Greens Call Kerry Indistinguishable From Bush on Israel and Palestine
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Leaders of the Green Party ofthe United States strongly criticized PresidentBush and Democratic presidential candidate Sen.John Kerry (D.-Mass.) for their identicalpositions in support of Israel's policy ofassassination, maintenance of illegal settlementson the West Bank (a reversal of earlier policy),and denial of the right of return forPalestinians.
"The Green Party and its candidates have calledfor Israel to adhere to international law andU.N. directives and to dismantle the settlementsin the Palestinian territories, and for the rightof Palestinian refuges to return home," said BenManski, co-chair of the Green Party of the UnitedStates. An American Jew who grew up in Israel,Manski received and rejected an IDF draft noticewhen he turned 18. "We support efforts towardnonviolent resolution of the crisis by Israelisand Palestinians who are dedicated to peace anduniversal human rights, without which we'll neversee security for either Israelis or Palestinians.
These efforts have been eclipsed by theunrelenting state violence committed by theIsraeli military on orders from the Sharongovernment, and by a small minority of desperatePalestinians -- and now by explicit support fromthe Bush Administration, under policiesapparently dictated by Sharon."
Greens called the plan backed by President Bush,Prime Minister Sharon, and Sen. Kerry (Meet thePress, Sunday, April 18) that allows Israel tokeep and continue to settle on land seized in the1967 war a disastrous setback to efforts forpeace.
"We were especially aghast that Sen. Kerrysupported the assassination of Hamas leader AbdelAziz Rantisi, which Greens called a summary andextra-judicial execution," said Julia Willebrand,co-chair of the Green Party's InternationalCommittee.
The rejection of the Palestinian right of returnby Bush, Sharon, and now Kerry comes on the heelsof a landmark 'Right of Return and Just PeaceConference' held in Haifa, Israel at the end ofMarch, at which over 300 Jewish and PalestinianIsraeli citizens gathered for the first time torefute the claim that unconditional support amongIsraelis for the right of Palestinian refugees toreturn does not exist. Israeli historian IlanPappe, in the final declaration of the 'HaifaInitiative', stated that, "What the hundreds ofpeople attending the conference showed was that agrowing number of Jews and Palestinians in Israelregard the implementation of the Palestinianright of return as the only road to a lastingpeace and reconciliation."
"The Green Party continues to support the rightof Palestinians to return to their homes, andregards it as at the heart of the conflict," saysCharles Shaw, media coordinator for the IllinoisGreen Party. "Similarly, Israel must return toits pre-1967 borders as the opener to any peacenegotiations. These are significant differencesbetween our position and that of the Democratsand Republicans. John Kerry's views are becomingindistinguishable from those of George W. Bush."
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