Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 June 1991
EIGHTH UNITED NATIONS NORTH AMERICAN
REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
28-30 June 1991
1 - 11
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
MESSAGE TO THE SYMPOSIUM FROM H.E. MR. YASSER ARAFAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
MESSAGE SENT BY THE EIGHTH NORTH AMERICAN NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE TO MR. YASSER ARAFAT,
CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
1991-1992 NORTH AMERICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
1. Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 45/67 B of 6 December 1990, the Eighth United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was convened, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at the Hotel Le Grand in Montreal, Canada, from 28 to 30 June 1991. The theme of the Symposium was "Palestine - protecting lives and promoting peace - the impact of the Gulf war."
2. A total of 104 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from Canada and the United States of America, 40 of them as observers, participated in the work of the Symposium. The Symposium and its 20 workshops were attended by 4 panelists, 4 speakers and 56 workshop facilitators and resource persons.
3. The Symposium was opened by
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo
of Senegal, who, as Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, addressed the meeting on behalf of the Committee. In her statement, Mrs. Diallo stressed that for the past 44 years the United Nations had been trying to find a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict in general and the Palestine question in particular. The Committee believed that the international peace conference proposed in the General Assembly resolutions, in particular resolution 45/68 of 6 December 1990, provided the basis for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine - the core of the Middle East conflict.
4. In recent months the international community had shown its renewed determination to ensure that the principles of international law and provisions of United Nations resolutions, in particular that of the Security Council, were respected and implemented. The Committee shared the hope of the international community that the same principles would be followed in dealing with the Middle East conflict.
5. The brutal repression of the Palestinian uprising, the
, was causing great suffering among the Palestinian people. The Committee was extremely concerned about the terrible effects on the Palestinian people of the Israeli repression and the deterioration of the economic situation caused by such factors as prolonged curfews, growing settlements and land confiscations. The suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people by the occupying Power threatened the very existence of the Palestinians as a people. In numerous resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and by the Security Council, the United Nations had repeatedly affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention was applicable to all the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and had called upon Israel to respect scrupulously the provisions of the Convention. To this day, those appeals had remained ignored. The Committee had in addition tried to promote measures to assure the security and protection of the civilian Palestinians under Israeli occupation. It was most urgent that the High Contracting Parties to that Convention intensify their efforts to ensure that its provisions be respected in all circumstances.
6. The NGOs from the North American region were greatly contributing through their various activities to the mobilization of public opinion and therefore could play a role in influencing the views and policies of the countries from that region.
Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa
, Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations, read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The message is reproduced in annex III.
Ms. Jeanne Butterfield
, Chairman of the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs (NACC), said that the occupation of Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza, continued for 25 years in spite of international condemnation, a number of United Nations resolutions and a substantial body of international law. It continued in spite of world opposition to occupation and reliance on sanctions to enforce United Nations resolutions. This occupation meant
annexation and colonization, people forced off their land, deprived of their means of livelihood and forced to become a cheap labour force in the occupant's fields and factories.
9. During the Gulf war, the conditions of occupation had grown harsher with repeated and prolonged curfews in the West Bank and Gaza; the new pass system to enter East Jerusalem; the decision to declare the West Bank and Gaza a military area, which was seriously limiting possibilities to work. The West Bank and Gaza were experiencing their most serious recession since 1968. Nearly 20 per cent of the entire GNP had been lost as a direct result of curfew related damages and 50 per cent of the entire Palestinian working population was unemployed. Since March 1991, land confiscation had escalated dramatically and with it the expansion of Israeli settlements. Shootings, killings, beatings and tear-gassing continued, as did house demolitions and expulsions.
10. While there had been no lack of United Nations resolutions regarding this occupation, it was still to be determined what the world community, the United States of America and Canada would do to end this occupation.
11. NGOs had the task to press their Governments to take action on these issues. Despite the numerous activities undertaken by the North American NGOs, ranging from emergency missions to the occupied Palestinian territory to petitions, campaigns, press conferences, interviews, speaking tours of Israeli and Palestinian personalities, a lot remained to be done. NGOs had to define new campaigns, new ways to act, and new ways to be effective. Policies which said no to the International Peace Conference, no to an independent Palestinian State, no to the PLO, had to be challenged. Effective campaigns had to be developed to stop Israeli settlements, to stop funding the occupation, and help provide protection to the Palestinian people until the end of the occupation and until freedom and independence would be achieved.
Palestine: protecting lives and promoting peace -
the impact of the Gulf war
Mrs. Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi
, Dean of the School of Arts at Bir Zeit University, West Bank, said that the only way to protect lives was to end the occupation; in order to reach peace, the rights of the Palestinian people had to be recognized.
The Gulf war had been a cataclysmic event which had sent shock waves throughout the region, the total repercussions of which were not yet known. The crisis in the region was the result of long-standing disagreements. There was also the history of lack of protection of the Palestinians and lack of accountability by Israel, which was supported in its policy to change the demography of the area through the immigration of Jews from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union.
The military solution of the conflict in the Gulf war could have been prevented and failed to address the causes of the conflict, leaving no stability in the region. Therefore, it was imperative to address the basic issues, the core of which was the Palestinian question. The Security Council had to take an active part in the peace process and deal with the implementation of the resolutions on the question of Palestine with the same energy it did during the Gulf crisis.
13. NGOs could play the role of the conscience of the world; they were the voice of the civil society and could carry out a political
through self-empowerment. Regional organizations also had to be empowered. Europe, unable to act independent of the United States, gave political statements of support, but no action. Canada, Europe and Japan could play the role of "testing ground" for alternative policies which the United States could not implement because of its domestic situation.
14. In the Arab world, the rifts had not been resolved by the Gulf crisis; rather, they had been aggravated. In the region only Israel had profited economically, politically and militarily. Warmongering in Israel had increased, at the expense of the peace movement, which needed to get some support. The Israeli Government was imposing intolerable conditions on the Palestinians in the occupied territories by the expropriation and outright theft of Palestinian land, by a frenzy of building settlements and by making life so intolerable for Palestinians to make them leave.
In the case of Palestine, there were continued attacks on the PLO and its representatives and attempts at finding alternative leaderships. Those efforts would fail because the PLO was the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Mr. Michel Warschawski
, Director of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, said that, despite the costs, the
(uprising) had contributed to the protection of the Palestinian people by shattering the status quo which had existed since 1967, by putting the Palestinian issue on the international agenda, and by demonstrating the power of the Palestinian people in standing-up and demanding its rights.
16. When the Gulf crisis broke out, the Palestinians found themselves again isolated and unprotected. It was not the Palestinian position that viewed Iraq as the victim of aggression, which brought about the retreat of international and Israeli public opinion regarding the rights of the Palestinians, but the other way around; namely the lining up of the majority of Western public opinion behind the United States war effort, which reinforced the sense that this was not a matter of war over Kuwait's right to self-determination, or for the protection of the human rights of her inhabitants, but rather for the imposition of American hegemony in the Arab East.
17. During the Gulf war, new waves of land confiscations and establishment of settlements in the midst of Arab population concentrations in Israel increased, in order to try to smash the
and perhaps also, implement population transfer. The civilian population of the occupied territories was threatened by starvation, lack of access to medical care, pogroms organized by settlers; tens of thousands of people losing their sources of income, the agricultural sector being seriously damaged, even fatally in certain areas. Never before had the inhabitants of the occupied territories faced such a severe attack, been more in need of protection or been in such isolation.
18. The Israeli peace camp had disqualified itself as a peace movement during the Gulf war by agreeing with the political position of the Government; not only had it been an integral part of the war camp, but it had also been a silent partner in the trampling of human rights and the committing of war crimes - for this there was neither pardon nor atonement.
19. Despite the massive repression and their terrible isolation, the inhabitants of the occupied territories had held, not been broken and had maintained their unity and national discipline. However, the damages caused by the occupation were enormous, and part of the economic infrastructure was destroyed, and the new laws requiring permits for travel from one part of the occupied territories to another, the day-to-day life had turned into a struggle for survival.
20. In order to fill any role in the near future, the Israeli peace camp had to re-evaluate its policies and its limitations. As to the international arena, the momentum of the Gulf war must be kept up both in form and in content. That meant the continuation of the dynamics which had begun just before January in Europe and the United States, in an international campaign on the question of Palestine. It must be focused on the respect for international law, the United Nations resolutions and the international conventions, as well as a call for active intervention by the international community; an end to the policy of land-confiscation and settlement activity; the protection of the human rights of the Palestinians and an international campaign for the right to work and to study; the right of self-determination of the Palestinian nation, and a broader international recognition of the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.
Teach-in on Israeli/Palestinian conflict
Ms. Ann Barhoum
, Board member of NAJDA: Women Concerned about the Middle East, said that one of the greatest failures in the history of the United Nations had been the failure to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. While the United Nations had adopted many resolutions both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council
the fate of Palestine and the Palestinians, virtually none had been enforced. The relationship between the United Nations, Israel and the United States had played a critical role in the inability of the United Nations to solve the conflict.
22. The United Nations plan of 1947 had called for a Jewish and an Arab State. Supporters of the partition plan had argued at that time that this was the best available formula; opponents had questioned the legal competence of the United Nations and had asserted that it violated the principle of self-determination by denying it to the Palestinian people and also infringed article 6 of the mandate which stipulated that the rights and position of non-Jewish sections of the population were not to be prejudiced.
After the creation of Israel, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict intensified; Israel never complied with the partition resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948.
Resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, adopted in the aftermath of destructive wars, were critical to the understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the first one adopted after the 1967 war stated that the acquisition of territory by war was unacceptable and that Israel must withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in 1967. The 1973 war was brought about by Israel's refusal to give back these territories as well as the desire for the Palestinians to have an independent homeland. Again the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution which called for Israel to give up the territories it had taken by force and called for an international peace conference to settle once and for all the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
23. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) had been established in 1949 as a temporary body to carry out refugee-related activity in collaboration with local governments. While in the first few years of its existence, UNRWA concentrated on providing immediate relief, it had adjusted its programmes over the years, in keeping with the changing needs of the refugees. UNRWA depended almost entirely on voluntary contributions from governments and other donors and had faced recurring financial crises throughout its existence. Some of the main problems facing UNRWA were that it was intended as a temporary agency until the refugees were repatriated. Its funding was tenuous and UNRWA had to deal with several major wars; another difficulty was that UNRWA had to operate under the aegis of the Israeli military government which made every effort to extend that aid to its own policies and interests.
24. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had been founded in an attempt to regain Palestinian territory by the Palestinians themselves. The PLO later became the embodiment of Palestinian nationalism by preserving Palestinian heritage and supporting Palestinian institutions. In essence, the PLO became the Government in exile of the Palestinian people. Following the 1967 war, the question of Palestine was increasingly understood in a broader context, with a resurgence of activity by Palestinians to achieve their national rights. And in 1974, the question of Palestine was included as an item on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly. The Assembly reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It also recognized that the realization of those rights was indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine. The United Nations, she added, was also concerned about the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied territories, and had called on Israel to respect the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Mr. Mordecai Briemberg
, of the Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation of Canada, said that the essence of zionism as a philosophy was that Jews should move from where they were born and that there should be a home for them in the new place. The key question was whether their philosophy could be implemented - whether Jews would leave their birthplaces, and whether they would be welcomed. Most Jews did not accept the Zionist philosophy as their practical guide. For that reason, the in-gathering of Jews had taken on manipulative guises as well as forced expulsions. There was no welcoming of Jews by the people of Palestine. Among the lies perpetrated by Zionists, Golda Meir among them, was that Palestine was a land without people, that Palestinians were a transient people and that they were voluntary exiles. The manipulation of Jewry to facilitate zionism included the notion that the two were synonymous, and that if one hated zionism, one was anti-Semitic.
The explicit proposal for the transfer and uprooting of 1.7 million Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza was often attributed to one right-wing party in Israel, but the notion of transfer of the Palestinian population was an integral part of the philosophy of zionism. Such transfer could take vicious as well as less malignant forms. For example, attempts had been made to transfer Christian Arabs to Argentina; and in 1948, Zionists had implemented scare tactics to stampede Palestinians into leaving or had rounded them up and expelled them.
26. As to the in-gathering of Jews, when Jews were given a choice, the majority opted to go elsewhere than to Palestine before 1948 or to Israel thereafter. Those who went to Israel were often manipulated into doing so. What was recurring regarding the immigration of Soviet citizens was that the immigrants were being manipulated and the Palestinians were being expelled. If Soviet Jews had freedom of movement, the majority would choose to go to the United States. Many previously slated to go to Israel had changed their minds while in transit, including up to 90 per cent last year. So it became necessary to close German doors to Soviet citizens; to close transit points; and to discourage Soviet citizens, who after arriving in Israel had changed their minds, from leaving. Thus Soviet citizens, whether they wanted to or not, could go only to Israel.
27. As to the Palestinian dimension to this Soviet immigration, it was mentioned that 15 per cent of Soviet citizens were being settled in the occupied territories. Minister Ariel Sharon had devised a scheme to settle Soviet citizens right on the Israeli side of the "green line" in the belief that those settlements would expand and extend over the line and become contiguous with Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Another element was the settling of Soviet Jews in areas in the north of Israel heavily populated by Palestinians.
Mr. Elia Zureik
, of the Department of Sociology of Queens University, in Ontario, Canada, speaking on developments in the Middle East, said he wished to discuss three scenarios: that of the status quo, of gloom and doom and a sunshine scenario. He noted the end of the cold war, the economic and political collapse of the Soviet Union, the emergence of a sole super-Power, the United States; and the plight of the Palestinian people in the aftermath of the Gulf war, especially in Kuwait which they had helped to build.
29. The status quo scenario implied continued suppression and victimization of the Palestinians and their deprivation of land and water resources. All these measures would result in Palestinians leaving their homeland because they were unable to make a living. The status quo would not continue because neither Israel nor the Palestinians wanted that to happen. It was to be predicted that Israel would adopt a more militaristic policy leading to the gloom and doom scenario.
30. In that scenario, Israel would have to deal a devastating blow to Syria, in order to carry out its grand design. Israel would then declare that Jordan was the Palestinian State, since Palestinians were in the majority there; Egypt and the Gulf States would go along; and the United States would look the other way. The plan was being prepared to justify a pre-emptive strike against Syria. In addition, all Palestinian camps would be emptied. If that scenario came about, it would last for one or two decades, and then the cycle would begin all over again, with instability and fundamentalism and the Palestinian question again on the agenda.
31. A third scenario, a sunshine scenario, envisaged, he said, a State of Palestine coming into being alongside the State of Israel, with both sides making compromises, and with the policy of land for peace. The new State of Palestine would amount to only 25 per cent of historical Palestine - a major compromise on the part of the Palestinians. Since 1987, the Palestinians had endorsed a policy of mutual recognition, the right of all to live in peace and the right of Israel to exist. The chances of this scenario materializing were slim, not because of the Palestinians, who had come a long way in seeking a compromise; rather, it was Israel who said no to every proposal. The outcome, therefore, would be gloom and doom.
Mr. Michel Warschawski
, Director of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, speaking on the Israeli peace movement, said that in 1967 there was total unanimity in Israel behind the war and the post-war situation. Only a small group of about 20-25 Israelis had said no to occupation. That group was so isolated in Israel that it became fashionable to invite its members to address different groups. They accepted the invitation to explain the Palestinian case, namely, that there were and always had been Palestinians and that they had been expelled from their homeland. A counter-offensive had been launched against that small peace movement.
33. But in 1973, he went on to say, new dimensions appeared on the agenda and Israel's vulnerability became clear. That year witnessed a new evolution in Israeli society -- the peak of Zionist colonialism and the rise of the move towards peace. In the Peace Now programme, however, there was no role for the Palestinians. Some five years later, that movement devised a Palestinian formula as the answer to the Arab/Israeli conflict, even though it ignored the major parties.
34. Many Israelis had protested against the war in Lebanon, including soldiers and peace activists. With the end of that war, the peace movement again became marginal. The
brought about new polarizations. There had existed the perception that the same pattern would occur as in the Lebanese war, but that did not happen. Rather, the
created the occasion for thousands of Israelis to discover the existence of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Previously, it had been possible for the peace movement never to mention the Palestinian question, as though that people did not exist. Palestinians were not considered to be people with views, people who might have something interesting to say. It was not until 1982 that the practice of meeting with Palestinians took place. Since the
, more Israelis had come face to face with the Palestinian issue. That had given birth to groups dealing with human rights, religious, medical and other aspects of the Palestinian question.
35. The Israeli peace movement had severe structural limitations, he said. Activists of that movement considered it to be part of national unity. The peace movement did not want to act on its own, like a child who did not want to leave home. The view that "any Jew or Israeli, whatever his political position, is my brother, and any Palestinian, whatever his political position, is my enemy", persisted among activists. There also existed a colonial and patronizing position which led Israeli activists to believe that they knew better than the Arab or Palestinian; that whatever the Palestinian did, which did not coincide with Israeli interests, was wrong. There was a total identification with the Israeli establishment, and the peace movement was élitist, considering the masses of the people as primitive. Until all those limitations were overcome, there was no future for the Israeli peace movement.
Palestine: responding to current developments
Mr. Svend Robinson
, Member of the Canadian Parliament, said that the peace movement against the Gulf war had gained momentum in Quebec. The casualties and devastations of the Gulf war continued to mount. Regarding the reports of conditions in the region in the aftermath of the war, the sanctions continued to affect the most vulnerable. The Canadian Parliament had recently been called on to support the lifting of sanctions against Iraq.
37. The worst victims of the Gulf war were the Palestinians. Among other things, they were being expelled from Kuwait, tortured and subjected to deprivations. Yet, human rights violations in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle East were not new. Killings, beatings, demolitions of homes and expulsions were what faced the Palestinians. No one who had seen first hand the horrors of life in the occupied territories could return home unmoved, calling for respect for human rights. Recent vignettes illustrated the tragedy and the extreme violations of human rights, even in Israel. For example, bus drivers in Tel Aviv were instructed to drive immediately to the nearest police station whenever an Arab boarded a bus. The dehumanization of Palestinians and Arabs in Israel was common.
