December 8, 2003


1. We, the undersigned, reject and denounce the Geneva Accord because it fails to meet the requirements for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Accord violates Palestinian national and human rights, contradicts international law, and seeks to consolidate and legitimize Apartheid rule in occupied Palestine, thus ensuring further conflict and violence. Specifically, the Accord:

  • Obstructs the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to the homes and properties from which they were driven and ratifies the ethnic cleansing of 1947-1948 without any acknowledgment of Israel's culpability, responsibility, or remorse. The Accord allows Israel to set the number of refugees it will absorb, while the remainder would have to resettle elsewhere and pursue compensation from an international fund. The right of return is an inalienable human right that cannot be legally abrogated by treaty; this right is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and United Nations Resolution 194.
  • Does not deliver true self-determination for the Palestinian people, but subordinates the proposed pseudo-state through an economic and political dependency on Israel; under the Accord, Israel maintains ultimate control over borders, water resources, airspace, Palestinian security (because of demilitarization) and other matters-making a mockery of the basic sovereignty needed for meaningful statehood.
  • Reconfigures the borders according to Israel's unilateral and illegal colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and legitimizes Israel's annexation of "Greater Jerusalem," including its surrounding ring of settlements. The Accord will keep many of the Israeli illegal settlements in place; as compensation, the Palestinians would gain land rights to virtually uninhabitable areas, such as parts of the Negev desert.
  • Legitimizes the racist nature of the Israeli state by implicitly recognizing it as a "Jewish state," allowing Jews worldwide the right to immigrate to it, while denying its non-Jewish natives the right to return. This confirmation of Israel as a theocracy-not a democracy-perpetuates the State's racist laws and jeopardizes the future of its non-Jewish citizens.
  • Ignores key provisions of UN resolutions pertaining to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and effectively validates Israel's Apartheid system. The Accord also includes an "end of claims" clause that would release Israel from further responsibility.

2. We note that Israel has shown no willingness to reach a resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on a just peace, and has continued to pursue a "might makes right" policy. Specifically, Israel:

  • Continues to escalate indiscriminate attacks and commit war crimes against the Palestinian people in blatant violation of international law, humanitarian law, and the Geneva Convention. Israel's assaults against the Palestinian people have killed more than 2,700 Palestinian men, women, and children during the past 38 months-the vast majority innocent civilians.
  • Is building an Apartheid wall that would leave less than 50 per cent of the West Bank for the proposed Palestinian entity. The construction of this wall is causing severe damage to Palestinian geography, environment, and agriculture by separating villages from their lands, and transforming Palestinian villages into isolated, Bantustan-type ghettos.
  • Has consistently pursued a policy of incremental ethnic cleansing throughout the occupied Palestinian territories and especially in Jerusalem. At the same time, Israel has pursued a policy of actively promoting the expansion of settlements-illegal under international law, and in violation of previous accords.
  • Remains in direct violation of the conditions set in 1949 for its membership in the United Nations, including UN Resolution 194 which specifies that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." On the contrary, Israel has consistently created more homeless refugees and adamantly rejects the possibility of allowing the refugees to return to their homes.
  • Has demonstrated bad faith during previous accords, including the Oslo Accords, which the Israeli government has abused by consistently delaying phases of the process while creating new facts on the ground. Even during the more recent "road map" plan, Israel has refused to curtail its crimes against the Palestinian people, and is continually escalating its aggression.
  • Has exhibited an unwillingness to make the compromises necessary for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, even after the historic Palestinian compromise in 1993 recognizing the Israeli state on 78 per cent of the Palestinian homeland
  • Is not a credible "partner for peace"; Israel is led by warmongers, within both the Likud and Labor parties, who have publicly proposed criminal ideas such as mass expulsion ("transfer") of the Palestinian people and have explicitly indicated that a peaceful solution is not possible.

3. We affirm that neither the Palestinian negotiators nor the Palestinian Authority have been authorized by the Palestinian people to bargain away their national and human rights, and that the overwhelming majority of the Palestinian people are unequivocally opposed to such an abrogation of their rights.

  • Yasser Abed Rabbo, the chief Palestinian negotiator, has not been authorized by anyone to negotiate this agreement, and was certainly not authorized by the Palestinian refugees to compromise their fundamental rights.
  • The Palestinian Authority, which has signaled its approval of the Accord, has no legal authority to surrender the rights of the Palestinian people. Moreover, its mandate over the Palestinian people is highly questionable because this regime has not held elections since 1996 and has failed utterly to protect the very people it claims to represent-politically, economically, and physically.
  • The Palestinian people, including those in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in the refugee camps of Lebanon and elsewhere, and in the wider diaspora, have expressed in numerous protests their absolute rejection of the Accord.
  • The Palestinian authors, signatories, and participants in the Accord have overstepped the bounds of what is morally and politically acceptable, and they should be held accountable for acting against the best interests of the people they claim to represent.

4. We affirm that the Palestinian people seek justice, equality, and a peaceful coexistence, and would support an agreement that:

  • Upholds the rule of law over the rule of power, and is consistent with international law and human rights.
  • Holds Israel responsible for its crimes against the Palestinian people, including the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians during its foundation in 1948, and recognizes the Palestinian right of return, restitution, and compensation.
  • Upholds the dignity and sanctity of human life, opposes the killing of innocent civilians, and rejects all forms of racism.

5. We urge the international community to support the Palestinian struggle until the occupation of Palestinian lands is lifted and the Palestinian people attain their right to live in peace and security. Specifically, we call on people of conscience to:

  • Support the Palestinian people's national and human rights, particularly the refugees' right of return, and to oppose proposed accords that violate international law or human rights.
  • Aid the Palestinian people, who are experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe-the Palestinian population has been under constant siege and frequent curfews during the past 38 months, most Palestinians families have members who've been killed or injured, thousands of homes have been demolished, lands confiscated, schools closed down, emergency care and medical supplies blocked, trees uprooted, free movement restricted, and access to jobs curtailed. All Palestinian children have suffered psychological trauma, and nearly half suffer from chronic malnutrition.
  • Oppose the Apartheid wall that Israel is building, including the de facto annexation of more than 50 per cent of the West Bank, and the severe destruction and ghettoization it is causing among the Palestinian population.
  • Demand an immediate end to the illegal and brutal Israeli occupation of all Palestinian territories. This is the first and most basic step to achieving any form of peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis.
  • Lobby governments and corporations to sever their relationship with Israel until it complies with international law and respects human rights. The absence of international pressure is effectively a green light for Israel's continuing crimes against the Palestinian people. The international community has a moral obligation to oppose proposals that strip the Palestinians of their rights and to ensure that Israel stops its crimes against the Palestinian people.