In the context of the current morass in the Middle East and the impending
summit in Egypt which will again "negotiate" , I believe it is important to
take note of the following. This is but my interpretation of these
agreements based on the passages at the end of this message.
Ultimately, the point is that negotiating away the rights of Palestinians
is not only immoral, but illegal. Therefore the legitimacy of the Palestinian
Authority under international law is only established by their commitment
to fully implement these rights. Any process of negotiation, such as the last
7 years, which which allows for a reduction of these rights is also,
therefore, illegal. We should be abandoning any pretense of "negotiation"
and instead be speaking of a process of "implementation".
1. The Oslo Accord in fact requires implementation of Security Council
Resolution 242 and 338. Furthermore, any interim agreement cannot preempt
this according to (Articles V part 4, below);
2. Likewise, the applicability of the IV Geneva Convention (GC), again
affirmed in the recent SC Res. 1322 article 3, cannot be preempted by any
negotiations (Articles 6-8, below);
3. Article 1 of the GC, requires the High
including Canada and the US, to "ensure respect for the present Convention
in all circumstances".
Therefore, let us consider the current conflict and the future potential
light of the following:
1. The failure of the "peace process" or its transformation
surrender process is a direct result of the failure to uphold legitimate obligations
rooted in international law and convention. Oslo does not allow the
Palestinian Authority or any other negotiating partner to surrender to
terms less than implementation of 242 and 338. Depending on how one interprets
Article V part 4, it may even render invalid or illegal negotiating teams
to such interim accords as Wye River.
2. The Palestinian people under occupation, according to Article
of the GC, are forbidden to renounce their rights and forbidden to support
any agreement (such as Wye River) which renounces those rights. That
portion of the international community and Israel that avoids implementation of the
IV Geneva Convention should asked to explain why they push for the
Palestinians to violate the Convention. The Palestinian Authority must also
3. Canada and the US are legally obliged to apply the GC and UNSC
which affirms its applicability. Therefore we must denounce any
resurrection of the "peace process", rather requiring our countries to develop a fresh
framework for a just peace based on implementation (rather than
negotiation) of nothing less than legal and binding international obligations.
Particularly for Canadians, this presents our government with a unique
opportunity to apply our international reputation by putting forward a
framework of implementation to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Just some food for thought for activists,
Peace be with you,
(from the Jewish Student Online Research Center:
Declaration of Principles (Oslo Accord)
(September 13, 1993)
AIM OF THE NEGOTIATIONS
The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle
East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian
Interim Self-Government Authority, the elected Council (the "Council"), for
the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a
transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent
settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
It is understood that the interim arrangements are an integral part
whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status will
lead to the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.
TRANSITIONAL PERIOD AND PERMANENT STATUS NEGOTIATIONS
4. The two parties agree that the outcome of the permanent status
negotiations should not be prejudiced or preempted by agreements reached
for the interim period.
(from United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights -- UNHCR --
FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION
The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect
the present Convention in all circumstances.
... No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of protected
persons, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the rights
which it confers upon them.
Protected persons shall continue to have the benefit of such agreements
long as the Convention is applicable to them, except where express
provisions to the contrary are contained in the aforesaid or in subsequent
agreements, or where more favourable measures have been taken with regard
to them by one or other of the Parties to the conflict.
Protected persons may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety
the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special
agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.