Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Palestine on the roadmap to Statehood

VPM celebrates with Palestine and all peace and justice loving people and nations of the world on this historic recognition by the UN General Assembly. An overwhelming 138 votes out of 193 member states clearly highlights Israel’s growing international isolation. Coupled with the earlier successful UNESCO bid in October 2011 and coming at the heels of the 8 day massacre of Gaza, this underpins the growing solidarity of nations for the Palestinian struggle and its abhorrence of the unending heinous and criminal acts of Israel.

Malaysia has always been a staunch advocate for Palestinian rights for statehood and this vindicates the untiring and unrelenting efforts of our leaders and citizens to champion the Palestinian cause.

The swift and phenomenal generosity of Malaysians, morally and financially during the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza demonstrates our unwavering support for this noble and humanitarian cause. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela “the freedom we presently enjoy in Malaysia is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” VPM hopes this would further enhance Malaysia's role in the international arena to negotiate for the ultimate peace in the Middle East.

The recent 2 years of stalemate in peace negotiations was primarily a consequence of Israel's intransigence on the issues of illegal settlements in the West Bank, siege and blockade of Gaza and her aggressive settler colonialist policies. Despite Israeli’s resistance, this international reaffirmation of Palestine as a nation state, will unleash new momentum to the peace process under the watchful eyes of all nations of the world brokered by just and fair nations unlike presently by pro-Israeli mediators namely the US and Britain.

This wider international recognition would enable Palestine to enjoy the various Statutes of the UN and initiate a "Legal Intifadah". Her membership of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Statute for the International Court of Justice (ICJ), would allow her to file a complaint against the illegal settlements and Israeli war crimes in Gaza. The legal and political muscle of these instruments of international law cannot be underestimated considering that even Britain went to the extent of negotiating a possible "Yes" vote if the Palestinians were agreeable to renounce their right to take matters to the ICC and ICJ.

The latest Gaza attacks and international consensus in the General Assembly have exposed unequivocally the dark side, the systematic violent and aggressive nature of Israel, relegating her to a "pariah nation" status. Its indiscriminate deployment of massive, disproportionate and lethal force against a relatively defenseless Palestine, is a clear violation of human rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and these not only represent war crimes but also crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.

With impunity, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have been largely immune to IHL and are triggering a Palestinian "Shoah" (Hebrew for Holocaust). South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu describing the humanitarian crisis in Palestine as even worse than Apartheid in South Africa further cautioned, "our silence and complicity, especially on the situation in Gaza, shames us all.”

The Palestinians, namely Fatah and Hamas need to get their act together, settle their internal differences amicably, push forth with the peace initiative and be truly representative of the aspirations of the Palestinian people for peace, justice and the right of return to their homeland.

Their political gesture to settle with the borders of 1967, which represents only 22% of historic Palestine is symbolic of their magnanimity and honest quest for a peaceful settlement. Israel needs to reciprocate this genuine desire for peaceful co-existence by stopping all illegal settlements and withdrawing to the borders of 1967, lifting its siege of Gaza and ending its occupation of Palestine. 

VPM lauds all the 138 nations for their courage in standing up to political bullies and putting Palestine on the roadmap to nationhood. The time of reckoning has begun and the wave of change is here to stay.

Dato' Dr Musa Mohd Nordin
Chairman, VPM

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