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Rima Khalaf letter to GTP

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Rima Khalaf letter to GTP

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Rima Khalaf letter to GTP

Brother Haytham Manna, Coordinator of the Preparatory Committee for the GTP, dear brothers and sisters

I wished I could participate with you in this important meeting, but an emergency circumstance over which I had no control prevented that. I am sad to miss a unique opportunity to meet this distinguished elite of judges, lawyers, historians, and writers, and this faithful gathering of witnesses to the largest genocide witnessed by humanity in the twenty-first century, a genocide carried out by the last apartheid regime on the face of the earth.

I am happy to see that among you are friends with whom I have worked for decades in the face of injustice, marginalization and exclusion, and for justice in Palestine and the region and a brighter future for all of humanity. We had started our work from universal principles based on freedom, justice, and human rights for all, principles upon which the peoples of the world agreed in the middle of the last century after two world wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions of people. Before the two wars, unjust forces prevailed in the world that relied on a false science that theorized the hierarchy of races, and the enslavement of others or even their annihilation. These forces enslaved peoples and plundered their resources under the pretext that they were mandated by God and history, and sometimes by the League of Nations, to spread civilization among them. A hateful anti-Semitism spread in Europe, leading to the killing of millions of innocent Jews simply because they were Jews. All of this and more led to the outbreak of the two world wars that nearly annihilated entire nations. This is what racism does to land and people.

Humanity learned from its history, and established moral rules and legal systems to avoid returning to that abyss, and to save “future generations from the scourge of war, which in the course of one generation has twice brought upon humanity unspeakable sorrows.” The nations of the Earth signed covenants criminalizing the acquisition of others’ lands by force, and criminalizing discrimination between people on the basis of race, color, lineage, or national or ethnic origin. It acknowledged that any “supremacy doctrine based on racial discrimination is scientifically wrong, morally reprehensible, unjust, and socially dangerous.” Accordingly, humanity decided that the crime of apartheid, like the crime of genocide, are both crimes against humanity, and that all countries of the world must combat them wherever they occur.

We could not have imagined that this crooked world would rear its head again, that the apartheid system would take root in the twenty-first century under the protection of superpowers, and that it would commit successive war crimes and crimes against humanity in disregard of international law without accountability, but rather with aid, assistance and foolish justification from its supporters who believe that it is right. He has what no one else has. The forces of evil have collided once again, but what makes me optimistic is that the forces of good, on the other hand, have joined forces and escalated their response to injustice by all legitimate means, carrying the banner of justice in the face of tyranny, and the banner of truth in the face of deception, fabrication, and deception. Humanity learned from its history, and established moral rules and legal systems to avoid returning to that abyss, and to save “future generations from the scourge of war, which in the course of one generation has twice brought upon humanity unspeakable sorrows.” The nations of the Earth signed covenants criminalizing the acquisition of others’ lands by force, and criminalizing discrimination between people on the basis of race, color, lineage, or national or ethnic origin. It acknowledged that any “supremacy doctrine based on racial discrimination is scientifically wrong, morally reprehensible, unjust, and socially dangerous.” Accordingly, humanity decided that the crime of apartheid, like the crime of genocide, are both crimes against humanity, and that all countries of the world must combat them wherever they occur.

We could not have imagined that this crooked world would rear its head again, that the apartheid system would take root in the twenty-first century under the protection of superpowers, and that it would commit successive war crimes and crimes against humanity in disregard of international law without accountability, but rather with aid, assistance and foolish justification from its supporters who believe that it is right. He has what no one else has. The forces of evil have collided once again, but what makes me optimistic is that the forces of good, on the other hand, have joined forces and escalated their response to injustice by all legitimate means, carrying the banner of justice in the face of tyranny, and the banner of truth in the face of deception, fabrication, and deception.

Here we see the heroism of the Palestinian people and their legendary steadfastness in the face of a brutal aggression that has continued for its ninth month, with most of its victims being civilians, especially women and children. An aggression targeting schools, hospitals, tents for displaced people, doctors, paramedics, and university professors. We also see a global movement sweeping universities, cities, and public squares, condemning the aggression and defending the Palestinian people and their right to freedom, justice, equality, and self-determination. We saw a country like South Africa take the aggressor to the International Court of Justice on charges of genocide, and jurists and civil society organizations forced the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to announce that he was seeking to issue arrest warrants against the leaders of the ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people. In this context, your court, or let us say the platform of the people of truth and justice and the voice of the voiceless, comes to elevate the force of law above the law of force.

What was right a hundred or a thousand years ago remains right today: resisting injustice is not only a protection for the oppressed, but a protection for all people, regardless of time and place. If the law, or those in charge of the law, allow crime, then the crime will soon become the law, and humanity will return, as I mentioned at the beginning of this speech, to the brutality of world wars that it has not been spared for a century and which it almost will not survive.

I wish you success in your endeavors to achieve broad civil networking and coordination between various constructive and creative energies, to defend the Palestinian cause, which has made the legendary resistance of children and women, and the steadfastness of this entire people in the face of declared genocide, the deciding issue between the camp of justice and the camp of crime. I hope that you will achieve the formation of permanent bodies for legal prosecution and oversight of international, regional and national courts to establish justice and hold the forces of criminality and brutality accountable. Only impunity allows the criminal to continue his crimes.

Greetings to all friends, with my sincere best wishes for meeting you and success in achieving its lofty and noble goals.

Rima Khalaf, 5/31/2024

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