Accountability and justice are the path to peace

A Palestinian woman argues with an Israeli border policeman during a protest against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah September 4, 2015.  (photo: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
A statement from the Palestine Liberation Organization with affirmation to continue to demand and work for justice and accountability because they are the cornerstones of peace.

By Dr. Hanan Ashrawi | The Palestine Liberation Organization | June 5, 2020

The community of nations must choose between the relevance of the international order and the continuation of Israeli exceptionalism.

Fifty-three years ago, Israel usurped control over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. This illegal military occupation has defied all legal parameters, with Israel entrenching its colonial control over Palestinian land and rights through a systematic policy of displacement, replacement, and land grab.

For over half a century, Israel has been able to consistently and brazenly defy international law and inalienable Palestinian rights because the international community unduly afforded the occupation exceptional treatment and protection from accountability. Contrary to the legal, political, and moral obligations of states to uphold international law, they persisted in rewarding lawless Israeli behavior while demanding Palestinian acquiescence and docility. The result has been a toxic culture of impunity and the normalization of racial discrimination and brutal oppression.

This abdication of responsibility has encouraged Israel to trample on the foundational principles of international law and to negate the Palestinian people’s rights and identity, while expecting and even demanding a continuation of the very exceptionalism that created this culture of impunity.

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