Brando Benifei (S&D) asks to High Representative of the European Union Mogerini on the Arrest of Fateh Youth President by Israeli forces

Brando BENIFEI - Question to Mogherini on the arrest of Fateh Youth President by Israeli Forces

On Friday 12th January, Hassan Faraj, Fateh Youth President, was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces at the entrance of the city of Bethlehem while participating at the peaceful demonstrations against the Israeli government policy of settlement expansion in West Bank.

While in jail, Hassan Faraj was denied the possibility to meet his lawyer, and he is expected to be summoned in front of the Israeli Military Court within the Israeli Military Order next Tuesday.

Recalling European Parliament’s resolutions on the recognition of Palestine statehood (2014/2964(RSP) of 17 December 2014) and on the EU’s role in the Middle East peace process (2015/2685(RSP) of 10 September 2015),

we ask the HR/VP:

  • If the HR/VP is aware of this action that profoundly undermines peaceful dialogue’s chances between Israel and Palestine, by directly attempting to disqualify an important Fateh political figure from the political process, by disregarding the right to peaceful demonstrations and lastly by denying rights of prisoners to meet with their lawyer
  • If the HP/VP considers highlighting the case of Hassan Faraj to the relevant Israeli authorities

Question for written answer (Priority) presented to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative
of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the 16th of January

IUSY calls for immediate releasing of Fateh youth President in Palestine Comrade Hassan Faraj and all Palestinian political prisoners

Hassan Faraj, Fateh Youth President arrested in Palestine

It is with deep concern that IUSY learns of the arrest of our comrade Hassan Faraj, Fateh Youth president, in Palestine, in the early hours of Friday, 12th of January 2018.

Hassan Faraj, Fateh Youth president, was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces at the entrance of the city of Bethlehem while participating at the peaceful demonstrations against the Israeli expansion of illegal settlements and the continuation of the Israeli occupation violations of human rights in Palestine.

While the political situation between the Palestine and Israel has escalated in the past weeks, IUSY firmly believes in a two-state solution as the only solution to the crisis as has been widely endorsed by the International Community.

It is in this light that we demand the immediate release of comrade Hassan Faraj, Fateh Youth President, and all Palestinian political prisoners in the Israeli jails.

We affirm our full support to the peaceful popular struggle of the Palestinian people in their fair quest for freedom and justice.

We hereby call on our Member Organisations and the International Community of States to take direct measures in order to end the more than 50 years occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

We further call on our Member Organisations to raise their voices against all human rights violations by Israel against the Palestinian people.

IUSY and YES joint statement on the US decision to move their embassy in Jerusalem

Mediterranean USA Jerusalem

Jerusalem holds unique political, religious and spiritual significance and has always been an epicenter of the conflict in the Middle East and a critical issue for resolving it.

Any decision regarding Jerusalem should not be taken lightly and even more so unilaterally and its consequences should never be underestimated.

The UN Security Council, entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security, adopted several resolutions, including the most recent UNSC resolution 2334 (2016) that clearly evoked the issue of Jerusalem and reaffirmed its centrality and the principles applicable to the situation prevailing in the holy city.

In these resolutions, the Security Council recalled in unequivocal terms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of international law and a serious obstruction to achieving peace in the Middle East.

UNSC resolution 478 (1980) determined the responsibilities of all States in this regard and decided not to recognize Israel’s pursuit to alter the character and status of Jerusalem. It also calls upon all Member States to accept this decision and those that have established diplomatic missions to withdraw from the Holy City.

These resolutions were adopted on the basis of the UN Charter and international law, and the cardinal principle of the illegality of acquisition of land by force, reflecting the world’s rejection of Israel’s illegal policies.

This stance was further confirmed by the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the wall erected by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Moving the US embassy in contravention of these clear and fundamental rules would constitute a political and legal earthquake with far reaching and volatile consequences, at a time where the region is witnessing unprecedented turmoil with global ramifications.

No peace can be brokered and no solutions found without Jerusalem. Those who act to consolidate Israel’s illegal actions and annexation of Eastern Jerusalem, capital of Palestine, only drags the agenda further away from peace and by default, disqualify themselves from a seat on the table of conciliation and resolution.

The Trump administration’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem would constitute an act of aggression against the Palestinian people’s rights and a grave breach of international law. It could also push the two-State solution based on 1967 borders beyond the point of resuscitation.

The death of the two-State solution would dramatically change both the face of the conflict, as well as the framework for solving it.

There will also be grave consequences for the entire region. Such a US decision will not only harm the Palestinian people, but those it pretends to help; as advancing the occupation is escalating the conflict.

