Date: 15 May 2018
UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL JOHANNESBURG
1 SANDTON DRIVE, SANDTON, 2196
Consul General: Mr. Michael A. McCarthy
Dear Sir / Madam
IN RE: MEMORANDUM TO THE UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA, 15 MAY 2018 (AL NAKBA DAY)
UNLAWFUL DECISION DECLARING JERUSALEM THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL AND THE RELOCATION OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM – (#DefenceofJerusalem / #HandsoffJerusalem)
1. This memorandum serves to notify the government of the United States that we the people of South Africa and the representatives of civil society, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA) and advocacy rights groups reject any moves relating to the alteration of the internationalised status of Jerusalem.
2. Under no circumstances shall Palestinians and the international community accept such an arbitrary unilateral decision announced by President Trump on 06 December 2017 to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
3. This illegal and arbitrary executive decision coined as the “Deal of the Century” is hereby strongly condemned, rejected and repudiated.
4. Never shall we ever accept and/or acquiesce to any alteration to the moral, cultural and religious demographic identity of the holy city of Jerusalem which has been custodian to the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths for centuries.
5. The sanctity of the holy city of Jerusalem is paramount to us all. The illegal process of Judaization (De-Christianisation etc) of Jerusalem through discriminatory practices and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians must immediately cease and be reversed in its entirety in order to restore the status quo of Palestinian sovereignty in accordance with international law.
6. As international law dictates, we demand the immediate cessation of grave violations of Palestinian human rights in Jerusalem and the occupied territories by the perpetration of criminal offences by the Israeli apartheid regime and its settlers alike which include inter alia: home demolitions, forcible displacement, extra judicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention and home confinement of Palestinian children, which have all been used as weapons of war, psychological warfare and instruments of systemic apartheid.
7. Never shall we accept any congressional resolutions or such executive orders by the president of the United States emanating from either the United States own so called sovereign domestic legislation (Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) (1) or its nefarious foreign policies to be binding upon the international community which serves to undermine the inalienable sovereignty rights of Palestinians towards the holy city of Jerusalem.
8. Already the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2017 announced its overwhelming condemnation of any moves by the United States to alter the status of Jerusalem.
9. A copy of the UN General Assembly Resolution (2) regarding the status of Jerusalem is annexed hereto. The important extracts read as follows:
Stressing that Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions,
Expressing, in this regard, its deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem;
Affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and in this regard calls upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem, pursuant to Council resolution 478 (1980);
(1) S.Res.167 – A resolution relating to the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem.
115th Congress (2017-2018)
(2) UN General Resolution (Status of Jerusalem) A/RES/ES – 10/19
Demands that all States comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions;
Reiterates its call for the reversal of the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution and for the intensification and acceleration of international and regional efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet road map, and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967.
10. The United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital culminating in its relocation of the United States embassy on the eve of Nakba, when Palestinians commemorate the Nakba is both wholly offensive and an aggressive act of provocation.
11. Adding insult to injury is the bullish stance undertaken by the incumbent United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley who has made all sorts of provocative threats to the United Nations and to world leaders whose countries have voted against the United States rightfully, negating to altering the status of Jerusalem.
12. The threats made by Ambassador Haley is reflective of her arrogant attitude which is considered both an affront and imperil to world peace.
13. Rightfully Ambassador Haley’s brutish defence never saw the light of day. The United States unlawful arbitrary policies was appropriately rebuked at the United Nations General Assembly.
14. We believe that such arbitrary unilateral actions from the very outset lack any legal and moral foundation whereby the United States may assert its own sovereignty rights over an extra territorial jurisdiction like Jerusalem, that is subject to the confines and interpretation of international law, notwithstanding Palestinians exercising their sovereignty rights over Jerusalem.
15. We unequivocally reject the Zionist apartheid state of Israel of having any portion of Jerusalem (East or West) as its capital city without the express agreement of Palestinians duly endorsed by the international community.
16. We unequivocally state that the sovereignty rights of Palestinians over the city of Jerusalem can neither be alienated nor extinguished by this illegal act of the United States which is being “unscrupulously and rapaciously” ratified by the Israeli apartheid apparatus.
17. Pope Francis also voiced “deep concern” and issued a “heartfelt appeal” to the international community to ensure that “everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the holy city in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.”
