War on Palestine

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2002 National Black Members' Conference
23 May 2002

This Conference notes with grave concern that:

1)The Israeli Government has declared war against the Palestinian Authority. The situation inside the compound of Palestine is very disturbing not only for Palestine but also for the international communities;

2)There have been no medical and food supplies left and that there are still casualties that require urgent medical treatment. The destruction of the infrastructure by the Israeli authorities and the denial of medical supplies, treatment and food to the Palestinian people are yet more examples of Israeli oppression and the contributing to the further loss of life;

3)The war against the Palestinian people is an open fascist terror and it takes place with the open support of the United States and the collusion of the British Government leadership. They have signed the United Nations resolution demanding the withdrawal of Israeli troops out of the Palestinian territories but, a few hours after the invasion, an official representative of the United States State Department, declared on CNN “We understand what the Israelis are doing. They say they want to pursue the people responsible for terrorism and the infrastructures of terrorists.”;

4)For over 50 years the Israelis have occupied Palestine with the support of the United States and European governments. It refuses them their right to their own state and forbids the return of the three million refugees; those who resist this oppression are treated as terrorists;

5)During the Arab summit of Beirut, the Arab leaders, the most faithful allies of the United States, confirmed the right of the Palestinians. The governments of Syria and Lebanon are opposed to the Israeli occupation and aggression. They declared that it is necessary to establish a clear distinction between terrorism, which they condemn, and the legitimate resistance of people against a foreign occupation;

6)At the Beirut summit it was suggested that normal relations with the Arab nations would continue if Israel withdrew from the occupied territories that were conquered during the 1967 conflict, which also includes the Golan Heights, with the understanding that a Palestinian state must be established in East Jerusalem as a capital, and a fair solution must be found for Palestinian refugees;

7)Israel rejected the proposals. President Bush attempted to undermine the progress by threatening the Security Council with a blatantly unworkable resolution regarding a Palestinian state. The Arab summit’s final declaration rejected any form of undue use of war against terrorism or any threat to any Arab countries with use of violence;

8)The Intifada does not only cause a serious problem to Sharon, it is also the basis of the problems encountered by the United States in their war preparations against Iraq. The tone of language which the Israelis have adopted is the same language that the United States have used to conquer Afghanistan;

9)Palestinian ambulance crews and Red Crescent workers are being harassed by Israeli soldiers. They are being prevented from attending to the sick and injured, and moving people to hospitals. The Israeli soldiers are subjecting them to humiliating strip searches, which is an outrageous assault on the very ethos of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.

This Conference calls on the National Black Members’ Committee to work in conjunction with the National Executive Council, Affiliated Political Fund, General Political Fund, all self-organised groups, International Committee, including our UNISON Link MPs, and the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign to:

a)Work with the internal communities to end the war in Palestine and continue with the Early Day Motion in Parliament to highlight the injustice taking place in Palestine;

b)Give moral support to bona fide campaigns recommended by the International Committee and lobby various MPs with UNISON’s concerns;

c)Report to the next Black Members’ Conference 2003 the outcome of the National Black Members’ Committee action to be implemented;

d)Produce an update in the Black Action Journal regarding Palestine.

Also, this Conference congratulates those MPs who have signed the Early Day Motion and will write to those MPs who have not signed that motion asking them to reconsider their stance.