International conference condemns 60 years of Israeli violence


London : Israel was widely condemned Sunday for its endemic record of human rights violations since first starting to drive Palestinians from their homeland.

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At an international conference in London, speaker after speaker related to the conflicting emergence in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the same time as the creation of the artificial state.

“To speak about ’60 years of Israel’ without mentioning ’60 years of Palestinian dispossession and expulsion’ is not only a historical lie,” said Michael Warschawski, from the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem.

It is “also a kind of revisionism, a denial of the suffering of millions of human beings,” Warchawski told the conference at the Islamic Centre of England, organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Meir Margalit of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions criticised the way issues with regard to Palestinians are discussed in Israeli policy circles.

“Where a problem is perceived in terms of a national threat, there can be no compromise; the range of solutions is limited and thinking moves on a track of aggression. Where parameters are political, solutions will invariably be aggressive. And wrong,” Margalit said.

Speaking on witnessing the aftermath of extrajudicial killings, Jennifer Loewenstein from the University of Wisconsin related how the obscenities of Gaza “offends us all.”

Daud Abdullah of the Palestinian Return Centre referred to the plight of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, while Richard Stanforth from Oxfam looked at the lack of access to water.

Summing up the conference, Yehudit Keshet from Checkpoint Watch, warned against the current climate of international indifference to Palestinian suffering.

“Israeli ongoing colonisation project, the value of speaking out, of untwisting the discourse, is not to be underestimated,” Keshet said.