New York City, New York, September 14, 2005 – Organizers from Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, will be taking part in a protest against Ariel Sharon’s visit to the United Nations. The demonstration will be held on Thursday, September 15, 2005, between 3:00-6:00 PM at Dag Hammerskjold Plaza (47th St. and 2nd Ave.).
On September 15, 2005, Ariel Sharon will address the U.N. General Assembly. His speech will coincide with the twenty-third anniversary of the killing of more than 2000 Arab refugees, mostly Palestinian and Lebanese, in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, the chief architect of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, was found by an Israeli commission of inquiry to have been personally responsible for the massacre.
“We find it peculiar that the General Assembly would permit a war criminal like Ariel Sharon to address it, especially considering his explicit loathing of the UN and its resolutions, particularly UNGA resolution 194, calling for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their original towns and villages,” said Dr. Zahi Damuni, a leading organizer with Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition. ” Resolution 194 has been reaffirmed by the UN practically every year since its passage in 1948″.
The September 15th protest is being coordinated with similar protests in Palestine. The Grassroots Palestinian Anti Apartheid Wall Campaign (GPAWC) www.stopthewall.org plans to hold sit-ins in front of UN offices in the West Bank. “Instead of condemning Sharon as a war criminal, instead of expelling Apartheid Israel from the UN on the grounds of its non-compliance with international law, UN resolutions and its founding charter, the UN prepares to applaud Israel’s latest move towards the Bantustanization of Palestine – the Gaza “disengagement” – refusing to acknowledge that Gaza is and remains the world’s largest open air prison,” said Mr. Jamal Juma, coordinator of GPAWC. Mr. Juma can be reached at 00-972-522-550-212, or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org