Source: Remapping Palestine

Here in Vienna, in a cafe down the street a man was sitting there, sipping coffee and telling his people that in 50 years he is going to build a state for them in foreign land he never saw. The name of this man was Theodor Herzl.

The role of Europe in Palestine’s destiny was fundamental. It started as such and continues to do so. The allies in the First World War promised the Arabs to support them to be free and independent after they defeated the Turks. At the same time, two diplomats conspired to divide the cake of the Arab World between them. That was a clear betrayal which remains unrepented.

Europe by the mid-20th century was ravished by two world wars. The turmoil of these two wars laid the foundation for a new world order. It was agreed among the European countries that continuous war among them will not bring peace. Only justice will bring peace.

The League of Nations of the WWI was transformed into the United Nations of WWII in 1945. A new order came in force. At that time, there were only a few Third World countries in the United Nations. Now there is a total of 193, and hopefully this will become 194 with the admission of Palestine.

In the middle of the 20th century the oppressive and totalitarian regimes in the world have been crushed. Great strides have been made in eliminating slavery, discrimination and segregation of races. Millions of people in Africa and Asia broke free from the evil imposed unto them. This happened everywhere in the world, except in Palestine.

Palestine remains the only surviving colonial project from the 20th century and the only one which is supported by the same European and the American powers which created it in the first place. So the problem is still going on.

The national majority of the inhabitants of Palestine have lived there longer than anyone can remember. This majority suddenly found itself the victims of European immigrants that were brought to Palestine. These immigrants carried out against the Palestinians the most detailed, comprehensive and continuous ethnic cleansing in modern history.

The most fundamental right of anybody is to stay, to live and to return to his home. Resolution 194 which created the mechanisms of implementing that return has been affirmed by the United Nations more than 130 times and is the expression of the will of the international community. Today the Palestinians are 11 million people, two thirds of whom are refugees while the other third is under occupation.

The Palestinians refugees have not returned. Why is that? Their return is feasible and there are studies that show it is legal and feasible. It is much cheaper than any aid that is given to the Palestinians and it is much cheaper to bring peace than to bring band aids to Palestinians.

If we now have a massive legal, historical and global support for the right of return, how come is it yet to be implemented?

Why has it taken place in other places but not in Palestine? Well, the answer is very clear: namely, that the US administration gives Israel all possible support in every field, including about 130 billion dollars since Israel was established. They provided them with all kinds of support including Veto votes at the Security Council. You must have heard of the Quartet. It is a political creature invented in order to do the bidding of Israel. It consists of the United States, Europe, United Nations and Russia. Tony Blair has said to the Palestinians: if you don’t listen to what we say, you are going to starve and we are going to continue the siege of Gaza indefinitely. After this, they pledged 4.5 billion dollars in Sharm el Sheikh after the destruction of Gaza in 2008/2009 to rebuild it. However not one dollar would be given unless the Palestinians do what they want. That is, first, the Palestinians must recognize Israel and second that they must stop resisting Israel. The treacherous Blair’s statement is a lie. The Quartet never made such conditions. The Quartet never imposed these conditions on Palestinians.

The UN mediator to Palestine, Alvaro de Soto stated: ‘We have not made such conditions at all! The US and EU are taking us as a shield and want to impose these conditions on Palestinians’. This is his statement and if there is any official of the foreign ministry of Austria here, they can find it out easily.

Now we know of course what United States is doing. Let me just say a word about what Europe is doing. (Dr. Helmut kindly explained today the reasons why he withdrew the fund for the conference). I have not heard from any official from Austria or Europe any condemnation of the ethnic cleansing that is taking place this very day. Israel has announced publicly that they are going to expel thousands of Palestinians from 34 villages in Beer Sheba and throw them out of their homes. You don’t need to be my age to remember al Nakba. You can read it today in the newspaper.

Israel said: not only we will throw them out and take over their land, but we will establish a special police, we will establish special courts, in which they will not be represented, we will establish a special budget for all that. No European country I can think of has made a statement against that. I know in England NGOs had made statements, but no European official opened his mouth to say that there is ethnic cleansing going on today and we must stop it.

Palestinians do not want European aid but they want European action to stop the crimes which created the need for aid. They need European action which will allow the Palestinians to return and sleep in their homes.

The EU is a second source of political and economic support for Israel after US. As the cliché goes: US plays and Europe pays... In other words, US make conditions and Europe pay for it.

In the EU-Israel Association Agreement a deal has been signed by Levni and the French foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, deepening the relationship between Europe and Israel, provided that Europe will not criticize what Israel is doing in the West Bank and Gaza.

Catherine Ashton says nice words, but there is no action. We need someone in Europe who is brave enough but there is none at the moment. The EU is one of the world’s largest donor to Palestinian Authority. But it boycotted democratic elections in which Hamas was elected. So much for respect for democracy. If you are democratic we will make you starve.

So Europe actually relieves Israel of the cost of education. You Europeans are really making it easy for Israel, not to pay for the services like hospitals. If the Israelis destroy what you have built, why do you Europeans not have the courage to protest against it?

Between 2001 and 2008 Israeli attacks and damages are underestimated to be 44 million Euros paid by the EU as well as a minimum of 11 Million Euros of damage in Gaza. No effort was made to extract compensation from Israel for such damages. You hit a car, you pay for it. But if you have damage for 50 million dollars and it comes to Israel, you are silent. EU tax payers are reconstructing what US tax payers are paying to destroy.

Cooperation about weapons of mass destruction is very much entrenched between Europe and Israel. There are so many scientific and research programs in which Israel receives a budget of 53 billion Euros, only for six years 2007-2013 and Israel became the first country outside the EU to be integrated in the funding program of EU research.

They actually encourage something which is related to military science. The 5th Framework program in 1998-2000 resulted in the EU paying 154 million Euros and receiving back €164 million. For the 6th program Israel received 206 million. The 7th program may be expected to be worth half billion Euros paid to Israel. This is called: scientific research. It is the largest EU-Israel cooperation.

Israel has milked the system diligently. All this research has military and espionage applications: this militarization of science has been enshrined in ENPI, the task of drawing up a 20 year vision plan for security research, ”counter” terrorism. Israel Army, secrete services are direct beneficiaries. The University of Tel Aviv is a constant consultant on definition of terrorism to the European Union.

Eleven of the top 20 weapon dealers to Israel are members of the European Union. France for example, as we know, built nuclear weapon industry in 1958 and recently supplied Israel with weapons for 50 million Euros, funded partly by the US.

Europe takes in two thirds of Israeli exports. If you actually tell a country, I buy from you two thirds of what you sell, then you would have power over it, not it over you.

The EU-Israel Association Agreement gave unique privileges to Israel. An estimated 20% of Israeli exports come from the occupied Palestinian territories. Of 18 billion, 20% come from the occupied Palestinian territories. But Article-83 of the EU-Israel Trade Association Agreement notes that: ‘only goods from territories internationally recognized as parts of Israel can benefit from this'. But the article has not been enforced. I must say Austria was not one of the countries which had been in the non-enforcement. The culprits came from the Netherlands and Germany.

I want to conclude that it is not enough to say nice words. Action is needed. There is an Arab saying: a hunter caught birds and while he was cooking the birds his eyes were full of tears. And one bird said to the other. Look at this man, he is crying when he is killing us. And the other bird said: look at his hands, not his eyes.

The only solution is to work for justice. Justice is the only permanent solution. Justice means that I and 11 million Palestinians should be able to sleep tonight in our homes.