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Home Press Releases 2008 Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society: Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing - Boycott the "Israel at 60" Celebrations! (March 30, 2008)

Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society: Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing - Boycott the "Israel at 60" Celebrations! (March 30, 2008)

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Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society
Palestinian civil society organizations March 30, 2008
Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing
Boycott the "Israel at 60" Celebrations!

March 30, 2008

How can you celebrate? The establishment of the State of Israel sixty years ago was a settler-colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago, Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages. How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe?

Israel at 60 is a state that continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right to return to their homes and receive compensation, simply because they are “non-Jews.” It still illegally occupies Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions. It persists in its blatant denial of fundamental Palestinian human rights, in contravention of international humanitarian law and human rights conventions. It still subjects its own Palestinian citizens to a system of institutionalized discrimination, strongly reminiscent of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa. And Israel gets away with all this, thanks to the unprecedented immunity granted to it by the unlimited and munificent US and European economic, diplomatic, political, and academic support.

In view of this multi-faceted oppression that is the reality of Israel today, we regard any Arab or international participation, whether individual or institutional, in any activity that contributes, either directly or indirectly, to the “celebrations” of Israel’s establishment, as collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of the occupation, and the deepening of Israeli apartheid. Inviting Israel as a “guest of honor” to the Turin and Paris book fairs, for example, is not only a deliberate betrayal of basic principles of human rights, including those enshrined in the laws of the European Union itself, but is also a deliberate attempt to cover up Israel’s crimes against the Arab people, especially its successive war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, and its acts of slow genocide against a million and a half Palestinians in the besieged and collectively punished Gaza Strip. In short, celebrating “Israel at 60” is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves.

We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the “Israel at 60” celebrations wherever they are held in the world. These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights, and deepen our oppression. They also render the path to justice, freedom, equality, and sustainable peace based on international law longer than ever before.

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Institutional Endorsers:

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
Department of Refugee Affairs - PLO
Jerusalem-The Arab Cultural Capital Project, Jerusalem
Higher National Committee for the Defense of the Right to Return
The General Union of Palestinian Women
Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, PGFTU
Palestinian Farmers’ Union
Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS), Gaza
Federation of Palestinian Refugee Camp Youth Centers
Higher National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba, Palestine
Refugee Affairs Department, Mobilization and Organization, Fatah Movement
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
Ittijah-Union of the Arab Community Based Organizations, Haifa
Palestinian Lawyers’ Syndicate
Palestinian Journalists’ Association, Jerusalem
Palestinian Engineers’ Syndicate, Jerusalem
Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, UPWC, Ramallah
Stop the Wall-the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Union of Employees at Private Schools-West Bank
Association of Residents of Depopulated Villages and Cities, Ramallah
General Federation of Cultural Centers, Gaza
Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights JCSER, Jerusalem
Federation of Independent Workers Committees, Gaza
League of Palestinian Refugees in Europe
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem
Occupied Palestine Golan heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)
Al-Aswar Organization for Cultural and Social Development, Acre
University Teachers Association, Gaza
Joint Advocacy Initiative of the YMCA-YWCA (JAI), Jerusalem
General Union of Health Service Workers, Gaza
Aida Refugee Camp Social Center, Aida Refugee Camp
A’idoun Group, Syria
Palestinian Community in Scandinavia
Canadian Arab Federation
Palestinian Counseling Center, Jerusalem
Land Research Center, Palestine, Jerusalem
Muwatin the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
Palestinian Association of Brantford--Canada
Center for the Defense of Freedoms and Civil Rights (Hurriyat)
Wihdah Democratic Action Institute (Wa’ad)--Bethlehem
Federation of Agricultural Action Committees
Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
Addameer, Ramallah
Ma’an Development Center, Ramallah
Gaza Center for Culture and Arts
Voice of Palestine, Canada
Canadian Palestinian Association, Ontario, Canada
Taghrid Association for Culture, Development and Reconstruction, Gaza
Jabalya-al-Nazaleh Cultural Center, Jabalya Camp, Gaza
Federation of Agricultural Work Committees, Gaza
Turathuna Charitable Society, Gaza
The Popular Committee at al-Burayj Camp, Gaza
El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe, Al-Bireh
Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, New York
General Union of Services and Trade Workers, Gaza Governorates
The National Council of Arab Americans - Metropolitan New York Chapter, NY
The Arab Muslim American Federation
The Palestinian American Congress, New York
Dramatists’ Federation
Society for the Development of Women, al-Burayj Camp, Gaza
Yanbou’ Cultural Forum, al-Reina
Palestinian Human Rights Monitor (Rassid), Gaza
Yabous Productions, Jerusalem
The Arab Student Observatory of Victims of Occupation and Blockade of the General Union of Arab Students (GUAS(
Arab Culture Society
Al-Siwar-Arab Feminist Movement to Support Victims of Sexual Assault, Haifa
Popular Art Centre, Al-Bireh
Federation of Working Women’s Committees
Palestinian Federation of Women’s Action Committees
Al-Najda Association for the Development of Palestinian Women
Teacher Creativity Center, Ramallah
Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA)
Al-Quds Information Bank, Gaza
Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, Ramallah
The Palestinian Working Women’s Society for Development
Jimzo Charitable Society
Al-Lidd (Lydda) Charitable Society, Ramallah-Al-Bireh Governorate
Al-Lidd (Lydda) Social Association, Beitunia
Lifta Charitable Society, Palestine
Committee of Residents of Greater Masmiyya, Ramallah-Al-Bireh Governorate
Falsteen Al Gaad association – Deheisha refugee camp
Meethaq Center for Development, Alkahder
Women Development Center, Addoha, Bethlehem
Al Feeneeq Center, Duheisheh Refugee Camp
Palestinian Progressive Youth Union, Gaza
Palestinian Women’s Information and Media Center, Gaza
Said Mishal Foundation for Culture and Science, Gaza
Assala Association for Heritage and Development, Gaza
Jerusalem Center for Arabic Music, Jerusalem
International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah
Juthourr Cultural Society, Gaza
Women’s Research and Legal Counseling Center, Gaza
Media Forum for Women Affairs Advocacy, Gaza
Palestinian Cultural Center, Gaza
Refugees Popular Committee, Gaza
Workers Resource Center, Gaza
Progressive Union Work Society, Gaza
Friends of An-Nour Center Society, Gaza
Al-Aqsa Charitable Youth Welfare Society, Gaza
The One Democratic State Group, Gaza
Arab Cultural Forum, Gaza
Palestinian Democratic Union-Fida