INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
September 18, 2001
TO: Email network of Churches for Middle East Peace
From: Corinne Whitlatch, Director

This message, all related to a international protection mechanism or monitors,  comes to you in three parts:

1. In the wake of the tragic events in the US,  600 Israelis and Palestinians are appealing for international intervention. The appeal will be published in Hebrew, Arabic and English in newspaper ads this weekend.

2. CMEP's newsletter which will be received by mail for those on CMEP's postal network.

3. A letter to the UN Security Council from US NGOs and Churches.
 

ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS APPEAL FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION

Press Release:  September 17, 2001

In the wake of the recent horrendous and tragic events in the US, followed
immediately by a most brutal Israeli onslaught on the Palestinian people -
today, Jewish New Year Eve - more than 600 Israelis and Palestinians are
appealing to the International public opinion demanding an international force
to be sent immediately to protect the Palestinian people from the Israeli
occupation and to protect all of us from the reckless and dangerous policies
of a belligerent Israeli Government.

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.
 

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.

  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.
 
 
 

Churches for Middle East Peace
110 Maryland Ave. NE, #108
Washington, DC 20002
202/546-8425; fax 202/543-7532
http://www.cmep.org/