A Freedom Charter or A Second Nakba? By Kenneth O'Keefe
Imagine this, imagine that Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress negotiated a deal with the South African Apartheid regime and settled for a “two-state solution.” Imagine Mandela negotiating with the Apartheid regime a land deal in which less than 15% of current day South Africa went to the black South Africans, the remaining 85% to the inherently racist Apartheid government and its people.
With that in mind, I ask, is there any real difference between that scenario and the idea of a “two-state solution” today? I am happy to know that ever-increasing numbers of people inside and outside of Palestine see what I see, the so-called two-state solution is in truth the two-state disaster, the second Nakba.
I can imagine the result of two states and, as far as I am concerned, anything less than one state, with all equal protection under the law, is a recipe for perpetual conflict. And that is exactly why every US and EU administration and puppets and stooges of all stations from around the globe support the second Nakba of two states. One a nuclear armed, economically advanced and land rich, the other impoverished and beaten, a legacy to the motto that ‘might makes right’ and justice comes at the barrel of a gun.
Only the completely brainwashed or corrupt deny the history that catapulted the racist Zionist state of Israel into existence. Only the blind would deny that the formation of Israel resulted in hundreds of Palestinian villages being ‘wiped off the map.’ Is there a statute of limitations on such crimes? The answer is no, and the only way to heal the injury in Palestine is to effect what Mandela, the African National Congress, and the people of conscience of the world demanded and achieved, one state, one rule, for all people.
In a free Palestine the racist Zionists who have committed grave crimes against the Palestinians will be fortunate to have the option Mandela gave the racists of Apartheid, the opportunity to stay and live as equals.
What’s done is done, there is no returning the dead, there is no giving back the childhoods lost. But there is the future, staring at us, and we will decide which future we choose. I choose not just one state, but one world, and not that ‘New World Order’ version. I choose one world with equal rights for all people, human rights and liberty for all. Why not? As far as I can tell, we, the people, the masses, we are the clear majority, and what we want, freedom, is something every sane person will support. I think we can change things much faster than we currently realize.
But I say we start with Palestine.
There is a saying that goes ‘don’t try to reinvent the wheel.’ I agree with that, and the African National Congress created the wheel I needed in the form of their Freedom Charter. Forty plus years before the end of Apartheid in South Africa they wrote the words that became the basis of a democratic South Africa. Problems indeed they have in South Africa, but they would be far, far worse if they had accepted the deal that Palestinians are being asked to accept today.
With humility, and the utmost respect to all my Palestinian brothers and sisters and to all people of conscience, I present the Freedom Charter, amended for Palestine.
Palestine Freedom Charter
We, the People of Palestine, declare for all our country and the world to know:
that Palestine belongs to all who live in it, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people;
that our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality;
that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities;
that only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or religion;
And therefore, we, the people of Palestine, Muslim, Jewish and Christian, all people together equals, countrymen and brothers adopt this Freedom Charter;
And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won.
The People Shall Govern
Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws;
All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country;
The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour, sex or religion;
All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by democratic organs of self-government.
All National Groups Shall have Equal Rights
There shall be equal status in the bodies of state, in the courts and in the schools for all national groups and races;
All people shall have equal right to use their own languages, and to develop their own folk culture and customs;
All national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride;
The preaching and practice of national, race, colour or religious discrimination and contempt shall be a punishable crime;
All apartheid laws and practices shall be abolished.
The People Shall Share in the Country's Wealth
The national wealth of our country, the heritage of Palestine, shall be restored to the people;
The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the Banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;
All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the wellbeing of the people;
All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.
The Land Shall be Shared Among Those Who Work It
Restrictions of land ownership on a racial or religious basis shall be ended. to banish malnutrition and land hunger;
The state shall help to banish malnutrition and land hunger by providing implements, seed, tractors and access to water to save the soil and assist the tillers;
Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all;
All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;
All Shall be Equal Before the Law
No-one shall be imprisoned, deported or restricted without a fair trial; No-one shall be condemned by the order of any Government official;
The courts shall be representative of all the people;
Imprisonment shall be only for serious crimes against the people, and shall aim at re-education, not vengeance;
The police force and army shall be open to all on an equal basis and shall be the helpers and protectors of the people;
All laws which discriminate on grounds of race, colour, belief or religion shall be repealed.
All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights
The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship and to educate their children;
The privacy of the house from police raids shall be protected by law;
All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to town, from north to south, east to west and from Palestine abroad;
Check Points, permits and all other laws restricting these freedoms shall be abolished.
There Shall be Work and Security!
All who work shall be free to form trade unions, to elect their officers and to make wage agreements with their employers;
The state shall recognise the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits;
Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work;
All workers shall have the same rights regardless of their station;
The Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened
The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life;
All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands;
The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace;
Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children; Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;
Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan;
There Shall be Houses, Security and Comfort
All people shall have the right to live where they choose, be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security;
Unused housing space to be made available to the people;
Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no-one shall go hungry;
A preventive health scheme shall be run by the state;
Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children, the elderly and the disabled;
Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields;
The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state;
Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all:
Fenced locations and ghettoes and house demolitions shall be abolished, and laws which break up families shall be repealed.
There Shall be Peace and Friendship
Palestine shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations;
Palestine shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war;
Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all;
All people shall be free to decide for themselves their own future;
The right of all peoples of Palestine to independence and self-government shall be recognised, and shall be the basis of close co-operation.
Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:
THESE FREEDOMS WE WILL FIGHT FOR, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY!