A statement by Israeli & Palestinian peace activists

Ron Kuzar kuzar at RESEARCH.HAIFA.AC.IL
Fri Sep 21 06:53:46 UTC 2001

  The following appeal was originally signed - before Sept. 11 - by more
than 600 Israeli and Palestinian intellectuals and peace activists.
After the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the organizers
of the petition could not publish this appeal without reference to the
events, hence the separate foreword, which has not been endorsed by all
signatories, but was circulated and discussed in a smaller group. The
ad appears today in Newspapers in Israel and Palestine in the respective
languages of the newspapers, Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
Ron Kuzar
[Foreword in separate box and in a different font]

   The initiators of this petition deplore and condemn the despicable
terrorist act against innocent civilians in New York and Washington. We
express our profound grief at the human tragedy and our feelings of
solidarity with the families of the victims and the American people. It
is our firm opinion that terrorism threatens the struggle for peace and
provides the enemies of peace with a powerful pretext to intensify
violence and repression.

   We warn that the Sharon Government is using the tragedy in the US in
order to intensify the brutal military assault and repression against
the Palestinians, presenting it falsely as part of the war against
terror . We believe that in these days, when the US government is
reviewing its policies in the Middle East and in the World at large, one
of the necessary conclusions should be that the Israeli occupation is
illegitimate, dangerous and explosive. Furthermore, it represents a
denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination and freedom.
Therefore we call on the US government to act for the immediate end of
the occupation, to achieve a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict and thus secure stability in the region.

[Original text]

  Appeal for an international Protection force

   We the undersigned, Palestinian and Israeli intellectuals and
activists, view with grave concern the unbearable and inhuman situation
imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. Such a
situation has been brought about by the repression, blockades, and daily
humiliation exercised by the military occupation and by the daily
harassment that settlers inflict on the Palestinian population. We
cannot remain unmoved while the suffering of Palestinians and the
violation of their human and political rights continues undeterred. The
recent seizure of Palestinian institutions (including Orient House) in
Jerusalem and environs can only exacerbate the situation and lead to
more bloodshed and suffering of innocent people. We feel it is our duty
to support the call for the immediate provision of an international
force to protect the Palestinian people in its struggle for the exercise
of its right to self-determination and freedom, and to put an end to the
military occupation of its land. 

   We urge all those concerned, everywhere, to join us in voicing their
strong opposition to the continued occupation of the West Bank,
including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and to support our call
for the provision of effective international protection for Palestinians
from the aggression and repression of the Israeli occupation. Such an
international force, we believe, would greatly facilitate the resumption
of serious and meaningful negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli
leaders and the settlement of the conflict on the basis of relevant
United Nations resolutions and a two states solution.

[End of text] 

   Among the Israeli signatories are Shulamit Aloni, Uri Avnery, Meron
Benvenisti, Yehuda Shenhav, Joseph Agassi and Adi Ofir; among the
Palestinian signatories are Haider Abdel Shafi, Hanan Ashrawi, Edward W.
Said, Rashid I.Khalidi, Elia Zureik, Camille Mansour and Khalil Hindi. The
letter is signed by hundreds of academics, physicians, lawyers, writers,
artists, and activists.

   The initiative came from a group of Israeli-Palestinian academics and
intellectuals coordinated by Jamil Hilal, Lev Grinberg, Ghassan Abdullah,
Oren Yiftachel, Islah Jad, Baruch Kimmerling, Rema Hammami, Yoav Peled,
Saleh Abdel-Jawad and Yehudit Harel. The group is especially concerned
with the increasing wave of violence and the absence of protection for
the Palestinians, exposed to the repression of the occupation that cause
desperate Palestinian reactions like suicide bombs. The intention of an
international force is to put an end to the vicious cycle of violence
and the loss of human lives, that evidently the Mitchell report
recommendations have failed to provide. This situation cannot be
permitted to go on undeterred.

   During the coming weekend the letter and signatures will be published
in Hebrew, Arabic and English in newspaper ads. We will also be sending
a letter to Koffi Anan, Secretary General of the UN and to the Embassies
of the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, China and Japan.
  For additional information contact: 

  Jamil Hilal, Tel: 972 - 2 - 298 0669

  Lev Grinberg, Tel: 972 - 52 - 227432

  Saleh Abdel Jawad, Tel: 972 - 2 - 295 5450

  Oren Yiftachel, Tel: 972 - 8 - 647 2003

  Yehudit Harel, Tel: 972 - 56 - 263 145

   Our ad is being financed by the signatories. New signatures and
financial support for the ads please send to POB 9013, Jerusalem 91090

   Enclosed by find two lists of signatories: the first to appear in
this weeks ads and a second in the coming ones - depending on our
financial resources.

                 Dr. Ron Kuzar
Address:   Department of English Language and Literature
                 University of Haifa
                 IL-31905 Haifa, Israel
Office:       +972-4-824-9826, fax: +972-4-824-9711
Home:       +972-2-6414780, Cellular: +972-5-481-9676
Email:        kuzar at research.haifa.ac.il
Site:ý          http://research.haifa.ac.il/~kuzar  

More information about the Critics-l mailing list