Appeal by 350 Israelis for International Peace Force
May 10, 2001

This statement organized by Israeli professors was signed
by 350 Israeli professors and intellectuals. It is a
ringing condemnation of the occupation. Note that while
it condemns acts of terror against civilians it says "we
regard the Palestinian revolt against colonial occupation
as legitimate", a very big step indeed.- News came in the
form of a press release from Gush Shalom, the Peace Bloc.
-- Stanley Heller

THE APPEAL

Israeli Citizens Appeal for International Intervention in
the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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 hundreds
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
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
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.