Al-Awda, 5 December 2003
The Geneva Accord was signed Monday, December 1, 2003, amid great media and political fanfare. The 50-page document lays out a plan for a presumed “peace agreement” between Israel and the Palestinian people. We, the undersigned, consider this initiative as inconsistent with the prerequisites of a just and durable peace for the following reasons:
1. It attempts to nullify the Palestinian right of return, both as a collective national right and as an individual right. By doing so, it strengthens existing attempts to relocate and scatter Palestinian refugees throughout the world and gives credence to plans to abrogate international law pertaining to the inalienable nature of the Right of Return. The net result would be to extract the very anchor of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination: the indivisible oneness of the Palestinian people and their right to their homes, properties and homeland.
2. It provides a Palestinian-Arab cover for the exclusive nature of the Israeli polity as a “Jewish State”, thus abrogating the national character of the Palestinian people within 1948 borders. It therefore fails to recognize the right of the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel to live in a democratic state for all its citizens: Jews and Palestinians, and it sets stage for mass transfer and ethnic cleansing in the future to maintain demographic Jewish dominance.
3. It accepts the reconfiguration of Jerusalem based on Israeli annexation plans, and grants Palestinian-Arab legitimacy to the colonial process that altered the Arab character of Jerusalem, making it impossible for the Palestinians to exercise control over “East Jerusalem,” not to say anything about “West Jerusalem,” which was conquered and ethnically cleansed in 1948.
4. It permanently accepts the presence of the vast majority of Israeli settlement colonies, particularly those that surround Jerusalem from the east, south, north and northwest, where most post-1967 settlers live, and alters the geography of Palestine to accommodate such colonial seizures.
5. It codifies a process that would limit the upper ceiling of a potential Palestinian polity to a truncated and demilitarized entity void of sovereignty, and sets in motion a process of expanding Israeli political oversight and control over any potential Palestinian entity.
6. It paves for an economic/political relationship that subordinates the Palestinian people to an exclusive and dominant Israeli polity, thus strategically de-linking the Palestinians from the Arab people and subjugating the national interests of all Arabs to the singular power of an Israeli-US alliance.
7. It allows for Israeli military and economic penetration and permanent outposts into the presumed Palestinian entity.
8. It leaves open all Israeli claims to the region’s water resources, natural wealth, and airspace. The text makes several references to annexes, but these issues have, in effect, been deferred, and may become the “final status” issues of the Geneva understanding.
9. It dilutes the international consensus on the conflict and attempts to transform the basis of the Palestinian struggle from one of national self- determination and return to that of modified civil rights within a prescribed political framework.
10. Most importantly, it weakens the national unity and resolve of the Palestinian people leading to the potential defeat of the current Intifada in the same manner Madrid and Oslo destroyed the first a decade ago.
11. It diminishes European commitment to Palestinian sovereignty, and most importantly, it expands the margin of Palestinian concessions, which have been bottoming out during the past two decades, making it very difficult for future Palestinian negotiators to back away from these concessions, including the renunciation of the Right of Return.
12. It assumes the Palestinian victims of Israel are the criminals, and the new judges allegedly more liberal than previous ones in the sentencing.
The Geneva Accord is a natural extension and an inevitable result of the “Road Map” and all associated models. The outcome of all, if allowed to succeed, would be to terminate the Palestinian march to freedom, to nullify indefinitely and de-legitimize the Palestinian right to return, and to subordinate the Arab nation to a heavily militarized outpost with normalized relationships with its surrounding.
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In alphabetical order:
Yousef Abudayyeh Co-Chair Middle East Cultural and Information Center*
Free Palestine Alliance, USA San Diego, California
As`ad AbuKhalil, Ph.D. Department of Politics, California State University* Stanislaus, California
Nader Abuljebein Writer Palestine Right of Return Congress Free Palestine Alliance, USA
Janet Abu-Lughod, Ph.D. Professor Emerita of Sociology The New School, New York* East Quogue, New York
Ali Abunimah Writer/journalist Electronic Intifada* Chicago
Ambassador Hasan Abunimah Former Ambassador Permanent Representative of Jordan at the UN*
Husam Abusneineh President, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee* Greater Sacramento Area Chapter California
Hussein Agrama Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology Washington D.C.
