes against humanity.

84. I missed his presence today, as he could not be with us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in saluting the Hon. George Galloway. He is now banned from entering Canada.

85. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Rt. Hon. Tony Benn for joining us today. He has been and continues to be a staunch advocate for peace and justice for the Palestinians.

86. But we must look beyond such courageous efforts to help bring lasting peace to the Holy Land of Palestine.


87. Where and how do we begin?

88. Revisiting the Balfour Declaration is as good a beginning as any.

89. For it was in 1917, in London that this atrocious injustice was first conceived and therefore it is only right and proper that the Balfour Declaration be replaced with another declaration of intent here in London to be called - The London Declaration for Peace and Justice in Palestine.

90. The British people must atone for this injustice and the horrors that followed by ensuring that the British Parliament unanimously adopt such a declaration of intent and ensure that the international community implements its basic principles.

91. The detractors will say that such a proposal will never see the light of day.

92. But, I am convinced that there are enough men of goodwill here and elsewhere to ensure that it will.

93. For the last 60 years, we have been talking and debating about the crime, but not identifying the principal party that committed the crime.

94. If justice must be done and seen to be done, at the very least, the British Parliament, representing the entire British people must confront this injustice, as the Germans and Germany since World War II were made to confront the injustice and crimes committed against the Jews.

95. There cannot be double standard, nor can there be justice if the victors are allowed to lay down the law.

96. For too long have the British escaped the censure that they deserve.

97. Tony Blair has been appointed the Peace Envoy for the Quartet. When a known warmonger who told lies is appointed Envoy of Peace, it is cynicism at its worse.

98. Any effort to establish peace in Palestine must, if we are sincere, begin with the abrogation of the Balfour Declaration.

99. Just as Holocaust Memorials have been erected in Germany, America and other countries to remind present and future generations of the injustice committed against the Jews, the ultimate and lasting memorial to the injustice inflicted on the Palestinians must be the total rejection of the Balfour Declaration. The British people and their Parliament must do this.

100. As William Wilberforce did with the slave trade, so must the members of the British Parliament redeem their honour by abrogating the Balfour Declaration.

101. There can be no peace without admission of guilt and contrition by the culprit. Then, and then only will there be atonement for the grievous wrong which has wreaked havoc and death in the Middle East and elsewhere over the past 60 years.

102. Any British effort to promote peace in the Holy Land will ring hollow when its leaders have not owned up to the betrayal of the Palestinians.

103. Rightly, the Palestinians should be demanding retribution. But they are not.

104. They are only seeking justice.

105. If we are asked for a precedent, I need look no further than the courageous reconciliation that was fostered in what was once White Supremacist South Africa!

106. For generations, it was unthinkable and even a taboo to consider that the Africans were capable of governing themselves and to live in peace with their white fellow citizens.

107. Every rationale and excuse was given to justify the Apartheid regime and the inevitable injustice.

108. But the far-sighted leaders of South Africa, especially the courageous Nelson Mandela and de Clerk, banished hatred and vengeance from their hearts, so that reconciliation and human decency could prevail, and today black and white live, work and play together.

109. We meet here in London where the decision was made which we now know is wrong, a decision that had plunged the Middle East and indeed the world into 60 years of war, of senseless killings and material destruction, of the tragedy of 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and of Gaza.

110. We can help redeem all this if our meeting can come up with a proposal for a solution to the Palestinian tragedy. We cannot bring back the dead but we can prevent more deaths. And we can do this if we resolve here and now to bring the two parties together to discuss and to negotiate so as to return to the status quo ante, i.e. the recreation of a state where Arabs and Jews can live together in peace and at least relative harmony.

111. I propose this because this was the solution for my own country, Malaysia, where the Malays agreed to share their country with the Chinese and Indians whose forebears migrated to our shores and decided to settle down there. They retain their ethnicity but they are all Malaysians.

112. It will be a difficult task for Jews and Arabs but God willing they will triumph in the end.

113. I thank you all for your presence.

114. Let our enlightenment and understanding be not in vain.

[i] Nur Masalha, citing “The Address to the English Zionist Federation” 1919, Jewish Chronicle. May 20 1921, in Arie Bober, ed: The Other Israel (1972, New York Garden City, Double Day)

[ii] Nur Masalha, citing Protocol of the Jewish Agency Executive Meeting on June 7, 1938 in Jerusalem, Vol 28, No 51, Central Zionist Archives. See also Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, at p24.
[iii] Nur Masalha, citing Israel Zangwill, Speeches, Articles and Letters (1937, London, The Soncino Press)
[iv] Nur Masalha, citing Yosef Grony, Zionism and the Arabs: 1882-1948 (1987, Oxford Clarendon Press)
[v] See, Washington Post, October 5, 2003 See also

Cynthia McKinney (ex-candidate [of the Green Party] for the United States presidency)

Cynthia McKinney
Forum for Palestine 
London/March 31, 2009

Not too long ago, I received an invitation to participate in the Malaysia Peace Organization’s effort to Criminalize War and establish a tribunal to try the heads of state who violated the peace and led their countries into war and occupation.

When I was in Kuala Lumpur, I had the opportunity to meet one of my heroes, Tun Dr. Mahathir, who stood up against the very same individuals who are today wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy in a feeding frenzy on the imperial carcass. As a result, Malaysia became an outpost of resistance in Asia. Dr. Mahathir’s bold action was the first time I came to know Malaysia, and that was by way of the news reports. And when I had the opportunity to travel there for the purpose of fashioning a world without war, I dubbed Kuala Lumpur the world capital of peace. Thank you, Malaysia, for showing the world, along with Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and others, that national dignity is possible.

For dignity depends on peace, and peace depends on justice, and justice depends on truth. So, our charge today is to help the world attain dignity.

At that 2007 Kuala Lumpur peace conference, I met victims of war crimes, torture, and crimes against humanity, all made possible because of U.S. policy and U.S. taxpayers. It was an emotional Conference for me, because I came face to face with the scars borne by victims of war.

The next year, I spent International Human Rights Day 2008 in Havana, Cuba with family members of victims of U.S. aggression against that fiercely independent island country. And while I was there, over and over and over again I heard the word “dignity.” And how there is dignity in resistance.

I can’t help but remember that it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who, forty years ago, said that the United States was the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet. Sadly, violence sponsored by the U.S. directly or indirectly has only intensified.

And because I stand in London right now, where tens of thousands of people are about to take to the streets in protest of war and occupation, I must not omit the roles that London and Europe have played in promoting this worldwide violence.

The world is rising up against the lies that we’ve been told. People are reclaiming their dignity. Against the greed, corruption, and theft that have been committed in our name, with our tax dollars. In the streets, you will hear the word dignity.

That’s what the U.S. civil rights movement was all about. And its spirit of resistance to injustice shaped my childhood experiences. I saw what is possible when people stand up.

On the night before his murder, Dr. King said that he was proud to be alive at the end of the 20th Century when people were rising up saying, “We want to be free.”

Today, we are rising up and saying that we want to be free from hatred, division, oppression, and war.

I admire those stood up on the national stage, and I’ve tried to do my part to take a stand, too.

Thus, in 1991, as a Member of the Georgia Legislature, when President George Herbert Walker Bush bombed Baghdad, I asked the Speaker of the House if I could speak on a point of Personal Privilege to explain my opposition to Operation Desert Storm. My colleagues stood up and walked out on me during my remarks.
And then, when I decided to run for the United States Congress, I knew that the foundation of all U.S. policy—whether domestic or foreign--had to be: respect for human rights.

So, when the marginalized and dispossessed of the world came to me, I did my best to help them.

There was no room in my view for policies promoting nuclear weapons, NATO expansion, or discrimination against any person, group, or country. I voted against every Pentagon budget that came before Congress.

I introduced legislation to stop the transfer of U.S. weapons to regimes that did not respect human rights and to eliminate the use of depleted uranium.  

I spoke out against President Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq, and President George W. Bush’s war against and occupation of Iraq.

I represented the Congressional Black Caucus at the Durban World Conference Against Racism, despite intense pressure to not attend in order to avoid a discussion of Zionism.  

I worked with a team of internationally-respected lawyers to prosecute Sharon, Barak, and Netanyahu for war crimes as well as those responsible for incitement of genocide in Gujurat, India.

I even turned down a politician’s dream: fame, fortune, and re-election if I would just get arrested in front of the Sudan Embassy and let a famous Zionist lawyer bail me out of jail.  

