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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 6, 2001
11:03 AM
CONTACT:  Association of State Green Parties (ASGP)
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator
207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator
202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com
Greens Endorse Mass Rally for Palestinian Refugee Rights to be held in NYC on Saturday, April 7
 
WASHINGTON - April 6 - The Green Party endorses a mass rally and march in support of Palestinian refugee rights to be held in NYC on Saturday, April 7. By co-sponsoring this event, the Green Party reaffirms its unwavering commitment to human rights and the observance of international law as the basis for a just and enduring peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

According to Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) Steering Committee co-chair, Tom Sevigny of CT, "Our support for the Palestinian right to return to their homes is consistent with the Green Party's view that impartial respect for human rights is the foundation of emerging democracies and peaceful international relations. Since 1948, Palestinian refugees have been denied their inalienable right to return to their native land while non-native Jews continue to immigrate to the same land under the Israeli 'Law of Return.' This double standard constitutes an ongoing violation of human rights as guaranteed by international law including Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and UN General Assembly Resolution 194."

While recognizing that the right to return home is inalienable, the Greens also emphasize that feasible solutions have been proposed that would allow Palestinians to act on their right without appreciable dislocation of current Jewish residents within Israel. Mr. Sevigny said, "Honoring this human right is a matter of political will of the international community, especially the US which provides Israel with billions of dollars in aid annually."

The long-standing plight of Palestinian refugees resonates with the more recent experience of refugees and internally displaced persons whose numbers have grown as a result of the proliferation of ethnic conflict worldwide in places like Kosovo, Rwanda, and East Timor. As ASGP International Committee member, Justine McCabe, said, "The Green Party calls attention to the fact that in the absence of uniform protections for refugee rights, including the right to return home, the possibility for non-violent conflict resolution and the promotion of peace greatly diminishes."

The upcoming rally in NYC has been organized by Al-Awda, the Palestinian Right of Return Coalition. It is a repeat of events held in September, 2000, in which thousands rallied in Washington, D.C., London and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied territories. In endorsing this event, the Green Party is joined by over 100 peace and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Global Exchange, and Jews Against the Occupation.

The Green Party continues to be the only American political party to unequivocally support Palestinian human rights including the right to repatriation and restitution as the unconditional premise on which peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians must be based.


CONTACTS:
Justine McCabe (ASGP International Committee)
860-354-1822
Tom Sevigny (ASGP co-chair) 860-693-8344


MORE INFORMATION:

The Association of State Green Parties
http://www.greenparties.org
PO Box 18452, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 232-0335
National Commission on Federal Election Reform
http://www.reformelections.org

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