In 1977 the General Assembly of the United Nations called for the annual observance of 29 November as the day of ‘International Solidarity with the Palestinian people”. It had been on that day in 1947 that the Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine. On 1 December 2005 this resolution was further strengthened by referring to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
APAN’s reason for existence is to be a network that works 365 days in the year in support of this United Nations resolution. We are not politically aligned, either in Australia, or in Palestine. We do not seek any particular political solution, we seek self determination, justice, dignity and freedom for the Palestinian people and through the attaining of these ‘inalienable human rights’ for the Palestinian people, we seek greater security for Israel.
We believe the need for this solidarity in Australia has become more urgent because of the apparent change in policy of the incoming Australian Government that now refuses to sanction Israel for its aggressive settlement programme, despite the fact that the settlements are considered ‘illegal’ by the United Nations and ‘illegitimate’ by the United States of America.
Not to condemn the ongoing settlement programme is to deny any possibility of a two-state solution. The alternative is a one state solution. A one state solution must mean equal rights for all citizens; equal democratic rights, equal rights of assembly, education, health employment, culture and religion. A one state could not be a Jewish state. It is urgent that the Australian Government decide whether it supports a two state solution (condemning the settlement programme) or face the reality that in a ‘one state’ it will have to condemn Israel for any action that undermines equality on the basis of race or religion.
The Palestinian people currently live under a system of cruel apartheid. This is a harsh word. Those who condemn the use of the word must then explain what word is more suitable to describe the reality of contemporary Palestinian life.
We are very grateful to members of APAN and supporters of Palestinians throughout Australia for their ongoing work of advocacy for Justice and Peace in Palestine. Please use every opportunity to convey the truth of the current situation, bearing in mind that the truth carries its own powerful message.
We do hope that you will use every opportunity to hold an event, no matter how small in your own community.
In solidarity with the Palestinian People and in the hope for peace for all who live in the Middle East
Bishop George Browning