I would like to present a new initiative. I hope you find it interesting.
Attached is an open letter to Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, calling for effective international pressure on Israel, based on the understanding that Israel has neither the will nor the ability to end the occupation without such pressure.
The letter is initially signed by (Israeli) Shulamit Aloni and (Palestinian) Hannan Ashrawi.
It will also be signed by Israeli and Palestinian public figures and activists alike, as well as by French and British citizens. Naturally, all citizens of the world are welcome to add their signature to this call.
After an initial period of campaigning, it will be presented to Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair
in a media event by a public figure (This part is not yet fully planned).
The Israeli site for signing the letter is working as of yesterday, but it is not yet advertised
I hope you will be willing to contribute to this new initiative by distributing the call to as many people as possible.
All the best
Open letter to President Jacques Chirac and to Prime minister Tony Blair
Mr. President / Mr. Prime minister
This letter is being written at one of the darkest moments in the history of the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people. Palestinians are being killed daily and the level of destruction to the Palestinian infrastructure is catastrophic. Israelis, for their part, are now living in constant fear of suicide attacks with violence ruling the day.
Both sides are longing for a real peace which they have not enjoyed for even one year since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
In view of the extent of Israeli colonization and stubborn resistance to the dismantling of even the smallest settlements in Gaza, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel does not have the will, nor the political resolve, required to end the occupation and allow the creation of a sovereign, free and viable Palestinian state. Indeed, not only is there no real intention of returning lands, there is even intensified building around Jerusalem and expansion of settlements.
We therefore call for firm and decisive international intervention that will put the necessary pressure on Israel, in order to make sure it complies with international law, the principles of human rights and the relevant UN resolutions The end result of this intervention should be the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war, and the creation of a Palestinian state therein. We do not regard such international intervention as anti- Israeli, or anti-Semitic, but rather the contrary. This seems to us the only way to put an end to a century of bitter conflict and nearly forty years of brutal occupation that seems set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Britain and France have been involved with this part of the world since the end of the 19th century. Since 1945 you have supported the forces of peace and cooperation in Europe and all over the world. We ask you to use your influence and do the same in the Middle East! The roots of this conflict go far back, at the least to May 16th, 1916, when the Sykes-Picot agreement between France and Britain divided control over the crumbling Ottoman Empire. The wounds and scars of that division are still apparent today, and their effects can clearly be seen in the current conflict. We are asking, therefore, that France and Britain take a bold, historic stand that will move us from strategies of power to strategies of reconciliation – a stand that will reflect your resolve that the 21st century be a century of respect for international law and institutions, a century of justice and peace.
Shulamit Aloni Dr. Hannan Ashrawi
Former Israeli minister of education Secretary General - The Palestinian
And leader of the Israeli Meretz party. Initiative for the Promotion of Global
Dialogue and Democracy - MIFTAH.
Palestinian Legislative Council Member for the Jerusalem District.
The letter can be signed on the internet at: http://www.petitions.medicks.net