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WLUML statement on the current situation in Palestine/Israel
4 April 2002
The international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is well placed to identify extreme Right political projects hidden under religious/ethnic agendas and their devastating effects on progressive forces at large and on women in particular.
The present escalation in Palestine/Israel is not due to a conflict between religious and ethnic communities. Clearly, it is the result of the coming to power in Israel of extreme Right forces mercilessly bent on implementing a colonial project.
Unfortunately, its brutality sparked off the hijacking of the legitimate protest and struggle of the Palestinians by extreme right fundamentalist forces within them. We know from experience that the rise of such forces will inevitably work against the interests of people, especially minorities and women in Palestine.
We here pay tribute to the progressive people in Israel who have for decades now struggled against the colonial project of their successive governments and today continue to do so under such violent and dangerous circumstances. We pay tribute to Israeli women and men who have refused to participate as soldiers in the war against the Palestinian people. We pay tribute to those who demonstrate daily against occupation of Palestinian land, be it by creating new settlements, by evictions, by destruction of properties or by military occupation. We pay tribute to those who physically joined, as human shields, the Palestinian villages attacked by the Israeli army, the Palestinian plantations of orange trees and olive trees that were pinpointed for destruction by the Israeli army.
We especially pay tribute to the Women in Black anti war movement and to all the women organizations that have consciously and stubbornly attempted and succeeded in bridging the divide between Jews and Arabs. We fully support their struggle and share their analysis of the fascist nature of the present government of Israel.
We also pay tribute to all those from Arab countries who have struggled for a just peace in the region without falling into the arms of fascist fundamentalists, without adopting hatred and racism as rallying elements of their struggle. We pay tribute to all those who fight fundamentalist fascism from within their own contexts. We pay tribute to all those who have recently met with their fellows in peace making within Israel, confronting the accusation of betrayal for doing so and bearing with the following threats they suffer.
We pay tribute to all those Palestinians women and men who, under such a deluge of fire from the Israeli government and army, maintain their human and political links with Israeli progressive and anti war forces in the hope of building a durable and just political settlement.
We pay tribute to all those who, in Europe and especially in France these days, confront the rise of anti-Semitic racism - i.e. racism against "Jews" as well as racism against "Arabs" or "Muslims"- and the terrorist acts of destruction that are now taking place against synagogues or shops owned by French Jews. We pay tribute to the Muslim religious authorities and ordinary immigrants from North Africa who have arrived at the scene of these barbarities to show their solidarity and speak up against racism.
We call on international media to - at last - give visibility to progressive forces within Israel and within Palestine who offer the only viable alternative to the war in the region.
In order to immediately stop the bloodshed, we call upon the UN Security Council to take extraordinary but necessary measures, including steps to enforce an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal from Palestinian cities and send UN peacekeeping troops to Palestine/Israel. We call on the Security Council to force the Israeli government to immediately implement past UN resolutions that it has systematically disregarded. By failing to act decisively, the UN Security Council becomes an ally in the massacre of Palestinians by the Israeli government.
We demand that the women and men from Israel and from Palestine who have actually worked hand in hand towards a just peace during the past decades of conflict be the ones to be called to the negotiation table. No other group can bring peace to the region.
The petition below will help the lawyers in Belgium who are suing Ariel Sharon for war crimes. They need 1,000,000 signatures. Please sign and forward the petition to all your contacts: http://www.petitiononline.com/warcrime
Women Living Under Muslim Laws