A ROOM WITH A VIEWPOINT/setting the record straight
It is justified and necessary at this precise moment to go back SIXTY years (somewhat more perhaps) and reflect on the historical events that led up to the declaration of the state of Israel on a territory that was populated in majority by the Palestinian peoples. The celebration of the 50 years of Israeli statehood coincides with the Palestinian commemoration of the “Nakba” the catastrophe… dispossession, diaspora, disenfranchisement. Sometimes it signified the beginning of a new life in a refugee camp or just being dumped into the sea. It seems all the more outrageous and flagrant when one trys to place this event after the world war which had wrought so much suffering and death at the hands of fascist tyrants. And in the same year 1948, that Palestinians were condemned to leave their homes and land, forced by the terror of the liberating army of the future state of Israel , the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man was signed at the United Nations in New York by all of those countries implicated in this inordinate miscarriage of justice. And this milestone event coincided incoherently with another, that being the loss of basic human rights, guaranteed by that very charter, to all Palestinians who stayed in the the newly declared state of Israel, and those who were thrown into refugee camps: the right to work, to freely circulate, the possibility to travel (no passports) etc….. Can we speak of a kind of psychological genocide? Or would this be considered “politically incorrect”?
That said the most shocking side to this tragedy is that almost nothing has changed in 60 years for the Palestinain people.
Setting the record straight is of utmost importance. Without going back to the facts, without admitting to ourselves that a grave injustice has been done and must be urgently UNdone, we will never be able to go forward . Not only is peace at issue here but the simple fact of life and living it within the context of an equitable and democratic system. If this great “Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man’ is more than just another beautifully formulated document, then we are all directly responsible in ensuring immediately and irreversibly to those who have been denied, the protection it promises.
In spite of the highly controversial issues provoked by such a project, there is a veritable necessity to clarify a point of view that has been obscured by silent consensus of the international community in the handling of the realpolitic in the middle east ignoring indeniably and repeatedly the voice of the Palestinian people.
To elucidate those issues that have been camouflaged concerning the history of this region over the past fifty years. It is also an occasion to discuss the archeological and historical considerations often relegated to a lesser priority which concern not only the heritage of Palestine but our universal heritage. Then there is the crucial question of the current situation of Palestine and what kind of engagement is necessary on the part of the international community to end this affront to the dignity and self determination of the Palestinian people.
Nikki Diana Marquardt