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Russell Tribunal on Palestine September 3rd 2009 News update

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PIERRE GALAND We got together today in Brussels with the organizational International Committee of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. That was quite a busy day but we are now on our way to organize the first international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in Barcelona. Why Barcelona? Actually this is quite a symbolic place. Let's keep in mind that this is the place where the agreement linking Europe and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean was signed back in 1995. And then of course this embraces Israel and Palestine as well. The spirit of the Tribunal is really innovative. The purpose is not to go through all condemnations towards Israel again. Those are known since the United Nations issued its resolutions and since the International Court of Justice published a statement. Our Tribunal has a very specific calling. It is the role of the public opinion to judge the failures of the international community considering the crimes which are commited by Israel in the occupied territories of Palestine. This is quite original and it should help us to explain the exact responsibilities of the international community and of Europe in particular. Thus, the Barcelona session will talk about the particular responsibilities of the E.U., of its members but will also analyze why some people in Europe, civil servants really care about their job and missions. As an example, I am thinking about the customs officers who do reports about all the violations of the association agreement on Israel. They do convey full reports about those violations here at the UE headquarters and we realize that nothing has been done, no effect at all, absolutely no reprimand from the EU. Europe doesn't even respect its own rules so we will talk about this. To do so, we built a system of national committees, several of them committed to work on creating the essential expertise required to prepare the Barcelona session. We're talking about Ireland, Italy, of course Catalonia et Belgium which work to prepare the expertise files that will be the founding elements of the Tribunal, the Tribunal itself, being supported by experts who will check if the documents provided match the reality. Of course, the Tribunal will also summon Europe to defend itself and if no one shows up we will then explain its attitude, its points of view and why Europe holds its positions. This will be our very first session amongst others since we already planned the next one which will take place in London right after this one either at the end of the 1st quarter or beginning of the 2nd quarter of 2010. Obviously, all this requires the mobilization of fundings one extraordinary thing is that the municipality and the province of Barcelona offered us our first founding for the realization of this Tribunal... of this session in February 2010. This is great, we can now work and we have a responsibility to call up experts, a jury and a spokesman and most of all to make sure that the public opinion remains informed. This is a tribunal of opinion and then if we do not have the support of people acting for us if we don't have citizens convinced that today there is a need to end this chronical injustice because it has been going on for 60 years against the palestinian people. Thus, as organizers and as a Tribunal, this an appeal to assure that the public opinions throughout the world realize that this is an extremely important event and that we need them to bear this question as it was done about Viet Nam when the Americans went there and which made the American public opinion change at that time. And we think that public opinion can have a direct influence on Europe, on the US and on the UN. This is the reason why this is essential. I would add that there is no possible action without money and then I am calling up for all those who can give a hand by sending money to this Tribunal in order to assure its independence. We will soon receive a grant from a local European public organization but we are aware that the EU will never finance us and take criticism at the same time. This is the reason why we need the support of the European citizens and others in the world to go forward. This is where we stand right now and I must say that this meeting today was quite a success, it was very dynamic and we had some international personnalities like the Ambassador Stephane Hessel who stands by us and shows his support. This man is a symbol of the Human Rights activism in the whole world and having him with us, listening to his advice, is extremely precious.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 46 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: United Kingdom
Language: French (France)
Producer: Duffer2222
Director: Duffer2222
Views: 563
Posted by: duffer2222 on Sep 6, 2009

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold its first session in Barcelona in February 2010. Pierre Galand, of the organizing committee, explains how it is going to work, and what are the main priorities for the tribunal and its supporters in the next few months.

Subtitles by HeLand.

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