38. By implementing deportation and through its policy of illegal settlements, Israel had displayed contempt for international law. It also had shown contempt for Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), although it believed it had implemented resolution 242 (1967) because it had given back the Sinai.
39. A recent United Nations resolution called for respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention, and called on the Secretary-General to convene an International Conference of the High Contracting Parties to that Convention. One of the parties, Canada, had also supported that resolution, and it was to be hoped that it could show leadership by ensuring respect for the Convention. There must be protection for the Palestinian people, and Canada, as a High Contracting Party, should not encourage the construction of settlements in the occupied territories.
40. The present Israeli Government was unwilling to give up any territory. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir had suggested a two-track policy for peace. The fundamental track was a track to nowhere, leading to nowhere in terms of land. That was why all should support the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations. Moreover, the representative of the Palestinian people at such a conference was the PLO.
41. The only significant pressure which would make a difference for Israel was economic pressure, and not one penny should be given until Israel respected international law. Silence meant death for the Palestinians. It was important to speak out - on arms trade, nuclear weapons in Israel and the unequal distribution of wealth in the region. Palestinians had endured too many decades of injustice; the time had now come for justice.
Ms. Louise Cainkar
, of the Palestine Human Rights Information Center, said that the North American NGO community working for peace and justice for the Palestinian people, were among the strongest movements existing today. During the Gulf crisis, the North American NGOs had to expand the focus of their work beyond Palestinians and include all of the Arab people, their rights and integrity. They had to educate the anti-war movement and others about the Middle East, the Arab people, and the history of foreign intervention in the area.
43. The Israeli form of apartheid was in motion and it was imperative that it be stopped. The process of land confiscation and settlement-building had reached one of its historic heights. (Two thirds of the West Bank was taken over). At the same time, a strict pass system had been put into place controlling the freedom of movement of the majority of Palestinians. The northern and southern West Bank regions were cut off from each other and from Jerusalem, and when the planned Israeli road system would be finished, Palestinian villages and towns within a region would be cut off from each other. The dispossession of the Palestinian people was in motion.
44. While the dispossession of the Palestinians continued at a fast pace, a peace process was said to be occurring. It was to be wondered if this peace process was not really just a game to divert attention from the process of removal of the indigenous people of Palestine. As regards the new world order, it was a disaster for human beings. And while human beings of some nationalities might benefit now, in the end they, too, would suffer. However, the new world order was a victory for multinational corporations, engineering contractors and arms producers.
45. Regarding Iraq, the modern weapons the West had had introduced a new kind of killing - a delayed and prolonged one. The recent war was different from prior wars in that most of the war dead had died after the bombing was over, from lack of food and medicine. Where was the anti-war movement pushing for an end to the sanctions? Why were innocent children being allowed to die? At the same time, concern was expressed for the Kurdish people, because they were not Arabs.
46. Viewed in the context of this larger picture, what was now happening to the Palestinians was but one part of the dehumanization and cruelty brought about with the new world order. NGOs had to continue their work of exposing the real cruelty that was occurring. The Palestinians had the support of the NGOs, who had to continue their work and work harder than ever.
Ms. Lisa Taraki
, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Bir Zeit University, West Bank, said that the special protection needs of Palestinian educational and cultural institutions could only be discussed only within the context of the protection needs of the entire population of occupied Palestine. Since the military occupation in 1967, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip had witnessed a steady erosion of their basic national and human rights. The situation had acquired alarming proportions since the start of the uprising over three years ago.
48. The international community had remained largely indifferent to the gross violations of international humanitarian law committed in the occupied territory. Israel continued to refuse to acknowledge that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War applied to the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
49. Since 1967, Israel had constantly denied Palestinians the right to know their history, learn about their society and express themselves freely. After the start of the uprising, a series of measures unprecedented in their severity had been introduced, the most serious of these being the repeated closure of schools. Since the outbreak of the Gulf war, the situation with consequences for education and culture had reached alarming and disastrous proportions, owing mainly to a series of measures restricting freedom of movement and, thus, the freedom to participate freely in various institutions, namely the introduction by the military of the pass system, or permit to enter Israel. With this new pass regulation, residents from other parts of the occupied territories could only enter Jerusalem only with a permit, which is difficult to obtain and usually issued for a few hours. This was particularly damaging to the cultural domain and to other domains as well; for example, a large number of students from areas close to Jerusalem, but outside its municipal boundaries, were enrolled in Jerusalem schools, and had to obtain monthly permits allowing them to go to their schools. Palestinian workers who were obliged to seek employment in Israel were allowed to enter only in restricted numbers (only 30,000 to 40,000) and had to be bused by their employers. Access to religious places including the Al-Aqsa Mosque were restricted.
50. In the face of these violations of the right of Palestinians to education and cultural life, a number of actions could be undertaken by NGOs:
(a) Federal and state Governments could be approached with the aim of calling into question the fairness of official scientific and cultural exchange agreements with Israeli State institutions;
(b) Universities, research institutes and cultural foundations with ties to Israeli institutes could be urged to express their concern by asking their Israeli counterparts to take a position on the violations of Palestinians' rights to education and cultural expression;
(c) Academicians, writers and artists could be urged to take a stand regarding violations when they visited Israel to attend conferences or receive prizes;
(d) Teachers' and students' unions, as well as professional academic organizations could be mobilized to protest infringements of academic freedom;
(e) North American organizations had to begin to think about how they could participate in the monitoring of human rights violations, as related to education and culture.
Ms. Josepha Pick
, of the Women's Organization for Political Prisoners, said that there were many "peace movements" in Israel. Although their character and main focuses were different, all of them rejected the current situation and tried to foster peace. Many of those movements were women's peace movements, and even in the general movements, women played a central role. Some movements had as an objective to establish good relations and understanding between Jews and Arabs. Arab/Jewish groups met for lectures, took trips to places in the focus of public interest or to investigate conditions in various troubled areas. There were some political peace movements whose task was to analyse the situation and relate facts that were not told in the official media. Other groups concentrated on specific tasks, including human rights violations, political prisoners, torture, women, and health care. The most important protest movement was providing help to soldiers who refused to serve in the occupied territories, and were therefore paying a high personal price for their beliefs.
52. Peace Now was the biggest peace movement, and although for a long time their activity had been limited to demonstrations, they had lately become very active in objecting to the settlements. This was a very respected organization in Israel, and what they did or said had a large impact. One could have the impression that a lot of activity was going on in progressing towards peace. But it had to be taken into account that many people belonged to various groups at the same time. With the immigration of Soviet Jews, the Zionist peace movements were focusing more on problems among the Jews, forgetting that the fate of Israel and the Palestinians were linked together.
53. The Symposium concluded its business meeting at which time a new North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (NACC) was elected (see annex IV); Workshop reports were made at the plenary meeting (see annex II); and a resolution calling on the NGO community to initiate a boycott of Israeli goods and services was voted (see annex I).
* * * * *
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY
THE NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
WHEREAS the Israeli Government flagrantly violates the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people in contravention of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the right to self-determination, the deportation of Palestinians from their homeland, the confiscation of Palestinian land, settlement of Jewish Israelis in the occupied Palestinian territories, detention without charges or trial, demolition of homes and other similar egregious violations;
WHEREAS for twenty-four years the Israeli Government has categorically refused to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and it further unreasonably refuses to attend an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations, both to the detriment of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination;
WHEREAS under similar circumstances, boycott, as an expression of international legal and moral consensus, proved effective against South Africa;
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine calls on all its constituent members to boycott all Israeli products and services and urges other organizations and individuals to participate in such a boycott, until such time as Israel withdraws from occupied Palestinian territories in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
Regroupement pour un dialogue Israël-Palestine
United Muslims of America
Pakistan Democratic Committee
NAJDA: Women Concerned about the Middle East
National Lawyers Guild
NECEF: Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation
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: Special protection needs of Palestinian children
The workshop on Palestinian children strongly encourages all NGOs to undertake activities to raise public awareness of the increasingly desperate situation of Palestinian children, in order to affect their Governments' policies and practices, and to put pressure on the Government of Israel to abide by relevant instruments of international law, and to accept the rights of these children and their people. In addition, the workshop: (a) urges Canada, the United States, and our network of NGOs to work for the dispensing of immediate emergency aid in the form of food and medicine to Palestinian children under occupation who comprise nearly half of a population who is now 80 per cent below poverty level; (b) calls for the formation of a North American task force of NGOs who focus on children to monitor and coordinate responses to the needs and the ongoing violations of the rights of Palestinian children; (c) endorses the recommendation to establish an international ad hoc committee that will disseminate information about Palestinian children and coordinate international efforts on their behalf, stressing the establishing of a secretariat for that purpose; (d) urges Canadian and United States NGOs to press their Governments to honor their vote for United Nations Security Council resolution 681 (1991) (which calls for a conference to address Israel's violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention), while also urging United States NGOs to press for legislation that will cut aid to Israel and deny loan guarantees that would enhance settlements, as well as to call on the United States Government to live up to its own laws with regard to tying aid to the preservation of human rights; and (e) calls upon all NGOs to press both Governments to impose sanctions for Israel's failure to honour the Fourth Geneva Convention and relevant Security Council resolutions, including Security Council resolution 242 (1967).
