People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 18, 2007
Of The Conference On War, Imperialism And Resistance: West Asia
(Held at New Delhi, March 12 – 14, 2007)
WEST Asia is currently becoming the global flashpoint, with US imperialism seeking to remould the region to its liking. Israel, its closest ally in the region, is also seeking to destroy the Palestinian nation, as well as stamp out all resistance to its own apartheid policies inside Israel as well the Palestinian Territories it has occupied. The catch-all slogan of “War against Terror,” post 9/11, is providing a cover for the aggressive designs of the US-Israeli axis. Military strikes against Iran now loom on the horizon and the UN Security Council itself is being manipulated for that purpose.
It is the resistance of the people in Iraq, of the Palestinian people, as well as the heroic resistance by the Lebanese national forces against Israeli invasion that today stand in the way of US and Israeli designs in the region. This Conference expresses its solidarity with the people of these countries who are fighting for their very existence against overwhelming odds and call upon different sections to unite to help spearhead a much broader resistance against the US-Israeli axis and imperialism.
Unfortunately, the government of India has not only failed to support the cause of the people in West Asia but has connived with US policies in the region, as shown by its vote in IAEA on Iran. Its continued military relationship with Israel in which India has become the largest importer of arms from Israel sits ill with its protestations of support for the Palestinian cause. India must oppose the continued occupation of Iraq and Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories as well as Syrian and Lebanese territories. Similarly, India must use all its diplomatic leverage and international stature to take an immediate initiative for a serious peace process in West Asia. This Conference calls upon the UPA government to abide by the promise in the Common Minimum Programme that it shall pursue an independent foreign policy. It should also keep in view the fact that equitable peace in West Asia is also in the interest of the Indian people and escalation of war there shall greatly endanger the energy security of South Asia.
This Conference totally condemns Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories, which has lasted for decades in violation of international law, international humanitarian law and numerous United Nations resolutions. We demand an immediate end to the occupation of all the Palestinian and Arab territories captured by Israel. We fully affirm the right of the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination including their right to establish, on all the territories that Israel has occupied, an independent state of their own in any manner they see fit. The structure of apartheid that Israel has established must be dismantled and it must grant equal rights to all its citizens including the right of return to the Palestinians refugees. We also affirm the right of Palestinians to resist the occupation through all legitimate means and support the Intifada, as well as elect a Palestinian Authority of their choice. We call upon the Palestinian people to form the broadest unity in their struggle for a just Palestine.
This Conference welcomes the advisory judgement of the International Court of Justice on the Apartheid Wall and calls for immediate measures by the international community for dismantling this illegal wall. The Wall built by Israel across the West Bank has cut off the Palestinian people from each other, cutting up the Palestinian territory into a number of enclaves, with large Israeli settlements established on lands confiscated from Palestinian people. Israel’s so-called “disengagement” is in fact a re-arrangement of Occupation. It has turned all of Gaza into a vast prison with the Palestinian population there under continuous, murderous assaults and a permanent state of siege. Israel’s recent announcements that it will withdraw from some small parts of West Bank is nothing but a plan to annex part of the Palestinian territories and turn the rest into economically and socially unviable Bantustans. This is a part of a policy of annexation of the occupied territories to Israel and will only perpetuate the Occupation, eliminating the chances for any just and lasting peace.
This Conference condemns the aggression and occupation of Iraq by the US and its allies in which more than half a million Iraqis have already lost their lives, millions disabled, over 2 million have been forced to flee the country, an equal number are internal refugees, and health standards have declined to a point where over 75 per cent of the children, estimated at over 4 million, are undernourished and suffering from various epidemics and disease. The physical infrastructure of Iraq has been devastated, schools, colleges and hospitals destroyed and more than 50 per cent of its people are now unemployed. Large numbers of towns have been reduced to rubble and its remaining residents are now living in a complete police state. Meanwhile, the US is privatising Iraq’s assets and is using the sale of Iraqi oil to pay for its occupation, in blatant violation of international law.
The last four years of brutal occupation of Iraq by US forces and its allies is now facing a growing resistance by the people of Iraq. This Conference lauds the enormous sacrifice that the Iraqi people have made to defend their land and independence. It is now clear that an attempt to impose a client state in Iraq subservient to the US has failed, striking a fatal blow to the US designs of an American Imperium and a uni-polar world The US occupiers have virtually divided Iraq into three communal regions – Shia, Sunni and Kurdish – with sponsored communal killings and trying to foment an internecine civil war, with even a possible territorial breakup of Iraq.
The Conference also condemns the use of Depleted Uranium weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will permanently poison the land and water there and cause damage not only to those living there now but also future generations.
The Conference also calls for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation of Golan Heights and Sheba Firms and their return to Syria and Lebanon. It also calls for withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan.
- calls for an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and all other occupied territories
- denounces the racist and colonial character of Zionism, Israel's State ideology
- demands an immediate end to the policy of targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders by Israel
- calls that the Right of Return for all Palestinians be fulfilled. Until then, Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora and internally displaced Palestinians need to be granted full economic, political and social rights
- calls for lifting of all sanctions imposed on the Palestinian Authority and the right of Palestinians to democratically elect a Palestinian Authority of their choice
- calls for boycott, disinvestments and sanctions on Israel as long as it continues its occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories
- demands the dismantlement of the Apartheid Wall and all settlements.
- demands the release of all Palestinian political prisoners
- affirms the right of Palestinians to resist the occupation through all legitimate means
- demands that the Government of India immediately break its military and security ties with Israel
- Denounces the continuing Israeli aggression of Lebanon
- Supports the right of the Lebanese people to resist such aggression
- Calls for a negotiated internal solution to the problems inside Lebanon free from any external interference
- Demands for compensation for the damage created by Israel and its bombings in Lebanon
This Conference calls
- for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US and "coalition" forces from Iraq and all corporations and contractors that are a part of the illegal occupation forces
- that the US and its allies be held accountable for its illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, including human rights violations and attempts to change Iraq’s economy
- for an immediate nullification of the “Bremer 100 orders” privatisation of Iraq’s assets by occupying powers or handing over of its assets to foreign control
- upon the people to support the legitimate right of the people of Iraq to resist the illegal occupation of Iraq by all legitimate means
- for the release of all Iraqi political prisoners
- upon the government of India not to have any relationship with the puppet regime in Iraq
- asserts the right of Iran for the peaceful use of nuclear energy
- calls for lifting of the sanctions imposed on Iran
- believes that only way to address the nuclear issue in Iran is through negotiations and dialogue
- opposes any military attacks on Iran and demands a de-escalation of the US build-up in the region
- calls upon the government of India to play a positive role to promote such a dialogue and not succumb to the US pressure to abandon India’s independent foreign policy
- calls upon the government of India to build the Iran-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline
Gathered in Delhi at a critical moment in history, we commit to a struggle against the occupation of Iraq and Palestine and oppose possible military attacks against Iran. We express our solidarity with the people in West Asia who are fighting for democracy and social, economic, political and civil rights and who are suffering from occupation and repression.
We call upon the international community to set up a Tribunal for War Crimes in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon. The people who have committed and continue to commit such atrocities on the people of Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon must be held accountable and brought to book.
June 9 this year is 40th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank. This conference calls upon the Indian people to join the worldwide actions planned on this day and build a campaign on the nature of the apartheid state of Israel and to ensure breaking of India’s military and security ties with Israel. It also calls on the Indian people to join hands with the global protests on July 12, on the anniversary of Israel’s aggression on Lebanon.
(A report on the deliberations of the conference will be carried in the next issue – Ed)