Underlying it all was my belief that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ought to have universal application. Afterall, it was Dr. King who reminded us that justice is indivisible: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

But when the subject was justice for Palestine, while I stood my ground, the political resolve underneath me dissolved beneath my feet.

When the pro-Israel Lobby targeted me for defeat, even lifelong family friends abandoned me and those I thought stood for principle, shrank in utter fear.

For all the talk about justice, the principles underlying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights melted away when the topic was Palestine. Or any other project of the pro-Israel Lobby. Like Durban, Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, or protecting their interests in Blood Diamonds. Unfortunately for me, all the issues I had taken on with great enthusiasm pitted me for the people, but against the interests of the powerful pro-Israel Lobby.  

And then, they decided in 2002 that I had to go.

That came after I questioned the Bush Administration’s version of what happened on September 11, 2001. The pro-Israel lobby activated its operatives inside both the Republican and Democratic Parties, and I lost my campaign for re-election to Congress.

Even though, two years later, in 2004, I ran again and regained my seat, I still wore a target on my forehead. And again, pro-Israel, pro-war Democrats and Republicans joined to oust me from Congress in 2006, when I was the only Democratic Member of Congress to lose reelection. The significance of the 2006 election was this:

The very first bill to fund the war came up for a vote and passed with exactly the number of votes required. Had I been there to cast my no vote, the bill would have failed. It became clear to me that the “War Party” inside the United States, that consists of pro-war elements inside both the Democratic and Republican parties, do a darn good job of making sure they control enough Congressional votes to keep our country at war. 

So, after leaving Congress in January of 2007, I declared my independence from every bomb dropped, every child killed, and every veteran maimed as a part of the U.S. war machine.

In 2008, the Green Party, the largest of the small parties in the U.S., nominated me to lead their ticket and I ran for President.

And now, I’m trying to launch “Dignity,” a movement for peace and justice inside the United States as a counter to the war party. 

So, the day after Israel began bombing Gaza, the co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement asked me to travel the next day to Gaza with some doctors and deliver 3 tons of medical supplies. It didn’t take me 5 minutes to say yes.

And so began my voyage aboard the pleasure boat, Dignity, that was rammed in international waters by an Israeli warship and that almost cost me my life.

Onboard the Dignity was Sami El-Hajj—the Al Jazeera reporter from Sudan who, while covering the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan, was captured and became known as prisoner 345 in Guantanamo for six years. Once again, I came face to face with a victim of U.S. war policy, against Afghanistan and also against his home country of Sudan. I apologized to him.
Dr. David Halpin is here. Stand up Dr. Halpin. He was onboard the Dignity with me and is the one who told me to prepare myself mentally to die after the Israelis attacked us. He also noticed that I had my life jacket on upside down and helped me put it on right side up after we had been rammed.

It is clear that those who favor war use every trick in the book to rob us of our human dignity. And then, feeling powerless, we allow them to do to us what they want.

But effective resistance requires that perpetrators of crime, especially torture, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against the peace, be brought to justice.

It’s a shame that I have to even say that. But currently, we have a situation in which the killer of one might go to jail, but the killer of one hundred thousand is invited to peace talks. It seems that in this upside down world, the more one kills, the more impunity one acquires. But true justice requires the absence of impunity.

And that’s what brings us here today. We want to criminalize war. Many people’s tribunals have been initiated precisely because of the lack of justice in the politicized courts of the United States, and increasingly, in the world Courts. Those with political power have been able to seize these courts and manipulate them to favor injustice.

This includes the conduct of the International Criminal Court, which to date, has not engendered hope. In his piece entitled “White Collar War Crimes, Black African Fall Guys,” investigative journalist Keith Snow writes:

“First note that the ICC can now be viewed as a tool of hegemonic U.S. foreign policy, where the weapons deployed by the U.S. and its allies include the accusations of, and indictments for, human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity. To understand this, we can ask why no white man has yet been charged with these or other offenses at the ICC, which now holds five black African warlords and seeks to incarcerate and bring to trial another black man, also an Arab, Omar Bashir. Why hasn’t George W. Bush been indicted? Or what about Donald Rumsfeld? Dick Cheney? Henry Kissinger? Ehud Olmert? Tony Blair?”

