May I begin by thanking Professor Datuk Azizian Baharuddin, the director of Universiti Malaya Centre for Civilisational Dialogue(UMCCD), for the kind invitation to give this lecture. I also wish to thank Norma Hashim and Professor Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail of the Hashim Sani Centre for Palestine Studies for co-hosting this lecture and also for sponsoring my visit.
Over thirty years ago I gave an annual lecture to 16–17-year-old students at Guildford Grammar School, on virtually the same subject as we are considering today. I began by warning the students that there would be homework to motivate them to pay attention. And I say the same to you today – there will be homework.
The title I have been given is “Inevitable Solutions to the Palestinian Plight”. Note the first two words – ‘Inevitable” and “Solutions” because there are many solutions to the Palestinian plight. I will major on three today. These three are in fact mutually exclusive. How then can they be inevitable? That in part depends on you, me and seven billion other people in the world. Let me illustrate. Climate change is inevitable, it is happening, but the solutions (and there are several) depend on us and how seriously we adjust our values, our priorities and life styles. So it is with resolving the Palestinian plight.
You may download a pdf version of this lecture here.
The term “genocide” was formulated by the Jewish-Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin against the backdrop of the Holocaust. It was codified as a crime under international law in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The definition of genocide, as set out in Article 2 of the Convention, is simple and straightforward, its first three elements clearly reflecting Israeli policies and actions towards the Palestinian people since initiating its process of systematic genocide in 1947:
Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
An update from Jeff Halper, the director of the Israeli Committee Against House demolitions (ICAHD), on the situation in Israel/Palestine. This is the first of what will be a monthly update I am recording with Jeff about what is happening on the ground in Palestine/Israel.
This month Jeff speaks about the push of international right-wing organisations to change the face of democracy in the world, with Netanyahu and his group leaders in this effort. However, Netanyahu’s agenda has fractured Israeli society and coming to the surface are questions about how Israel can be a democracy with an occupation and apartheid policies. Jeff goes on to speak about the heighten repression of the Palestinians during Ramadan and again calls for the UN to provide protective presence for the Palestinians.
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