Index | Palestina 2008







Palestinian Appeal to International Civil Society the "Israel at 60" Celebrations!

Sixty Years of Dispossession and Ethnic Cleansing. Boycott

How can you celebrate? The establishment of the State of Israel sixty years ago was a settler-colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago, Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages. How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe?
30 March 2008

How can you celebrate?  The establishment of the State of Israel sixty years ago was a settler-colonial project that systematically and violently uprooted more than 750 thousand Palestinian Arabs from their lands and homes. Sixty years ago, Zionist militias and gangs ransacked Palestinian properties and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages.  How can people of conscience celebrate this catastrophe?

Israel at 60 is a state that continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right to return to their homes and receive compensation, simply because they are "non-Jews."  It still illegally occupies Palestinian and other Arab lands, in violation of numerous UN resolutions.  It persists in its blatant denial of fundamental Palestinian human rights, in contravention of international humanitarian law and human rights conventions.  It still subjects its own Palestinian citizens to a system of institutionalized discrimination, strongly reminiscent of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa.  And Israel gets away with all this, thanks to the unprecedented immunity granted to it by the unlimited and munificent US and European economic, diplomatic, political, and academic support.

In view of this multi-faceted oppression that is the reality of Israel today, we regard any Arab or international participation, whether individual or institutional, in any activity that contributes, either directly or indirectly, to the "celebrations" of Israel's establishment, as collusion in the perpetuation of the dispossession and uprooting of refugees, the prolongation of the occupation, and the deepening of Israeli apartheid.  Inviting Israel as a "guest of honor" to the Turin and Paris book fairs, for example, is not only a deliberate betrayal of basic principles of human rights, including those enshrined in the laws of the European Union itself, but is also a deliberate attempt to cover up Israel's crimes against the Arab people, especially its successive war crimes in Lebanon and Palestine, and its acts of slow genocide against a million and a half Palestinians in the besieged and collectively punished Gaza Strip.  In short, celebrating "Israel at 60" is tantamount to dancing on Palestinian graves.

We urge international civil society in all its components, particularly institutions and individuals working in the arts, academia, sport, trade unions, and communities of faith to boycott the "Israel at 60" celebrations wherever they are held in the world.  These celebrations, by definition, insult our history, violate our rights, and deepen our oppression.  They also render the path to justice, freedom, equality, and sustainable peace based on international law longer than ever before.

Institutional Endorsers:

  • Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
  • Department of Refugee Affairs - PLO
  • Jerusalem-The Arab Cultural Capital Project, Jerusalem
  • Higher National Committee for the Defense of the Right to Return
  • The General Union of Palestinian Women
  • Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, PGFTU
  • Palestinian Farmers' Union
  • Popular Committee Against the Siege (PCAS), Gaza
  • Federation of Palestinian Refugee Camp Youth Centers
  • Higher National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba, Palestine
  • Refugee Affairs Department, Mobilization and Organization, Fatah Movement
  • Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
    Ittijah-Union of the Arab Community Based Organizations, Haifa
  • Palestinian Lawyers' Syndicate
  • Palestinian Journalists' Association, Jerusalem
  • Palestinian Engineers' Syndicate, Jerusalem
  • Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, UPWC, Ramallah
  • Stop the Wall-the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
  • Union of Employees at Private Schools-West Bank
  • Association of Residents of Depopulated Villages and Cities, Ramallah
  • General Federation of Cultural Centers, Gaza
  • Jerusalem Center for Social & Economic Rights JCSER, Jerusalem
  • Federation of Independent Workers Committees, Gaza
  • League of Palestinian Refugees in Europe
  • BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem
  • Occupied Palestine Golan heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI)
  • Al-Aswar Organization for Cultural and Social Development, Acre
  • University Teachers Association, Gaza
  • Joint Advocacy Initiative of the YMCA-YWCA (JAI), Jerusalem
  • General Union of Health Service Workers, Gaza
  • Aida Refugee Camp Social Center, Aida Refugee Camp
  • A'idoun Group, Syria
  • Palestinian Community in Scandinavia
  • Canadian Arab Federation
  • Palestinian Counseling Center, Jerusalem
  • Land Research Center, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Muwatin the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
  • Palestinian Association of Brantford--Canada
  • Center for the Defense of Freedoms and Civil Rights (Hurriyat)
  • Wihdah Democratic Action Institute (Wa'ad)--Bethlehem
  • Federation of Agricultural Action Committees
  • Canada Palestine Association, Vancouver
  • Addameer, Ramallah
  • Ma'an Development Center, Ramallah
  • Gaza Center for Culture and Arts
  • Voice of Palestine, Canada
  • Canadian Palestinian Association, Ontario, Canada
  • Taghrid Association for Culture, Development and Reconstruction, Gaza
  • Jabalya-al-Nazaleh Cultural Center, Jabalya Camp, Gaza
  • Federation of Agricultural Work Committees, Gaza
  • Turathuna Charitable Society, Gaza
  • The Popular Committee at al-Burayj Camp, Gaza
  • El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe, Al-Bireh
  • Adalah-NY: The Coalition for Justice in the Middle East, New York
  • General Union of Services and Trade Workers, Gaza Governorates
  • The National Council of Arab Americans - Metropolitan New York Chapter, NY
  • The Arab Muslim American Federation
  • The Palestinian American Congress, New York
  • Dramatists' Federation
  • Society for the Development of Women, al-Burayj Camp, Gaza
  • Yanbou' Cultural Forum, al-Reina
  • Palestinian Human Rights Monitor (Rassid), Gaza
  • Yabous Productions, Jerusalem
    The Arab Student Observatory of Victims of Occupation and Blockade of the General Union of Arab Students (GUAS(
  • Arab Culture Society
  • Al-Siwar-Arab Feminist Movement to Support Victims of Sexual Assault, Haifa
  • Popular Art Centre, Al-Bireh
  • Federation of Working Women's Committees
  • Palestinian Federation of Women's Action Committees
  • Al-Najda Association for the Development of Palestinian Women
  • Teacher Creativity Center, Ramallah
  • Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA)
  • Al-Quds Information Bank, Gaza
  • Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, Ramallah
  • The Palestinian Working Women's Society for Development
  • Jimzo Charitable Society
  • Al-Lidd (Lydda) Charitable Society, Ramallah-Al-Bireh Governorate
  • Al-Lidd (Lydda) Social Association, Beitunia
  • Lifta Charitable Society, Palestine
  • Committee of Residents of Greater Masmiyya, Ramallah-Al-Bireh Governorate
  • Falsteen Al Gaad association – Deheisha refugee camp
  • Meethaq Center for Development, Alkahder
  • Women Development Center, Addoha, Bethlehem
  • Al Feeneeq Center, Duheisheh Refugee Camp
  • Palestinian Progressive Youth Union, Gaza
  • Palestinian Women's Information and Media Center, Gaza
  • Said Mishal Foundation for Culture and Science, Gaza
  • Assala Association for Heritage and Development, Gaza
  • Jerusalem Center for Arabic Music, Jerusalem
  • International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah
  • Juthourr Cultural Society, Gaza
  • Women's Research and Legal Counseling Center, Gaza
  • Media Forum for Women Affairs Advocacy, Gaza
  • Palestinian Cultural Center, Gaza
  • Refugees Popular Committee, Gaza
  • Workers Resource Center, Gaza
  • Progressive Union Work Society, Gaza
  • Friends of An-Nour Center Society, Gaza
  • Al-Aqsa Charitable Youth Welfare Society, Gaza
  • The One Democratic State Group, Gaza
  • Arab Cultural Forum, Gaza
  • Palestinian Democratic Union-Fida