Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Palestinian refugees of the diaspora can not vote

Letter to Al-Awda International from Al-Awda Italia
Dear Awdaites
Colin Powell arrived yesterday in Palestine to talk to Ariel Sharon about the restaging of the Roadmap-circus. The show is scheduled to begin with an "election process" and talks are under way to persuade Israel to temporarily redeploy the occupation forces to allow for the "election process" to take place without turning into a tragicomedy which would reveal to the world the reality of a brutal military suffocation of an entire population on what is left of its homeland.

Now, I am writing for this: A lot of Palestinians living here in Italy enthusiastically are registrating to participate in the "voting process". I'm talking about Palestinians who are NOT refugees. Because those who are refugees, will not be able to vote. Should we, as Al Awda and as Palestinian Right to Return Coalition not seize this opportunity and demand that the "election process" include the some five million refugees ? In 1995, when Yasser Arafat and the group from Tunis seized the opportunity of an "election process" to organize a referendum legitimizing the Palestinian Authority, they took care to sidestep thePalestinian diaspora. At that time, Al Awda and the PRRC did not exist yet. But now that we exist,we should not allow this to happen again. What can we do to get the five million Palestinians living in the diaspora registered to vote in January ?
In anguish,
Susanne Scheidt
Emergency Gaza Relief Fund - Please Contribute Now


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