A Two State Solution or an Apartheid State: Jerusalem
Center for Women on March 8th, 2004
The Jerusalem Center
for Women published the following letter on the 5th of March 2004 in Ha'aretz
Hebrew daily newspaper, as part of its activities around the 8th of March,
International Women's Day. This letter (in English) is part of an on going
program of the Jerusalem Link: "the Public Political correspondence".
Two State Solution or an Apartheid State
The Jerusalem Center
for Women (a Palestinian center for women's empowerment and peace-building)
views the Israeli government decision to build the "separation wall"
on occupied land as a dangerous and irresponsible act against the future
of any just and peaceful solution to the conflict. Israelis
offer various justifications for this wall, using names such as the "separation
wall" or "security wall", while Palestinians are naming
it the "Berlin wall" and "apartheid wall" as they
describe its final effects. In addressing the concept of ‘security’ we
would like to make clear that neither ‘separation’ nor ‘security’ apply
to this wall: the "separation wall" is being built around Palestinian
populated areas, separating Palestinian areas from each other. It is being
built inside the West Bank and not on the Green Line, by confiscating
Palestinian lands occupied by Israel in 1967, and by securing and enlarging
illegal Jewish settlements. It isolates East Jerusalem from its hinterlands
and makes it a city exclusively for one side alone. Jerusalem cannot be
monopolized by one side.
Upon completion of
the projected wall, the total area that is de facto annexed into
Israel will be 45 to 55% of the Occupied West Bank. We view this wall
as destructive to any future two-state solution. It confines the Palestinian
population into ‘ghettos’, it inspires hatred and anger, and it makes
the daily lives of Palestinians full of mounting suffering and humiliation.
Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon's recent statements about unilateral withdrawal or unilateral
plans to dismantle some settlements, while enhancing others, are only
a smokescreen for the continuation of Israel's settlement project and
wall building on Palestinian occupied lands. There is an adequate arrangement
already in place for Israel's dismantling of all of the settlements:
the guidelines of international law. Besides, if the wall is still to
be pursued, then it should be built on the Green Line, in accordance with
Security will come
with the end of the occupation, not by its enhancement. As long as there
is oppression, insecurity, the violation of human rights, inequality,
injustice and the daily suffering of the Palestinian people, security
will never be achieved for either party.
A just peace is the
only way towards security and stability in our region, a peace that is
based on the implementation of international law and United Nations resolutions,
a peace that ensures human dignity and human rights for all.
We believe that the
politics of power and oppression will not pave the way for peace or security;
it only fuels the region with more hatred and racism, and ensures that
our future generations will continue living inside the confines of this
Please join us, women
and men, in our call to resist the building of the apartheid wall. Join
your voice with ours to help in ending the occupation.
side will be free if the other is not free.
of March 2004
Center for Women