The sad fact is that the International Criminal Court has become terribly politicized, as has the entire international justice apparatus. The ICC has issued indictments, for the first time in history, against a sitting head of state. Meanwhile, according to Snow, an Israeli weapons dealer, also a reputed Mossad operative, is revealed to be shipping weapons into Sudan with Pentagon support.  

And Belgium changed its law rather than prosecute Ariel Sharon for war crimes. The double standard cries out to us.

One country in the West, however, increasingly stands out as a place where justice can be found—and that is Spain. With its landmark indictment of Pinochet and its current consideration of Israeli war crimes in Lebanon and U.S. torture in Guantanamo, we increasingly look to the Spanish Courts with hope. It was the Spanish courts that returned indictments against Rwandan soldiers for genocide even as the world coddles U.S. proxy Rwanda and its leader, Paul Kagame.

Now, why is curbing impunity important? Just this week Israel and the US admitted that Israel murdered approximately 800 refugees as Israel attacked Sudan in January and February using unmanned killer drones.

Israel unleashed death squads to commit targeted assassinations all over the world.

To save the Palestinians from Israel, is to save the rest of us from Israeli abuse, and of course, saves the Israelis from themselves. Even Israeli soldiers are telling the sad truth about Gaza. Doctors tell us that Gaza was a weapons testing laboratory. The world is rightly outraged about Israeli Operation Cast Lead. And of the Sudan operation, of which we are only just now learning, Olmert is reported to have said: "There is no place where Israel cannot operate. There is no such place."

Now, I’ve been questioned about my passion because I’m not Arab; I’m not Muslim; why do I care so much about justice in Palestine?

My answer is this: I struggle every day for the human rights and dignity of blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Muslims, Arabs, the poor and others discriminated against in America.

I learned from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who broke with his friends in the civil rights movement because they did not want to alienate themselves from President Johnson by criticizing the Vietnam War. Dr. King decided that conscience compelled him to speak out against the war even if it meant losing his friends. Even if it meant losing his life. And when asked about it, Dr. King said that he had fought segregation too long to segregate his moral concerns.

The people of the world want war criminals held accountable. Bolivia wants to hold Israeli leaders accountable for their crimes in Gaza. The International Criminal Court says it is investigating whether Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. Now is the time for us to stand firm.

That’s why I support the Malaysia Peace Organization, the Brussels Tribunal, the Hurricane Katrina Tribunal, and other efforts to hold national leadership accountable for their actions. And I specifically support Malaysia’s efforts to criminalize war.

Because of what happened to our Dignity boat while in international waters, the Free Gaza Movement wants to bring Israel to justice for its war crime against us. 

I applaud George Galloway’s success in entering Gaza by land. The Free Gaza Movement will try again by sea.

I paid the ultimate political price for standing by the idea that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ought to have universal application. You can rest assured that I will do all I can to promote dignity, a vision of peace that relies on truth and justice for all of us.

Thank you.

My Comment: Dr Mahathir should start and cover the sherif of mekah(as a protector of Islam holly site) chain of letters with Macmahon which now well know as Hussein Macmahon correspondance. This is very important event as they make a secret pack and discuss the terms of arabs(read:maily the bedouin) uprising to aid brittain again the ottoman empire. And he also must not forget to cover the spico agreement which pave the ways for the Palestine under British rule and the Hijaz and many area of Ottoman empire has been redraw it border and split among the allied, most of the border are still pretty much the same to this day except for the then British Mandate of Palestine. Without disregard this crucial chains of event, we can analyst and understand the whole Palestinian issue better and the Jewish and Wahhabi highly complicated love-hate affair which of course shape the Palestine-Israel conflict to this very days. The Jewish state are quite briliant to capitalise the whole lots more..but for those whose possess the same quality if not better can alway read their move I must say..Anyway, I don't intent to write long as it's alredy a long post plus I already write and comments (and not without some exchange wth the Wahabis and their blind supporters)  elsewhere. 

So I hope in future, Dr Mahathir and his Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War would not forget to mention this piece of history. 


airkita said...

Some are ignorant some are too polite(read:scared of the power that be/money), so where does Dr Mahathir be?

merokok said...

Mahathir and many of his aides don't do throughout reseach on the issue related to Palestine and her not so complicated history starting in the first alliah in the Ottoman era, the fall of the Ottoman,the British mandate in Palestine, the Arabs wars which redraw the Israeli border etc etc.

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ipv6 said...

bloody spammer.. darn!

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