One of the Palestinian Return Centres (PRC) key aims is to inform our politicians and party members of the current situation in Palestine, especially the refugee issue. By that we hope to remind them and insure that they don't lose sight of the core issues that underpin this historic conflict.
With this goal in mind PRC expressed its central message through the Government Gazette. Please read our article in this month's edition which summarises the core issues that the international community needs to address for peace and justice in the region.
Autumn is a conference season and this edition will have the widest circulation as a result. Many thousands, most of whom will be members of a political party, will take part in the conference. This is a good opportunity to send our core message to the heart of every political party about the reality in Palestine.
Government Gazette is a monthly magazine that brings a unique and rounded perspective to the major political issues of the day. With a wide-ranging brief we look at issues of governance, from Whitehall and local government, to international institutions, with the aim of seeing the bigger picture.
Read Full Article Below:
The Palestinian Return Centre
Securing Justice and Peace in Palestine
Since the creation of the state of Israel violence in Palestine has been constant. During the past few years we have witnessed some of the worst displays of aggression in the region. The siege and attack on Gaza, the invasion of Lebanon and the assault on the Gaza aid Flotilla, are just a few incidents that have reminded us all of the desperate need for a just solution that leads to peace and harmony in the region. At the same time a dormant peace process has been reactivated edging the region into a new precipice. Currently we are moving through a period of cautious optimism and at the same time tremendous anxiety, a moment which could usher in a new peaceful and secure Middle East or a moment that could heave the region into more violence and bloodshed. This is also a moment for asking why justice and peace has eluded for so long; why past efforts have failed so miserably, and if there is anything to suggest that this window of opportunity will not leave us disappointed.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) believes we have not learnt from past mistakes and failures. The reasons for previous collapses are still inherent and have not been addressed. The international community has tried many things except for the one thing that would bring justice and peace. It tried, tested and failed on countless occasions to usher in peace through the balance of interests between Israelis and Palestinians but it has not attempted to implement the rule of law. Any mechanism that seeks peace without justice, any mechanism that seeks peace without the application of core principals of law is doomed for ever to fail.
International law demands that settlements are removed, the illegal occupation comes to an end, the Wall on occupied land dismantled, the refugees allowed the right to return to their land and Palestinians given their self determination. A political process that deviates altogether from the core legal principals and declarations cannot achieve peace, and to pursue the same strategy repeatedly is dangerous. PRC, since its inception in 1996, has been defending the interest of the 7.1 million Palestinian refugees, three quarters of the Palestinian population, and their basic human rights. The Palestinians' rights are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. The Right of Return for refugees is guaranteed under Humanitarian and Human Rights Law and countless UN resolutions. For six decades the Palestinian refugees and their descendants have suffered dispossession, exile, violence and poverty.
Many thousands have lived their lives in concrete shanties where opportunities are few and despair is endemic. In December 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 194 with a commitment to the Palestinian refugees either returning to their homes or receiving compensation. However, all efforts, either to repatriate refugees or to resettle and compensate them, proved to be in vain. It is no great surprise that talks of peace and political processes that fail to address the plight of three quarters of a nation's population cannot succeed. We at PRC strongly believe that the Palestinian people and their rights under international law must form the core of any drive towards peace. We believe that a resolution to the plight of the majority of Palestinians is the only guaranteed path towards peace.
Our message conforms to the principals of international law and international institutions that emerged from the horrors of world war two, and we are committed to working with individuals and institutions that support this cause. We campaign to bring global attention to the ongoing plight, aspirations, hopes and the daily struggle of Palestinian refugees. We combine our academic background and our knowledge on the ground with lobbying, writing, consultancy and media work in order that the refugee issue does not fall off the political radar. We have organised delegations comprising of politicians from the UK and around Europe to understand and address the terrible conditions facing Palestinian refugees from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and also in Gaza. The delegation to Gaza was unprecedented with 55 politicians from Europe taking part.
With the call for justice in Palestine now approaching the levels of Apartheid South Africa, the world has a greater understanding than ever of the root of the conflict. We call on all British parliamentarians to lead the way in addressing the real issues at the heart of the Middle East conflict and join us in pursuing the path to real peace through justice.
Contact Our Website www.prc.org.uk Email: Info@prc.org.uk Telephone: 0208-453-0919