|International Responsibilities Task Force of the American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table|
Whereas the 1991 Article 19 World Report on Information, Freedom and Censorship (published by ALA) documents deplorable censorship and human rights violations in the Middle East including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; and
Whereas we have a special relationship with Israel in that the United States Government gives more aid per capita to the Government of Israel than to any other country; and
Whereas Israel proclaims itself the only democracy in the Middle East, and should therefore be a strong proponent of human rights; and
Whereas the Article 19 report documents tight censorship, book banings and frequent closings of media and educational institutions in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza; and
Whereas the Article 19 report documents the harassment, physical abuse, arrest, detention, imprisonment and deportation of journalists, writers and academics in the West Bank and Gaza for engaging in their legitimate occupations; and
Whereas Israeli journalists, writers and librarians have also been harassed for exercising their rights of free speech and association;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the American Library Association deplores all violations of human rights and intellectual freedom in the Middle East including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and calls upon every Government to observe Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ALA asks the Government of Israel, because of America's special relationship and that country's avowed commitment to democratic norms, to end all censorship and human rights violations in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel itself; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ALA establish a task force to develop ways to concretely support the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian librarians who are working for peace and human rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the
embassies of every Middle Eastern state, as well as to Article 19, IFLA,
and both the national and Middle Eastern library press.
Page last modified July 11, 2002.