Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ceramah di UK


Semalam Professor Peter Falk, professor of international law di Princeton University & UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories telah menyampaikan ceramah menarik bertajuk "Gaza Crisis: Implications for World Politics" di ISTAC. Yang paling menarik ialah peranan "civil movements" yang digariskan oleh beliau sebagai "global successor of the Anti-Apartheid" movement. Saya berkongsi synposis ceramah ini dulu.

The continuing ordeal facing the 1.5 million persons living in Gaza is an unfolding humanitarian crisis that reveals the deficiencies of world order and the primacy of world politics in the early 21st century. Israel has continued to maintain a blockade restricting the entry of food, medicine, fuel and vitally needed construction materials for more than two years.

The blockade flagrantly violates Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention unconditionally prohibiting the imposition of collective punishment. There is ample documentation that this blockade has produced massive suffering, including a severe health crisis in Gaza that has caused dangerous deteriorations of mental and physical health especially among children who make up over 50% of the Gazan population. It is also the case that despite numerous confirmations of war crimes associated with the Gaza War (27 Dec 2008 - 18 Jan 2009) no steps to impose accountability on the Israeli perpetrators has so far taken place.

This Gaza Crisis underscores the inability of the rule of law or humanitarian imperatives to be implemented in situations where geopolitical obstacles cannot be overcome. The United States and the European Union have supported the blockade, allegedly in protest against the victory of Hamas in the January 2006 elections and subsequent assumption of governmental control in July 2007.

The result is that neither the United Nations nor the inter-governmental framework of world politics possesses the will or the capacity to protect the rights and wellbeing of the Palestinian people, especially those living in Gaza. These Palestinians are being victimized by genocidal policies and yet there is no concerted challenge being mounted by governments including Arab neighbours nor at the United Nations. This expression of impotence does not extenguish the moral or legal responsibility of governmental and UN officialdom nor the criminal responsibility of those leaders in Israel and elsewhere who are actively supportive of this blockade that should be viewed as a Crime Against Humanity.

The best hope of overcoming the Gaza Crisis rests with the peoples of the world increasingly mobilized in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and supportive of a campaign associated with boycott, divestment and sanctions. This campaign is the global successor to the Anti-Apartheid Campaign that led to the collapse of the racist regime in South Africa. The Palestinians are winning the legitimacy war but will this be enough to overcome the Gaza Crisis and more generally to achieve a just outcome to the Palestinian ordeal that respects Palestinian rights especially the right of self-determination?

Ringkasan ceramah seterusnya:

1. This is a defining struggle

2. It is now a global battlefield - not geographically confined to a location 2nd war currently being

conducted over moral values & legal rights

3. Over past 75 years, many victories won because of the moral high ground

5. The Palestinian struggle has taken a global dimension

6. Gaza not the central actor

7. Israel has created so many facts on the ground to make the 2state solution an impossibility; only

1 unified state under secular law is consonant with human rights

8. How can one have a Jewish state with 1.2m Palestinians?

9. 1st dimension to Gaza crisis : struggle for accountability

(yet the report was damning - how could it then be claimed to be biased)

11. Gaza is a legal landmark in terms of testing the principle of accountability vs impunity of

political leaders

12. During Nurnberg, it was established that the policies imposed on the defeated war criminals

shall be the defining policy of

15. Violations were so flagrant

16. If these were not punished, what would be?

17. This makes a mockery of Obama's "respect for the rule of law"

18. Falk is disappointed but not surprised with Obama's stance

19. The Goldstone report was said to be biased but in fact it can be said that it was biased towards

the Israelis as it did not look into the crime of looking people into the combat zone

20. Rocket fire fell to almost zero - this was according to Israeli statistics

21. Israel broke the ceasefire on the 4th Nov by launching a raid in Gaza killing 6 Palestinians

22. The violation of Article 33 of the Geneva convention (ie the collective punishment of Gaza) has

been pepertrated over 2 1/2 years

23. Russia, China, UK & US have been trying to contain the Goldstone report as it will set a

precedence that will be used against them

24. The 2nd dimension to the Gaza crisis is the lack of political will to end the blockade What is

implicit in the confinement of the Gazans is the glaring example of the breakdown of law and


25. It is not challenged by the political community

26. 4th June Cairo speech calling for the temporary halt to settlements is like asking a group of

robbers to stop stealing for 6 months!

27. This is the 1st indictment. The 2nd indictment of Obama is the Administration's rejection of the

Goldstone report

28. The US is partisan to the stronger side which shows the absurdity of the myth of the "honest


29. Progress for the Palestinians will not come from the behaviour of the big political powers.

Britain did not like to impose sanctions until their citizens pressured them

33. Tibetans have won the legitimacy war but not the political war

34. The Palestinian leadership must show wisdom and creativity

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