For Immediate Release
Protest against Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Visit to SingaporeThe People’s Power Party expresses our dismay and disappointment on the account that the Republic of Singapore is hosting a state level visit with Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On grounds dear to us, we elect to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who have until now, been deprived of a rightful independent statehood, and the very fact that Israel’s current hostile policy has put the much awaited Two-States solution into a stalemate. It is without doubt that under the watch of its current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the State of Israel continues to brutalise its position as the unforgiving occupying power over Palestinian territories. Palestinian lands and private properties continues to be confiscated and forcefully vacated to make way for illegal settlements, violating international law and stands in contradiction against various UN charters and resolutions. The latest, being UN Resolution 2334, has been met with obvious defiance from PM Benjamin Netanyahu who once again demonstrated his will not to abide by the Security Council’s mandate. This is indeed a call for concern.
Under Benjamin Netanyahu's watch, Israel continues to choke West Bank and Gaza from getting open access to commerce and trade, freedom to travel, adequate humanitarian aids and necessities and within that wider overview, been a resultant force that has stagnated the economic growth and opportunities of the occupied Palestinian population. The state of this occupation, conducted by aggressive military force that reeks of brutality are indeed acts that are deplorable which has been condemned at international level. Without any withdrawal in sight in view of its occupation policy, any indication from Singapore to host such high level meeting serves to endorse Israel’s disparaging acts.
The Israeli government continues to affirm its illegal stance, calling Jerusalem, a city of shared sanctification by the three Abrahamic faith, as its eternal capital. This violates another UN resolution who has long viewed that such pronunciation are to be rejected outright .
The Palestinian struggle and resistance have taken various shapes and actions. While we do not endorse nor condone acts of deliberate terrorism that hawks on human lives to achieve political aims, the response put forth by Israeli's military has been grossly outweighing in scale. It reeks of vengeance and often undertaking punitive and collective punishments to families of suspected resistant fighters which destroy their homes and places of residence indiscriminately. In effect, Israel seeks to achieve its existence through means that spells acute and deliberate terrorising.
Without doubt, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as the country’s Prime Minister, has overseen the continuation of such operations. Benjamin Netanyahu’s defiance in response to the latest Resolution 2334’s passing was all too obvious that he is repulsively defiant. His intention to downgrade ties with countries which have been historically friendly with Israel, but had voted for the very resolution, shows the very obvious how far he would go to disregard peace as the ultimate solution to the Palestinian issue. The reactions subsequent to the passing of the resolution from him and his government so far ought to be condemned and reprimanded. Hence, it is ethically wrong for our government to demonstrate a higher level of friendship with a country that perversely downplays, lest disrespect, mandated UN resolutions.
We should not host Benjamin Netanyahu, given the continuing human rights violation and breach of International Law as well as his defiance of UN resolution under his Premiership. We run risk of destroying our warm relationship with our neighbours and contradicting our international standing as a small open country which has championed the Rule of Law, upholding the International Law and an active advocate of the legitimacy of United Nations resolutions. His visit could create an air of distrust and scepticism towards the Singapore’s consistency in our diplomatic commitment in promoting Rule of International Law.
Singapore also prides itself as the bastion of religious and cultural diversity, with its people enjoying a high level of communal integration. Our values in accepting differences among its religious communities have allowed us to prosper as a nation in peace, within ourselves and with our neighbours. Benjamin Netanyahu and his government’s apparatus and apartheid rule at present, do not share the same value which we hold dearly. Granting him a state visit could well undermine the very values we have been accustomed to in achieving peaceful coexistence.
PM Lee Hsien Loong should seriously review its relationship with Israel. We hold the innate view that Singapore should continue its neutrality, befitting to humanistic principles, towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without the need to break existing bilateral ties with the State of Israel. On that note, we applaud our government’s effort and diplomatic engagement in finding ways to seek a peaceful resolution to the ongoing Palestinian occupation. We acknowledge our relationship with Israel spanned from the time our armed forces was in its foundation stage. However, we should not turn a blind eye to Israel’s unacceptable conduct and stance with regards to its Palestinian Occupation. These are namely:
1) Disregard of United Nations Resolutions which call upon Israel to carry out the agreed Two-States peaceful resolution to the Palestinian Occupation.
2) Facilitating and initiating ILLEGAL settlement on Palestine land.
3) Supporting and legalising Land-Grab policy in Palestine which grossly and blatantly in breach of International Law with respect to Occupation.
4) Effecting apartheid rule on Palestinian land.
5) Carrying out systemic human rights abuses, terrorising and condone the atrocities carried out by its armed forces in the Occupied land.
All these issues need to be put forth in concessionary stages before Singapore alleviates its bilateral relationship with Israel. The vehemently continuous terrorising nature of Israel towards its occupying residents in Palestine runs contrary to our strong resolve in wanting to eradicate terrorism. Hence it is crucial at this stage that we rescind any invitation that we may have extended to Israel's Prime Minister.
We should instead persuade Israel to honor its earlier agreement to peaceful establishment of the Two-States resolution. We should continue to persuade Israel to end military hostilities and withdraw immediately all the illegal settlements that continues to be constructed in occupied Palestinian territories. It is all too important that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government shows full intention and commitment in abiding with past resolutions to entrench trust in the international community by fostering and pursuing peaceful end of occupation hostilities. Until Benjamin Netanyahu shows his intention to conduct this wilfully, any engagement that we conduct at this level would only deliver an impression that we are in tacit approval of Israel’s condemning actions towards the illegally occupied Palestinian territories.
Goh Meng Seng
People’s Power Party Singapore