Palestine Affairs Council on Geneva Accord
December 2, 2003
Geneva Accord is illegal, and is a recipe for failure.
We are for peace, and encourage any effort that might assist in putting an end to the gruesome bloodshed in the Middle East for the sake of both the Palestinian and the Israeli children.
As such, we will not belittle any Palestinian who signed or agreed with Geneva Accord. We also understand the complexity of the Arab Israeli conflict from a religious, ideological, historical, Philosophical, and geographic stands. Moreover, we can recognize the sincerity of those involved with the Geneva Accord deal on both sides.
We can appreciate that some Israelis leaped a very courageous wide steps in admitting, accepting, and signing some articles in the accord that used to be considered a taboo in the Israeli psyche.
Such long time overdue steps should be applauded. But, those could be a corner stone, not the end. Some Palestinians might value some of the articles as a break through to the Israelis who were taught for a long time that they have no other alternative but war. One of the figures who signed the accord said, both parties are "neither ready to give up more, nor accept less". We can understand and respect that opinion, but we respectfully disagree with.
Despite those positive points in the accord, it remains only a one positive Israeli step that fell short of resolving the Palestinian Israeli conflict.
The few sentences that are appealing in the text do not need a brain surgeon to figure out the fact that those are no more than the "poison in the sweets".
Leave it up to the Israeli government, Ariel Sharon; the Israeli prime minister has saved us time already. Sharon declared his expected position to be against the accord, and described it as a "danger to Israel". To the Israeli right wing, those hawks that only believe in forceful solutions, occupation, aggression, superiority and segregation, that is an understatement. So, before any one starts blaming the Palestinians of being stubborn, and missing this "opportunity" - again, the Israeli society and government are against this accord.
Therefore, as long as Sharon is in office, Geneva Accord, or any other peace initiative to that matter, including the US backed "Road Map", will not materialize, and will never see the day light.
There could be no fair peace solution until the US interferes, not only as an honest or a shy broker, but as the guarantor to such approach; something seems impossible as long as the current US government is under the influence of the Israeli lobby, and the merchants of the war products, let alone being in an election year.
Now, how about the Palestinian side?
Frankly, and to avoid any misunderstanding, ambiguity, or confusion, the overwhelming majority of the Palestinians are against the "Geneva Accord" for strategic reasons.
There is not even one area of the accord articles, not even close to a "dignified solution". Every article in the accord purposely left at least one vague and blurred point.
Palestinians have learned the lesson of "the devil in the details". This accord touched upon a Palestinian nerve in a very wrong way; the "refugees catastrophe".
No accord to resolve the Palestinian Israeli conflict will have any chance to survive if it was born with over 8.3 million refugees enemies, among others.
The Palestinian refugees all over the world consider the day of signing the "Geneva Accord" a "black day". We can safely say it is equivalent to the British foreign secretary - Arthur James Balfour - promise to the Jews in 1917 to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine, despite the fact that Jews were less than one tenth of the population.
The refugees' problem is the essence of the Palestinian issue. The UN resolution 194 was tailored to give the Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes, which are now within the borders of "Israel". The right of the refugees to return is both, an individual and a collective guaranteed right. Hence, no one man or group has the right to give up the refugees' right of return or to make any concession on the refugees' behalf. Simply, it is illegal under all known laws.
Peace Accords in the Middle East have to be just in order to sustain. A peaceful solution has to make both parties equally victorious and equally losers in order for both people to feel it is in the best of their interest. After all, governments sign peace treaties, but it will carry no value if not protected by
the intended people.
Israel can pick one of the following 3 routes, based on the international law:
1) The one state solution. One man one vote after the return of all the Palestinian refugees.
A "pure Jewish state" is a dangerous request. It will legitimize ethnic cleansing on one hand, and on the other hand it will be a precedent to other "pure" states of other religions in the region and in the world. Keep in mind that will be a green light for Israel to kick out another over one million Palestinians who were able to stay at their homes in 1948, now treated as 3rd class citizens in Israel.
2) Implement UN resolution 181, which called on partitioning the historic Palestine into 2 states.
3) Implement the UN resolutions 242, 338, 194. In other words, the complete withdrawal of Israel from all the Arab lands that Israel occupied on June 5, 1967. Which will consequently constitute establishing an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital, and implementing the "right of return" to all the Palestinian refugees. Sharon calls removing few scattered caravans illegally set on Palestinian land a "painful" solution; can you imagine what does he call any of the above 3 solutions?
The Palestinians, even though are the week link, they can, and they have withstood against all unfair accords.
A comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East is possible if and when the Israeli voters elect a brave Prime Minister who is ready to lead away from building segregation walls and expanding colonies.
Peace is reachable if and when the Israelis realize that their only way to security and acceptance in the region, will be through a peaceful solution that recognizes the harm that their consecutive governments had done to the Palestinians since 1948.
In conclusion, Palestinians already made major concessions in pursue of a homeland on part of what we believe is the historic Palestine. A homeland consists of three factors: people, land, and sovereignty. Unfortunately, "Geneva Accord" despite few good points, does not satisfy any of the three factors. Hence it is illegal, and is a recipe for failure.
P.S. Palestinians believe that Americans are fair people. Let us make peace in the Middle East among the most important presidential election's openly discussed issues.
Notes: Unofficial Palestinian and Israeli groups signed the "Geneva Accord" in Switzerland on Monday 12/01/2003.
We, Palestine Affairs Council, have distributed the full English text of the "Geneva Accord" 0n 11/17/2003.
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