Between the present:
Niamh Ryan, Irish Consul General, 13 Western States
Emma Stevenson, British Vice Consul General (political, Press & Public Affairs)
John McGuinn, President, Irish American Bar association
Terrence Hallinan, Distirct Attorney, San Francsico
Jim Clark, Secretary, California Party
Jeanmarie Maher and Jim Wachop, Irish Amercain Democratic Club
The whole world knows today that there is a question of lacking of TRUTH on the issue of Palestine-Israel.
In fact: We found a wide spectrum of Americans who vociferously shared our views when were speaking about apartheid, oppression in Latin America, poverty and racism in America, war and peace in the nuclear age, equality for women, right to life, and rights to Native Americans. When it came to the morality of American involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian, however, we did not find this to be the case; these same people did not seem to consider it a moral issue for Americans. At least they did not write about it very much. And if they write about it they are biased.
As Irish American people you may understand better than any other people the need of independence, freedom and dignity. Your country and Peplum are suffering just like the Palestinians. Your people and ours are one of the ONLY people in the world that are fighting a war of independence. And if some of your people have used some violent acts, unfortunately, they did not do this to kill the innocents but they did it, again unfortunately, out of frustration, because the other party has destroyed their future, killed their children jailed their activists and mislead the world saying that you are, all of you terrorists, when they are waging a state terrorism against your people and country.
You gave me few minutes to speak and I can only can say briefly that:
50 Years ago 100% of the Palestinians were in Palestine
50 Years ago less than 1% of the Jews in the world were in Palestine
50 years after more than 5 million Jews are in the majority of Palestine who became Israel since 1948. Jews came from Europe, Russia, USA, Ethiopia
50 years after about 5 million Palestinians are refugees in the Occupied Territories and Gaza strip, in the Arab world: Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria as well in Europe and USA. (I serve in California over 3.000 people all Palestinian refugees, other Orthodox and Protestant churches serve more than that.)
50 years ago more than 95% of the Palestinian land belonged to the Palestinians
50 years ago less than 5% of the land was used by the Jews Palestinians
50 years after less than 22% of the land belong to the Palestinians
50 Years more than 78% of the land belongs to the state of Israel. Israeli settlers are building settlement everywhere anywhere in the Occupied territories and the Israeli government is extending its borders everytime a settlement is built claiming the land and confiscating it form the Palestinians.
The UN Resolutions have spoken about that many many times and condemned all illegal settlements and depositions of the Palestinians. Israel has always refused to implement the UN resolutions claiming its rights with the support unfortunately of the US different administrations who used their vetoes more than 29 times against an unanimous condemnations of Israeli practices in Palestine.
The current situation in Palestine must be analyzed within the context of over 52 years of American policy in the region and over 30 years of Israeli Occupation of Palestine with the support of America and approximately seven years of what has been creatively defined as the Peace Process with 29 times that US vetoed a UN Resolution to shield Israel from international critics or condemnation.
When Palestinians lived in a continuos frustration during these years of peace process" Israeli economy, which during the occupation and Intifada was miserable, with an international credit rating lower than Bolivia’s, has now improved to an almost European ranking. The high-tech sector has become one of the fastest growing in the world, expanding faster than even London or other Western capitals. This is because of a more secure investment environment, and the absence of any meaningful regional opposition..." Israel started to invest and send its products to the Arabic Countries when the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories have not been allowed to work outside of Israel... "Palestinians do not have access to water from their own wells, but must buy drinking water from Israel... There is no freedom of movement for the Palestinians"
This is why the Palestinians of today frustrated by the non sense on many summits and agreement and the refusal of the implementation of the UN Resolutions they used that have in their means to resist the Occupation of their country, recognize by the UN Charters, Fourth Geneva Convention and La Hague Convention that "People under occupation has the right to resist the occupiers by all means. Palestinians are using stone and light weapons, Israeli is using missile tanks, Helicopter Gunships.
Palestinians acknowledge the need for Israel to live in peace and security forever but real security should recognize the needs of the Palestinians for security also. Israel has 78% of the whole Palestine. The Peace Process deals with only the 22% of what remains for the Palestinians. Israel has occupied these 22% since 1967 and has refused to withdraw according to the UN Resolutions from these Occupied Territories.
