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Israeli Citizens for International Intervention

"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."

Yaron Ezrahi, Hannan Hever, Anat Matar, Adi Ophir

27 Apr. 2001

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 innocent civilians, we regard Palestinian violence as being, on the whole, a legitimate revolt against colonial occupation. 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 hundreds Palestinians, 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 Palestinians cities. Israeli control of all major roads in and around the West Bank has fractured the Palestinian territory, cutting it up it 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 isoften 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 toexpress 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.