Munir Akash Editor/publisher Massachusetts Musa Al-Hindi Palestine Right of Return Congress Al-Awda Coalition Nebraska
Fadhil Al-Kazily, Ph.D. Part-time Professor, Civil Engineering California State University*
Abbas Ali, Ph.D. Professor and Director School of International Management Indiana University of Pennsylvania*
Abbas Alnasrawi, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus University of Vermont* Shelburne, VT, USA Mohammed Al-Sheikh Arab American Community Center* Chicago, Illinois
Kamal Khalaf Altawil, M.D. Past president of the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG) Past president of the National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) Pennsylvania
Ban Al-Wardi, Esq. President, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee* Los Angeles/Orange County Chapter
Lamis Andoni Journalist/writer California
Said Arikat Journalist/writer Washington, D.C
Naseer H. Aruri, Ph.D. Chancellor Professor (Emeritus) University of Massachusetts Dartmouth* Massachusetts
Fawzi Asmar, Ph.D. Writer/journalist Washington, D.C
Omar Barghouti Philosophy Ph.D. Student Activist & Dance choreographer
Kenneth R. Barney Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights Cambridge, Massachusetts
Hanna Batarseh Board Member, Sacramento Peace Action* Free Palestine Alliance, USA California
Brian Becker International A.N.S.W.E.R. Steering Committee New York
Richard Becker Western Region Coordinator International Action Center San Francisco, California
George Bisharat, Ph.D. Professor, Hastings College of Law* San Francisco, California
Mary J. Bisharat, MSW Founder, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee* Greater Sacramento Area Chapter California
Mona Coobti, Esq. International Action Center Free Palestine Alliance California
Jamil Dakwar, Attorney Adalah
Zahi Damuni, Ph.D. Palestine Right of Return Congress Co-Founder, Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition San Diego, California
Ziad Deeb, M.D. Washington, D.C. P
Peter Dodd, Ph.D. Retired professor and United Nations official* Victoria, BC, Canada
Erica Dodd, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor University of Victoria* Victoria, BC, Canada
Nada Elia, Ph.D. Redmond, Washington
Samih Farsoun, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology American University* Washington, DC
Jamil Fayez, M.D. Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Fenton Member of BCPR* Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jess Ghannam, Ph.D. Professor University of California, San Francisco * Right of Return Congress Al-Awda Coalition
Ziad Hafez, Ph.D. Economist Washington, D.C.
Elaine Hagopian, Ph.D. Professor Emerita of Sociology Simmons College* Organizer of the April 2000 Right of Return Conference
Shouki Kassis, Ph.D. Board member, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee* Greater Philadelphia Chapter Pennsylvania
Isma’il Kamal Washington, D.C.
Lara Kiswani Students for Justice in Palestine Third World Forum University of California, Davis
Jennifer Loewenstein, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer, Professional Communications University of Wisconsin – Madison* Madison, Wisconsin
Riyad Mansour, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor Central Florida University* Orlando, Florida
Joseph Massad, Ph.D. Professor, MEALAC Columbia University* New York, N.Y
Nur Masalha, Ph.D. St. Mary’s University College* and Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law* SOAS, University of London
Rania Masri, Ph.D. Program Director Institute for Southern Studies* Raleigh, North Carolina Ed Mast Palestine Solidarity Committee Seattle, Washington USA
Carl Messineo, Esq. Partnership for Civil Justice* National Steering Committee, International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Washington, D.C.
Nabil Migalli New Hampshire
Eid B. Mustafa, M.D., F.A.C.S. Texas
Karma Nabulsi, Ph.D. Professor Nuffield College* Oxford University United Kingdom
Hasan & Shereen Newash Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Ph.D. Professor, Yale University* Co-Founder of Palestine Right to Return Coalition Connecticut
Nasser Rabbat. Ph.D. MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts
Fadia Rafeedie, Esq. Los Angeles, California
Elias Rashmawi Free Palestine Alliance, USA National Steering Committee of International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition California
Gary Rothberger Cambridge, MA
Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Ph.D. Retired Professor Florida International University* North Miami, Florida
Nizar Sakhnini Canada
Michel Shehadeh Free Palestine Alliance, USA Committee for Justice California
Sylvia Shihadeh Austin, Texas
Muhammad A. Shuraydi, Ph.D. University of Windsor* Ontario, Canada
Abdelhameed Siyam New York
Mounzer Sleiman, Ph.D. Journalist/Writer Washington, D.C.
Hon. Samy Sharaf Former Minister of Presidential Affairs* Cairo, Egypt
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Esq. Partnership for Civil Justice* National Steering Committee, International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Washington, D.C.
Arthur H. Whitman Auburn, Maine
Anthony Zahlan, Ph.D. Scientist/Author United Kingdom
Zeina Zaatari, Ph.D. University of California, Davis*
* For identification only