News Release

Major International Issues: * Racism Conference * Israel’s Occupation


Founder and executive director of the National Center for Human Rights Education, Ross is at the UN conference on racism, which begins on Friday in South Africa. She said today: “The Bush administration should not come to the conference. It would likely play an obstructionist role, refusing to acknowledge that the enslavement of Africans in the Americas and the theft of Native-American lands were crimes against humanity. Instead, members of the Congressional Black Caucus should attend. This would be in the tradition of civil-rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer and her colleagues from Mississippi, who sent an alternate delegation to the 1964 Democratic National Convention…”

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Executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Daniels said today: “The behavior of Colin Powell is yet another testimony to the fallacy of skin politics. Simply exchanging White faces for Black faces in positions of power does not necessarily translate into justice for Black people. In a right-wing, illegitimate, racist administration, Colin Powell or any other Black person must do as the master commands or suffer the consequences…. Nations from Africa and the Third World have reported that the U.S. has used threats, intimidation and bribery in its attempt to block a comprehensive discussion about slavery.”

Andoni is an independent analyst and journalist who has covered the Mideast for nearly two decades. She said today: “The Israeli bombing and takeover of Beit Jalla, parts of neighboring Bethlehem — and now Rafah in Gaza — are only the latest signs that the agenda of the Sharon government is to break Palestinian resistance and continue the occupation…. While most have been focusing on Hamas, the secular PLO has been re-asserting itself, which is why Israel assassinated PFLP leader Mustafa Zibri.” Andoni has interviewed Zibri.
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Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle said today: “UN Security Council Resolution 1322 [2000] ‘calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention…’ There are 149 substantive articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that protect the rights of every one of these Palestinians living in occupied Palestine. The Israeli government is currently violating, and has since 1967 been violating, almost each and every one of these…”

Arraf and Shapiro are U.S. activists with the International Solidarity Movement, a group of people putting themselves between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the occupied territories.
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Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, professor of anthropology at Ben Gurion University and editor of News From Within, Halper said today: “Israel is succeeding in making its occupation invisible. What is called Israeli ‘retaliation’ is violence to continue the occupation and what is called Palestinian ‘terrorism’ is violence to end the Israeli occupation.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167