75 years of betrayed promises. It is time to say that’s enough!
This November 29th marks the passage of three quarters of a century since the approval of Resolution 181 by the UN General Assembly, providing for the partition of Palestine, then under British Mandate. But if in 1948 the State of Israel was created, no independent State of Palestine has ever seen the light of day.
The decolonization of Palestine never took place. The British colonizer was replaced by a state of settlers from the four corners of the world, which not only appropriated a territory that far exceeded what was foreseen in Resolution 181 of 1947, but has maintained, since 1967, the remaining Palestinian territory under occupation.
The UN approval of the creation of Israel in the historic territory of Palestine was inseparable from the feeling of repudiation, in the aftermath of World War II, for the horrendous crimes of Nazi-fascism, including the persecutions and genocide of the Jews. But plans for the sharing of the Middle East and its gigantic resources by the imperialist powers were older. The creation of a "Jewish national home" as it was called in the British Balfour Declaration of 1917, played a major role in these stratagems. Collusion with Israel's long history of crimes and the 75-year denial of the Palestinians' inalienable right to their own independent state are inseparable from these imperialist powers' appetites and manoeuvres.
Over the decades there have been countless UN Resolutions based on the so-called "two-state solution". These promises remain a dead letter. The painful concessions by the Palestinian side, which almost 40 years ago accepted the constitution of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, i.e. in only 22% of the historic territory of Palestine, have never been matched by a real will to negotiate on the side of Israel and its patrons.
Not even the Oslo Accords of 1993, signed under the auspices of the US and unfavourable to the Palestinian cause, were respected and realized. While ever new demands for concessions were made to the Palestinian side, Israel launched an unstoppable escalation of building settlements in the occupied territories, the Apartheid Wall, confiscating Palestinian homes and land, and besieging the Gaza Strip, with the clear objective of fragmenting the occupied territories and making the creation of an independent state of Palestine impossible, thus making the two-state solution impossible.
Despite repeated condemnations by international bodies, this policy has always had the backing of the United States and other Western powers, whose unconditional military, political and financial support for Israel constitutes the main obstacle to a solution to the Palestinian question. Not coincidental is President Biden's recent statement, "If Israel did not exist it would have to be invented."
The Israeli elections on November 1, 2022 make it clear that Israel, enjoying permanent impunity in the face of its crimes, does not intend to follow the paths of peace. The return of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to power, at the head of a far-right coalition with forces openly advocating the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the annexation of the territories occupied in 1967, reveals what permanent collusion with Israel's crimes and war policy leads to.
The silence or complacency of the media and Western countries regarding the participation of violently racist and fascist political forces in the government of what some like to call "the only democracy in the Middle East" is unacceptable.
The reversal of this reality, and the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, can only arise from the resistance and unity of the Palestinian people, a decisive factor in mobilizing international solidarity and bringing the Palestinian issue back to the centre of international concerns.
The MPPM salutes the growing mass resistance of the Palestinian people, which has had remarkable expressions in recent times. It strongly condemns the Israeli repression which, in the words of the UN Special Envoy to the Middle East, is making 2022 the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the UN began compiling data.
The MPPM also welcomes all efforts aimed at transforming popular unity into a convergence of Palestinian political forces around the central demands of the Palestinian people and hopes that the goals of the Declaration adopted at the summit of Palestinian political forces held in Algiers last October will be realized.
The MPPM salutes the growing international movement of solidarity with the Palestinian Cause and of condemnation of Israel, which urgently needs to be energized and encouraged even more in Portugal. It denounces the growing tendencies to repress this movement and any condemnation of the actions of the Israeli governments, under the infamous and lying accusation of being an expression of anti-Semitism.
The MPPM welcomes the approval by a large majority in the UN General Assembly's Fourth Committee of the Palestinian request that the International Court of Justice in The Hague issue an opinion on "the legal consequences resulting from the long-standing violations by Israel of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and from the long occupation, colonization and annexation of the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967".
The Portuguese government's favourable vote is noted as positive, in contrast to the negative vote or abstention by the US and the great majority of European countries. However, the long recent history of the Portuguese government's failure to condemn the massacres and military aggressions by Israel against the Gaza Strip and Syria, as well as its absence from initiatives critical of Israel, such as the position taken by the Foreign Ministers of nine European countries in August of this year, expressing concern over the Israeli government's assault on Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, is to be regretted.
We demand that the Portuguese government be consistent with constitutional principles and the will of the Portuguese people. The recognition of the State of Palestine, as requested by the Assembly of the Republic [Portuguese Parliament], is an imperative whose lack of implementation by the Portuguese government is not acceptable.
We are living in crucial times. After 75 years of betrayed promises, it is no longer possible to accept the silence on the Palestinian issue to which the "international community" has consigned itself in recent years. Nor are new promises of future solutions sufficient, without ensuring the mechanisms to achieve them in the short term, preventing them from adding to the long list of betrayed promises.
Plans" or "initiatives" that are not the result of participation by organizations representing the Palestinian people are not admissible. Whoever makes it impossible today to achieve a real political solution that guarantees the creation of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital and ensuring the right of return of refugees, as provided for in the UN resolutions, will have no right to complain tomorrow about the consequences of their actions.
Without the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, there can be no peace in Palestine, no peace in the Middle East, and no peace in the world. The Palestinian people have suffered too many years of injustice, death, exile, life in refugee camps, the criminal siege of the Gaza Strip, repression, thousands of political prisoners, torture, endless eviction from their homes and land.
It is time to say enough is enough!
It is time for justice!
It is urgent the solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people!
November 29th, 2022
The National Directorate of MPPM