We stand with the Palestinians To those who always reject war, under all circumstances. To those who refuse to accept that in 2011 apartheid regimes continue to exist. To those who believe that every person and all peoples have the right to selfdetermination, without being subject to the will and authorizations (later cynically denied) of another government. To those who refuse all forms of racism and discrimination. To those who refuse to accept that today walls are still built to separate, ghettoize and humiliate other human beings. To those who believe that the land belongs to its inhabitants, and everyone has the right to make choices and decisions regarding their territory.

To those who believe that the right of movement can be denied to no one, the right to travel, but also, the right to return home. We ask you to join this call to action, and to share it with others From June 12-23, Piazza Duomo in Milan, Italy will host “The Israel You Don’t Expect,” a technology and tourism fair sponsored by the Israeli authorities in Tel Aviv in collaboration with local authorities in the Lombardy region, with the aim of presenting an “Israel different from that of a state involved in conflict.” A 900 square meter pavilion, the cost of which has been announced to be Euro 2.5 million (it is unclear who will be paying for it), will serve to cancel the memory of the ethnic cleansing that gave rise to the birth of the State of Israel and that continues to this day: the violent expulsion of the inhabitants of Palestine in 1948-49, the expropriation of their land, the suppression of their civil rights and the most fundamental of human rights, denial of the right of return to their own land to Palestinian refugees.

A state that legitimizes apartheid as an everyday practice, hiding behind the word “security” (a term dear to our own governments), which builds an 8-meter high wall that prevents Palestinians from accessing their fields, schools and hospitals, expropriating more land, homes, livelihoods. A wall that – in open violation of court sentences and international agreements – annexes, in the name of the Sacred Law of Defense, illegal settlements that should not exist in the first place. A state that appropriates 450 million cubic meters of water per year from the Syrian Golan Heights – occupied illegally since 1967 – leaving only 22 million cubic meters to the Palestinians, where instead, resources should be divided equally. And so the celebrated Israeli water technology is revealed.

A state that denies the Palestinian people the possibility to move about (building checkpoints along its perimeter and inside the territory of others) as well as the right of return for all those who were forced to leave their land during wars and occupation. A state that is referred to as “the only democracy in the Middle East,” while its 63-year history is a continuous alternation between high and low intensity warfare, without developing any real attempts for peace and without guaranteeing equal rights for its citizens. A state that between 27 December 2008 and January 18, 2009 bombed the Strip Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,500 people in just 24 days, using weapons deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions, such as cluster bombs and white phosphorous. A state that in 2006 condemned the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip to a siege and a total and permanent blockade, preventing the entry of construction materials as well as many other goods, including essential necessities.

A state that, through a cunning and fierce media campaign, would use one of the worst massacres in the history of humanity, the Nazi-fascist Holocaust, as a shield to continue with impunity in its systematic attacks on the daily life of Palestinians and its planned and systematic acts of war and destruction of the history of the Palestinian people. We refuse to accept that Milan be used as a stage for this propaganda operation, which is as shameful as it is hypocritical! More than 70 UN resolutions in defense of the Palestinians, condemning policies Israel, have been ignored: Israel has defied them all, with the crucial support of the U.S. and the culpable ineptitude of the EU and all European nations.

In particular, Italy has become an accomplice by signing several economic, military and scientific cooperation agreements with Israel. As Italians we are ashamed of our government’s marked servility toward Israel and we call upon the administrations of the Lombardy Region and the Province and City of Milan to cancel this event that is a disgrace to the image of Milan known for its resistance during Nazi-fascism, which rejects all forms of racism and discrimination. We invite everyone to participate in the initiatives that we are organizing during those ten days, to say NO to war and to oppressive regimes, in whatever form they manifest themselves, whether by “friendly governments” or “dangerous dictators,” and NO to all forms of racism and human rights violations.

Committee “No to the Israeli Occupation of Milan”


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