We are publishing for the interest of our visitors a Joint Letter addressed to the Prime Minister asking for Government support to the UN resolution on Palestine. The Joint letter was signed by CTSP, Idriss Goomany Centre, LALIT and former President of the Republic, Mr Cassam Uteem
Joint Letter to Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius
on UN Resolution in September on Palestine State, and on Diplomatic Relations
Prime Minister, Hon Dr. Navin Ramgoolam, GCSK,
Old Treasury Building,
Republic of Mauritius.
16 August, 2011
An historic resolution is coming before the next UN General Assembly in September: for the recognition of the State of Palestine. This diplomatic move initiated by the joint Palestinian leadership has already been endorsed by some 123 countries, all of whom are state members of the UN. This initiative is indeed a momentous opportunity to bring an end to more than 40 years of military occupation and 60 years of colonisation of Palestine by Israel. This is why we are writing you this joint letter.
Since 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been forced into exile, and are still denied the right to return to their homes. This is illegal. There are now some 7 millions Palestinian refugees, living in refugee camps, internally displaced, and living in exile in countries all over the world. In 1967 the Israeli army occupied the West Bank, the Gaza strip, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Sinai. Although Israel retreated from Sinai, there are still today four million Palestinians living in the occupied territories, under a severe military regime, devoid of basic civil rights and subject daily to arbitrary and repressive violence at the hands of the Israeli security forces. They are repeatedly stopped and controlled by army check-points. In the West Bank, over two million Palestinians are confined into dozens of fragmented enclaves, separated and surrounded by a system of roadblocks, fences, walls, trenches, barriers, checkpoints and also by Israeli settlements (colonies). We write to you to call attention to the importance of working for a massive vote in September in favour of the recognition of Palestine at the UN.
For decades Israel has continued its policy to fragment, confiscate and illegally annex Palestinian land. The Israeli army has pursued its policy of bulldozing Palestinian houses, destroying their olive orchards, often their main source of revenue; and is maintaining the construction of the 700 km ‘Apartheid Wall’, a wall ruled ‘illegal’ by both the Israel Supreme Court and the UN International Court of Justice at The Hague. Israel continues to impose a criminal economic blockade on the inhabitants of Gaza, and even sabotaged boats of the humanitarian Freedom Flotilla, bringing them supplies. This terror, intimidation, intransigeance and impunity of the Israeli pro-settler Government should be stopped. This, too, is why we are writing to call on your Government to support the intiative for the recognition of the State of Palestine.
Successive US-led ‘peace initiatives’ have failed. It is time for a complete shift from a futile peace process with an Israeli State being in bad faith, to embarking on a new road to end this longest military occupation in history. We believe that the bold Palestinian move for UN recognition could be the best opportunity to arrive at this. This new Palestinian initiative is already starting to modify the balance of forces in favour of freedom and peace. The UN, World Bank and the IMF have all recently announced that Palestinians are ‘ready’ to run an independent State, but they add that the main constraint to success is the Israeli occupation. At the same time the ‘Boycot, Disinvestment, Sanctions (BDS) Campaign’ launched in July 2005 by some 170 Palestinian organisations and which is gathering momentum, is contributing to the isolation of the Israeli State. The recent wave of popular revolt in the Middle East and North Africa is accelerating this process and cutting Israel from its previous allies in this region, like the ex-Mubarak regime of Egypt. The time is ripe for the recognition of a Palestinian State.
Granting statehood to Palestine will definitely further change the dynamics and pave the way towards a new path for progress. It should be given our full support. In the past the Mauritian Government has, on several occasions, condemned Israel for its military aggression in Lebanon, for the bombing and siege of Gaza in 2008-09. The Mauritian government even suspended its diplomatic relations with Israel; we call for the suspension of diplomatic relations to be maintained until the end of occupation and the halt to colonisation of Palestine. More recently the Cabinet of Ministers has received a proposal from the Palestinian Government to establish formal diplomatic relations with Mauritius. We hope that your Government will respond favorably to this proposal.
In conclusion, it is through this letter that we wish to appeal to your Government to stand on the right side of history, and not only to vote in favour of the resolution calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state, but also to take a public stand on the issue and to embark on diplomatic initiatives to encourage other States to do the same when the time comes in September at the next UN General Assembly. In doing so, Mauritius will join the growing international voice in favour of the independence of Palestine and support the legitimate aspiration of the people of Palestine for peace, justice and freedom.
JOINTLY SIGNED BY
Imran Dhanoo for Idriss Goomany Centre 242 3016
Jane Ragoo for Confederation Travailleurs Secteur Prive 454 9919
Alain Ah-Vee for LALIT 208 5551
Cassam Uteem as Former President of the Republic 467 8836
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration & International Trade, Hon. Dr. Arvind Boolell