At the invitation of “The Popular Movement for One Democracy State on the Historic Land of Palestine” (which announced its launch in May 15, 2013), some 25 of the activists of the “Jaffa Group for One Democratic State” came to Ramallah on Saturday, July 13, to a joint meeting. It was the first meeting of this kind bringing together supporters of comprehensive democratic solution to the Palestinian cause from both sides of the Green Line. Members of the constituent body of “the popular movement” hosted the meeting, while the visiting delegation included political and social activists, veterans and youth, artists, academics, Arab and Jewish opponents of Zionism.
After the participants introduced themselves, there was a short presentation of the objectives of the popular movement and the Jaffa group. It was clear that they share the same goal: resisting the occupation, settlements, ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination; bringing an end to the Apartheid regime in all its forms and in all places where it is present; ensuring the right of return for all Palestinian refugees to their homes and property and the establishment of One Democratic State on the entire land of Palestine. This state will be based on the implementation of the universal values of freedom, justice and human rights. It will be a civil state which rejects all forms of discrimination and guarantees full rights for all its citizens. It is worth mentioning that “The Popular Movement” and the “Jaffa Group” both embraced in their founding statements “The Munich Declaration for One Democratic State” as a common denominator for supporters of this solution.
The participants stressed that ODS is a strategic solution, providing for the needs of the masses and the aspirations of the progressive and democratic forces in Palestine and around the world. Promoting ODS is not a tactic to pressure Israel to comply with the two-state solution. All also stressed that the two-state solution is unable to put an end to the bloody conflict in occupied Palestine as it can’t provide for a fair solution for the right of return for Palestinian refugees and end apartheid which is applied in all parts of the country, nor does it provide a solution to the issues of Jerusalem, the borders, water and other contentious issues.
Many of the participated took active part in the dialogue, not as two sides but as partners in the same struggle for a common future. Many of the participants stressed that the program of ODS is a program for struggle. It aims first to unify the ranks of the Palestinian people by adhering to a comprehensive and just solution and then to create the ground for real unity in opposing Zionism, unity in struggle toward a common goal among supporters of democracy between the Palestinian Arabs and the country’s Jewish population.
Some participants explained that the popular struggle for ODS develops through current urgent struggles such as the struggle against the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Mount Hebron, the Jordan Valley and all over the Naqab (Negev). Some recounted their experiences as participants in the social protest movement that swept the Jewish community since the summer of 2011 and confirmed that alliance in struggle with the Palestinians for democracy and justice for all is the only way to get rid of the existing system of exploitation, discrimination and repression. Some also stressed that imperialism in interested to perpetuate the occupation, repression and constant state of war, as are local parties which benefit from this situation. Therefore, they emphasized, the solution will be achieved by the popular masses, which suffer most and pay the most expensive price.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted for more than three hours, it was agreed to form a joint coordination committee to develop a plan of action and joint activities to promote ODS. It was agreed to continue with joint meetings and closer cooperation between the two movements.