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by Françoise Germain-Robin

Peace for Palestine

Translated Sunday 23 March 2008, by Susannah Readett-Bayley

French NGOs and personalities take action to highlight denial of the Palestinian State during anniversary of foundation of Israel

Israeli flags flying over Paris, Israel ’guest of honour’ at the International Book Fair in Paris, high profile plans underway for Nicolas Sarkozy’s return state visit to Israel: the 60th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel on 15 May 1948 continues to make lots of noise in the media. In response to this wave of attention, NGO’s and political and influential figures, in the form of a unified platform of NGO’s for Palestine, have decided to take action to remind us that in the 60 years of existence since its creation in 1947 by the same UN resolution, Palestine hasn’t had a look in.

The platform has also launched a campaign for civil action called ’Paix comme Palestine: la paix par le droit’ (Peace for Palestine: peace through law). This was announced on Tuesday in Paris, attended by the personalities behind the campaign [1]: Former ambassador Stéphane Hessel, specialist in International Law Monique Chemilly-Gendreau and writer and journalist Dominique Vidal who reminded us that "one anniversary can hide another". It is thanks to Dominique Vidal that the new Israeli historians have become known [2], their work proving that Israel is founded on the basis of an ’ethnic cleansing’. "We must make people aware while the political and media forces are celebrating the foundation of Israel, that a whole other country has disappeared: Palestine. We must make sure it remains visible throughout this long period. "

And it will be, beginning this week at the International Book Fair, through the numerous debates and conferences organised with the participation of Israeli writers who have distanced themselves from the official delegation in opposition to the occupation and colonisation that Israeli governments pursue.

Bernard Ravenel, president of the NGO Platform for Palestine has announced a series of plans for the weeks to come – with 2 particular highlights: On March 29th olive trees will be planted in many municipalities and on the 17th of May at the exhibition centre at Porte de Versailles, a whole day of concerts and debates is organised supported by some of the biggest names in music, with many Israeli and Palestinian figures in attendance.

www. Plateforme-palestine.org

[2On 18th March, he will host a debate at 18h. Theme: the International Book Fair. Last publication: How Israel threw out the Palestinians

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