Human Rights in Palestine Conference

by ray goodlass

Attending the Human Rights in Palestine conference at the ANU in Canberra today and tomorrow. It has earned the ire of Murdoch Australian newspaper, which in a perverse way is a sign of respect!

Several speakers pointed out how much the Palestinian Authority conceded to achieve the Oslo Accord. That PA politicians might have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo is a worrying thought! 

But speakers mainly focused on how Israel deprives Palestinians of their human rights,  as well as social, medical, cultural a day economic rights.

As usual, I am really reminded that like Australia,  Israel is a settler colonial society. 

There was of course much discussion of how to bring about a just peace, and though it seems so hopeless,  Professor Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the OPT,  pointed out the ‘Politics of the Impossible’, in which seemingly impossible situations are overturned that no one foresaw before they happened,  such as the end of colonialism, the collapse of the USSR,  and the end of Apartheid South Africa.  The thought does give some (slight) hope.

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