File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2000/postcolonial.0012, message 54


Subject: ACTION ALERT: DEFEND REFUGEE RIGHTS NOW 
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 18:41:16 -0500


URGENT ACTION ALERT--PLEASE RESPOND AND FORWARD

*SEND MESSAGES OF SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIAN REFUGEE RIGHTS

*PALESTINIAN RIGHT OF RETURN UNDER GRAVE NEW THREAT OF LIQUIDATION

DECEMBER 22--The rights of Palestinian refugees are under a serious new
threat as negotiations resume between Israelis and Palestinians. The
United States is standing with Israel to pressure Palestinian negotiators
to relinquish the refugees' right of return in the effort to secure an
agreement before President Clinton leaves office.

In any deal, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak will insist on the
"explicit renunciation of all Palestinian claims--including a 'right of
return' by refugees," according to The Washington Post (December
20). Barak faces a tough re-election battle and is anxious for a deal that
will help him survive in office.

Israeli cabinet minister Yael Tamir recently stated that "What is vital
for us is to obtain the most important thing, the renunciation by the
Palestinians of the right of return of refugees" (AFP, December 19).

The United States is reportedly backing these outrageous proposals as a
"compromise." According to Israel's foreign minister, President Clinton
himself has personally reaffirmed to Yasir Arafat that Israel "cannot
accept" the right of return and Clinton has instead suggested Palestinian
refugees accept compensation and resettlement in other countries (AFP,
December 21).

IT IS VITAL THAT WE RAISE OUR VOICES NOW TO MAKE CLEAR TO ALL INVOLVED
THAT THE REFUGEES' RIGHT OF RETURN IS AN INALIENABLE RIGHT AND CANNOT BE
BARGAINED AWAY IN ANY AGREEMENT.

We urge you to immediately write brief letters to the United States
Department of State, to Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasir
Arafat and to European Union President Romano Prodi stressing the
following points:

*The Palestinian right of return is an inalienable right, guaranteed
by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN resolution 194.

*Implementation of the right of return as spelled out in UN resolutions is
the core to a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

*The United States and the international community must fulfill their
moral obligation to support Palestinian refugees' rights in all forums,
and must oppose proposals which undermine, dilute or cancel the right of
return.

*No agreement, negotiations or parties which purport to trade away the
right of return as a mere bargaining chip can have any legal basis or
legitimacy and cannot bind Palestinian refugees.

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

*Madeleine Albright, United States Secretary of State
Email: secretary-AT-state.gov

*Mr. Yasir Arafat, Chairman
Palestine Liberation Organization
c/o PLO Office in Washington, DC
Email: palwash1-AT-aol.com

*Mr. Romano Prodi, President
European Union
Email: romano.prodi-AT-cec.eu.int

*Please cc your letters to: Al-Awda-Alerts-AT-mail.com

**************************************************************************
Al-Awda Alerts Committee:
Ali Abunimah, USA
Arjan El Fassed, Netherlands
Zahi Damuni, USA














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