MA'AN (Together) Issue 1 - World Conference Against Racism

Forwarded from the Arab NGO Caucus, WCAR Durban

Today's news of the extra-judicial killing by Israel of Abu Ali Mustafa, General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has shocked the entire Palestinian people. This criminal act only underlines the urgent need of the Palestinian people for a strong and broad international solidarity movement. Along these lines, BADIL will continue to update about Palestinian/Arab positions and events at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. We thus send you now the first issues of MA'AN (Together) which replaces the Palestinian NGO Bulletin disseminated earlier.

MA'AN (Together)

An electronic newsletter produced by the Secretariat to the Arab NGOs Caucus at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance (WACR). This newsletter will be published in three different parts:

I. Arab Solidarity with International Agenda (23 August)
II. Racism at Home, Arab Issues. (25 August)
III. Events and Activism in Durban. (27 August)

MA'AN - PART I: Arab Solidarity with International Agenda - in brief.

1. Compensation for Slavery & Colonialism
2. Respect, Equal Rights and Justice for Minorities and Migrant Workers
3. Zionism = Racism, Re-adoption of the UN Resolution 3379
4. Ending Colonialism, Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing
5. World Justice

1.COMPENSATIONS FOR SLAVERY & COLONIALISM

The Arab NGOs Caucus at WCAR denounces slavery and colonialism as crimes against humanity and calls for the responsibility of former colonialist states to support developing countries and compensate them for their colonial exploitation. Colonialist states are called upon to APOLOGIZE to, and COMPENSATE, their victims and especially the AFRICAN peoples for practices of slavery that spread during the colonialist era.

More on the topic:
Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/race/reparations.htm

African NGOs Joint Statement
http://www.igc.org/igc/gateway/arn/worldconf/aapf_2.htm

2. RESPECT, EQUAL RIGHTS, AND JUSTICE FOR MINORITIES & MIGRANT WORKERS

The Arab NGOs Caucus denounces all forms of racist propaganda and practices that constitute increasing waves of hatred of COLORED people, MIGRANT workers, and INDIGENOUS people in addition to all forms of inhumane practices to which some social categories are exposed to throughout the world. The absence of democracy and human rights, the meagerness of the principle of citizenship and legal structures and the despotism of the national state represent a source of hindering the liquidation of racism. This is not restricted to developing countries but it is also found in many developed western communities that witness the prevalence of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and hatred of the ARABS, the ASIANS, the BLACKS, the so called "untouchabales" like the ROMAS in Europe and the DALITS in South Asia.

In Particular:
"The conference expresses its concern regarding systematic practices of racial discrimination to which the Romas and gypsies are subjected to in many parts of the world. Romas and gypsies' civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are being gravely violated. We call upon the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) to recognize their rights. We also call upon international institutions and governments and civil society organizations to work on respecting such categories and putting an end to the violations, which they are subjected to.

The conference also voices its support of groups and organizations advocating the rights of Dalits and Casts in India. Cast discrimination is considered a new form of apartheid. The conference denounces practices of untouchability and discrimination to which they are subjected in all fields, including education, health, employment and ownership. We call upon the WCAR to adopt the claims of advocates of Dalits' fundamental civil, political, economic and social rights and to take necessary measure to enforce such rights, especially in regards to women and children" (Declaration of the Arab Regional Preparatory Conference for the WACR).

3. ZIONISM = RACISM, READOPTION OF UN RESOLUTION 3379

The Arab NGOs Caucus calls the international community and the UN for the "re-adoption" of the UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 which determined that ZIONISM is a form of RACISM and RACIAL DISCRIMINATION. This action is necessary for international security:

The UN revoked the resolution 3379 more than fifteen years after stipulating it without valid justifications, hence, the articles at the base of the resolution are not void. This action threatens the viability and credibility of all other resolutions adopted by the UN, which can be revoked at any point in time without justifications depending on the political environment.