18. In 1948, the Zionist state of Israel was established inside historical Palestine. Around 15,000 Palestinians were killed, some 800,000 displaced and 531 Arab villages destroyed in attacks by armed Jewish groups at the time.
19. The Palestinians living in the diaspora has since become one of the largest in the world. According to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), there are currently more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees.
20. For many Palestinians, the right of return in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, to return to their homes, lands and villages in historical Palestine remains one of their integral and fundamental demands.
21. In the last decade apartheid Israel has launched three abominable wars on Gaza which was condemned by the international community and rights groups alike.
22. It is axiomatic to the world that the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) have perpetrated war crimes and the continuing siege and naval blockade of the Gaza strip for over a decade, which incontrovertibly constitutes crimes against humanity, notwithstanding the “incremental genocide that is unfolding, unparalleled in human history”, in the words of Haider Eid. (3)
23. Israel’s systematic discriminatory policies towards Palestinians, its perpetration of violence and fear, the torture of Palestinians and children, murder of civilians, children and babies makes it the last colonial outpost in the 21st century wreaking terror and trepidation on the lives and human dignity of innocent Palestinians.
(3) Haidar Eid is an associate Professor at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza
24. This MEMORANDUM is not intended to give a long and tedious history of human rights abuse and violations the United States have perpetrated for decades undermining the rights of sovereign states to co-exist in peace and harmony.
25. We all know too well of the body of egregious war crimes the United States has perpetrated as an imperial military power which was executed under the “auspices” of US foreign policy, that has unleashed terror on millions of innocent lives in the Middle East, in countries such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
26. Furthermore, countries such as Pakistan too have been affected by war mongering agendas as the world holds its breath in abeyance as the middle east is cast into yet another unnecessary conflict with potential catastrophic human and environmental consequences, whereby the United States unilaterally withdraws from the JCPOA (4) (P5 +1) (nuclear non-proliferation treaty) with the Islamic Republic of Iran under spurious and contentious grounds.
27. We remain haunted by the false flags military operations of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMPD’s), the precursor for the invasion of Iraq which was never lawfully substantiated and/or justified by the international community.
(4) Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union (EU), and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful, came into effect on 18 October 2015 whereby participants began taking steps necessary to implement their JCPOA commitments.
28. International conventions, like the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment have been flagrantly violated by successive United States administrations.
29. Likewise, the United States unconditional support for the apartheid state of Israel has systematically aided and abetted Israeli Defence Force (IDF) war commanders and soldiers from the horrific crimes perpetrated with impunity in Gaza and the occupied Palestinians territories.
30. We hereby categorically state that the rights of victims and their families demand justice and accountability.
31. The United States cannot be considered an honest broker for peace in the region who continues to mast the status quo of Palestinians disenfranchised and divested of their homes, lands and villages since the catastrophic Nakba in 1948.
32. The enshrined universal declaration of human rights of Palestinians must be upheld. Palestinians have incessantly endured war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and a systematic genocide, shamelessly safeguarded by the United Sates, acting in this instance as apartheid Israel’s protective colonial custodians for 70 years.
33. As Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories assert for their sovereign right of return to their lands (#GreatReturnMarch), we have once again watched in horror as IDF snipers unleash terror on innocent and unarmed civilians, who are protesting and advocating for their basic liberties.
34. Members of the media have also been targeted, killed and maimed in violation of media freedom for covering this stupendous Palestinian aspiration for the right of return to their lands, homes and villages.
35. The barbaric criminality, however is not surprising from the Israelis as they continue to impose suffocating sieges and naval blockades in the Gaza Strip when essential humanitarian aid and relief is required.
36. The restrictions on movement, trade and association including fundamental rights to life, human health and dignity are but some of the systematic violations and discriminatory practices Palestinians endure daily.
37. We must put on record the ghastly wars perpetrated in 2008, 2012 and 2014 in Gaza which have all been condemned and vilified by the international community.
38. The United States in all these instances have shamelessly supplied military aid, arsenal and weaponry in the perpetration of these war crimes and beguiles the international community through mainstream and social media propaganda, Israeli hasbara and other means of fictitious dissemination that is totally disconnected to any real and/or perceived security threat.
39. The real perpetration of violence, terror, disproportionate force and banned warfare in densely populated civilian areas is in fact inflicted by the belligerent military occupiers of Palestinian lands.
40. Even when Palestinians negotiated with forked tongues and mitigated rights on one sided accords such as Oslo, Israel continued its reign of belligerent occupation, instilling fear and dread and has never with bona fides intent constructively negotiated meaningfully and beneficially in the interests of both parties for a peaceful settlement.
