Ombudsman Association for Palestine (OAP)
OAP aims to help and support Palestinians against violations of their human rights.
The Association examines complaints from Palestinians who have been unfairly treated and have been denied basic human rights. The Association investigates complaints against states, government agencies, local authorities and public bodies. We are a gratis public service that aspires to be fair, transparent and accountable. Our job is to investigate complaints as objectively as possible, relying on international law as our principle term of reference.
The Association aims to defend the individual as well as the national rights of the Palestinian people.
• Defending Palestinians living under Israeli occupation against violations of their civil rights as defined by international law and international conventions.
• Promoting Palestinian national rights through all available legal means with the aim of building up international support for recognition and implementation of relevant United Nations and Security Council resolutions.
• Providing a platform for the growing number of people all over the world who feel concerned about the injustices committed against the Palestinian people and who are eager to contribute some time and skills to efforts to redress those injustices.
• Providing legal assistance to Palestinians who are victims of human rights violations.
• Working to enhance public awareness of the daily violations committed against Palestinians living under military occupation.
• Documenting crimes and offenses committed against individuals and providing access to such data online for volunteers and activists from all over the world to be able to offer their help and/or make donations to pay for costs of necessary professional legal assistance.
• Establishing international solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Letter from the Founder & President
As a Palestinian exile who has been living in Europe for most
of his life, I can discern a striking similarity in the way the
Palestinian problem is presented in today’s American media
and how it was portrayed in European media in the early 1970s.
Back then, there was rarely a reference that Israel was built
on the systematic and premeditated destruction of Palestinian
homes and farms, that Palestinians were expelled from their
land to make room for Jewish immigrants, and that terrorism
developed as a peculiarly Zionist specialty. In short, there was
no reference that Israel came into existence by the negation
of the Palestinians and their right to nationhood. Israel was
commonly perceived as a “modern state struggling for its own
security”. Its oppressive practices against those Palestinians
who managed to stay on after the creation of the state in 1948,
and Israel’s aggression against its Arab neighbours, were
invariably ignored or excused. Israel’s refusal to allow the
Palestinian refugees to return to their homes was also accepted,
or at best left unchallenged.
Happily- with the exception of the United States and a handful
of other countries- there is now a general recognition of the
injustices committed against the Palestinians. This sea change
in the perception of the Palestinian question came about largely
as a result of the exponential growth, both quantitatively and
qualitatively, of civil society worldwide.
With time and globalization, more voices are now rising, including
those of a growing number of eminent Jewish personalities,
calling for an overdue redress of these injustices. Thanks to
the Internet, the monopolistic grip that the Western media
once had on information has loosened. Alternative outlets now
courageously offer in-depth coverage of Israeli human rights
violations, documenting specific cases of torture of Palestinian
prisoners and the unlawful confiscation of land and property.
In addition to today’s expanding networked society, better
information and communication technology systems mean
more voices can be heard and have impact.
With means of communication now available, it is time to work
toward the peaceful restoration of the Palestinian peoples’
rights and build a future in which Palestinians live in dignity, in
freedom, where all their human rights including their inalienable
right to self-determination are recognised and respected, and
where they are adequately compensated for all the human
suffering and the material losses they have endured over the
last sixty-six years.
The Ombudsman Association for Palestine (OAP) offers a
modest contribution toward achieving that aim by taking the
debate of the Palestine question back to basics. In a pamphlet
entitled Palestine or Israel that I published when I was an
undergraduate in 1971, I ended the forward with the sentence
“Justice is indivisible, and what is justice for the Jews must also
be justice for the Palestinians”. This is still my guiding principle
in defending the rights of the Palestinian people and will be the
basis of OAP’s modus operandi..