Concluding Declaration of the Conference:
A Joint Struggle for an End to the Occupation and Racism
Hebron, May 7 2011
- Towards ending Israeli occupation and the racist policies.
- Towards a strategy of joint solidarity work to support the struggle of the Palestinian people
The preparatory committee concluded the work of the conference under the slogan “A Joint Struggle for an End to the Occupation and Racism” on May 7th, 2011, following the presentations, discussion of the papers and recommendations of those attending the conference.
The conference opened with the Palestinian National Anthem, followed by a moment of silence for the martyrs. The opening session included a welcome by the Alternative Information Center (AIC) and the conference’s preparatory committee, followed by a number of greetings by Hebron’s governor Kamel Hameed, secretary-general of Palestinian People’s Party Bassam Salihi representing Palestinian progressive parties, representative of Tarabut-Hithabrut Johayna Saifi, and a message from Mizrahi Jewish activists to the Arab world.
The conference sessions included the presentation of a number of papers that covered the following dimensions:
- The current political situation: opportunities and challenges
- Popular resistance to the occupation and racism
- The experience of campaigns against the occupation and racism
- The reality and future horizons of the joint struggle against racism and the occupation
The papers, in addition to the discussions that followed by conference members, emphasized the following:
- The Palestinian progressive forces in Hebron, the Alternative Information Center (AIC) and Tarabut-Hithabrut, are partners in the struggle for a free and democratic Middle East, free of all forms of hegemony and colonialism, especially Zionism, as well as of the dictatorial regimes and their oppressive policies and orders. We insist that we are not calling for a “new Middle East,” that is, one shaped by Israeli political and economic control and and subject to international corporations in the service of foreign powers. What we call for is the renewal of the Middle East through its peoples in revolt who are capable of changing current reality and building their future. The current revolutions in the Arab world strengthen our confidence in the power of democratic and popular struggles to build that future.
- A necessary prerequisite for victory of the Palestinian people over the Israeli aggressive enterprise is ending the Palestinian internal division and reinstating national unity. Accordingly, the conference congratulates the conclusion of the national dialogue in Cairo, Egypt last Wednesday (May 4th, 2011), in which an agreement was reached to end internal division and to rebuild Palestinian national unity.
- The conference calls on the Palestinian people to continue to mobilize in support of national dialogue by fortifying national unity and removing any obstacles to the implementation of the Cairo agreement, thus consolidating the common ground of resisting the occupation and colonization and struggling for the creation of a Palestinian independent and sovereign state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
- The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a result of the Zionist colonial enterprise, whose main victim is the Palestinian people, in addition to the Jews who are dependent on it. The main profiteers from this enterprise are, however, the economic, political and military elites in Israel, as well as colonialism and international imperialism. Meanwhile, the peoples are paying the price. It is therefore necessary to resist the Zionist colonial enterprise — the only way to build a just and permanent peace for all.
- In order to end the conflict it is essential to end end the occupation — to dismantle all settlements, to realize the Palestinian refugees’ legitimate rights according to UN Resolution 194 and to recognize the Palestinian people’s right to full independence. Just and permanent peace goes beyond the solutions to political and military issues; it is based on the putting an end to colonialism, that is, the colonial Israeli occupation in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as the abolition the colonial order inside Israel and its political, social and cultural manifestations.
- Reinforcing the vast popular struggle is one of the basic tenants for joint struggle against the Israeli occupation, colonialism, settlements and the policies of apartheid. Such a struggle requires the participation of political and social movements, as well as individual activists from inside Israel. In addition, the popular struggle carries profound social and educational value, contributing to strengthening the collective struggle on both the Palestinian and Israeli levels.
- The conference emphasizes its adherence to popular resistance against the occupation and colonization as a legitimate form of struggle with a significant presence of international solidarity activists as well as progressive and democratic Israeli forces. The conference calls on all political forces to direct their energy and activities to serve the goals of popular mobilization. Additionally, the conference emphasizes the complementary relationship between the official and popular efforts in strengthening Palestinian steadfastness through aiding prisoners, martyrs and detainees of popular mobilization, drawing special attention to areas affected by the Separation Wall and settlements through implementing projects for protecting these areas and lands.
- The conference also affirms the position of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We call for general elections to the PLO’s National Council on the basis of proportional representation, as well as the implementation of reforms that will strengthen the leading role of the PLO’s Executive Committee and reinforcing the principle of collective leadership.
- On the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the conference stresses its support of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their confiscated homes and properties according to UN Resolution 194, and its refusal to recognize the exclusive Jewish nature of the State of Israel.
- The conference stresses the importance of the democratic and progressive forces inside Israel struggling against the occupation and Zionism, actively struggling and mobilizling for ending the occupation and the policies of expropriation and colonization, and for defending the rights of the Palestinian people. Their role inside Israel consists in working and struggling for defending the rights of all the oppressed and exploited — Arabs and Jews, men and women, viewing such a struggle as an integral part of the process of rejecting all forms of oppression and occupation and an objective condition for liberation and a just peace in the region. Accordingly, one should take account of the political, social and cultural specific conditions in a way that does not contradict the goals and principals of joint struggle.
- The conference calls on international, social and political movements to continue pressuring Israel for complying with international law, as well as exerting pressure on their own governments in order to activate and extend the boycott against Israel, considering it an important weapon in our battle for freedom and independence.
The conference ended by saluting the martyrs, prisoners and all
occupation. We also salute our people holding steadfastly in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, within the Green Line and everywhere in exile. We confirm that the path of struggle will continue until we reach our freedom, create the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, return the refugees and end the occupation, colonization and aggression.