Zionism is a racist movement that threatens all non-Zionist people (including Jews):

"Zionism provides 'equality' only to select people who show their total devotion to Zionism. The rest of us are just plain trash." (David Goldman, Israeli Writer)

Judaism, Religion or Race? (Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal, Jewish historian, journalist and lecturer, he served with the US Army in the Middle East. He later served with the Department of State, Since 1947, he has been at the forefront in the struggle for a balanced US policy in the Middle East. He is the author of several acclaimed books on the Middle East, including The Zionist Connection. He now lives in Washington, DC.)

http://www.themodernreligion.com/comparative/jew/race-rel.html

4.ENDING COLONIALISM, APARTHEID, ETHINC CLEANSING

The Arab NGOs Caucus demands the end of the last apartheid regime. Israel is a racist colonist power since its creation, at the core of its existence is the genocide of all Palestinians in all of Palestine, and its apartheid system serves these policies.

Colonial:
"We didn't fight for the human rights but for the rights of Jews only. We were for the freedom of movement and freedom of choice but we meant the right to vote for Jews only. We do not mind occupation and invasion, as long as we invade and occupy. The sight of a child raising hands in front of the machine gun toting thug grieves us only if it is a Jewish child, the gentile child can only be shot at freely." (Israel Shamir. from his article "Acid Test Failed")

Apartheid:
"Two judicial systems are functioning simultaneously in Israel creating a rule of apartheid under which Israeli and Palestinian detainees accused of an identical offence are tried according to different laws. The High Court of Justice should decree that the system of justice is equal to all men and put a stop to this racist policy". (Hanna Friedman, Executive Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel)

Ethnic Cleansing:
"My Friend - whoever you are - nowadays whenever I think about the Holocaust, in the course of which all my family was wiped out and exterminated in the Nazi concentration camps I can only think about it in the present context of what is happening HERE and NOW (in Palestine). Please Wake up and open your eyes to see that what we have to think about nowadays, every moment 24 hours a day in the context of the memory of the Holocaust and it's moral consequences is not our selves as victims but as VICTIMIZERS. We have to think about the catastrophe that we are responsible for HERE and NOW and how to put an end to it. I am fed up with the continuos and ongoing MANIPULATION of the Holocaust and thus the desecration of the memory of the 6 million victims. This manipulation manifests itself over and over again: the memory of the Holocaust is elicited in order to minimize the weight of the atrocities committed by us ever since 'compared' to moments like these when our cruelty is reaching new depths". (Yehudit Harel: she wrote this letter March 2001 to the ALEF List).

Why Israel? Why at the WCAR?

http://www.lawsociety.org/Apartheid/single.htm

5.WORLD JUSTICE

The Arab Caucus strongly calls upon all human rights advocates and international human rights NGOs to face the hazards of selective and profiteer employment of human rights principles in favor of the interests of the major states, and in this context it affirms:

The promotion of the struggle for substantial reforms in the international system whereby the UN system becomes more representative of the world states and more effective in expressing their interests and joint human responsibilities.

It the essentiality of working in solidarity with peoples of the world to promote development, eradicate poverty, respect cultural diversity, safeguard the right of deprived peoples to their self-determination and to face calls for hatred, racism, fanaticism, violence and gender discrimination. And within this it affirms the importance of linking the fate of peoples and humanity's common interest to development, respect for human rights and promotion of international cooperation in this respect.

The necessity that aid-receiving states, in their relation with the international community and international funding institutions, do not agree to the conditions of the donors if such conditions contradict with, or have a negative impact on, the citizens' fundamental rights. Donor institutions or states should not impose any conditions or policies that would contradict with human rights standards or make of states receiving funds or loans a favorable environment for violations of human rights.

Calling upon major industrial states to stop dealing with so called "southern" states as a dump for their nuclear and pollutant wastes.

Eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and recognizing their rights as part and parcel of the universal human rights.

The necessity that the world governments adopt effective social and cultural policies to integrate categories of persons of special needs in the social and cultural rights considering their current marginalization at all levels. And the respect of cultural and religious plurality bearing in mind that the cultural specificity to be celebrated is that which consecrates the citizens' dignity and equality.

Developing press laws and legislation to safeguard the freedom of opinion and expression and promote the contribution of the media in disseminating human rights principles and fighting racism and racial discrimination.

Promoting the role of NGOs in disseminating the human rights culture, lifting all restrictions on their activities and encouraging the formation of more specialized international and regional networks to combat racism and racial discrimination.

Editor: Lamis al-Shejni

For any further inquiry or comments This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Arab NGOs Caucus

On-Line http://arabcivilsociety.net/WCARcaucus (starting 27 August)

World Conference Against Racism, Racial discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance http://www.un.org/wcar

WCAR NGOs Forum http://www.racism.org.za