From:            "Brooks de Wetter-Smith" <brooks@email.unc.edu>
Subject:         A Shared Jerusalem
Date sent:       Sat, 30 Sep 2000 23:04:49 -0400

Dear Friends,

The recent violence in Jerusalem serves as an urgent reminder that we, in
the international community, bear responsibility for recognizing the
imbalance of power,  the evils of Israeli occupation and the denial of human
rights to Palestinians.  As American taxpayers pouring money into Israel and
closing our eyes to the inequities, we are condoning outrageous and violent
actions perpetrated by the state of Israel while expressing dismay at the
resistance of Palestinians who are disillusioned by a peace process that
continues to curtail their freedom and human rights.

 Over the last 5 years Brooks and I  have personally  witnessed that Arab
East Jerusalem is indeed occupied territory—occupied by Israeli forces since
the 1967 war.   Without permits (hard to obtain) Palestinians are not
allowed to visit their holy sites , seek medical care,  go to their schools
or shop.  UN Resolution 242 calls for Israeli withdrawal from land occupied
in 1967 which includes East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Fourth Geneva
Convention prohibits an occupying power from transferring its population
into occupied territory. Yet for over 30 years and still today, the Israeli
government has confiscated and continues to confiscate more Arab land and
Arab residency rights to expand Jewish settlements and secure domination
over as much land as possible. Why, then, does Israel get applauded for
“giving back “  land in the current peace negotiations  while keeping 80% of
the Jewish settlements (illegal) and maintaining control of all key areas,
rendering the Palestinian territory into isolated islands which are
economically and politically not viable.  Why, then is Israel  not held
accountable by the world at large for violating basic human rights of
Palestinians?    History has certainly taught the Jews the horrors of not
having basic human rights!  We don’t want to forget that tragedy, nor should
we overlook the current tragedy in the making.

For a lasting and just peace, there must be a negotiated settlement that
embraces an equitable solution, respecting the human, political and
religious rights of Palestinians as well as Israelis.  In addition,
Jerusalem must be open and accessible to all three religions in the
international community.

  The attached documents give you various perspectives and may help to
formulate ideas which can be  promoted in our political and social arenas.
Above all, let us continue to work and pray for healing and peace.

1-       Associated Press article and Churches for Middle East Peace   “News
and Advocacy on Violence in Jerusalem
2-       Gush Shalom(Israeli Peace Bloc)   “ Sharon Provocation Proves
Temple Mount is Occupied Territory”
3-     British Journalist’s Report from Dome of the Rock
4-     Churches for Middle East Peace offers educational packets for
congregations  ( Also check www.cmep.org <http://www.cmep.org/> )
 
 

 Peace and Love,
 Mary-Lou and Brooks Smith
 Coalition for Peace with Justice