World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Gush Shalom: Pressure rather than violence

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 www.gush-shalom.org/

Pressure rather than violence

Press release, originally published by Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller from Kuala Lumpur, March 31, and quoted on the Israeli radio.

What made this conference different was that it wasn't just a gathering of NGO representatives, but that there was serious governmental interest on the part of the host country: "The government of Malaysia considers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the continuation of the occupation a phenomenon endangering not only the Middle-East, but the entire world, as it tends to deepen the hostility and suspicion between the United States and the Muslim World. Therefore, Malaysia is going to take a high profile involvement in an effort to end the occupation and the conflict" said Abdullah Badawi, the prime minister of Malaysia, in a conversation with members of the Israeli delegation. The occasion for the conversation was the festive dinner given by the Malaysian PM to more than 500 civil society delegates from 34 countries, gathered at the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur for a three-day conference on peace in the Middle East.

The five representatives of the Israeli peace movement at the conference - Adam Keller and Beate Zilversmidt of Gush Shalom, Adi Dagan (Women's Peace Coalition), Gershon Baskin (IPCRI) and bereaved father Yitzhak Frankental of the Arik Institute - received tremendous interest from the moment of their arrival at the conference, both from delegates, and from the Malaysian media and several days there were appearing interviews on the main Malaysian newspages and TV broadcasts.

Since Malaysia is a Muslim country which has no diplomatic relations with Israel and usually does not accept Israeli visitors, a special procedure was needed for the five who were met at Bangkok airport by representatives of the Malaysian embassy to arrange visas.

The participation of Israelis at the conference was said to be one of the reasons for hardline Muslim opposition groups not to attend. The issue was also raised in a press conference where the Foreign Minister answered that the government of Malaysia distinguishes between the Israeli peace movement and the government policies. The government of Malaysia is committed to a peace agreement involving an end of the occupation, and the creation of an independent Palestinian state side by side with Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as capital, and the representatives of like-minded Israeli groups are welcome in Malaysia, but diplomatic relations are out of the question as long as Israel continues to occupy and oppress the Palestinians.

At the conference itself there was an intensive discussion of the ongoing plight of the Palestinians, especially the disastrous effects of the wall, with experts providing maps, diagrams and photos. The conference hall also saw some fierce debates on issues such as the one-state against the two-state solution, and the armed struggle vs nonviolence.

Dr Mahathir Muhammad, who was prime minister of Malaysia until a year ago, invited the Israeli delegation to meet with him at the research foundation he heads. During an hour-long meeting he told them that he had met with the late PM Yitzchak Rabin in 1994, and that during the Oslo period he had planned on a gradual warming up of relations with Israel, but that these plans were shelved with the collapse of the peace process.

The conference set out a Plan of Action with the double aim of pressuring the Israeli side to fully end the occupation and not let the Gaza Disengagement be an end in itself. On the other hand the Palestinian side is also urged to fully adhere to the norms of international humanitarian law in the conduct of its resistance to the occupation. This point was underlined by a keynote speech by Dr Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who mentioned ways in which his grandfather's experience is applicable to the Palestinian cause.

The conference resolved to set up a Malaysia-based institute to coordinate activities of civil society Palestinian solidarity groups, focussing on the Third World. Among the causes of action was mentioned: boycott of such multinational companies as Caterpillar, which produces the D-9 bulldozers which weare used by the IDF to demolish thousands of Palestinian homes in the past four years. Also considered were campaigns and popular pressure in Third World countries to stop their governments from buying Israeli arms and military equipment nor invite Israeli instructors to train their armies and security services. Such selective economic pressure was considered a better means than violence for the Palestinians to achieve their liberty.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news