Ms. Josepha Pick, an Israeli attorney and a founder of Women's Organization for Political Prisoners, described conditions under which Palestinians are imprisoned or detained without charges or trial, such as lack of medical care, interrogations by torture, overcrowding, paucity of food or delayed access to lawyers. She asserted that the occupied territories are akin to one big prison for the Palestinian people, as evidenced by the 52-day-plus curfew during the Gulf war and thereafter.
Ms. Rehmeh Mensour of the Union of Palestinian Women's Associations, who also works with political prisoners and organizes letter and petition campaigns for the release of women political prisoners, read out a list of demands from Palestinian prisoners who called for a stop to the isolation and release of prisoners whose sentences had expired. Approximately 47,000 Palestinians have been arrested since the
began and more than 1,000 women are currently imprisoned. Ms. Mensour advocated NGOs to send more petitions and letters to Kraecian refugee camps. Dr. Hatem Hussaini noted that this again proves what Palestinians have learned over the last 40 years - the only protection for Palestinians who are for the most part without any passports would be in their own State.
The question of immigration and sanctuary of stateless Palestinians being deported from Kuwait had to be dealt with. The possibility of an NACC delegation to otherwise ignored regions of the diaspora should be explored. It was felt that this workshop was primarily exploratory as outreach in the Arab diaspora has been limited in the past and the Gulf war has created a new crisis.
: Special protection needs of Palestinian women
Elisar Sarough briefly surveyed the history of repression faced by Palestinians in general and Palestinian women in particular. What price must Palestinian women continue to pay as they watch their society destroyed and their lives stunted? She proposed a series of actions for NGOs, including a United Nations sponsored international conference in which Palestinian issues are discussed and protection for Palestine is guaranteed. Leila Diab raised the linkage issue (Palestinian Statehood being the key to Middle East peace) as an essential component in any analysis and resolving of the issue. The workshop formulated the following statement to be presented to the United Nations:
We, as United Nations NGO women, hold the United Nations accountable for the blatant human rights violations against the Palestinians and for the lack of protection for the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and in exile, and for the failure of the United Nations to implement the over 197 United Nations resolutions on the question of Palestine.
We strongly urge the United Nations to use its status and influence to persevere and protect in every way possible the cultural heritage, social integrity and political legitimacy of the Palestinian people.
As United Nations NGO women, we call upon the NACC to demand the United Nations Security Council to provide a United Nations peace-keeping force in the occupied territories to protect the Palestinian population as soon as possible.
: Palestinians in the Middle East region
The plight of Palestinians in Iraq was described by Ms. Laurie Hasbrook. Her recent visit provided insight into the suffering resulting from the continuation of sanctions imposed on the now devastated country. Palestinian children face starvation, and lack of medicine will also impact upon them. These staples are permitted to enter Iraq only under a "humanitarian provision" of the sanctions, but what qualifies is determined by those imposing the sanctions, rather than the need.
Palestinians residing in Kuwait are being tortured while those in Lebanon have been further victimized by stepped up Israeli bombing of civilian refugee camps. Dr. Hatem Hussaini noted that this again proves what Palestinians have learned over the last 40 years - the only protection for Palestinians who are, for the most part without any passports, is their own State.
: Educational and cultural institutions
The workshop was divided into three parts. In the first part, Professor Taraki presented a general and detailed portrait of difficulties faced by Palestinian cultural and educational institutions. Although the emphasis of her talk was on the occupation's effect on schools and universities, the curtailment of artistic and cultural freedoms were mentioned with examples. Professor Taraki also pointed out five ways in which North American NGOs can actively support Palestinian institutions: (a) the Canadian and United States Governments should be encouraged to question existing scientific and cultural exchanges with Israel. She gave the example of the European Community's decision to freeze scientific projects with Israel as long as Palestinian institutions are closed; (b) North American academic institutions with links to Israeli organizations can be encouraged to use their contacts to influence Israeli policy. Israeli institutions can be mobilized from the outside; (c) North American writers, artists and academicians should be urged to use different professional forums to denounce Israeli violations, notably during visits to Israel; (d) teacher and student unions in North America must be mobilized to protest the closure of Palestinian schools; and (e) professional organizations with international memberships should use their influence to put pressure on Israel.
Professor Glen Williams spoke about his professional efforts to inform the Canadian academic community about Israeli violations of cultural and educational freedoms. He underscored the work done in the context of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Canadian Political Science Association. Petitions were circulated and presented to the Prime Minister of Canada. He also discussed in detail the work being done at Carleton to achieve an ongoing exchange with Bir Zeit University. At present, Palestinian graduate students may be eligible to study at Carleton and efforts are being made to increase the exchanges. Professor Williams mentioned three areas they are working on in particular: (a) providing English as a second language course and training for Palestinian students; (b) increasing the exchanges in the Commerce Department with a concentration on import/export; and (c) making Carleton's laboratories available to Palestinian students during the summer months.
The discussions were followed by question period and comments. Although the main focus was on the reopening of Palestinian universities, a number of temporary projects were suggested, namely, twinning, petitions, academic lobbying, scholarships, direct financial assistance, exhibits of Palestinian art, student exchanges and the sending of North American delegations to the occupied territories.
: Land, settlements and immigration
Despite the centrality of land confiscation to the question of Palestine, this was the first-ever NGO workshop in the history of United Nations NGO symposia in North America which was dedicated to the issue of Israeli land policy in all of historical Palestine. The two sessions chaired by Joseph Schechla (Settlement Watch) included presentations by Nassib Samir al-Husseini (Université du Québec à Montréal) and Virginia Tilley (Settlement Watch), focusing on the continuity of Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and water resources. Within the context of Israeli land confiscations and village demolition policy dating from 1948, and with the particular example of Israel's military conquest of Galilee in 1948, the resource persons provided an analysis of Israeli land and water confiscation strategies currently eliminating the livelihood of Palestinian 'citizens' of Israel and Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mr. Al-Husseini focused on Israel's forcible acquisition of Palestinian water sources as essential to our understanding of any future resolution of the conflict. Ms. Tilley summarized the patterns of Israel's settlement activity which coincide with its conquest of water resources, as well as its integration of exclusive Jewish settlements so as to 'erase' the 'green line' and eliminate Arab land tenure in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Workshop participants advanced a variety of concrete suggestions for action, which ranged from public education to practical development projects to aid the development of alternative water sources for Palestinian communities. The participants agreed to devise and coordinate actions that would involve direct action and public education which call for the cessation of aid to Israel in response to its land/water confiscation and settlement policies. The NGOs especially recommended that actions focus on companies and government agencies facilitating such policies and urged that aid and assistance be given to the affected Palestinian communities throughout historic Palestine. The group further agreed to form a coordinating committee to implement the workshop recommendations.
The list of workshop participants' addresses, a specialized bibliography, a full report of the two sessions and the specific programme set forth by the coordinating committee will be circulated to each workshop participant in the near future, which documents will serve as an initial basis for future networking, coordination and information sharing.
: Suspending aid and imposing sanctions; International Peace Conference
The workshop had three components: (a) it focused on the importance of countering Israel's attempts to deny the United Nations a role in peace negotiations, and offered suggestions about how public consciousness could be raised on this issue; (b) the workshop called for an international peace conference outlining a plan which would replace 'sanctions' with positive incentives - the Strategic Peace Initiative Package (SPIP). SPIP spells out the agenda at the peace table and a step-by-step plan within a phased three-year framework, culminating in a conference sponsored by the Security Council to resolve "final status" issues; and (c) the discussion then moved to new openings in the United States Congress which can be the focus of specific campaigns - most importantly, the link between Israel's impending request for $10 billion in housing loan guarantees and its settlements expansion. A "how to" approach for making a campaign successful was then described.
The workshop recommended that: (a) the Symposium should urge the Security Council to implement all resolutions pertaining to the question of Palestine and the Israeli occupation; (b) the NGOs should use the Strategic Peace Incentive Package (SPIP) as a concrete way of stimulating discussion about the need for peace negotiations within a United Nations framework; and (c) United States NGOs should mount a vigorous campaign to prevent the United States Government from granting Israel its impending request for $10 billion in loan guarantees unless the loan guarantees are provided within the context of an immediate halt to Israel's cooperation in meaningful peace negotiations.
: Critical issues for NGO work: media strategies
The workshop concluded that a national, North American media network that focuses on specific issues is needed. Also, resource booklets need to be made available to media committees in North America. The hope is that NACC can help facilitate these goals. Moreover, the participants felt the need for a national, staffed clearing-house for information as well as staff who can work directly with the media. More personal contacts with journalists and giving local editors the names of local resource people were other suggestions.
- Strategies for raising the Palestine question in the context
of grassroots initiatives for a resolution of the Gulf war
Discussion took place on the problems and opportunities, in the aftermath of the Gulf war, for dealing with the question of Palestine on a grass-roots level. Many organizations began intensified work for Palestinian self-determination during the war. A significant number continues this work which should be integrated into the ongoing NGO work on Palestine. There was also a need to reach out to the Jewish community. The National Mobilization for Survival has initiated the formation of a network of grass-roots organizations newly committed to work on Palestine. The NACC should encourage this network as a way of amplifying its own work.
