NPK-info 06-04-2001- Nederlands Palestina Komitee / www.xs4all.nl/~npk

Van Aartsen zei 2 april op Radio 1: "Geen vrede zonder gerechtigheid",
het ging helaas - nog - niet over het Midden-Oosten [maar over JoegoslaviŽ].

Bijgaand een memo van Mandela over het Midden-Oosten in een brief aan de

The full text of the Palestinian submission is available NOW at
(It is 73 pages)

The complete report will be published and available to the public within one
month. Please visit the following link for main findings:

Defence for Children International/Palestine Section is an independent,
Palestinian non-governmental organization, established in 1992 to promote
and protect the rights of Palestinian children as articulated in the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as in other international

DCI/PS, P.O. Box 55201, Jerusalem
Tel:   +972 2 240 7530
Fax:   +972 2 240 7018
(Note: please try and use +970, if the above country code does not work)
Email:   dcipal@palnet.com
Website: www.dci-pal.org (click on 'new' for updated information)

NPK/WL, 6-4-2001


March 28, 2001

 To: Thomas L. Friedman (columnist New York Times)
 From: Nelson Mandela (former President South Africa)

 Dear Thomas,
 I know that you and I long for peace in the Middle
 East, but before you
 continue to talk about necessary conditions from an
 Israeli perspective,
 you need to know what's on my mind. Where to begin?
 How about 1964. Let
 me quote my own words during my trial. They are true
 today as they were

 "I have fought against white domination and I have
 fought against black
 domination. I have cherished the ideal of a
 democratic and free society
 in which all persons live together in harmony and
 with equal
 opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live
 for and to achieve.
 But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
 prepared to die."

 Today the world, black and white, recognise that
 apartheid has no future.
 In South Africa it has been ended by our own
 decisive mass action in order
 to build peace and security. That mass campaign of
 defiance and other
 actions could only culminate in the establishment of

 Perhaps it is strange for you to observe the
 situation in Palestine or
 more specifically, the structure of political and
 cultural relationships
 between Palestinians and Israelis, as an apartheid
 system. This is because
 you incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine
 began in 1967. This
 was demonstrated in your recent column "Bush's First
 Memo" in the New York
 Times on March 27, 2001.

 You seem to be surprised to hear that there are
 still problems of 1948 to
 be solved, the most important component of which is
 the right to return of
 Palestinian refugees.

 The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an
 issue of military
 occupation and Israel is not a country that was
 established "normally"
 and happened to occupy another country in 1967.
 Palestinians are not
 struggling for a "state" but for freedom, liberation
 and equality, just
 like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.

 In the last few years, and especially during the
 reign of the Labour
 Party, Israel showed that it was not even willing to
 return what it
 occupied in 1967; that settlements remain, Jerusalem
 would be under
 exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and Palestinians
 would not have an
 independent state, but would be under Israeli
 economic domination with
 Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and

 Israel was not thinking of a "state" but of
 "separation". The value of
 separation is measured in terms of the ability of
 Israel to keep the
 Jewish state Jewish, and not to have a Palestinian
 minority that could
 have the opportunity to become a majority at some
 time in the future. If
 this takes place, it would force Israel to either
 become a secular
 democratic or bi-national state, or to turn into a
 state of apartheid
 not only de facto, but also de jure.

 Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the
 last 30 or 40 years, you
 clearly find a vulgar racism that includes a third
 of the population who
 openly declare themselves to be racist. This racism
 is of the nature of
 "I hate Arabs" and "I wish Arabs would be dead". If
 you also follow the
 judicial system in Israel you will see there is
 discrimination against
 Palestinians, and if you further consider the 1967
 occupied territories
 you will find there are already two judicial systems
 in operation that
 represent two different approaches to human life:
 one for Palestinian
 life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally
 there are two
 different approaches to property and to land.
 Palestinian property is
 not recognised as private property because it can be

 As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and
 Gaza, there is an
 additional factor. The so-called "Palestinian
 autonomous areas" are
 bantustans. These are restricted entities within the
 power structure of
 the Israeli apartheid system.

 The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of
 the Jewish state, just
 in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel.
 Israel's racial
 discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians.
 Since Israel is a
 Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue
 special rights which
 non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place
 in a "Jewish" state.

 Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has
 deprived millions of
 Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has
 perpetuated a system of
 gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has
 incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians,
 contrary to the rules
 of international law. It has, in particular, waged a
 war against a
 civilian population, in particular children.

 The responses made by South Africa to human rights
 abuses emanating from
 the removal policies and apartheid policies
 respectively, shed light on
 what Israeli society must necessarily go through
 before one can speak of a
 just and lasting peace in the Middle East and an end
 to its apartheid

 Thomas, I'm not abandoning Mideast diplomacy. But
 I'm not going to indulge
 you the way your supporters do. If you want peace
 and democracy, I will
 support you. If you want formal apartheid, we will
 not support you. If you
 want to support racial discrimination and ethnic
 cleansing, we will oppose
 you. When you figure out what you're about, give me
 a call.



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