Press Release 25 November 2007

Scottish Friends of Palestine expresses its severe reservations with regard to the prospects of the forthcomimg Annapolis conference. Attempts at peace negotiations which ignore a majority stakeholder – the Palestinian people – is ultimately doomed to failure.

Further, a peace conference which has been cobbled together by those states which:

-ignore the democratically elected representatives of the Palestinian people under occupation

-are complicit in imposing conditions, akin to genocide, on the residents of the Gaza Strip

-are complicit in imposing conditions of strangulation on the Palestinian residents of the West Bank subjected, as they are, to concrete walls and razor wire fences which annex their water aquifers, their fertile land and, with the current 700 or so checkpoints, deny basic communication with neighbouring communities

-gives succour to those who believe that such conferences are merely vehicles for annihilation of Palestinian rights.

Scottish Friends of Palestine is of the opinion that the Annapolis conference could and should be the start of a fresh, invigorated and sincere approach to addressing the rights and needs of the Palestinian people. The conference can and should take the first step to end the military occupation and control of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. Further, the conference should:

-take immediate steps to remove the inhuman conditions imposed upon the occupied Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

-endorse international law as the basis for addressing the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian people – including the failure of the occupier to recognise the Palestinian right of return

-take immediate steps to involve all the Palestinian people in the democratic process, including those under occupation, those refugees and exiles throughout the world, in preparation for the next election. This was done for the Iraqi exiles and refugees: the Palestinian people deserve no less.

Should the conference fail to do this but simply lapse into the Zionist discourse of “concessions” to the Palestinian people, of urging them to give up their “dreams” then there will be no change. Israeli and Palestinian under occupation will continue in the vicious, brutalising spiral with no end in sight.


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