: Delegations (short-term and long-term)
The National Council sponsors delegations to the occupied territories composed of decision makers, particularly government officials, including parliamentarians. Elements of a successful trip include a well-planned briefing in which material is presented in a concise manner on several key points, discussions after each day's activities and meeting different groups, such as medical workers, students and educators, union activists and members of the business communities. Finally, upon return it is essential to maintain contact with the delegates. Difficulties in arranging delegations include selecting the right participants, raising funds and facing opposition on return from the trip.
MECA has sent over 100 people to the region. The delegates come from diverse backgrounds, including Hollywood actors, educators, political and peace activists and elected officials. The most effective participants are grass-roots activists who organize lectures, slide-shows and other activities in their local communities to promote understanding of the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. MECA initially helped subsidize participants' travel expenses, but no longer does so owing to lack of funding, but more importantly, participants themselves raise funds. The fund-raising ties the delegates to their communities and builds community interest in the delegates' return reports. MECA delegates meet with the Palestinians and Israelis in the occupied territories. MECA stressed that the key to a successful trip is to maintain follow-up contact with the delegates.
Recommendations include: (a) NGOs need to work for more long-term delegations and continued networking with delegates upon their return; (b) efforts should be made to include business persons' participation in the delegations; and (c) bilateral exchanges between North American and Palestinian NGOs should be encouraged. Serious efforts need to be made to have the delegations result in actually having an effect inside the occupied territories, since Palestinians there are expressing the frustration that so many delegations have come to the territories, but it has not resulted in an abatement of abuses in the occupied territories.
: Twinning/sister relations
Facilitators Sallah Hassan (Medical Aid for Palestine) and Nora Lester (Cambridge-Ramallah/El-Bireh Sister City Campaign) introduced the concept of institutional or municipal twinning with Palestinian counterparts as a way to dispel stereotypes, educate/mobilize people, and provide a local alternative to national foreign policy. Participants brain-stormed supports and obstacles to twinning in their own communities.
Facilitators discussed some specific strategies they use regarding delegations and educators and their underlying philosophies. Participants were given thoughtful questions to consider prior to initiating a twinning relationship.
: International law and strategies to encourage
the United States and Canada to develop measures
to ensure respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention
The resource persons brought theory and practice to this workshop. William Schabas, a Montreal lawyer, explained the origins and history of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its applicability to the occupied territories. He articulated Israel's rationales for the inapplicability of the Convention, and then made a legal rebuttal of all Israeli facile arguments. Laurie Hasbrook of the Palestine Human Rights Information Center detailed explicit examples of actual Israeli violations of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, such as 1,900 Palestinian homes illegally demolished and 62 Palestinians illegally deported, as well as the "invisible" deportations of 180 Palestinian women and children. Ms. Hasbrook emphasized that although concerted efforts must be made to stop Israeli human rights violations, an end to the occupation must be the seminal goal to prevent a "status quo occupation".
Recommendations: (a) to counteract a prevailing double strategy, NGOs
the United Nations Security Council to implement resolutions that ensure respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention. Examples include a call that the United Nations send a multinational force to protect Palestinians in the occupied territories and a push for sanctions against Israel since, like South Africa, Israel's actions are destabilizing the region. Also, the External Affairs Department of the Canadian Government holds two-day hearings in January in Ottawa as preparation for the annual human rights hearings of the United Nations in Geneva. Canadian NGOs are urged to participate in the Ottawa hearings by submitting and presenting information and data on Palestinians. Also, NGOs were urged to lobby their respective Governments to have their Consular Offices deploy monitors in the region to document the human rights violations; (b) NGOs need to "
popularize" the Fourth Geneva Convention
so that it is not just lawyers and professionals dealing with the Convention. It is urged that a succinct leaflet-like summation of the essence of the Convention be drafted and distributed by the NACC for lay-person usage and to present to politicians in lobbying efforts. NGOs need to reach out to primary and secondary educators to have instruction of human rights for our youth. Model United Nations General Assembly should be urged and promoted in educational forums - the topic being the implementation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. This can be done in conjunction with the National United Nations Association and its local branches. A people's tribunal is a creative and cultural way to interpret the Convention, such as using Columbus' "discovery" of America as a general focus on violations of human rights, and extending the tribunal to contemporary violations, specifically in the occupied territories; (c)
are encouraged to pass resolutions in support of Palestinian human rights and statehood. Based on their internal policies, the legal NGOs network and galvanize other legal organizations to support the Palestinian cause. Delegations of lawyers visiting the occupied territories would witness first hand how Israel flaunts and abuses international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention. Statutory law in the United States allow foreigners to sue other foreigners in the United States courts for violations of their human rights. If an Israeli known for human rights violations is in the United States for an extended period of time, it was suggested that legal NGOs could represent a Palestinian whose rights were abused by the Israeli and sue for actual redress and for the symbolic effect; and (d) NGOs must pressure
to include more aggressively the human rights violations of Palestinians in their scope of human rights activities.
: Trade Unions
Recommendations: (a) a representative from the Palestinian Trade Union movement be invited to address the 1992 NGO Conference; (b) rigorous efforts be made to increase trade union participation in the 1992 NGO Conference with a special effort to reach out to the Quebec Trade Union movement; (c) increased efforts should be undertaken to develop material aid projects for the West Bank and Gaza by the trade unions; (d) the dispatch of a trade union/NDP delegation to the West Bank and Gaza should be organized; and (e) efforts should be increased to the rank and file of the trade union movements of Canada, Quebec and the United States regarding the question of Palestine.
: Organizing strategies for Canadian and
United States constituencies for protection
and peace: Christian communities
The workshop was representative of Christians in both Canada and the United States. Most participants were Protestants but there were a few Catholic and Orthodox representatives as well as one Muslim person.
The main strategies continue to be educational ones with emphasis on: (a) developing "alternatives" to Palestine using the Ecumenical Travel Office of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and visits to North America by Palestine; (b) stressing the importance of involving major religious leaderships in visits to Palestine; (c) disseminating the information, documents and educational resources which are available in national religious bureaucracy but so difficult for the constituencies to obtain, and developing speakers' list in both the United States and Canada; (d) engaging maximum participation of Christian communities in the 1992-1993 mission study on the Middle East developed by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States. The text will be written by Dr. Charles Kimball, former Middle East staff of the NACC and a former member of the International Coordinating Committee for Palestine; and (e) examining curriculum in theological schools urging inclusion of study in the issues related to the conflicts in the Middle East -liberation theologies from Christian, Muslim and Jewish perspectives.
Some additional strategies were discussed and the NGO community was urged: (a) to influence the religious and peace community to understand that support for Palestine is not to become anti-semitic; (b) to make overtime to evangelical groups in the United States and Canada i.e., Evangelicals for Middle East, as well as to "tall steeple" Church leaderships and parishes; (c) to related to the NGO task force for the protection of Palestinian children of various churches to participate on the task force; and (d) to call all Symposium participants and the NACC to work at all governmental levels to urge the implementation of the resolutions of this Symposium.
: Jewish communities
There is more than one Jewish community, and we need to target the different audiences. Half of the Jews in North America are not affiliated with synagogues or established Jewish organizations.
Most participants within the workshop agreed that it is important to identify ourselves as Jews when working on the question of Palestine, so as not to let Shamir, Sharon, et al. claim to be speaking in the name of all Jews. We have to recognize that many Jews feel a special connection to Israel and we should not ignore that but take the opportunity to support Israeli peace groups. Bringing Israeli Jewish peace activists is useful: it is difficult to tell an Israeli soldier from Yesh Gu'ul who has refused to serve in the occupied territories that they do not know what they are talking about.
Michel Warschawski noted that it is easier to debate the question of Palestine in Israel than in North America. In Israel no one can deny the reality of Palestinians or the difficulties of the occupation. Mr. Warschawski also said that it is important for us to take back Jewish history from the way it is presently being taught in Israel. We must aggressively offer a counter view. We cannot allow Shamir to use the deaths of Jews historically as a justification for present-day Israeli policy. We should also explain the price paid by Israelis for the policies when working within the Jewish communities. For example, the Soviet immigration to Israel has first and foremost victimized the Palestinians in creating greater Israeli needs for land and water, but the Soviet immigrants have also been victimized as Israel has nothing to offer them as long as the occupation continues.
: Muslim communities
There was discussion of the Arab community in English- and French-speaking Canada on its demographics, history and growing stature. Successes, obstacles and problems were discussed. The community has not yet developed the full institutional infrastructure to have a clear Arab-Canadian profile. Public opinion in Quebec is comparatively more sympathetic to the Palestinian issue. Problems for the community are rooted in demographics, organizational philosophy and limitations of leadership. There is a particular need for centrally coordinated grass-roots organizing, which will mobilize the community for effective work in the political system. The context and situation of Arabs in Quebec must be taken into consideration in any discussion of Arabs in Canada.
The relations of United States and Canadian Arabs was touched on and concern raised that Arab Americans work within United States organizations and Arab-Canadians work within Canadian organizations. Further discussion is needed, especially regarding cooperation between the communities.
