Editor Palestine Monitor

 

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi

Palestine Monito, October 12, 2010

Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), MP and runner-up in the 2005 presidential election declared in a press conference in Ramallah yesterday that failed negotiations are threatening the last opportunity of peace based on a two-state solution. He argued that negotiations are meaningless and damaging while Israeli settlement building continues, and proposed an initiative to surpass the intractable impasse in the so called peace process.

The initiative includes:

Declaration of a Palestinian independent, democratic state on all territories occupied in 1967 including its capital of East Jerusalem, according to the borders of June 4 1967.

Demanding that all states, governments and international institutions recognise the Palestinian state and its borders immediately.

Lobbying the UN General Assembly to issue a recognition of the Palestinian state and a demand that Israel end the occupation of its land, borders, airspace, and water resources, removing all illegal settlements from Palestinian territories.

Demanding punitive action against Israel should it continue its occupation of the Palestinian state.

Dr. Barghouthi added that this initiative is an effort to seize the last opportunity of peace based on a two-state solution, and to achieve real and lasting peace in the wider region. The proposition could be the last chance to save the idea of an independent Palestinian state.

Were the world to recognise a Palestinian state with its borders, it would finally provide an equal footing for negotiations, Barghouthi argued, “rather than conditions of the present negotiations that are happening between totally inequitable parties. Where Israel is effectively allowed a dominant veto power on all issues, including the agenda and terms of reference, as well as total impunity to violate international law and so many UN Resolutions.”

In fact, he said, “The continuation of Israeli settlement activities, even during the false ‘partial’ freeze, is nothing but a well-designed process to kill the possibility of an independent Palestinian state. (Israel is) using negotiations as a cover for the de facto, unilateral imposition of an apartheid system that transforms the concept of a Palestinian state into nothing but clusters of ghettos and small Bantustans.”

Dr. Barghouthi also affirmed that the settlements constitute the front line of a matrix that includes checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall, security zones, classified territories (Area C), segregated roads and even the so-called nature reserves that already consume more than 60% of the West Bank and 80% of water resources. He likened settlements to a cancer that continues to grow, actually enhancing its growth during the endless ‘peace processes’, and that the cancer will ultimately kill the two state solution.

Dr. Barghouthi cited the ‘Jewish Loyalty Oath’ amendment to the Citizenship Act, and Netanyahu’s demand that Israel be recognised as a Jewish state in exchange for a partial, temporary and meaningless freeze of settlements as an official declaration of an apartheid system and abandonment of democracy in Israel.

He also said that the PNI initiative is a test to the claims made by many countries that they support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the building of its institutions. He cited Kosovo’s declaration of independence and its recognition by the international community as a model to be replicated.

Dr. Barghouthi warned that, “If the international community rejects this option it will be the death of the two-state solution and Palestinians will be left to struggle against apartheid in one state.” He vowed that his movement, the PNI, will initiate an international campaign with other Palestinian parties to convince the governments and people of the world to recognise and support a sovereign Palestinian democratic state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Learn more about the Palestinian National Initiative here http://www.almubadara.org/new/engli…
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