Statement on Nakba – 70 years
On 14 May 1948 Zionists set up the state of Israel, thereby defying the UN partition plan to establish a Jewish as well as a Palestinian state and with Jerusalem as a city under international - UN - control. The following day – 15 May - is commemorated by Palestinians as a day of catastrophe – Nakba – for the Palestinian people. Between 500 and 600 Palestinian villages were wiped out in Palestine by Zionist forces and 711.000 Palestinians expelled and deported from their land and home in 1948 and 1949, creating a huge and still unresolved refugee problem, dealt with by the UN General Assembly in resolution 194 of 1948, recognizing the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.
The expansion of Israel in the six-day war of 1967 further exacerbated the conflict, with an Israeli occupation of the West Bank. East Jerusalem, and Gaza and subsequently by seeking to reinforce and expand the occupation by a settlement policy, introducing over half a million Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, whereas Gaza is today a Palestinian entity under siege by Israel.
The recognition by US president Trump of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 has led to a clear deterioration of the situation with increasing violence.
Israeli forces have stepped up violent attacks on the Palestinians youth protests at the Gaza Border. On 14 May, the day before Nakba Day, 52 protesters were shot dead and over 1200 wounded (Associated Press). The US recognition of Jerusalem was a manifestation that the US is openly on the side of Israel in the conflict and not an impartial broker. Israeli expansion in the West Bank received a blue stamp, which opens up for further destruction of Palestinian houses to make way for more and larger Israeli settlements.
With this situation, we call on the international community to take immediate initiatives to re-launch the peace process, in the context of UN and international law decisions.
In accordance with UN resolutions the European Left supports the demand of the Palestinian people for a just peace: establishing a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a viable state alongside with Israel, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees, as stipulated by the UN General Assembly resolution 194. The recognition of the Palestinian state by as many countries and institutions as possible is an important step in that direction.
Likewise, the European Left supports increasing the political pressure on the Israeli government to stop and reverse the settlement policy and for a total withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories.
A just solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a key to begin dismantling the conflicts in the Middle East and Arab region. We commit ourselves to lasting action to promote peace in the Middle East. It is imperative to return to finding a political solution.
As European Left parties, we are therefore committed to exert strong pressure on the EU and the member state governments, when possible in cooperation with the European Parliament, to promote initiatives at national and at European Union level to promote a viable solution to the Palestinian issue in accordance with the UN resolutions.
The European Left supports:
- The rights of the Palestinian people;
- a total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, including the settlements, and the ending of the siege of Gaza;
- The recognition of the Palestinian state by as many countries and institutions as possible;
- The suspension of the EU association agreement with Israel, including the preferential trade agreement, as long as Israel violates international human rights;
- a stop to special Israeli relations to NATO and the EU, including a closure of the permanent mission at NATO headquarters, and a stop to arms trade and military cooperation with Israel;
- banning of goods from the occupied areas;
- end the criminalization of BDS-activists:
- Israeli citizens working for peace and equal rights;
- the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.
NOTE: Since the publication of the statement, the number of victims and injured persons has increased.