After providing a brief account of Muslim-Christian-Jewish relations in occupied Palestine, the workshop leaders focused their attention on building committees and coalition around specific projects. Specific projects, including the project to boycott Israeli goods and services, were discussed and unanimously adopted at this workshop as follows: (a) creating a permanent structure, representing a broad cross-section of organizations and communities, to lobby the United States Congress to accept and support the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland of their own; (b) launching a nationally coordinated campaign to have the United States Government cut off
aid to Israel, as long as it does not relinquish
Arab lands occupied during and after the 1967 war, and, as long as it does not accept the two-State principle. To this end, mass transit advertisement campaigns are specially encouraged. Information on one such successfully implemented campaign by the Middle East Peace Network in the San Francisco Bay Area is included herein; (c) organizing "Mid-East Eyewitness" programmes for people of North America to learn first hand about the ultimate cruelty called occupation; (d) providing preventive and curative medical aid to the Palestinian people through Palestinian Health Committees and other local health care organizations; (e) developing concrete projects to save the Palestinian economy from deliberate ruin by the Israeli occupation regime; (f) creatively supporting the Palestinian education project. As Norwegian scholar Johan Gultang has pointed out, Israeli occupiers do not fear anything as much as an Arab Ph.D. Relatively speaking, it is much more difficult to occupy, colonize, oppress, exploit and terrorize an educated person than an uneducated one. Our aim, therefore, is to maximize both the quantity and quality of education in occupied Palestine; and (g) creating of structure to lobby the United Nations Security Council to safeguard the quality of the Palestinian peoples lives by sending peace-keeping forces to the region.
The workshop is also submitting to the plenary meeting a text of a resolution on the boycott of Israeli goods and services and recommends the creation of a committee to help coordinate the boycott of Israeli goods and services. (For the text of the resolution adopted by the plenary meeting, see annex I above.)
: Organization strategies for women
Foundations of discussion: to forge links between organizations here and Palestinian women on the ground; to exchange experiences and set up strategies that would help them in their fight for survival.
: (a) target special interest NGOs in North America to link up with similar concerns there, in the areas of violence against women, education, etc.; (b) educate NGOs in North America; (c) educate North American women's groups which are not already involved in Palestinian issues; (d) reach out to church groups and universities; (e) stress importance of delegations visiting and working in the area. Also bring Palestinian women to North America; (f) stress the extreme need for aid and development for women's projects, owing to desperate conditions on the ground; (g) pressure government institutions and the United Nations to safeguard Palestinians and to institute sanctions and cut aid to Israel; and (h) support Palestinian women not only to help them survive but to enable them to continue their struggle against occupation and oppression.
As leaders of the women's workshop, we would like to recommend that a coordinating body be set up to help as a clearing-house to act as a connecting agent between Palestinian (women's) needs and corresponding North American organizations' resources, experience and expertise.
: University communities
The workshop on universities strongly urges all NGOs to undertake activities to raise public awareness on the continued crisis in the area of education for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, it is recommended that students and faculty throughout North American universities and colleges work within their communities to encourage sister university relationships with West Bank and North American institutions. The workshop also encouraged the teaching of courses on the Palestinians as well as the exchange of delegations of faculty and students between West Bank and North American universities.
In addition, the workshop urged: (a) the establishment of a North American association of academics to deal specifically with the issue of reopening universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; (b) that NGOs approach university associations in North America to place the question of Palestinian universities on their agendas; (c) that NGOs at the student level approach their student government councils to place the issue of Palestinian universities on their political agendas; (d) that academics involved in NGO work at universities establish a computer mail network to update all subscribers on Palestinian issues and news; and (e) that NGOs form a committee to coordinate faculty and students in North America.
: Educators: elementary and secondary
The workshop was attended by seven persons, mostly teachers from Canada with one United States representative. Discussions centered around the experience of the speakers in working within their schools and their school systems, to educate both students and teachers about the Palestine question. The following proposals were made: (a) enhance the links between Palestinian and North American high schools through the exchange of Palestinian and North American students for speaking tours by the Palestinian students; (b) teachers should work within their unions to adopt resolutions to pressure their Governments to reopen Palestinian universities and safeguard students and schools; (c) approach teachers' federations with proposals for supporting the needs of Palestinian educators and education projects; and (d) teachers request that United States aid and Canadian aid increase funding to Palestinian education projects.
MESSAGE TO THE SYMPOSIUM FROM H.E. MR. YASSER ARAFAT,
CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF
THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
As you convene the Eighth North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, I have the pleasure, on behalf of our Palestinian people, of my brother members of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and of myself personally, to express warmest fraternal greetings and sincerest wishes for the success of your distinguished Symposium.
I take this opportunity to reiterate to you our deep appreciation of your unwavering assistance in support of the just struggle and glorious
of our people, the purpose of which is to end the Israeli occupation of our territory and to bring about a just peace enabling our people to recover its inalienable national rights, including the right to return and the right to self-determination and the establishment of its own independent Palestinian State.
I should like on this occasion to express my immense appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his steady and persistent determination to identify a just solution of the question of Palestine, under the auspices and with the active participation of the United Nations. This is a question which has weighed on the United Nations ever since the Organization was founded, and the current international situation requires that it be solved in a just and peaceful manner, in accordance with the principles and resolutions of the United Nations.
I also commend and praise Her Excellency Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for her skillful management of the Committee's work and determination to perform the task entrusted to her under United Nations resolutions, including, in particular, her support for the Palestinian people's struggle to recover and to exercise its inalienable national rights.
We also greatly appreciate your non-governmental organizations' positions of firm support for our just cause and for the struggle and national
of our people, the purpose of which is to end the Israeli occupation and to bring about a just peace in our noble land and in our region as a whole. We note, meanwhile, that the current international situation, in which the spirit of democracy, human rights, peace and peaceful coexistence has found new vigour and in which international legitimacy and the United Nations have been given a powerful impetus, provide fresh opportunities for an increase in activity on the part of your organizations and enhancement of your support for our people's struggle, for its national and human rights and for additional pressure on the United States Administration with a view to persuading it to show the same determination and zeal in complying with the dictates of international legitimacy and United Nations resolutions concerning the question of Palestine that it displayed during the Gulf crisis.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Your distinguished Symposium is being held at a time of extreme hardship for our Palestinian cause and our Palestinian people following the Gulf war, in which two Arab nations - Iraq and Kuwait - were destroyed and the region was overtaken by multiple disasters whose repercussions can be assessed only after some time has elapsed. The aftermath of this war has so far been disastrous for the nations and peoples of the region, as well as for international security and stability. Our Palestinian people has paid a high price for this war. On the one hand, the American Government is trying to ensure that the PLO pays the political price which it and Israel have always been trying to exact, namely, elimination of the PLO and annulment of those resolutions, for a just and peaceful solution. On the other hand, our Palestinian people is paying a high price through Kuwait's "courts of investigation", which are systematically meting out injustice to Palestinians in Kuwait simply because they are Palestinian, using every possible pretext and baseless argument. The violation of Palestinian human rights in Kuwait by the Kuwaiti "courts of investigation" has become a live issue for all upholders of liberty and honour in the world. As the persecution, torture and oppression of our people continue, you have a major responsibility to exert pressure on the Kuwaiti Government and to take effective measures to halt this crazed campaign against our people.
You are also aware of the current difficulties affecting the Palestinian cause as a result of the Israeli Government's escalation of its policies of repression, crimes and massacres inside our occupied territory, together with the intensification of its attacks and raids on our people's camps in southern Lebanon, continued denial of our people's national rights and obstruction of all international efforts to bring about a just and peaceful solution of the question of Palestine and the Middle East conflict, including its rejection of the initiative announced by President George Bush to Congress on 6 March 1991, which incorporated the principles of a peaceful solution of the conflict.
As you know, we welcomed this initiative, despite its obvious flaws. We strove to facilitate the peace process and instructed our national leadership colleagues in our occupied territory to meet Mr. James Baker, the United States Secretary of State. However, it became clear to us as a result of those meetings that Mr. Baker had brought the region a plan which differed from the principles announced by President George Bush. This "double-standard policy" is designed to achieve the normalization of Arab-Israeli relations first and to postpone a solution of the question of Palestine - the essence of the conflict in the region - until a later stage, meaning a prolongation of the Israeli occupation and the continued suffering of our people under that occupation. Rather than defending international legitimacy, which it had endorsed for the sake of its own interests during the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, the American Administration is proposing a regional conference from which the United Nations will be excluded other than as a silent observer and at which the role of international legitimacy will be confined to the formalities of the opening ceremony. The adoption of this approach by the United States in its current initiative, together with America's increasing military, economic and financial support for Israel, helps the Israeli Government to maintain a yet more obdurate position, to refuse to withdraw from the occupied territories, to defy the will of the international community, to continue violating United Nations resolutions and conventions, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, to violate Palestinian human rights and to escalate its policies of repression against our people in a frenzied attempt to crush the Palestinian
by all the means at its disposal, including disguise in local or women's costume, as shown by the Israeli documentary broadcast a few days ago. In addition, it continues to expel Palestinian nationals from their territory, to confiscate land, to construct settlements and to settle new Jewish immigrants there in our people's place, thus paving the way for implementation of the transfer scheme.
