Friday, November 14, 2008

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation : Separate Is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid from South Africa and Palestine

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Separate Is Never Equal: Stories of Apartheid from South Africa to Palestine, Fall 2008 National Tour

This national speaking tour will bring internationally recognized human rights advocates Rev. Eddie Makue and Diana Buttu to 11 U.S. cities between November 10th and 23rd, 2008.

Faith communities, the African-American community, and students will be the heart of this tour, as we work to educate Americans about the similarities between life under South Africa's apartheid regime and life for Israelis and Palestinians living under the Israeli government's ethnic separation policies.

Anti-Apartheid Tour in the News

Watch and listen to Diana Buttu and Eddie Makue on Democracy Now!

Speaking Tour Itinerary

Click here to a detailed itinerary of public events.

In efforts to better help our coalition members network and for us to better gauge the coalition’s regional diversity, we have put together a map with all 257 coalition members represented by state.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Endorses Anti-Apartheid Tour

Don't see your state represented within the US Campaign? Join us!

How to Start a Group

The Internet is an effective way of getting information to people, but it is no substitute for local activism. To raise public awareness and bring pressure to bear to change US policy, people must meet together, strategize, and plan how to put that information to good use.

Step 1: Getting Started

Step 2: Forming Your Group

Step 3: Growing Your Group

Step 4: Actions Your Group Can Do

[For more information on how to start your own organization, please contact US Campaign's National Membership & Outreach Coordinator, Omar Masri, at ]

Donate to this noble cause, by clicking here

One of the speakers, Diania Buttu, is one face of Palestine that the Zionist controlled MSM hopes you never see. She is articulate, intelligent, speaks fluent English and comes across as highly knowledgeable about the Israeli Occupation of Palestine.

Who is Diana Buttu? She's caught the eye of CAMERA, a Zionist propaganda out fit, as the article below shows.
Countering Propaganda: Focus on Diana Buttu

A Canadian of Palestinian descent, Buttu holds undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees from the University of Toronto, Ontario's Queen's University and California's Stanford University. In addition to serving in a legal capacity, Buttu is media advisor and spokesperson for the PA and is frequently interviewed and quoted in the Western media as an authority on international law and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Palestinian Refugees & Right of Return

Buttu alleges that Israel "ethnically cleansed" 75 percent of Palestinians in 1948 because of their religion. For instance, on CNN's "Q&A with Jim Clancy," she avered:

Let's remember that 75 percent of the Palestinian Christian and Muslim population were ethnically cleansed from their homelands back in 1948 and have never been allowed to return for one reason and only one reason, and that is because they are the wrong religion, they're not Jewish. If they were Jewish, they'd be allowed to return to their homes, but because they're not Jewish, Israel continues to bar them from returning to their homes... Palestinians will simply not acquiesce to being ethnically cleansed from their homes. (May 26, 2003)

FACTS: Buttu combines several fraudulent claims. The term "ethnic cleansing," which refers to the forcible expulsion of an ethnic group, is used by anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propagandists to suggest racism by the Jewish state.

But, by and large, the Palestinians refugees were not forcibly expelled, and certainly none were sent to concentration camps. They became refugees as they fled–often despite the counsel of their Jewish neighbors to stay–a war launched by their Arab brethren and leaders.

On May 14, 1948, the day the British Mandate expired, the Jewish People's Council approved a proclamation declaring the establishment of the State of Israel. The declaration included the following appeal to the non-Jews living there–something hardly suggestive of a nation planning to "ethnically cleanse" another population because of its religion:

We appeal–in the very midst of the onslaught launched against us now for months–to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.

But almost immediately, five neighboring Arab armies invaded and attacked the new country. Hundreds of thousands of local Arabs fled, many at the behest of their leaders. Only in very few cases, primarily due to military exigencies, were any of them forced out of their homes.

Estimates of the total number of Arab refugees vary from 472,000 (1948 Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine) to 726,000 (1949 U.N. Economic Survey Mission), with the most reliable estimate, 550,000, obtained by comparing pre-and post-1948 census figures. (All estimates constitute a considerably lower percentage of the total non-Jewish population than the figure of 75 percent that Buttu alleges.)

Buttu's argument that Palestinian refugees cannot return to their homes because they are "the wrong religion" is similarly false. Israel offered to repatriate 100,000 Palestinian refugees during the 1949 Lausanne negotiations even prior to official discussion of the refugee question, but the Arab states rejected the offer because it would have implicitly recognized Israel's existence. Nevertheless, Israel allowed over 50,000 refugees to return to Israel under a family reunification program, and after 1967 allowed a further 165,000 to return to the West Bank and Gaza.

Buttu argues that the Palestinians' right to return to Israel's borders is guaranteed under international law and is in violation of U.N. Resolution 194 to which she claims Israel was bound. On USA Today's "Talk Today," she claimed:

All civilians who flee during war are entitled, under international humanitarian law, to return to their homes. Israel agreed to this in UN Resolution 194 but, of course, has NEVER allowed Palestinian refugees to return to their homes because they are the wrong religion. Anywhere else in the world, this would be considered intolerable discrimination. But, not in Israel. (May 2, 2002)

FACTS: The key document on which Buttu bases her claim, U.N. Resolution 194, was rejected by all the Arab states representing the Palestinians specifically because it did not establish a "right of return," and because it implicitly recognized Israel. It is therefore disingenuous and hypocritical for those same Arab states and Palestinian representatives to reverse their position now that it suits them.

Moreover, the Arab states continually violated the resolution's central provision, which called for the creation of a Conciliation Commission and:

... establishment of contact between the parties themselves and the Commission at the earliest possible date ... to seek agreement by negotiations [and thereby reach] a final settlement of all questions between them. (paragraphs 4 and 5)

The Arab states, however, consistently refused even to meet with Israel, much less try to reach a peaceful settlement. In fact, the only clause the Arab side ever acknowledged was paragraph 11, which suggested (it could not "require," since it was a General Assembly rather than a Security Council resolution) that:

refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date ... [R]epatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees and payment of compensation [should be facilitated]. (emphasis added)

This recommendation that refugees be "permitted" to return can hardly be characterized as creating a "right"–even more so, because returnees were required to first accept living "at peace with their neighbors," something very few were willing to do. Furthermore, the recommendation did not even hint at any return rights for descendants of refugees.

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