Israel’s Independence Day – 19 April 2010

A statement by Scott Kennedy, Coordinator of the Middle East Program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence

Since its founding in 1976, the Resource Center for Nonviolence and I have supported and advocated for a secure and thriving State of Israel —

~ within internationally recognized borders,

~ at peace and enjoying normal relations with neighboring Arab states and with other Middle Eastern countries and the international community,

~ and free of undue influence by outside powers such as the USA and the debilitating effects of an ongoing state of hostility with its neighbors and a war economy.

I therefore extend my greetings and support to members of the local Jewish Community and others who will be celebrating Israel’s birthday this week.

Created in 1948, Israel is a young state still in many regards in its formative years. I look forward to progressive forces in Israel finally winning public approval for adoption of a constitution for Israel that will guarantee equal human, civil, religious, economic and cultural rights to all of its citizens.

I likewise look forward to Israel, the Palestinians and neighboring nations ending the state of war and reaching a political accommodation to end decades of conflict. That political resolution must be founded on international law and respect for the human and national rights of all people in the region, including both Israelis and Palestinians.

The then newly founded United Nations gave birth to two states in 1947: the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. One cannot give birth to twins and have one twin legitimate and the other twin illegitimate. Creation of Israel and the Israeli War of Independence had a devastating impact on the Palestinian population of that area. It is no wonder that Palestinians call the flight or expulsion of 750,000 – 900,000 refugees and destruction of more than 400 Palestinian villages within the boundaries of the new Israeli state “al Naqba” or “the catastrophe.”

Israel’s 62nd birthday not only is a time for many to celebrate the many accomplishments of Israel. It must also remind us that establishment of a Palestinian State is long overdue. There is a broad international consensus that supports creation of a Palestinian State alongside Israel enjoying the same rights, responsibilities, security and hope as the State of Israel.

US support for Israel should adamantly and consistently further the goals of reenforcing democracy and equality for all citizens of Israel and bringing about a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict and creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. These remain my personal goals and the purpose of the Middle East Program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Scott Kennedy

April 19, 2010

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