When noting that the settlements impede both its peace efforts and those of the international community, the American Administration has recognized only one half of the truth. The other half is that peace and stability cannot be achieved in the region without respect for the inalienable national rights of our Palestinian people, including its right to return and the right to self-determination and the establishment of its own independent Palestinian State.
Despite all these sources of distress and these American and Israeli policies of hostility to our people, I affirm that our people continues to adhere to the Palestinian peace initiative adopted by our Palestine National Council in 1988, as announced that same year in Geneva. We continue to believe that the best way of identifying a peaceful solution in the region is to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council and all the parties concerned, including the PLO and the Government of Israel, on an equal footing, and reiterate the necessity and importance of ensuring international protection for our people, as a matter of urgency, as provided for in Security Council resolution 681 (1990).
Despite its suffering as a result of the continued occupation, our people will persist in its glorious
with a view to ending the Israeli occupation, to establishing its own independent State and to enjoying its freedom, independence and sovereignty in the same way as do other peoples of the world and of the region.
We are convinced that your distinguished Symposium, which today considers the various aspects of international protection for our Palestinian people and the promotion of peace efforts, particularly in the light of changes in regional and international circumstances following the Gulf war, will give priority consideration to ways and means of enabling your friendly non-governmental organizations to exert pressure on the American Government, in order to persuade it to see the other half of the truth, namely, that peace, security and stability cannot be achieved without respect for our Palestinian people's right to self-determination in freedom.
We also trust that you will consider ways and means of bringing pressure to bear on the Israeli Government, with a view to obliging it to comply with the dictates and resolutions of international legitimacy calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories as a basis for the identification of a just and peaceful solution in the region which will ensure peaceful coexistence and constructive cooperation between that region's peoples, rather than oppression, domination, odious occupation and crimes against Islamic and Christian holy places.
In conclusion, I wish you continued success and good fortune.
Revolution until victory!
MESSAGE SENT BY THE EIGHTH NORTH AMERICAN NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE TO MR. YASSER ARAFAT,
CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF
THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
Dear President Arafat:
We, the North American NGOs, met from 28 to 30 June in Montreal, Canada, to forge new strategies for working effectively in North America on behalf of Palestinians, in support of their individual and national rights.
We genuinely appreciate your statement which was sent to our opening session. We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the immediate international protection for the Palestinian people, who have endured occupation for 24 years. While we continue to pressure the United States Government and all members of the United Nations Security Council to implement United Nations resolution 681 (1990), we also recognize that lasting protection will only come with the end of the occupation and the vigorous pursuit of peace within the framework of the United Nations peace conference on the Middle East.
We NGOs are redoubling our collective efforts to persuade our Governments and our publics that peace, security and stability cannot be achieved without respect for the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and freedom.
We know that we are meeting at a most challenging moment for you and for the Palestinian people as a whole. We assure you that we are eager to continue working on behalf of this just cause.
While we have not issued a formal declaration at the close our Symposium, we can assure you that we remain committed to all of the principles articulated in United Nations resolutions over the years. We are enclosing our final Symposium report for your information and consideration, and we especially call your attention to the boycott resolution which was passed during the closing meeting of our Symposium. We will be taking this resolution as a proposal to the international NGO meeting in Vienna in August, in hopes of gaining international support for such a project among the NGO communities. We feel that should the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian and Israeli NGOs active in our network support the call for such a boycott, our effectiveness would be greatly enhanced.
Especially in the light of the United States attempts to discredit and circumvent the PLO, we strongly reaffirm our support for the PLO as the continuing sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people the world over, and we look eagerly to the leadership that you and the PLO will provide through this troubling and difficult period.
With warm regards, and in solidarity,
Jeanne A. Butterfield, NACC Chairperson
On behalf of the entire North American NGO Symposium
1991-1992 NORTH AMERICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE
FOR NGOs ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Washington, D.C. Office
Chairman : Jeanne Butterfield (PSC)
Virginia Tilley Vice Chair: James Graff (NECEF)
Administrative Coordinator Treasurer : Leila Diab (UPAW)
1747 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Tel: (202) 319-0757
Fax: (202) 319-0746
Larry Ekin to be named
4201 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(w) (202) 244-2990
(Fax) (202) 244-3196
Canadian Council of Churches
Stuart Brown Robert Essaly
c/o Tad Mitsui, C.C.C. 197 Winnett Ave.
40 St. Clair Ave. East Toronto, Ontario M6C 3L8
Suite 201 Canada
Toronto, Ontario (h) (416) 652-2634
Canada M4T 1M9
(w) (416) 921-4152
(h) (416) 422-1802
Centre D'Etudes Arabes pour
le Développement (CEAD)
Rachad Antonius Jawad Skalli
1265, rue Berri, bureau 210 same
CANADA H2L 4X4
(Fax) (514) 499-0153
International Jewish Peace Union
Cheryl Guttman Elana Levy
307 E. 8th St.. (#3-A)
New York, NY 10009
Middle East Justice Network
Nancy Murray Hadi Amr
P.O. Box 558 same
Cambridge, MA 02238
(w) (617) 666-8061
(Fax) (617) 776-8926
(w) (617) 482-3170 (for weekday conference calls)
National Lawyers Guild
Colleen F. McGuire Leora Mosston
401 Broadway, Suite 2700 134 Romaine Ave.
New York, NY 10013 Jersey City, NJ 07306
(w) (212) 431-3112 (h) (201) 433-1723
(Fax) (212) 226-7125
Near East Cultural and
Educational Foundation of Canada
James A. Graff Charlene Gannage
106 Duplex Ave. 329 Shaw Street
Toronto, Ontario Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M5P 2A7 Canada, M6J 2X1
(w) (416) 585-4554 (w) (416) 736-5499
(h) (416) 483-6467 (h) (416) 588-2545
(Fax) (416) 483-5732
Palestine Aid Society
Anan Ameri Noel Saleh
2025 Eye Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(w) (202) 728-9425
(Fax) (202) 728-0625
Palestine Solidarity Committee
Jeanne Butterfield Yasmin Adib
P.O. Box 21547 11 John Street, Suite 806
Washington, D.C. 20009 New York, NY 10038
(h) (202) 234-1298 (w) (212) 227-1435
(NACC) (202) 319-0757
(Fax-home) (202) 234-1345
(Fax-NACC) (202) 319-0746
Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.
Rev. Victor Makari Robert Smylie
100 Witherspoon St., #3217 777 United Nations Plaza
Louisville, KY 40202-1396 New York, NY 10017
(w) (502) 569-5314 (w) (212) 697-4568
(Fax) (212) 986-3002
Union of Palestinian American Women
Leila Diab to be named
P.O. Box 2164
Bridgeview, IL 80455
Union of Palestinian Women's
Associations in North America
Rabab Hadi to be named
609 W. 188th St. Apt. 3-H
New York, NY 10040
(h) (212) 795-2388
(w) (212) 385-2222
* * * * *
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE
AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL TRUST
AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL AID
ARAB AMERICAN INSTITUTE
ARAB PALESTINE ASSOCIATION
CANADA PALESTINE ASSOCIATION
CANADA PALESTINE ASSOCIATION
CANADIAN-ARAB ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE
CANADIAN ARAB FEDERATION
CANADIAN ARAB SOCIETY OF LONDON
CANADIAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
CANADIAN PALESTINE ASSOCIATION (HALIFAX)
CANADIAN PALESTINE ASSOCIATION (VANCOUVER)
CANADIAN PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
CANADIANS CONCERNED FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
CENTRE D'ETUDES ARABES POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT (CEAD)
CHURCH OF HUMANISM
COMMITTEE FOR A DEMOCRATIC PALESTINE
CONFEDERATION DES SYNDICATS NATIONAUX (C.S.N.)
DATABASE PROJECT ON PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS
GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH AND SOCIETY
GENERAL BOARD OF GLOBAL MINISTRIES - UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINE STUDENTS (GUPS) (CANADA)
GENERAL UNION OF PALESTINE STUDENTS (GUPS) (NEW YORK)
INTERNATIONAL JEWISH PEACE UNION
INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR FRATERNAL UNITY AMONG RACES AND PEOPLES
JEWS FOR A JUST PEACE
LE REGROUPEMENT POUR UN DIALOGUE ISRAEL-PALESTINE
LOUISVILLE COMMITTEE FOR ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN STATES
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINE
MENNONITE CENTRAL COMMITTEE (CANADA)
MIDDLE EAST CHILDREN'S ALLIANCE
MIDDLE EAST FELLOWSHIP OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
MIDDLE EAST FORUM
MIDDLE EAST JUSTICE NETWORK
MOBILIZATION FOR SURVIVAL - BOSTON
MOBILIZATION FOR SURVIVAL - NEW YORK
NAJDA: WOMEN CONCERNED ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ARAB-AMERICANS
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON CANADA-ARAB RELATIONS
NATIONAL LAWYERS' GUILD
NEAR EAST CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION OF CANADA (NECEF)
NEW JEWISH AGENDA
ORGANISATION CANADIENNE POUR LA SOLIDARITE ET LE DEVELOPPEMENT (OCSD)
PAKISTAN DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE
PALESTINE AID SOCIETY (CANADA)
PALESTINE AID SOCIETY (USA)
PALESTINE ARAB ASSOCIATION
PALESTINE DEMOCRATIC YOUTH ORGANIZATION
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
PALESTINIAN ARAB WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION OF OTTAWA
PAX CHRISTI - USA
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)
RESOURCES FOR CHANGE, INC.