We call on the US administration to carefully re-assess the impact of this move, taking into account the United States’ image, interests, and security.  The US government’s role is to best serve and preserve the interests of the American people, not those of the Israeli Government.

The Trump adminsitration’s move runs counter to the positions adopted by successive Democratic and Republican administrations for over 3 decades, not to mention the unshakable international consensus. It is impossible to understand how such a move of provocation and aggression, can have positive effects for the United States and its interests in the region and globally. 

Many Palestinian citizens of Israel declared that if Trump will recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestine, it would be a positive action that they will support as a step for the 2 state solution.

The US administration has to choose between abdicating to the most extremist views of the nationalistic right movement in Israel and its representatives in the Israeli government or to stand its ground and work on advancing peace. It must be clear that these two positions are mutually exclusive.

We also call on all of our IUSY and YES members, the relevant international institutions and all freedom loving peoples across the world to mobilize in defending and upholding international law.

The mobilization of all political and moral forces of our time is more needed than ever to end the injustice and the dispossession endured by the Palestinian people for 70 years and the military and occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip for 50 years.

The Palestinian people – like all humans – have inalienable rights, including a right to self-determination and independence, a right to freedom and dignity. They have every intention to exercise these rights in their sovereign State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. That is the path to peace and security for all the peoples in the region.

The alternative is conflict and Apartheid, which we must avoid at all costs.

IUSY – International Union of Socialist Youth
YES – Young European Socialists

Presidium statement on the US threat to the PLO permanence in Washington DC.

United States - Israel - Palestine

The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) strongly condemns the recent pronouncement made by the United States government in threatening the existence of the Palestinian Liberation organization Office in Washington DC.

With this decision, the Trump administration will effectively lose its credibility as a neutral mediator in the ongoing peace process between Israel and Palestine. By threatening the legitimacy of the PLO’s existence on its territory, the United States government will derail the ongoing negotiations to the detriment of both Israel and Palestine.

We urge the United States government to remain impartial in its role in the peace talks and to consider the rights of the Palestinians and Israelis identically.

Instead of closing down the PLO, it should instead focus its energy and resources in ensuring that the peace negotiations provide both countries and their respective citizens the right to peaceful homes and sovereignty.
Threatening the right of Palestinians to representation in the United States does not only impede on the inalienable rights of Palestinian but directly disregards the Country’s right to self-determination, independence, and establishment.

We stand one with our comrades from the Fateh Youth Organisation and the Palestinian people in their struggle for fairness and justice.

We echo the words of United Nations General assembly President Miroslav Lajčák when he said, “When it comes to the question of Palestine, we have a responsibility and we have an interest. Palestinian people do not need our sympathy – they deserve our solidarity.”

IUSY World Festival condemn heavy verdict against 24 Western Sahara’s activists

In the early hours on June 19, the Moroccan court in Sale pronounced heavy sentences against 24 Saharawi political prisoners, ranging from 4 years to life in prison.

The group was arrested in November 2010, after clashes erupted in the Western Sahara when Moroccan security forces dismantled Saharawi camp of Gdeim Izik, where thousands of Sahrawis were protesting for political, social and economic demands.

The entire group had been originally condemned in February 2013 by a military tribunal, based on testimonies obtained under torture, as documented by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Most were given harsh sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment.

On 27 July 2016, Morocco’s court of cassation ruled that the Gdeim Izik prisoners would be granted a civilian retrial before the Rabat court of appeals. Most of the group have already served more than six years in prison.

Saharawi political prisoners had conducted several times hunger strikes to protest against their arbitrary detention and unfair trial.

International organisations, as well as the families of the prisoners, had on several occasions requested a fair trial in accordance with the international law on this issue.

Earlier on the last 17th of July, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called in a joint statement “Morocco’s judicial authorities should ensure that upcoming verdicts in a mass trial are not based on confessions or statements implicating other defendants obtained under torture or other ill-treatment during police interrogations”.

The civilian court of Rabat has issued the following verdict:

– Sentenced to life in prison:
Ahmed Sbai
Brahim Ismaïli
Abdalahi Lakfawni
Laaroussi Abdeljalil
Mohamed El Bachir Boutinguiza
Mohamed Bani
Sidi Abdallah B’hah

– Sentenced to 30 years in prison:
Enaama Asfari
Mohamed Bourial
Hassan Dah
Cheikh Banga

– Sentenced to 25 years in prison:
Abdallahi Toubali
El Houssin Ezzaoui
Mohamed Lamin Haddi
Mohamed Embarek Lefkir
Babait Mohamed Khuna
Sidahmed Lemjeyid (down from life in prison as ordered by the military court)

– Sentenced to 20 years in prison:
Mohamed Tahlil
El Bachir Khadda
Mohamed El Ayoubi

– Granted liberty
Deich Daf has been condemned to six and a half years, which is less than the time he has so far spent in prison. Daf had been sentenced to 25 years by the military court.
Larabi El Bakay has been condemned to four and a half years, which is less than the time he has so far spent in prison. The military court had sentenced El Bakay to 25 years.

