News Release

Sharon’s Visit

SUSAN AKRAM
An associate professor at Boston University School of Law who specializes in refugee issues, Akram said today: “The deteriorating situation is a reflection of a complete lack of focus on the international law principles that should guide a just solution for the millions of Palestinian refugees and for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict generally. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is a total rejectionist of any solution that entails even minimal justice for the Palestinians. He is moving towards the total ‘cantonization’ of the Palestinian areas, establishing 46 separate isolated areas.”
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ELLEN SIEGEL
Siegel has worked with various Jewish peace groups and was a nurse at the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon during the massacres in 1982. She said today: “Sharon was found indirectly responsible for the massacres by the Israeli Kahan Commission of Inquiry, which I testified before. His forces provided the flares, allowed the Phalangist forces (who — totally predictably — conducted the butchery) in and prevented the Palestinian civilians from escaping. These were crimes against humanity; people of conscience can’t say that’s not directly responsible…. In the summer of 1982, Sharon laid siege to the people of Beirut; he’s applying the same methodology to the Palestinians under occupation today. He’s building trenches around these Palestinian areas so that people can’t get in or out.”
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NASEER ARURI
Author of The Obstruction of Peace: The U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians, Aruri is former board member of Amnesty International. He said today:”Now that the Oslo process has run its course and the Palestinians realize that it will not deliver independence and end the Israeli occupation, the next phase, in which Sharon will be at the helm, is going to be more dangerous. Instead of using diplomats going through the motions deceiving the world that peace is being arranged, we will see a policy of economic strangulation, starvation, virtual imprisonment of entire villages, towns, and cities designed to accomplish what the racist South African leadership tried to accomplish. In South Africa it was called apartheid, in Palestine the euphemism is ‘separation.'”
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ALLEGRA PACHECO
An American-born Israeli Jewish lawyer who represents Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Pacheco is a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe. She wrote in an op-ed article published by the New York Times on Friday: “The latest siege is an expansion of the closure policy that restricts Palestinian movement, a policy that has been in effect since 1993.” She said today: “There are at least two levels of oppression: The Israeli military occupation over the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. And secondly, there’s Israel as a Jewish state with 5 million Jews controlling 4 million non-Jews either under occupation or as second-class citizens. This has created discrimination and apartheid structures at every level.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; Norman Solomon, (415) 552-5378