On November 29, 2021, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement directed a strong letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In the letter, the Masar emphasizes the UN’s responsibility for the ongoing crimes committed against the Palestinian people, noting that the Day itself commemorates one of those crimes: The UN-approved partition of Palestine for the benefit of the Zionist settler-colonial project.
Further, the letter emphasizes that the Palestinian Authority is an inappropriate representative of the Palestinian people on this day, noting that it has no legitimacy to represent the people whose rights it continues to undermine and deny by engaging in agreements and a sham “peace process” with the Israeli occupation.
The letter demands that the United Nations instead take action to implement Palestinian rights, including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands in Palestine, and protecting the right of Palestinians to resist until the liberation of Palestine from colonialism, occupation and apartheid.
The letter urges the UN to re-adopt UN General Assembly resolution 3379, which correctly recognized Zionism as a form of racism. Its withdrawal in 1991 as part of the Madrid talks was a betrayal of Palestinian rights that continues to the present day. Further, it also calls upon the UN to exclude Israel from the international body and its committees, noting the precedent of the exclusion of apartheid South Africa, and the rejection of its UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan, noting his crimes against the Palestinian people. Read the letter in full below:
29 November 2021
Dear United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Antonio Guterres,
Dear Members of the Bureau of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,
We write to you today on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 29 November 2021. This is, of course, the anniversary of a great crime committed against the Palestinian people under the auspices of the United Nations: The proposed partition of Palestinian land in the interests of a European colonialist movement, the Zionist movement, and the ensuing Nakba and mass dispossession, expulsion, and killing of the Palestinian people that continues to this day.
Thus, for us, 29 November remains not only a day in which solidarity is urgent, but a day of mourning and anger that must compel the people of the world, and certainly an institution such as the United Nations to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people, if its precepts rejecting colonialism and respecting self-determination are to have any material significance.
It must be a day for action to implement the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is the right of return for Palestinian refugees, in addition to compensation and restitution of property, as well as the right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation and colonialism by all means, including armed struggle, until our full right to self-determination is exercised across the land of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
In this context, we must make clear that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority and the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization do not represent the Palestinian people. Instead, they represent a small sector that has repeatedly relinquished Palestinian rights through a series of unlawful and illegitimate “agreements” with Israel, the Zionist colonial project on Palestinian land. The so-called “peace talks” and the Oslo Accords have not served to protect the Palestinian people’s rights to freedom, self-determination, return and liberation from colonialism.
Instead, they have only entrenched further violations of the Palestinian people’s rights and theft of our land and resources. All of the political, economic and security agreements signed by the PLO leadership and the Zionist entity are null and void. They constitute crimes against the struggling Palestinian people and distort the image and reality of the Palestinian liberation struggle, hinder its progress and confiscate the national decision-making structures and institutions that rightfully belong to the Palestinian people as they fight colonialism and occupation on a daily basis.
We also express our firm rejection of the role the United Nations officialdom has played in the dismantling of Palestinian rights, despite the clear stand in support of the Palestinian people expressed by many peoples of the world and their representatives in United Nations forums. The United Nations has remained complicit in the ongoing violations of Palestinian rights and the ongoing expansion and consolidation of colonialism in Palestine, which did not begin and end in 1947 with the proposal to partition Palestinian land and create a colonial settler state on 55% of Palestinian land.
Rather than taking action to implement Palestinian rights, ensure the Palestinian people may exercise their right to self-determination and ensure that Palestinian refugees may return to their homes and lands, the United Nations has continued to encourage the so-called “peace process,” which is based on the evasion of rather than the implementation of international law. The United Nations and its institutions have utterly failed to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people and has allowed the United States of America to repeatedly block any efforts for justice and accountability.
The major imperialist power in the world, itself responsible for numerous violations of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in countries around the world, the United States repeatedly abuses its veto power in order to protect Israel, its occupation army, and its armed settlers engaged in crimes against the Palestinian people. On a daily basis, Palestinians face ongoing campaigns of mass arrest and imprisonment, an illegal siege on the Gaza Strip and firmly institutionalized racist laws and apartheid structures targeting the Palestinian people in occupied Palestine 1948 (Palestinian citizens of Israel.)
Within this context of complicity of international institutions with the ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people, it is perhaps unsurprising but nonetheless appalling that the Palestinian Authority leadership is once again featured as a representative of the Palestinian people. This leadership does not represent the Palestinian people, does not express our aspirations, rights and national goals, and no longer has national, legal or constitutional legitimacy.
Instead, the Palestinian Authority leadership is an illegitimate substitute for the actual representatives of the Palestinian people, dominating Palestinian institutions by force through their relationship of dependency on the Zionist occupation system. They represent a corrupt sector that monopolizes political decision-making, tortures detainees in its prisons, targets the Palestinian resistance, the student movement and Palestinians with critical perspectives. All of this takes place within the context of the Palestinian Authority carrying out its “security coordination” with the Zionist occupation, against the will and interests of the Palestinian people.
The United Nations must take meaningful action to redress the wrongs done to the Palestinian people through its actions, particularly the approval of the partition of Palestinian land for the creation of a colonial project. We urge that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379, adopted in the 30th General Assembly on 10 November 1975, recognizing Zionism as a form of racism, be re-adopted. This resolution was revoked in 1991 in the context of the Madrid negotiations. As stated, the Madrid negotiations have served solely to undermine rather than implement Palestinian rights. This is very clear 30 years later, as are the catastrophic crimes carried out by the Israeli state in order to implement its racist policies and ideology of Zionism, including settlement construction, the siege on Gaza and the further entrenchment and expansion of apartheid, occupation and colonization. Zionism is indeed a form of racism and racial discrimination and a form of European settler-colonialism that has done great harm to the Palestinian people, the Arab people and the people of the region generally.
Further, we note that on 12 November 1974, apartheid South Africa was suspended from the United Nations. When the United States, United Kingdom and France vetoed the full expulsion of the apartheid regime in the United Nations, the General Assembly took action to prevent the representatives of apartheid from taking seats, over the opposition of these same imperialist powers. It is time for the United Nations as a body to act once again to expel Israel from the United Nations and associated international institutions.
In addition, the racist representative of the Israeli regime, Gilad Erdan, is a war criminal representing an illegitimate apartheid settler-colonial regime. He should be arrested and tried for crimes against the Palestinian people rather than welcomed as an international representative, particularly for his torture of the Palestinian prisoners, repression of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and international campaigns of harassment and rights violations of Palestinian human rights defenders during his term as Minister of Internal Security, which immediately preceded his post at the United Nations.
On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it is time for the crimes against the Palestinian people to come to an end and for the United Nations to take responsibility for its illegitimate attempt to partition Palestinian land in the interests of a colonial, racist project in 1947 and all of the ensuing and ongoing crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people. Rather than inviting the Palestinian Authority to speak for the Palestinian people, the United Nations must act to implement all of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people from the river to the sea, throughout occupied Palestine. The Palestinian people will not rest in our liberation struggle until justice is obtained.
The Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement
29 November 2021