The IUSY World Festival 2017, which has taken place in Jale, Albania:

  • Condemn the verdicts issued by the Moroccan court of Sale against the group of Saharawi political prisoners of Gdeim Izik.
  • Demand the Moroccan authorities to provide a fair trial for all Saharawi political prisoners and human rights defenders in accordance with international law requirements.
  • Demand the immediate release of all Saharawi political prisoners in Moroccan jails.
  • Urge the UN to accelerate the peace process in Western Sahara by organizing the referendum to bring this long standing conflict to an end.

Bring back Democracy in Turkey now!

IUSY shows its deepest concern about the political and democratic situation in Turkey, strongly condemning the discretionary arrests of the HDP leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yüksekdag​ and a dozen other opposition MPs in Turkey, asking for their immediate release. We appeal to the elimination of violence in the region and appeal to a non escalation in the conflict. The recent events in the country, with the increasing arrests of journalists, academic people and other individuals related to any kind of opposition to the Turkish Government, are a sign of an ever increasing authoritarian ruling force by the AKP supported Government. We urge Turkey to abide by international law and to respect the rule of Law. The intentions of reinstating the death penalty, the imposed censorship on social media, the repression on free press and the lack of respect for the independence of the judiciary system pose a clear threat to the democratic regime in Turkey and cannot be accepted by the international community. Also, IUSY condemns the terror attack in Diyarbakır, where 9 people were killed in response to these arrests. We remind that violence cannot be an answer and civil war is not an option in Turkey. It is time for the Turkish Government to respect the rules of democracy,​ which includes respecting the rights of the Kurdish people,​ the right of political association and opposition and freedom of speech press and association.​ We demand that the European Union and the international community take a stand on the unlawful arrests of the HDP leaders, to pressure Turkey to comply to the established standards of the rule of law, using all of their normative power through the political, economic, and diplomatic means at their disposal to successfully achieve this important step. The downwards spiral that is leading Turkey from a secular Republic to a religious autocracy must be stopped in the interest of the Turkish people. We call the EU to take notice that as long as Erdogan’s government perpetrates the repression of democracy and human rights targeting its own citizens – Kurds in particular -Turkey is not abiding by the EU accession criteria she was asked to pursue in its long path towards becoming an EU Member State. We call on the European Union to pressure Turkey by temporary freezing the ongoing EU membership negotiations  until democracy and the respect of the rights of all Turkish citizens are re-established.

IUSY MC Statement on: Palestine Prisoners in Hunger Strike

Palestinian Hunger-Striker and Political Prisoner Mahmoud Al-Balboul Rushed to ICU

Mahmoud Al-Balboul, 21 years old Palestinian political prisoner and member of Fateh Youth Movement from Bethlehem, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv the past Sunday 4th September.

This came against the severe deterioration in his health and accompanying serious complications after 67 days on hunger strike, starting 1 July 2016. Mahmoud’s brother, Mohammad Al-Balboul, 26, and Malik Kadi joined Mahmoud in the hunger strike on 4 July 2016.

Mahmoud’s health sharply deteriorated as he began suffering from severe fatigue, lost 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and had difficulty speaking. Despite warnings by Israeli doctors of an imminent risk of paralysis in case of continued refusal to take vitamin supplements, reports indicate that Mahmoud refused all but water.

The Balboul brothers, detained on 9 June and sentenced to six months of illegal administrative detention, declared an open hunger strike in July to protest Israel’s widely condemned policy. Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold political activists indefinitely without trial or charges, based on undisclosed evidence; it also allows for the prevention of meeting between the detainee and lawyer. This is illegal under international law and infringes on basic internationally recognized rights, including right to due process and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, as well as numerous international humanitarian law provisions.

IUSY MC holds Israeli authorities fully responsible for the lives of Al-Balboul brothers, and Malik Kadi as well as all Palestinian political prisoners. In conformity with values of solidarity and fraternity, we extend a request for support to place sufficient pressure on the Israeli Prison Service and government to comply with the demands of the striking political prisoners to cancel the policy of administrative detentions. We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners, support for their ongoing struggle in attainment of freedom.

