Thursday, April 27, 2017

Update on the Israel Settlements as an Obstacle to Peace Resolution before Massachsuetts Democrats

I just sent this email to members of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee who live near me in the North Shore of Massachusetts.


As a member of the Democratic State Committee who might be at the meeting this Saturday, you might be interested in the attached written testimony I presented to the Resolution Subcommittee in support of the resolution proposed by Carol Coakley to oppose the Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace.

As I note in the testimony, I am a 78 year old Jewish resident of Marblehead and “For the last 45 years, since 1972, not a day has gone by where I have not been aware of Israel’s violations of the human rights, and devaluation, of Palestinians caused by its settlement policies.” Many of those areas (such as home and olive tree destruction and unequal distribution of water) are further detailed in my testimony.

One reason to focus on Israel and the West Bank is that the occupation is not only illegal but is now, at 50 years, the longest lasting in the world. Another is that Israel has, since 1967, been in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention which forbids an occupier from transferring its citizens to occupied territory.  A third is that the continued growth of the settlements has likely killed the possibility of a contiguous, viable, independent Palestinian State  

Israel’s settlement policy has been criticized and branded illegal or an obstacle to peace by US Presidents, John Kerry, democratic voters, mainstream Christian organizations, the UN, the International Court of Justice, Jewish people, Israeli officials, and Desmond Tutu. Rabbi  Ben-Zion Gold, former director of Harvard Hillel, who recently passed away, said in 2002 “The Jewish settlements on the West Bank are a grave and dangerous mistake that have done much harm to Israel.”  

The opponents to the resolution have not and will not argue that the settlements are legal nor will they try to prove that the settlements are NOT an obstacle to peace. Opponents are left with no option but to argue “this is one-sided with not enough emphasis on the violence of the Palestinians.” The present situation is, indeed, one-sided. There is a huge imbalance between the vast resources and power of Israel (militarily, technologically and financially) combined with its incalculable number of violations of human rights over the last 50 years versus the limited amount of resources and number of violent acts of Palestinians.

I urge you: not to allow a small vocal group to censor and prevent discussion about Israel’s un-American, undemocratic, unjust and an obstacle to peace settlement policy which is inconsistent with the core values of the Democratic Party; to reject the recommendation of the Resolutions Subcommittee; and to allow Carol Coakley’s resolution to be voted on by the entire Democratic State Committee.

Please feel free to share this material with others and contact me if you have any questions or want to discuss any aspect of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Thank you.

Ronald W. Fox

No comments: