Please copy the following letters and paste them, as appropriate, in an e-mail message or fax to the officials listed above. We also encourage you to write your own protest letters as you see fit.
The first sample letter is intended for government authorities, and the second sample letter is drafted for the “national” institutions referred to above.
For the efficiency of this appeal, you are asked to send your letters before 15 August 2003. You also will have an opportunity to join in wider support for the Apartheid Wall Campaign through November 9, when PENGON groups will organize an international day against the wall.
Letter 1: To government institutions: Prime Minister, Minister of Defense
Dear [addressee’s name]:
We have learnt through international networks that the Israeli government is aggressively building a 360 km-long wall in the Qalqiliya, Tulkarem, Jenin, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem areas since June 2002. While the Israeli authorities present this as a “security” measure, the wall confiscates, controls and envelopes Palestinian lands up to 6 km from the Green Line, inside the West Bank. In the northern three West Bank districts alone, the so-called “first phase” of the wall is effectively annexing over 120,000 dunums of Palestinian land and at least 35 wells west of the wall from some 50 communities and farmers, while trapping an additional 16 communities between the wall and the Green Line. As Israel extends this supposed “security” measure deeper into the West Bank, the wall will enclave 95,000 Palestinians - 4.5% of West Bank population - in addition to 200,000 Palestinian inhabitants in East Jerusalem, who will be totally isolated from the rest of the West Bank. These actions by the State of Israel cause grave economical, social, political and environmental deprivation for the Palestinian people and the whole region.
By this latest device of the occupation, the Israeli state violates, among others, the human rights to property, work, freedom of movement, water, and all the elements of the right to adequate housing, especially security of tenure, access to public goods and services (including education and health), enjoyment of natural resources (including land and water), freedom from dispossession and deprivation of means of subsistence, the right to participation & self-expression and physical security. All of these are internationally recognized elements of the right to adequate housing. Thereby also, Israel flouts articles 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23 & 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and instrument of customary internal law.
Moreover, on 3 January 1979, the State of Israel ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and, on 3 October 1991, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economical, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Consequently, as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing has pointed out in the report he submitted to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in May 2003, Israel now violates its treaty obligations, inter alia, under articles 6,7, 11 & 12 of the ICESCR, including duties spelled out in General Comments 4 & 7 on the human right to adequate housing, and General Comment 15 on the right to water. Israel hereby also breaches articles 1, 17.1 & 19 of the ICCPR, and articles 1, 5(e) & 6 of CERD. The first article of these international treaties, as with the three other main UN human rights conventions that Israel has ratified, reaffirms the important obligations to implement the principles that override all human rights, namely self-determination, nondiscrimination and, in the case of ICESCR, nonregressivity.
Therefore, we urge you to take all necessary measures, not only to stop the construction of this wall, but also immediately to dismantle the existing parts and repair the economic, social and environmental conditions that this destructive action has created. Urgent is the restitution of land, infrastructure and properties to those to those whom the wall has deprived, and to compensate them fairly for all damages. This would an essential requirement toward any solution. The construction of this “Apartheid Wall”belies any rhetoric claiming that negotiations or any other Israeli measures on the ground aimed at peace.
Letter 2: To the “national” institutions, JA/WZO/JNF
Dear [addressee’s name]:
We take this occasion to write in connection with your organization’s active role in the development of confiscated lands and illegal settler colonies in the occupied territories of Palestine, particularlyin areas of the West Bank that are the focus of the separation wall currently under construction.
As you are aware, the Israeli government is aggressively building a 360 km-long wall in the Qalqiliya, Tulkarem, Jenin, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem Districts since June 2002. While the Israeli authorities present this as a “security” measure, the wall confiscates, controls and isolates Palestinian lands covering 10% of the entire West Bank up to 6 km east of the Green Line. In the northernmost three West Bank districts alone, the wall’s so-called “first phase” is effectively annexing over 120,000 dunums of Palestinian land and at least 35 wells west of the wall from some 50 communities and thousands of farmers, while trapping an additional 16 communities between the wall and the Green Line. As Israel extends this supposed “security” measure deeper into the West Bank, the wall will enclave 95,000 Palestinians - 4.5% of West Bank population - in addition to 200,000 Palestinian inhabitants in East Jerusalem, who it will be totally isolated from the rest of the West Bank. These actions by the State of Israel cause grave economical, social, political and environmental deprivation for the Palestinian people and the whole region.
We are concerned that your organization, linked to the State of Israel by its Status Law (1952) and common objectives, also shares responsibility in the process of confiscating and colonizing lands belonging to the Palestinian people, both individually and collectively. Since the wall has drawn new international attention to the region, the role of your organization - past and present - alsohas freshly become the subject of grave concern.
As the piercing new feature of the occupation, the wall now raises the wider deprivation program into higher relief. The programs of the World Zionist Organization, Jewish Agency for Israel and the Jewish National Fund, together, havebeen integral to depriving the Palestinian people of their lands, properties and livelihoods, both inside the Green Line and in the occupied territories. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) has repeatedly recognized of Israel’sduty, in conformity with the State’s treaty obligations, to reconsider its symbiotic relationship with those institutions. They administer lands, homes and villages acquired by acts of war and occupation, among other means. Theyare discriminatory by nature and constitution, chartered to transfer the proceeds only to persons with “Jewish nationality” status.
The wall violates so dramatically the indigenous civilians’ human rights to work, property, freedom of movement, participation, self-determination physical security, water, and all the elements of the right to adequate housing. Human rights and humanitarian prohibitions were supposed to augur more-civilized conduct so that dispossession and depriving a people of its means of subsistence would never again take place.
We urge you to take all necessary measures not only to stop colonization activities in the area affected by the construction of this wall, but also to direct your efforts to repair the economic, social and environmental effects that these destructive actions havecaused for the Palestinian people. Urgent is the restitution of land, infrastructure and properties to those who have been dispossessed of them, and to compensate them fairly for all resulting losses. These remedies within your capacity arean essential requirement toward any solution, not least including the repair of your organization’s legacy.