From the Cairo Speech to the Cairo Declaration

From the Cairo Speech to the Cairo Declaration

In early June last year, after Barack Obama gave his Cairo speech, the think tanks in Washington were abuzz as analysts could barely contain their excitement at witnessing the new Democratic president making history.

“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop,” Obama boldly declared in front of a youthful Egyptian audience giddy with hope inspired by the lofty oratory of America’s visionary leader.

When the embodiment of hope, invested with the authority of the White House, spoke, the world listened.

Six months later Obama’s authority seems to mean nothing and his words of hope have been soured by their apparent lack of authenticity.

Now comes the Cairo Declaration.

A few hundred activists whose hope of breaking the siege of Gaza got squashed like a bug under the heals of Egypt’s security forces, have signed a declaration. Will the world pay much attention?

Maybe not. But what the Gaza Freedom March lacks in authority it makes up for with authenticity and this — not political office — is ultimately what gives language its power.

End Israeli Apartheid
Cairo Declaration
January 1, 2010

We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:

In view of:

* Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;
* the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;
* the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;
* the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;
* the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;
* the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;
* and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;
* all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;
* in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;
* and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:

Palestinian Self-Determination
Ending the Occupation
Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine
The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.

To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.

Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:

1) An international speaking tour in the first 6 months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this programme within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;

2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;

3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors;

4) Developing the Academic, Cultural and Sports boycott;

5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;

6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen’s Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone Report and the implementation of its recommendations;

7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

We appeal to organisations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.

Please e-mail us at cairodec@gmail.com

Signed by:

(* Affiliation for identification purposes only.)

1. Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor/ Women in Black*, USA
2. Nomthandazo Sikiti, Nehawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
3. Zico Tamela, Satawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
4. Hlokoza Motau, Numsa, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
5. George Mahlangu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Campaigns Coordinator*, South Africa
6. Crystal Dicks, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Education Secretary*, South Africa
7. Savera Kalideen, SA Palestinian Solidarity Committee*, South Africa
8. Suzanne Hotz, SA Palestinian Solidarity Group*, South Africa
9. Shehnaaz Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa
10. Haroon Wadee, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa
11. Sayeed Dhansey, South Africa
12. Faiza Desai, SA Palestinian Solidarity Alliance*, South Africa
13. Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada*, USA
14. Hilary Minch, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee*, Ireland
15. Anthony Loewenstein, Australia
16. Sam Perlo-Freeman, United Kingdom
17. Julie Moentk, Pax Christi*, USA
18. Ulf Fogelström, Sweden
19. Ann Polivka, Chico Peace and Justice Center*, USA
20. Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA
21. Elfi Padovan, Munich Peace Committee*/Die Linke*, Germany
22. Elizabeth Barger, Peace Roots Alliance*/Plenty I*, USA
23. Sarah Roche-Mahdi, CodePink*, USA
24. Svetlana Gesheva-Anar, Bulgaria
25. Cristina Ruiz Cortina, Al Quds-Malaga*, Spain
26. Rachel Wyon, Boston Gaza Freedom March*, USA
27. Mary Hughes-Thompson, Women in Black*, USA
28. David Letwin, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, USA
29. Jean Athey, Peace Action Montgomery*, USA
30. Gael Murphy, Gaza Freedom March*/CodePink*, USA
31. Thomas McAfee, Journalist/PC*, USA
32. Jean Louis Faure, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, France
33. Timothy A King, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East*, USA
34. Gail Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA
35. Ouahib Chalbi, Palestine/Israel Justice Project of the Minnesota United Methodist Church*, USA
36. Greg Dropkin, Liverpool Friends of Palestine*, England
37. Felice Gelman, Wespac Peace and Justice New York*/Gaza Freedom March*, USA
38. Ron Witton, Australian Academic Union*, Australia
39. Hayley Wallace, Palestine Solidarity Committee*, USA
40. Norma Turner, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, England
41. Paula Abrams-Hourani, Women in Black (Vienna)*/ Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East*, Austria
42. Mateo Bernal, Industrial Workers of the World*, USA
43. Mary Mattieu, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland
44. Agneta Zuppinger, Collectif Urgence Palestine*, Switzerland
45. Ashley Annis, People for Peace*, Canada
46. Peige Desgarlois, People for Peace*, Canada
47. Hannah Carter, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada
48. Laura Ashfield, Canadian Friends of Sabeel*, Canada
49. Iman Ghazal, People for Peace*, Canada
50. Filsam Farah, People for Peace*, Canada
51. Awa Allin, People for Peace*, Canada
52. Cleopatra McGovern, USA
53. Miranda Collet, Spain
54. Alison Phillips, Scotland
55. Nicholas Abramson, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Jews Say No*, USA
56. Tarak Kauff, Middle East Crisis Response Network*/Veterans for Peace*, USA
57. Jesse Meisler-Abramson, USA
58. Hope Mariposa, USA
59. Ivesa Lübben. Bremer Netzwerk fur Gerechten Frieden in Nahost*, Germany
60. Sheila Finan, Mid-Hudson Council MERC*, USA
61. Joanne Lingle, Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME)*, USA
62. Barbara Lubin, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA
63. Josie Shields-Stromsness, Middle East Children’s Alliance*, USA
64. Anna Keuchen, Germany
65. Judith Mahoney Pasternak, WRL* and Indypendent*, USA
66. Ellen Davidson, New York City Indymedia*, WRL*, Indypendent*, USA
67. Ina Kelleher, USA
68. Lee Gargagliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (Chicago)*, USA
69. Brad Taylor, OUT-FM*, USA
70. Helga Mankovitz, SPHR (Queen’s University)*, Canada
71. Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Scotland
72. Agnes Kueng, Paso Basel*, Switzerland
73. Anne Paxton, Voices of Palestine*, USA
74. Leila El Abtah, The Netherlands
75. Richard, Van der Wouden, The Netherlands
76. Rafiq A. Firis, P.K.R.*/Isra*, The Netherlands
77. Sandra Tamari, USA
78. Alice Azzouzi, Way to Jerusalem*, USA
79. J’Ann Schoonmaker Allen, USA
80. Ruth F. Hooke, Episcopalian Peace Fellowship*, USA
81. Jean E. Lee, Holy Land Awareness Action Task Group of United Church of Canada*, Canada
82. Delphine de Boutray, Association Thèâtre Cine*, France
83. Sylvia Schwarz, USA
84. Alexandra Safi, Germany
85. Abdullah Anar, Green Party – Turkey*, Turkey
86. Ted Auerbach, USA
87. Martha Hennessy, Catholic Worker*, USA
88. Louis Ultale, Interfaile Pace e Bene*, USA
89. Leila Zand, Fellowship of Reconciliation*, USA
90. Emma Grigore, CodePink*, USA
91. Sammer Abdelela, New York Community of Muslim Progressives*, USA
92. Sharat G. Lin, San Jose Peace and Justice Center*, USA
93. Katherine E. Sheetz, Free Gaza*, USA
94. Steve Greaves, Free Gaza*, USA
95. Trevor Baumgartner, Free Gaza*, USA
96. Hanan Tabbara, USA
97. Marina Barakatt, CodePink*, USA
98. Keren Bariyov, USA
99. Ursula Sagmeister, Women in Black – Vienna*, Austria
100. Ann Cunningham, Australia
101. Bill Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA
102. Terry Perry, Delaware Valley Veterans for Peace*, USA
103. Athena Viscusi, USA
104. Marco Viscusi, USA
105. Paki Wieland, Northampton Committee*, USA
106. Manijeh Saba, New York / New Jersey, USA
107. Ellen Graves, USA
108. Zoë Lawlor, Ireland – Palestine Solidarity Campaign*, Ireland
109. Miguel García Grassot, Al Quds – Málaga*, Spain
110. Ana Mamora Romero, ASPA-Asociacion Andaluza Solidaridad y Paz*, Spain
111. Ehab Lotayef, CJPP Canada*, Canada
112. David Heap, London Anti-War*, Canada
113. Adie Mormech, Free Gaza* / Action Palestine*, England
114. Aimee Shalan, UK
115. Liliane Cordova, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN)*, Spain
116. Priscilla Lynch, USA
117. Jenna Bitar, USA
118. Deborah Mardon, USA
119. Becky Thompson, USA
120. Diane Hereford, USA
121. David Heap, People for Peace London*, Canada
122. Donah Abdulla, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights*, Canada
123. Wendy Goldsmith, People for Peace London*, Canada
124. Abdu Mihirig, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada
125. Saldibastami, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights-UBC*, Canada
126. Abdenahmane Bouaffad, CMF*, France
127. Feroze Mithiborwala, Awami Bharat*, India
128. John Dear, Pax Christi*, USA
129. Ziyaad Lunat, Portugal
130. Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW)
131. Labor For Palestine

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1 thought on “From the Cairo Speech to the Cairo Declaration

  1. DE Teodoru

    Were the issue APARTHEID, Mr. Woodward, things wouldn’t be as bad. As awful as such racism is at least there would be hope of change with time. But the issue is LEBENSRAUM because the Likud Party is still Zionazi. The fact that the Palestinians refuse another Nakba flight and chose to stand their ground, resisting no matter what, has caused the exterminations to rise to power in Israel. At the same time, many Zionists have come to realize that the Zionist idea is dead and the Jewish State won’t see the end of the century as far more Israelis are emigrating abroad than Diaspora Jews immigrating to Israel– THE SETTLEMENTS ARE MOSTLY EMPTY! Feeling that they have nothing to lose, the Likeness are modeling after the Nazis to exterminate Palestinians now while they still have American support and are able to black-out Western media. Obama, dominated by his Clintonista team, has become their puppet. While Diaspora Jews are silent, they too have given up on Zionist dream. The dream of Israel integrated in the Middle East is DEAD. That’s a sad pity for Israel could have been very good for its Arab cousins integrated after peace. It’s a BAD new decade ahead!

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