These perpetual acts of illegal aggression are widely reflected in the increasing levels of violence and instability not just in Palestine and the Arab region, but also across the world. It is high time that we raise our voices against occupation, discrimination, violence, extremism and apartheid and take concrete, tangible steps that bring us closer to the day where we see a freedom and justice in Palestine.

mc-statment-on-palestinian-presioners-in-hunger-strike

Mediterranean Committee ’16 Statement on the Region

The Mediterranean Committee Leadership Conference ’16 took place last week in Athens, Greece. In the programme we had the opportunity to discuss important issues such as the difference conflicts active in the region, the refugee crisis and its consequences not only in the region but  also in Europe.

We also had the chance to discuss on the relation between Feminism and Socialism followed by the Women’s Role in the Middle East. There was also time for debating on the current economic crisis that so many countries are going through.

All this issues and more are reflected in the statement released by the committee, check it out!

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MC’16 – The current situation in the region

IUSY is concerned about the escalation of human rights violations in Turkey after the coup attempt in July. We strongly believe that there are fundamental rights that should never be infringed upon. Accordingly IUSY condemns the absence of due process (legal procedure of arresting a person), arbitrary arrests and collective punishments. IUSY expresses its proximity to its two Member Organizations present in the area, CHP youth and HDP youth, whose members have been subject to arbitrary violence and persecution. We stand in solidarity by our friends and comrades of CHP Youth and HDP Youth in their battle for social justice and democracy, and we will use all peaceful measures in our hands to protect their basic democratic rights in compliance with fundamental principles of international law.

IUSY stresses its ongoing support for the Kurdish cause and the right of the Kurdish people for self-determination. We view some rights as fundamental and indispensable, primarily freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement or even expressing their collective rights that are given to minorities. We commend the struggle of the Kurdish people against extremists and call the international community to take serious measures in order to assist them. We especially condemn the treatment of Kurdish political prisoners, which has amounted on several occasions to enforced disappearance.

IUSY continues to strongly support the right of Western Sahara people to freedom and self-determination. IUSY strongly condemns the Moroccan violation of the seize-fire at Gargarat area and we urge the UN to decide on a date for a referendum, which would determine the fate of the Sahrawian people. We are calling the international community and the UN Security Council to take concrete measures to prevent any escalation of violence. We call both sides to refrain of the use of force and utilize diplomatic and peaceful methods to prevent any additional crisis.

 

IUSY affirm it’s fully support for the Palestinian peaceful struggle towards freedom and the right of the Palestinian people for self-determination and their struggle for independence. We support the peace camp in both sides and their efforts to contribute to the realization of the two states solution based on the 1967 borders. IUSY believes that the only way to achieve a long lasting peace is through non-violent ways. We also call for immediate release of Fatah youth movement members who are currently on an ongoing hunger strike and are in severe health condition and all the Palestinian political prisoners. We call the international community to support the Palestinian international diplomatic steps.

As Under the current situation in the MENA region thousands of children women youths and elderly people crossing the Mediterranean Sea escaping from violence, wars economic crisis and extremism grows, and the way they need to pass on the way to a safe life becomes even more dangerous, we demand the international community to support those people in their struggle against the extreme violence and the dictators in their countries. IUSY calls the EU to take direct measures and to adopt policies and regulations, which guarantee stable life for all the people who are fleeing to Europe, seeking for security peace and dignity. We believe that the policy of the close borders will never achieve security or stability, cooperation and just policies are the only way to solve this humanitarian crisis.

It’s our responsibility all as social democrat youth in the middle east to struggle for building societies based on our principles and values in the different fields. Therefore, struggling for more environmental policies, strengthening of the social democratic economies, equality, solidarity and freedom should be always in the top of our priorities all of us to work hand in hand for better region and better world.

IUSY looks with concern at the increased militarization in the Middle East and North Africa and its detrimental repercussions on the stability of the region. We should always remember the price that was paid in order to effectuate the UN charter. Accordingly, we stress the need to refrain from the use or the threat of the use of force, in compliance with the Charter. We progressively observe how the abuse of the ultimate power at the disposal of certain nations in the Security Council has contributed to the aforementioned end. We view a need for reform in compliance with standards of social democracy and the principle of equality of nations.

 

Prevalent gender stereotypes increase the vulnerability of women worldwide; accordingly, women are disproportionately affected in times of war and conflicts. We commend ongoing efforts to protect women from violence and sexual abuse within the umbrella of the “women, peace and security” agenda, starting with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. We also believe that in order to effectuate it, the big bulk of effort should be concentrated on regional implementation mechanisms in view of the sensitivity of perceptions of infringement of State sovereignty and in light of the different dynamics that inform the process. Nonetheless, the IUSY stresses that this does not by any means suggest that we view that equality of women has been achieved, and encourage individual countries and regional mechanisms to advance this end. It is worth to mention that the feminist struggle is one of many other struggles and accordingly, the IUSY reiterates its support to other struggles including but not limited to LGBTQ struggle and the struggle against racial discrimination.