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JACOB KATRIEL, Technion (Chemistry, emeritus) key figure in promoting international boycotts of Israel

Statement of Professor Katriel

I have carefully read your statement, on http://www.princeton.edu/~speac/demands.htm

I was satisfied that your motivation is constructive, that it reflects genuine concern for the plight of the Palestinians, which is a direct consequence of the policies and conduct of the present (and past) government of Israel, and that it is possibly the last hope for saving Israel from the very destructive consequences of its own ill-conceived and harmful course of action.

In no way can your initiative be interpreted as anti-Israeli, let alone antisemitic. As such, it allows people such as myself, who see a just and democratic Israel, which provides justice, equality, prosperity and security to all its citizens, as a desirable objective, in which they have personal stakes, to share your concern.

I agree with your first demand, that Israel should be in compliance with United Nations Resolution 242 which calls for withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 war. I took part in that war, and when it ended I hoped and expected my government to act generously and put forward a comprehensive and just peace proposal.  I regret very much that this has not yet happened.

I also agree with your second demand, that Israel should comply with the 2001 Report of the United Nations Committee Against Torture, which recommends that Israel's use of "legal" torture must be ended.

I very strongly support your demand that Israel should comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention. You refer to one, very important clause in that Convention, concerning the illegal establishment of Jewish settlements on occupied land. There are many other violations of the Geneva Convention that need to be rectified.

I am confident that you are aware that the issue of the just solution of the problem of the Palestinian refugees is, in the eyes of many Israelis, particularly controversial. Since a proposal that a whole array of acceptable offers should be put forward to deal with the ongoing misery of the Palestinian refugees has been made by prominent Palestinian leaders who seek a peaceful solution that recognizes Israel's legitimacy (Professor Sari Nusseyba, Mr. Bassam Abu Shariff, to name just two), I believe that your reference to this issue should not be formulated in a manner that can be interpreted as undermining their efforts. You should be very careful to point out that you demand a solution which is consistent with the legitimate Jewish presence within the pre-1967 borders.

Finally, I have been on record for viewing the present state of affairs as a form of apartheid, that I strongly object to.

In view of all of the above, and in view of the complete failure of the United States Government to take a more constructive position, I am left with no choice but to support your initiative, for as long as the present injustice prevails.

Sincerely yours,
Jacob Katriel

[Professor of Chemistry, Technion (Israel)]

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End the Israeli Occupation -- DIVEST NOW!

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