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        Economic and Social Council
22 February 2003


Fifty-ninth session
Item 5 of the provisional agenda


Written statement* submitted by the International Organization for the
Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD),
a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[29 January 2003]


* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).

The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation.

One of the worst things that befall human groups can be the manipulation of their perceptions in such a deviant way that they misconceive the common good and shared values among them and others. The manipulation of people’s thoughts not only causes confusion, misunderstandings, and animosity between them and others, but is also used to serve the evil schemes of the ruthless, often leading to adverse and tragic consequences.

The great Greek philosopher, Socrates, warned more than two thousands years ago about making the fatal mistake of viewing bravery as recklessness and viewing recklessness as bravery. We are making this mistake today during these cruel and painfully awkward times due to the media’s misleading propaganda. A media campaign that has been able to brainwash many people into incriminating legitimate resistance by referring to it as terrorism while presenting serious destructive terrorism as so called self-defense.

We are questioning, if the French resistance of the German’s incursion and invasion was legitimate resistance or terrorism? We are questioning if the historical undertaking of black resistance organizations in South Africa against the racist apartheid regime was legitimate resistance or terrorism? Who were the terrorists, the Native American Indians or Columbus and white invaders of Continental America? And who was the terrorist, George Washington or the colonizing British Army?

We are meeting here to defend human rights in the most honest, open and objective way. If so, then is it not a basic and essential human right to defend one’s home, land and properties, if not one’s very being and survival by all means available, or should that form of honorable and legitimate defense be considered terrorism?

The Palestinian whose land and home have been occupied, and whose very survival has been threatened by invading people who have come from every end of the world with their planes, tanks, and biological and nuclear weapons, has had nothing to defend himself with except throwing stones. When every path in the journey to liberty leads to a dead-end, the Palestinian’s only weapon to fight back sometimes is through blowing himself in the midst of the violators and aggressors who humiliated and destroyed his being. If an intruder invades your home, do you not have the right to defend yourself by all means, if necessary? “Live free or die”, engraved on a U.S coin, is the motto of heroes not so called terrorists! Throughout history everyone has had the right by law to defend their home from intruders and to defend their country from invaders just as Palestinians have had to defend themselves against Israelis even if they were not dressed in military forms but have served as a reserved army for the Occupying Force. Yet some say that that is terrorism. Indeed, what a pity!

The persuasive wave of dubious media coverage and its bias to the forces of evil and darkness has been able to mislead many good people whose busy lives and circumstances do not allow them to know the truth concerning what is taking place in the world. So, they fall into the trap of denouncing the greatest and most sublime act of sacrificing of one’s own self for the sake of his country, home, dignity and survival!!!

Meeting here with non-governmental organizations which truly represent the world’s public opinion, and in the presence of experts and special rapporteurs distinguished by their deep, critical, and impartial mandates, we must define in all honesty, sincerity, and decisiveness the human right of the oppressed, the weak, and the helpless to defend their very being and survival with all means available, no matter what they are.

Distinguished colleagues,

The measures taking place in Palestine are not ordinary measures of ordinary dimension and magnitude. The migrating Israeli people from every corner of the world to Palestine have formed a group of people that is not ordinary in the national sense we define a people. They have been and continue to be aggressors, intruders and gangs of settlers loaded with arrogance and the force of arms. Every one of them carries a grenade, a pistol, and a machine gun. And all serve as a reserved army ready at once to be called upon. So, can we possibly describe those walking the streets of Palestine and browsing its shops as innocent civilians even if they were not dressed in military forms???

Israel occupied Southern Lebanon in 1982 and its occupation lasted 22 years under the pretext of pursuing so called Palestinian terrorists according to Israel rather than Palestinian freedom fighters. Now Israel is invading the territory of the Palestinian Authority; killing women, children and the elderly ; demolishing their homes and burning their fields; besieging the occupied Palestinian towns by enforcing curfews for days and weeks; and committing all of these atrocities and more in the name of security in accordance to the irrational and twisted logic of a nazi mentality.

This means that in the absence of an international definition of terrorism that distinguishes it from resistance as a legitimate right to defend oneself, every country gives itself the right to define terrorism in the manner that suites its interests and its temperament at any ruinous and tragic cost for others.

The definition of terrorism as opposed to legitimate self-defense has become a concern of supreme urgency and duty for human society. It is of utmost urgency and supreme duty for this Commission as well, if not more so, to issue a resolution in this regard and to place matters in order once again.

Our hope in this meeting is high, so let’s see to it that it can be realized.


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