Mission To Palestine: Via Campesina Demands Respect For Food Sovereignty

Via Campesina demands respect for the principle of foodsovereignty and right of Palestinian farmers to produce and to remain on their land.
Tegucigalpa, 5-4-2002

Via Campesina calls for further action and mobilization to support the civil mission present in Israel and Palestina and more specificly our friends that are at the moment in the Head Quarters of the Palestinian Authority, among them Paul Nicholson from EHNE/CPE-Spain/Europe and Mario Lill from MST-Brazil. Via Campesina as an international farmers’ movement has sent, with the same spirit that made us be present in Brazil and Colombia to protect the to rights of farmers and indigenous people, a delegation to Israel/Palestina including José Bové, Doris Hernandez Gutierrez, Paul Nicholson and Mario Lill in order to participate in the Day of the Land, 30th of March, to be informed about the situation of farmers and to develop with farmer and peasant groups and organisations a long term strategy of support and collaboration. The Via Campesina delegation supports the struggle, together with the Israelian and Palestinian organisations, against the colonisation and the confiscation of the land of Palestinian farmers. During the 30th of March, Day of the Land, Doris Hernandez of the Via Campesina delegation visited in the Negev desert a community of Bedouins. They have exchanged seeds and planted olive trees close to the cemetary as this is the only place that is not sprayed by the Israelien government with the pesticide Gramoxone. Via Campesina denounces the confiscation of land from Palestinian farmers for military and security reasons and the destruction of agricultural production through spraying with pesticides and pulling up olive trees. In a rally participated over 5000 people to protest against the expulsion of Palestinian farmers from their land. Farmleaders present showed great interest in Via Campesina and further collaboration will be developed. Via Campesina demands respect for the principle of foodsovereignty and right of Palestinian farmers to produce and to remain on their land.
Via Campesina denounces indicriminate violence against Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories as has been observed by the delegation, as well as the policy of isolation of the General Headquarters where 400 people among them 34 internationalists, including Paul Nicholson and Mario Lill from Via Campesina are deprived of any supply of food, water and medicines. We demand that the integrity of the delegation of Via Campesina, as well as of others that are on peace mission is guaranteed.

Regarding this situation Via Campesina supports the demands put forward by Civil Society:

  • An immediate cease by the Israelian government of its war imposed upon the Palestinian people and respect for the international conventions, allowing the Red Cross to take care of the wounded and to bring medicines, food and water to those that need it,
  • National Governments have to put pressure on the government of Ariel Sharon to obtain the withdrawal from the occupied territories and send their Ministers of Foreign Affairs to meet the Palestinian Authority and the international militants present and to press for the abolishment of the isolation of the General Head Quarters of the Palestinian Authorities.
  • National governments and the United Nations have to take the lead in provoking a cease of the violence, including the suicide attacts against Israelian people and force those concerned to re-open negotiations for peace. They have to demand the implementation of the UN-resolutions.

Via Campesina calls for further continued action to support the Civil Mission and the Israelien and Palestinian persons and organisations that strive for a peaceful solution.

International Co-ordinating Committtee of Vía Campesina For more information: Unzalu Salterain (EHNE): 0034-619319068 (mobile) José Bové (Confédération Paysanne): 0033-607363035 (mobile) Rafael Alegria (Via Campesina): 00-504-235 9915