Per Gahrtons anförande på konferensen i Malmö

Anförande 4:e konferensen för palestinier i Europa/ Malmö 6 maj 2006Av Per Gahrton, ordförande i Palestinagrupperna i Sverige

Inledning (på arabiska)

Välkommen till PA-regeringens flyktingminister Atif Adwan.

Jag hälsar er välkommen till Sverige.
Inte för att jag och PGS är överens med er om er politiska ståndpunkter.
Utan för att ni representerar en demokratiskt folkvald regering.

PGS anser liksom PLO att samtliga FN-beslut och internationella konventioner angående Palestina skall genomföras.

Det betyder, enligt FN:s delningsbeslut 1947, att det skall vinnas två stater i det f d brittiska mandatet Palestina – en israelisk och en palestinsk.

Respekt för FN betyder också att Israel skall utrymma samtliga områden som ockuperades 1967, stoppa alla judiska bosättningar på palestinsk område, sluta bygga en separationsmur på palestinsk mark och, så länge ockupationen pågår, följa Genevekonventionens regler för civilbefolkningen.

Israel måste också sluta med utskiljningslöst och olagligt dödande av civila. Enligt en israeliska människorättsorganisationen Bzelem har under Al Aqsa intifaden ungefär 3500 palestinier dödats, de flesta civila och 1000 israeler, därav en tredjedel soldater. Israel har dödat 700 palestinska barn, palestinska grupper har dödat 120 israeliska barn.

Det är alltså i första hand Israel som måste sluta använd våld. Israel bryter mot folkrätten när man dödar palestinier.

Folkrätten förbjuder inte allt våld mot en ockupation. Men det ska ske enligt vissa regler. Dessa regler följs inte alltid av alla palestinska grupper. Det skadar sympatin för de palestinska folkets rättvisa sak.

Personligen anser jag att en rättvis motståndskamp blir mest respektabel om den avstår från våld.

Jag vill också understryka att en rättvis lösning förutsätter att FN-resolution 194 förverkligas. Den resolutionen fastslår att de palestinska flyktingarna har rätt att återvända eller, om de väljer att inte återvända, få kompensation.

Och härmed övergår jag till engelska.

The background for UN resolution 194 is of course that at least 750.000 out of 1.250.000 Palestinians left their homes during the war of 1947-49, during the Nakba and became refugees.

Somehow, despite resolution 194 that demands the right to return, the International Community seams to blame the Palestinians themselves for their flight and has taken no action.

Therefore I find it extremely important that since some years there exists irrefutable scientific proof that the mass flight was triggered by the Israelis, that it was an act of ethnic cleansing. And this proof was delivered by an Israel scientist, Professor Benny Morris in his book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, especially the Revisited version published in 2004.

Morris proves

– that the idea of ethnic cleansning – and expression Morris says he found among Zionists – was predominant among Zionists from the beginning of modern Zionism in the 19th century.
– that only in 6 out of 392 towns and villages where he checked the causes for mass flight did Arab calls to move play any role,
– that only in 25 percent of the cases did people leave because of normal fear for the fighting and war events,
– that in the remaning 73 percent of the cases the Palestinians were driven away through planned violent or, sometimes, psychological warfare. Very often the Israelis committed atrocities, including rapes of women, to scare off the population. Many people know about the massacre of Deir Yassin, where indiscriminate killings of several hundred civilian Palestinians by Zionist soldiers triggered the flight of thousands and thousands who knew of it. But Morris lists 23 more massacres by the Zionists of the same character as Deir Yassin. Of course, civilian Palestinians got scared and ran away.

Already before the war was over Israel decided not to let any refugees return.

Why this massive ethnic cleansing? Perpetrated by people who just a few years earlier almost was completely annihilated by the Nazis? There are some cases of moving stories of young Zionists who came almost directly from extermination camps in Europe who had problems of conscience when they were ordered to shoot randomly chosen Palestinians just to create fear and trigger mass flight. But very few. The vast majority of Zionists followed orders and gladly so. Why?

The answer is rather simple and obvious and I will quote Morris: ”A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700.000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them”.

This is the whole story in a nutshell. Awful, unacceptable. Had it happened today, the outcome could have been another.

So, what is the conclusion by Benny Morris? Is he now active in the Israeli Peace camp? No. On the contrary. He is part of the Right-Wing camp that openly demands a continuation of so called transfer! In an interview in Haaretz he says:

”The whole Zionist project is apocalyptic. I think of Armageddon. In the next 20 years there could be an atomic war here”.

Morris believes that Zionist aggression might cause an atomic war. Still he is in favour of the most extremist Zionist policies. There are many people like him in Israel today. One winning party from the latest Israeli elections wants to evict the more than one million Palestinians who live in Israel as second class citizens. Its leader, Mr Lieberman admitted recently that Israel is no democracy because the Law of Return applies only to Jews.

This is no moral problem for Lieberman, just as the ethnic cleansing of 700000 Palestinians in 1948-49 is no moral problem for Morris. Just as this is no problem for a growing number of Israeli politicians. They want the whole country and they believe they have the right to get rid of the Palestinians by ethnic cleansing or transfer.

So what should be the Palestinian/Arab reply to such outrageous policies? To use the same methods as the extreme Zionists and go for total war in order to liberate Palestine from the River to the Sea? Min an- nahr illal-bahr? Well, if so, there will without doubt come a kind of total liberation – an atomic liberation that will kill off Jews and Palestinians alike and make the land liberated for ants and snakes to populate.

I would propose something else: To study thoroughly the most similar case to the Palestinian in modern history, the case of apartheid in South Africa. Israel is today an apartheid-state. How did Nelson Mandela fight apartheid? By many means. But most important I think was that he understood that every fight to-day is global. And he understood that in order to receive the necessary global support the oppressed people must be perceived as morally superior.

That was easy in the case of South Africa. It should be easy also with Palestine.

The Palestinians have evolved as the most democratic and most open-minded of all Arab peoples. In Palestine women have got a stronger and more equal position. The whole of the population takes part in the struggle. The leadership has of course made mistakes, but my impression is that a great many Palestinian political leaders have managed to combine the roles as internal representatives of an oppressed people and respected actors on the global scene. I sincerely wish that this development will continue – both fore the sake of Palestine, and the sake of World Peace.

And I take the visit of mr Adwan, the first visit of a Hamas-minister to an EU-country, as a sign that this evolution of the difficult double roles for Palestinian leader continues. I am happy that finally Sweden has created this opportunity for exchange of mutual experiences and dialogue.

Once more very welcome to Sweden! To all of you and to minister Adwan! Assalam Aliekum wa shukran.

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