From: Ismail Zayid
To: Guardian Weekly
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2000 2:44 PM

Subject: International law and Israeli occupation.


The Editor,
The Guardian Weekly

11 Nov. 2000

Dear Editor:

In Suzanne Goldenberg’s article [ "Israel Fends off UN peace plan", Nov. 9], we are told : " But the very prospect of international involvement in its conflict with the Palestinians - let alone a 2,000-strong observer force - is anathema to Israel". Since when has Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians been outside the the realm of the U.N., and if so why? Is it not time that Israel is informed, by the international community, that its occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, for the last 33 years, is illegal and in violation of Security Council resolutions, and it is the responsibility of the U.N. to secure the implementation of these resolutions? So why should it be necessary or tolerated for Israel to determine whether international involvement in this conflict is acceptable? Did the U.S. and its allies consult with Iraq whether international involvement in its illegal occupation of Kuwait was acceptable?

Furthermore, the treatment of people [the Palestinians] under foreign [Israeli] occupation falls under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel violates consistently for the last 33 years, as confirmed by the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and Israeli human rights groups, including B’Tselem and the Israeli League for Civil and Human Rights. The Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates that it is the responsibility of the signatories, i.e. the international community, to see that this Convention is complied with.

How long must this practice of double standards continue, and how long must Israel remain above international law?

Yours sincerely

Dr. Ismail Zayid