We do not understand why Israel want to get the most of the 22% that should belong to the Palestinians, when the Palestinians accepted to recognize the existence, the presence and the independence of Israel, since 52 years, on what used to be a Palestinian Land for thousands of years.
We do not understand why confiscating Palestinian Lands and building settlements everywhere on this 22% Occupied Territories is so important for Israelis. There is an issue of justice here. If Israel really wants security building settlements is not the answer at all. There is a lot of empty land in Israel why they do not build there?
We do not understand why building in East Jerusalem (Arab Jerusalem) is so important and so urgent for Israel, there is enough and plenty of room to build in many other places in Israel.
We do not understand why confiscating Palestinian Lands and building settlements everywhere in the Occupied Territories is so important for Israelis and the claims of the Palestinians for their own lands and houses is not as important as their claims, there is an issue of justice here.
We do not understand why Jews has the right of Return after 2000, 1000, 500 years to Palestine and the Palestinians have not the right to return after 50, 40, 30, 10 years. We think with many other justice and peace organizations that “the Palestinians' right to return to their homes, despite a 52-year delay in realizing that right, is no less enforceable, no less compelling, than the same right of the Albanian Kosovars, in whose name the United States led NATO into war. It is no less than the right of Rwandans returning home from the Congo, or East Timorese going home from Indonesian refugee camps.”
USA Administration has the important role as an honest broker for justice, peace and truth so as to help Israel to see clear that Palestinians are their neighbors for ever, it is better to have them as friends than enemies.
The security of Israel is rather threatened when they do not accept the reality of the Palestinian rights as people and their claims on their lands.
For that reason we do not understand the importance for the USA to have the American embassy moved to Jerusalem when Jerusalem is on the negotiating table and why the issue of the American embassy becomes the political football of presidential candidates. There is an issue of injustice behind that also.
Jerusalem, like the entire Holy land, stated the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem as well the Vatican has witnessed throughout its history the successive advent of numerous peoples: they came from the desert, from the sea, from the North, from the East. Most often the newcomers were gradually integrated into the local population. This was a rather constant characteristic. But when the newcomers tried to claim exclusive possession of the city and the land, or refused to integrate themselves, then the others rejected them. Indeed, the experience of history teaches us that in order for Jerusalem to be a city of peace, no longer lusted after from the outside and thus a bone of contention between warring sides, it cannot belong exclusively to one people or to only one religion. Jerusalem should be open to all, shared by all. Those who govern the city should make it "the capital of humankind." This universal vision of Jerusalem would help those who exercise power there to open it to others who also are fondly attached to it and to accept sharing it with them…
For two thousand years Jerusalem was the source of wars and conflicts. Only if we give Jerusalem its original mission as the city of One God where the sons and Daughters of Abraham can equally feel at home then Jerusalem can have a news history I hope for not only 2000 more years but hundreds of Thousands of years to come as the one City that can witness love, sharing, cooperation for its sons and daughters.
Knowing the TRUTH will lead you to work for justice and justice will lead to peace.
The truth: the Palestinians has right to have their own country, water, land, freedom, independence...to be treated as people...this has been denied to them for years and years, misleading information made from them terrorists, bad people, killers...
The Truth the Palestinians are asking for Justice, it is time to stand with them as they are one of the Only people of the world resisting the occupation of their country, asking for the implementation of the UN resolutions hoping for Justice and only JUSTICE.
As Israel withdrew from Sinai and south Lebanon it is time to withdraw from the Palestinian occupied Territories. It is not a question of concessions but an international obligation, which is stated in the UNSC articles 242 and 138, 338
What the Palestinains are asking today is:
1) All the Old City of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem), as an occupied city, should come back to Palestinians and be the Capital of their Palestinian State. The Wailing Wall and the Jewish Quarter may have a special status.
2) The settlements are illegal and should be dismantled
3) Israel has a great responsibility in the refugees problem. Refugees have the right to return.
4) The need of an international peace keeping force to protect Palestinians.
5) The negotiations were not held on equal terms. Palestinians wanted to reinforce their position in the next step of talks thanks to the psychological effects of the up-rise.