At this time, all major candidates and
parties shun the issues of peace with the Palestinian people, fearing
that it may hurt their chances. This manifesto may convince the
politicians that a very important body of Israeli public opinion
supports a clear peace policy.
Observers of the Israeli political
scene will be surprised by the number of outstanding Israelis who not
only support the establishment of a Palestinian state, but are also
ready for a state that comprises a l l the territory of the West Bank
and the Gaza Strip, with Jerusalem as a shared capital. The implications
concerning the settlements is obvious. While agreement to the
establishment of a Palestinian State has been growing steadily in
Israel, so has the idea that a great part of the West Bank, called
"strategic areas" and "settlement blocs", should be annexed to Israel.
This manifesto is a radical departure from this so-called "consensus".
The initiative was taken by the Gush
Shalom peace movement, but the signatories belong to many camps, and the
manifesto does not belong to any one organisation. While some of the
signatories belong to different parties, this is a non-party effort.
This is only the first list of signatories. Further lists will follow
during the coming weeks.
Among the signatories are five
laureates of the Israel Prize, the highest distinction in the country
(writer A.B. Yehoshua, poets Natan Sach
and Daliah Ravikowitch, sculptor Danny Karavan,
actress Hannah Meron), two former cabinet ministers (Shulamit
Aloni and Viktor Shem-Tov), three past and
present members of the Knesset (Uri Avnery, who drafted
the manifesto, Me’ir Pail, Tamar Gojansky),
dozens of academical figures (Michael Har-Segor, Avi Os, Nissim
Kaldron, Ariel Hirschfeld Tamar Brosh, but many others are of
equal distiction); many distinguished writers (including Yoram
Kaniuk, Yehoshua Knas, Yonatan Geffen, Dan Almagor, Yael Lotan);
artists (including Dan Kedar, David Tartakover, Ziona Shimshi,
Moshe Gat, Raffi Kaiser); journalists and opinion-makers
(including Haim Hanegbi, Haim Baram, Boas Evron, Gideon Eshet);
film-makers (Amos Gitai, Judd Neeman) and others.
Among the well known personalities who
signed the manifesto one might mention Ruth Dayan
(ex-wife of Moshe Dayan); Prof. Matanya Ben-Artzi
(brother of Sarah Netanyahu), Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom of
the Reform community); Shaike Weinberg (Director of the
Washington D.C. Holocaust museum); Captain Nimrod Eshel
(leader of the famous "Seamen’s Revolt" of the 50s), Leah
Shakdiel (the first woman who succeeded to break into the
all-male religious councils); Advocate Leah Zemel
(famous defender of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli courts)
and many others.
Among the dozens of prominent peace and
human rights activists one can mention Adam Keller of
Gush Shalom, Michael ("Mikado") Warshavsky of the
Alternative Information Center, Prof. Jeff Halper and
Amos Gewirtz of the Committee Against House Demolition,
Hanna Zohar of Kav La’oved, the defender of Palestinian and
foreign workers in Israel; Hava Keller, defender of
female Palestinian prisoners, and many others.
The mention of these names is quite
arbitrary and does not do justice to the many other distinguished
signatories. A number of parliamentarians expressed their whole-hearted
support for the manifesto, but were prevented from signing, because of
the approaching primary elections in several parties. One prominent
parliamentarian signed, but later cancelled his signature under pressure
from his party.
If you too wish to sign this Manifesto,
please send us a note with your name, address, phone number and
profession. Please include a check for the sum of 100 NIS to cover the
price of publishing the manifesto.
Gush Shalom - P.O.Box 3322 - Tel Aviv
61033 - Israel
The Hebrew original manifesto + first list of signatories