“We refuse to be slaves of occupation, slaves in ghettos”

Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti was recently seen on The Daily Show with Jewish writer Anna Baltzer explaining to a mainstream American audience the reality of Israeli occupation.

Here, to a press conference at the Wattan Media Centre, he expands his thesis and outlines the necessary direction of the Palestinian liberation struggle:

“The present decision of President Abbas not to run for a second presidential term confirms the failures of the policies carried out in the last 5 years in the pursuit of creating an independent Palestinian state. Israel has refused to halt settlements expansion and that is blocking the inaction of negotiations. Israel has shown to the world its only intention is to transform Palestine into a land of “Bantustans””.

“Israel has talked about a future Palestinian state without defining borders, without including East Jerusalem as a legitimate capital, without even considering the borders of 4 June 1967. Building state institutions under occupation only creates a self governing authority subjected to Israel’s supremacy.”

“We will be unable to freeze settlements expansion or any other Israeli policy of apartheid if we do not engage in a unified strategy against it. Towards this direction diplomatic action is fundamental but is not enough. Non violence resistance is the only means to revive a culture of collective activism among all sectors of the Palestinian people. Powerful models are already spread across several villages in the West Bank. Let’s follow the examples of those Palestinians who succeeded in breaking down sections of the Wall last week, in Ni’lin and Qalandya, marking the 20th Anniversary of Berlin Wall’s fall.

“In 2004 the International Court of Justice declared the wall and its associated regime contrary to international law and demanded it to be dismantled. There is only one way to prevent occupation power and make Israel respect international law: it is to impose a boycott and sanctions campaign on it. Israel benefits from a disunited Palestinian leadership. Palestinians must adopt a new approach and support an appropriate national reconciliation strategy. In this framework, elections cannot become an instrument of further division: on the contrary fully democratic and transparent elections must be called for the Palestinian people as a whole.”

“We witness today the complete death of the so called peace process but nothing will prevent the Palestinian people from declaring their independent state. Israel does not respect the law and it contravenes Oslo agreements, increasing the number of illegal settlements in West Bank, perpetrating the siege on Gaza and stealing Palestinian land with the ongoing construction of the wall. Why should a declaration of an independent state on June 4 1967 borders, including east Jerusalem constitute a violation of the Oslo agreement?”

“We refuse to be slaves of occupation, slaves in ghettos.”

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