SEARCH FOR JUSTICE AND EQUALITY IN PALESTINE/ISRAEL
SOCIETY OF PALESTINIAN ENGINEERS AND SCIENTISTS
IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA
UNION OF PALESTINIAN AMERICAN WOMEN
UNION OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN'S ASSOCIATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA
UNITED HOLY LAND FUND (CANADA)
UNITED HOLY LAND FUND (USA)
UNITED MUSLIMS OF AMERICA
UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION IN CANADA
U.S. OMEN (UNITED STATES ORGANIZATION FOR MEDICAL AND EDUCATIONAL NEEDS)
AFRO-ASIAN PEOPLES' SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION
AMERICAN FRIENDS OF PALESTINE, INC.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CANADIAN SECTION (ENGLISH SPEAKING)
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA
"ANGLICAN MIDDLE EAST COMMITTEE"
ARAB CULTURAL CENTER
ARAB/JEWISH WOMEN'S PEACE COALITION
ARAB NETWORK OF STUDENTS (ANSAR)
CAMBRIDGE-RAMALLAH/EL BIREH SISTER CITY CAMPAIGN
CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR REFUGEES
CANADIAN PALESTINIAN FOUNDATION
CENTRE FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
CENTRE FOR DEVELOPING AREA STUDIES
COMITE POUR LA PAIX AU PROCHE-ORIENT
CROSS CULTURAL LEARNING CENTRE
COUNCIL OF MASAJID (MOSQUES) OF USA, INC.
EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF THE USA
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENT
ITHACA COALITION AGAINST WAR IN THE GULF
JEWISH COMMITTEE ON THE MIDDLE EAST
JEWISH WOMEN AGAINST THE OCCUPATION OF THE WEST BANK AND GAZA
KAWARTHA WORLD ISSUES CENTRE
NATIONAL AUTOMOBILE, AEROSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT
WORKERS' UNION OF CANADA (CAW-CANADA)
OTTAWA GULF CRISIS GROUP
PALESTINE COMMITTEE IN NORTH AMERICA
PALESTINE DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION
PALESTINIAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE ON CHILDHOOD
PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION FOR EURO-ARAB COOPERATION
SALAM - GROUP FOR PEACE IN PALESTINE
SERVICE D'AIDE PALESTINIENNE
TORONTO BAPTIST PEACE GROUP
U.S. PALESTINE MEDICAL REHABILITATION COMMITTEE
VILLAGE INTERNATIONAL SUDBURY
WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE
YMCA EAST JERUSALEM
Regional Coordinating Committees for
on the Question of Palestine
AFRICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
NORTH AMERICAN COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NON-GOVERNMENTAL
ORGANIZATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
ASHRAWI, Ms. Hanan Mikhail, Dean of the School of Arts, Bir Zeit University.
BARHOUM, Ms. Ann, past President and current Board Member of NAJDA: Women Concerned About the Middle East. Currently Assistant Director of the Peninsula Peace Center.
BRIEMBERG, Mr. Mordecai, Board Member of the Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation of Canada (NECEF). At present, teacher of English as a second language at Douglas College in British Columbia and is a lecturer in Sociology.
PICK, Ms. Josefa, lawyer and one of the founding members of the Women's Organization for Political Prisoners.
ROBINSON, Mr. Svend, Member of the Canadian Parliament.
TARAKI, Ms. Lisa, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bir Zeit University on the West Bank and Director of the Board of Trustees of Al Haq/Law in the Service of Man.
WARSCHAWSKI, Mr. Michel, Director of the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem.
ZUREIK, Mr. Elia, Professor of Sociology at Queens University, Ontario, Canada.
ADJALI, Ms. Mia, Director of the United Methodist Office of the United Nations. Executive Secretary for United Nations/International Affairs Issues for the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church.
ABOUD, Mr. Brian
AL-JABIR, Mr. Abdul-Malik, President of the General Union of Palestine Students/ Canada; Palestine Solidarity Committee/Quebec and Founder of Palestine Cultural Society.
AMR, Mr. Hady
ASSALY, Mr. Robert, Member of the Middle East Working Group of the Canadian Council of Churches and the Middle East Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada; Assistant Curate at All Saints Anglican Church, Ottawa.
BARHOUM, Ms. Ann (see list of panelists above.)
BLOCH, Mr. Ethan
BRIEMBERG, Mr. Mordecai, see (list of panelists above.)
BUTTERFIELD, Ms. Jeanne, Chairman of the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.
CAINKAR, Ms. Louise, Palestine Human Rights Information Center.
DIAB, Ms. Leila, free-lance journalist; Administrative Supervisor, Nuclear Medicine Section, University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.
DRUCKER, Mr. Peter, Program Coordinator, National Mobilization for Survival and Reader on United States left history for the University of Illinois Press.
EL-HUSSEINI, Mr. Nassib Samir
FATTAH, Mr. Kamal Abdel, Geographer, Bir Zeit University (at present at Villanova University).
FREDRIKSSON, Ms. Lynn, Co-Director of the Women Strike for Peace, National Office, Washington D.C.
FRENETTE, Mr. Gilles
FRIESEN, Mr. Daniel, Research Coordinator for Guelph International Film Festival of Third World Cinema and Video.
GABRIEL, Ms. Lynn
GANNAGE, Ms. Charlene, Canada Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and the Sociology Department, York University, Canada. Member, NECEF, the Arab Canadian Women's Network and the Steering Committee of the Palestine Labour Action Network (PLAN).
GLADSTONE, Mr. David
GRAFF, Mrs. Aida
GRAFF, Mr. James, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Victoria College, University of Toronto. President of NECEF and Chairman of the Toronto Universities Middle East Group.
GUIMOND, Ms. Maryse R., Instructor of Office Automation at the Service Plus Textes Word Processing Center.
HANAUER, Mr. Edmund R., Executive Director and Lecturer on Middle East Affairs, SEARCH for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel.
HASBROOK, Mr. Laurie
HASSAN, Mr. Salah Dean, Projects Officer of the Medical Aid for Palestine in Montréal.
HASSOUN, Ms. Rosina, member and active participant in the Society of Palestinian Engineers and Scientists in the area of biological and ecological impacts of technology transfer to Palestine.
IBRAHIM, Ms. Halima
JABED, Mr. Asif
KAFIEH, Mr. James Jamal
KAOUK, Ms. Aida
KHAN, Mr. Joneed
KUTTAB, Mr. Daoud, West Bank and Gaza correspondent for the
Middle East International
; Co-founder of Al Quds Television Productions. At present, Executive Producer of a new documentary called "Palestinian diaries".
LESTER, Ms. Nora
LEVY, Ms. Elana, Member of the National Steering Committee of New Jewish Agenda and the International Jewish Peace Union. Founder/Member of Syracuse Network for Israeli-Palestinian Peace and organizing member and participant of STOPP (Stop TearGassing of Palestinian People).
LUBIN, Ms. Barbara
McCORMACK, Ms. Peg
McGUIRE, Ms. Coleen, lawyer in private practice, specializing in tenant law. Member of the National Lawyers Guild and active in its Middle East Subcommittee.
MURRAY, Ms. Nancy
NASEER, Mr. Syed
PICK, Ms. Josefa (see list of panelists above.)
SAEED, Mr. Agha, President, Pakistan Democratic Committee; Coordinator South Asia Peace Forum and Director of Information, United Muslims of America.
SAKHNINI, Mr. Humam
SARROUH, Mr. Elissar
SARSOUR, Mr. Najat
SCHECHLA, Mr. Joseph, Member of the International Committee for Housing Rights, a specialized body of the Habitat International Coalition (Mexico City). Former Director (USA) of EAFORD and Founding Editor of
SCHABAS, Mr. William
STEIN, Ms. Nan D., Educational Specialist, Massachusetts Department of Education.
TAHIR, Mr. Rashid
TANCOCK, Mr. Ken, Educational Consultant for NECEF.
TARAKI, Ms. Lisa (see list of panelists above.)
TILLEY, Ms. Virginia, Coordinator of Settlement Watch; former Assistant Director of EAFORD (USA).
WARSCHAWSKI, Mr. Michel (see list of panelists above.)
WATSON, Mr. Ian
WILLIAMS, Mr. Glen
WINGFIELD, Mr. Marvin, ADC Director of Outreach since 1984.
ZUREIK, Mr. Elia (see list of panelists above.)
Delegation of the Committee on the Exercise of the
Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mme Absa Claude Diallo, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations in New York and Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations in New York and Observer at the Committee
League of Arab States
Other organizations with observer status
at the United Nations
CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
CBC - English News
CTV NATIONAL NEWS
NATIONAL FILM BOARD
RADIO FREE MAINE
THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS
THE CANADIAN PRESS
* * * * *