A Freedom Charter or a Second Nakba?

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:

Kenneth O'Keefe is an American-born activist who renounced his US citizenship. Read other articles by Kenneth, or visit Kenneth's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. David Silver said on July 22nd, 2010 at 8:44am #

    Right On

  2. Ismail Zayid said on July 22nd, 2010 at 10:20am #

    Kenneth O’Keefe has got it right. The Palestinian people have been exposed, since 1948, to many Nakbas and their current so-called leaders are in the process of engendering the upteenth Nakba.

    The Freedom Charter is to restore to the dispossessed people of Palestine, of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds, the right to live freely as equal citizens without discrimination, in a single secular democratic state, and restore to the refugees their basic Right of Return to their homes, as dictated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN resolutions.

    Thus, there can be peace and security for all the people of this tortured land.

  3. ro7939 said on July 22nd, 2010 at 3:27pm #

    Yes, yes, a million time yes. Bravo, and I mean this more than the best live performance I have ever seen (a tossup between Andres Segovia or Doc Watson in his prime, who caused the audience to gasp for air…what an honor to shake this man’s hands that brought so much pleasure to the world).

    The article supports my view that the USA is the most racist state on earth. Anyone who supports a nation run by modern Pharisees is racist. The OT racist Pharisees are the modern Rabinnical Talmudists, who teach through the Talmud that they are the only true “humans” and all goyim/gentile are sub-human. What can possibly be added to this? Well, I’ll do my best here.

    The USA is perceived to be predominantly Christian. Christians usually believe Christ is coming in the future, to return to Israel/Jerusalem. The Rabbinnical Talmudists support this view and they financially support the Zionist Christians who teach this lie. Christ already returned (a spirtual return) in 70AD. He is not coming in the future: read “The Parousia” written in the late 19th century by James Stuart Russell, who earned his Masters degree at age 18…or Brian Martin’s “Behind the Veil of Moses”.)

    The above facts explain why Obama and Hillary describe the USA/Israel bond as “unbreakable”. George Washington’s Farewell Address warned the horrible folly of the USA/Israel relationship. I confronted what appears to be a well-read American on this problem. His inability to justify his disagreement with GW pretty much sums up the issue. (This particular individual is a warmonger but of course could never simply state that he loves death and destruction at any cost. He also wrongly believes Islam is a terrorist threat to the USA rather than the truth that the Governing Elite are the true terrorists.)

    I am a true believer in Christ. I agree with Christ that dying for another is the best example of love. I strictly abhor any and all violence. I do not believe in self-defense except to run and or cover up. The only sign of faith in Christ is pure love. I do not believe in baptism. I do not believe in the Lord’s Supper. The only sign left for believers, since the Roman Army destroyed the Temple in 70AD, is love and only love.

  4. lichen said on July 22nd, 2010 at 3:29pm #

    Yep, and watch this freedom charter go the same way as the last one; in twenty years Palestineans would still be living in shacks without running water anyway, while the rich jews and a small Palestinian elite would control everything, instead of the political independence that the large Palestinian state (all of west bank, all of gaza, all of east juresulum) could have to go it’s own way.

  5. Rehmat said on July 22nd, 2010 at 5:33pm #

    The bad dream of Zionists is materializing. More and more American and Canadian Jews are backing-off their blind support for Israel. and once a significant portion of Jewish population in the US and Canada join these ‘Self-Hating Israel-Threatening’ growed – goodby to Washington and Ottawa financial, military and moral support to Israel.

    Anti-Israel Jewish Conference

  6. Sie.Kathieravealu said on July 22nd, 2010 at 7:58pm #

    “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. ”
    With FULL endorsement of the idea of a world Govrnment and the Freedom Charter, I say that let us start start with Sri Lanka where the majority are for a SINGLE state “United Country”.

    Not as much as the Palestinians but the Tamils in Sri Lanka too suffer as a minority in a different type of “apartheid” rule at the hands of the “majority”. The same can happen to the Israelis in the “One-State” solution or to any minority in any country. And what is the guarantee that the “One-state” will not turn out as another ” Zimbabwe”.

    One of the root causes for the emergence of “terrorism” is the non-consideration of the genuine grievances of sections of society by the “democratically” elected governments.. In my humble opinion “true democracy” is practiced by the direct participation of a large number of persons in the “governance” of the country by giving due recognition to the sovereignty of the people and their aspirations to develop and safeguard their life and their area of living.

    One non-violent way to curb or eradicate “terrorism” in each and every part of the world is to change the system of governance that is now prevailing and termed as “democracy”. “Terrorism” is due to the frustration experienced by sections of the common people who are denied participation in the governance of the country and this “frustration” is manipulated by shrewd persons with hidden agendas to their own advantage. So one non-violent way of tackling the problem is given below:

    “In a civilized society, the people must be empowered to directly participate in the governance of the country and the best way for the people to empower themselves is, a system of governance that would address the problems faced by various sections of the society – particularly the poor, the politically weak and the various categories of “minorities” who do not carry any “political weight” – would be to DILUTE the powers of all elected representatives of the people by separating the various powers of the Parliament and by horizontally empowering different sets of people’s representatives elected on different area basis to administer the different sets of the separated powers at different locations and thus throughout the country (a small fraction of the Parliament with defined powers and duties functions in each and every village, division, district and region)” to perform the different, defined and distinct functions of one and the same institution – the Parliament – like the organs of our body – heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, nose, ear etc. – performing different and distinct functions to enable us to sustain normal life

    For further details please contact