WASHINGTON DC, Saturday, July 4, 2020 (WAFA) – Dozens of Palestinian Americans, including celebrities and imminent figures, declared today a set of principles and criteria, according to which Palestinians in the United States, as a group or as individuals, will determine their support to candidates running for federal offices.
These principles include the recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, commitment to ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza, granting equal rights to all peoples living under Israeli control, and the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
In addition, the principles statement considers nonviolent boycotts, including BDS activities to be on “the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values” as declared by the United States Supreme Court.
The statement further condemns the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip as inhumane and illegal, and one which has destroyed its economy, devastated its public health system, and caused widespread destruction, poverty, illness and death.
Following is the full text of the Statement of Principles:
THE STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
PALESTINIAN AMERICANS’ STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES FOR 2020 ELECTIONS
We, the undersigned Palestinian Americans declare the following set of principles. Our support for candidates to federal offices shall be determined by their level of recognition and agreement with these tenets.
- The Palestinian people possess an inalienable right to self-determination.
- The Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza must immediately and unconditionally end.
- Israel must treat all peoples under its control equally, regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin. “All peoples” includes both Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem.
- Palestinian refugees possess an inalienable right to return to their homelands. Per UN Resolution 194, all refugees wishing to “return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date,” and “compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.”
- Nonviolent boycotts, including BDS activities, reside on “the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values,” as declared by the United States Supreme Court. Anti-BDS legislation that seeks to disparately treat BDS supporters is unconstitutional. Pro-BDS activity does not equate to anti-Semitism.
- The unlawful and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has decimated its economy, devastated its public health system, and caused widespread destruction, poverty, illness and death, must immediately and unconditionally end.
- Per UN Security Council Resolution 2334, the United States shall condemn “all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.”
- United States recognition of Israeli annexation of any territories occupied since 1967 shall be denied and/or reversed.
- The United States embassy shall be returned to Tel Aviv.
- The Wall, constructed since 2002, which extends deep into lands illegally occupied by Israel since 1967, and which the International Court of Justice in 2004 declared as “contrary to international law,” shall be dismantled.
- Israel’s 2018 nation-state law,” declaring that the right to self-determination in Israel is extended to Jews only, is racist.
- Per House Resolution 2407, “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act,” United States funds shall “not support the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”
- United States military aid to Israel should be conditioned on ending Israeli practices that violate Palestinian rights and contravene international law.
Palestinian Americans speak for ourselves. We do not define the Palestinian issue solely in terms of religion, but rather in terms of human, political, and civil rights. We expect all campaigns to include Palestinian American voices in their decision making processes, and we ask that all candidates running for federal office affirm these principles and policies founded in morality, human rights, and international law.