Appeal for International Intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Appeal for International Intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The enclosed petition, signed by nearly 350 Israeli intellectuals, academics, and concerned citizens, calls for an immediate deployment of an international peacekeeping force in the occupied territories in order to restore elementary safety and living conditions to the battered civilian Palestinian population in the region.
We believe that under present conditions a temporary international intervention may be the only practical means now available to end the daily killing, wounding, and suffering of civilians, including children and old people, and to facilitate the resumption of talks.
We ask you to join our effort to enlist the support of world public opinion and governments for the immediate deployment of such an international force by organizing and sending your own petitions or using other means available to you to help check the deteriorating situation and stop the bloodshed. For more information contact Adi Ophir at firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>.
We, citizens of Israel, are extremely concerned about the rapid deterioration of the condition of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We consider the Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 to be an ongoing act of aggression against the Palestinian people. Massive construction of new Jewish settlements and expansion of existing ones have continued relentlessly even after the signing of the Oslo agreements, more than seven years ago. This is but one major element of the burden of the Israeli occupation, which has become unbearable for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. While we totally condemn acts of terror against civilians, we regard the Palestinian revolt against colonial occupation as legitimate. Despite the fact that many innocent Israelis have been victims of this revolt, we understand that there can be no moral and military symmetries between occupiers and occupied. The occupation itself is morally and politically wrong; the excessive force Israel uses in order to impose its rule against growing Palestinian resistance is totally unacceptable.
The Israeli army has used lethal weapons against non-armed demonstrators, killing over four hundred Palestinians since October 2000, among them about seventy youth under sixteen, and wounding thousands more. In response to Palestinian attacks, Israel has been retaliating by bombing and shelling targets in Palestinian cities. Israeli control of all major roads in and around the West Bank has fractured the Palestinian territory, cutting it up into a series of isolated ghettos. This is severely crippling Palestinian economic activity, pushing ever larger
portions of the Palestinian population beneath the poverty line to the point where in some areas there are already signs of famine. Israeli operations are disrupting Palestinian emergency medical services, transportation, and education. Palestinian civilians are not only abused and mistreated by members of the Israeli military, but are further exposed to daily harassment and aggression by Jewish settlers. The mental harm caused by years of terrorization, anxiety, loss, humiliation, and mourning is inexpressible.
Israel acts as a sovereign that has relinquished all legal and moral responsibilities to protect the Palestinian population under its jurisdiction. We acknowledge the complexity of a situation in which it is often difficult to distinguish between legitimate acts of Palestinian resistance and unacceptable acts of Palestinian terror and between legitimate defensive Israeli policy and acts of state terror. But the complexity of this situation can neither diminish our responsibility nor silence our voice. It is our moral obligation as Israeli citizens to express our solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom and to do everything possible to protect the Palestinian population living in the occupied territories. We urge our fellow citizens, and friends and colleagues worldwide to join us in speaking up against the continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. Specifically, we call for an immediate international intervention to stop the killing and wounding of human beings who are exercising their elementary right to claim political freedom. We call upon you to urge your governments to go beyond hesitant condemnations of Israeli policies and initiate an international peace force that would help protect the Palestinians from the aggression of the Israeli government and facilitate the resumption of serious negotiations between the parties to the conflict.
Selected Signatories (5-5-2001)
Yossi Amitay, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Ben Gurion University • Benjamin Arbel, School of History, Tel-Aviv University • Ariella Azouly, Cultural Studies, Bar-Ilan University and Camera Obscura School of Art • Dan Bar-On, Department of Behaviorial Sciences, Ben Gurion University • Haim Baram, journalist, Jerusalem • Hillel Bardin, Jerusaelm • Daniel Bar-Tal, School of Education, Tel Aviv University • Meron Benvenisti, geographer and journalist, Jerusalem • Louise Bethlehem, Comparative Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem • Anat Biletzki, Department of Philosophy, Tel-Aviv University • Binyamin Beit Halahmi, Department of Psychology, Haifa University • Yisrael Elliot Cohen, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem • Uri Davis, sociologist • Ehud Ein-Gil, Journalist, Tel-Aviv • Freema Elbaz Luwisch, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa • Yehuda Elkana, Rector of the Free University Budapest, Tel Aviv University Emeritus • Yaron Ezrahi, Political Science; The Hebrew University and Israel Democracy Institute • Raphael Falk, Department of Genetics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. • Rivka Feldhay, History of Science, Tel-Aviv University • Dr. Danny Filc, M.D., Physicians for Human Rights. • Gideon Freudenthal, History of Science, Tel Aviv University • Elizabeth Freund, Department of English, Hebrew University, Jerusalem • Chaim Gans, The Faulty of Law, Tel Aviv University • Rachel Giora, Department of Linguistics, Tel Aviv University • Daphna Golan, African Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem • Dr. Lev Grinberg - Director of Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University • Aviva Halamish, Department of History, The Open University of Israel, Tel-Aviv • Haim Hanegbi, journalist, Tel-Aviv • Alon Harel, Law Faculty, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem • Yehudith Harel • Galit Hazan-Rokem, Hebrew Literature, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem • Hannan Hever, Poetics and Comparative Literature, Tel Aviv University • Hanna Herzog, Chair, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Tel Aviv University • Baruch Kimmerling, Department of Sociology, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem • Yitzhak Laor, writer, Ramat Hasharon • Yael Lotan, writer and translator, Ramat Gan • Orly Lubin, Poetics and Comparative literature and Women Studies, Tel-Aviv University • Ruchama Marton, psychiatrist, president of Physicians for Human Rights • Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom, • Yael Munk, Cinema Studies, Bezalel Academy of Art, Jerusalem • Nitza Nachmias, Department of Political Science, University of Haifa • Professor Judd Ne'eman, Cinema Studies, Tel-Aviv University • Isaac (Yanni) Nevo, Philosophy Department, Ben-Gurion University • David Nir, Tel Aviv • Adi Ophir, philosopher, Tel-Aviv University • Amir Orian, theatre director, Tel-Aviv • Yoav Peled, Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University • Danny Rabinowitz, anthropologist, Tel-Aviv University • Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, History Department, Ben-Gurion University • Motti Regev, Sociologist, The Hebrew University, Jerusaelm • Tanya Reinhart, Linguist, Tel-Aviv University • Freddie Rokem, Theatre Studies, Tel-Aviv University • Meir Schnitzer, journalist, Ma'ariv - daily newspaper, Tel-Aviv • Yehouda Shenhav, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University • Orit Shochat, Journalist, Tel Aviv • Lea Tsemel, Lawyer, Jerusalem • Michael Warschawski , journalist, Jerusalem • Sasha Weitman, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel-Aviv University • Meir Wigoder, Faculty of Arts, Tel-Aviv University • Oren Yiftachel, chairperson, Geography Dept., Ben Gurion University • Yuval Yonay, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa • Idith Zertal, Historian, The Interdicsiplinary Center, Hertzelia • Gershon Zilber.