41. We also remind the United States that the expansion of settlements continues to rise, despite United Nations Security Resolution 2334 (5), a copy which is annexed hereto which includes inter alia:
Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions;
Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines.
42. We also remind the United States in the words of Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director at Amnesty International (6), who said:
“For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas. Despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters.”
(5) United Nations Security Council Resolution – S/RES/2334 (2016)
(6) Amnesty International – Israel: Arms Embargo needed as military unlawfully kills and maims Gaza protestors, 27 April 2018
Furthermore, she added that the international community “must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel”, and that inaction would “continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza”. Israel is one of Washington’s closest allies and a major buyer of US-made military equipment, but European Union nations, including, France, Germany, the UK and Italy, have licensed large volumes of military equipment for Israel”.
43. We are reminded and insulted when the same weapons unleashed in the West Bank against innocent Palestinians are sold cynically to other so – called democratic states and regimes as “battle tested”.
44. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has consistently resolved on the numerous violations of human rights which have been perpetrated with impunity by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights.
45. The UNHRC has reaffirmed and iterated Israel accord respect and abide with international law, the Geneva conventions and protect the human rights of Palestinian political and child prisoners.
46. The UNHRC has unequivocally declared in 2017 that boycotts, divestments and sanctions be punitively imposed on companies trading and/or producing goods and services in Israeli settlements in violation of the delineated 1967 borders.(7)
(7) Human Rights Voices, UN-Sponsored BDS promoted at UN “Human Rights” Council, 25 September 2017
During the meeting held in Geneva on September 25, 2017, multiple states and non- governmental organizations pushed for the publication of a “database” of all companies that conduct business – directly or indirectly – relating to Israeli “settlements” in Occupied Palestinian territories.
47. We further reiterate findings in the damning UN-ESCWA report (8), which argues “with clarity and conviction that Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid as a result of the manner in which it exerts control over the Palestinian people”.
OUR DEMANDS PUT TO THE UNITED STATES
A. The United States MUST immediately retract its unilateral decision in altering the status quo to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
B. The United States MUST immediately abide with the United Nations Resolution adopted on 21 December 2017 pertaining to the non – alteration of the status of Jerusalem including UN Resolutions 181 and 303 respectively, noting that the whole of Jerusalem is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions.
(8) What did the UN apartheid report expose in reality? As Israel moves towards confronting apartheid, the questions raised by the report will become impossible to avoid, M. Le Vine 19 March 2017
C. The United States MUST immediately cease all plans for the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.
D. The United States MUST reject any normalisation process that purports to subjugate the will, spirit and aspirations of the Palestinian people’s right to self – determination.
E. The United States MUST abide with international law and international humanitarian law and respect fundamental international conventions and instruments which protect, promote and advance the culture of human rights.
F. The United States MUST immediately abide with the resolutions by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to impose boycotts, sanctions and divestments on companies trading in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories contravening the 1967 delineated borders.
G. The United States MUST immediately impose an arms embargo and cut off all military aid funding to apartheid Israel that is killing and maiming innocent Palestinians.
H. The United States MUST immediately cease its aggressive and provocative belligerent military campaigns informed by its own misguided foreign policies in the middle east and restrain its military agenda for the attainment of world peace, justice, safety and security.
Attorney Ziyaad Ebrahim Patel
(International Human Rights and Lawfare Advocacy)
For and on Behalf of: The Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA – South Africa)
For and on Behalf of: The United States Consulate General Johannesburg, South Africa
I, THE UNDERSIGNED REPRESENTATIVE HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF SERVICE OF THE AFORESAID MEMORANDUM WITH ANNEXES DELIVERED BY THE PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ALLIANCE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICES TO THE UNITED STATES, CONSULATE GENERAL, JOHANNESBURG
DATED AT SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA ON THIS THE 15TH DAY OF MAY 2018 (70th AL NAKBA DAY
Full Names: _____________________________________
THIS MEMORANDUM IS ISSUED BY THE PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ALLIANCE SOUTH AFRICA AND ENDORSED BY:
- PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
- JAMIATUL ULEMA SOUTH AFRICA
- BDS SOUTH AFRICA
- SOUTH AFRICAN JEWS FOR A FREE PALESTINE
- MEDIA REVIEW NETWORK