Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Middle East: "Jewish Call For Reason" likely to fall on deaf ears

Ethiopian Jews experience Israeli racism at a very early age | Credit: ikhwanweb

By Bob Narmer

Republished courtesy of
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) – Around 4,000 Jewish politicians, physicians, lawyers, philosophers, historians, academicians, journalists and members of European Jewish associations, have launched on May 3 in Brussels a “Jewish Call For Reason”.

According to its promoters, the Jewish Call For Reason appeals for putting halt to Israeli settlements, which it characterizes as “morally and politically wrong”, and to reach peace in the Middle East, based on a “two peoples, two states” solution, one for Israel and one for Palestine.

The Call signatories declare open, firm, total support to the state of Israel and its future.

Their appeal goes, however, in just the opposite direction in which current Israeli government is steadily moving ahead.

In fact, the right-far right-religious coalition government chaired by Benjamin Netanyahu has been inflexibly implementing its plans of massive colonization of Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem. It has also systematically and categorically refused the creation of a Palestinian independent, sovereign state on the territories Israel occupied in 1967.

Representatives of several European countries and well-known figures such as French philosopher Bernard Henri Levy; Euro-parliamentarian Vincent Peillon, and Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Danny The Red) who led the students' movement in the sixties and is now Euro-parliamentarian, have joined the appeal.

Compared by some Middle East analysts to the Jewish-American “JStreet” which was formed in 2008, the Jewish Call For Reason counts as well with the declared support of some Israeli public figures such as professors Zeev Sternhell, Elie Barnavi, and former official in the Israeli Foreign ministry Avi Primor.

“Citizens of European countries, Jews, we are involved in the political and social life of our respective countries. Whatever our personal itineraries, link to the State of Israel is part of our identity, our culture and/or our faith,” the group says.


“We are citizens of European countries, Jews, and involved in the political and social life of our respective countries. Whatever our personal paths, our connection to the state of Israel is part of our identity. We are concerned about the future of the State of Israel to which we are unfailingly committed,” it says.

“Israel faces existential threats. Far from underestimating the threats from its external enemies, we know that the danger also lies in the occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of East Jerusalem. These policies are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable de-legitimization process that Israel currently faces abroad,” it adds.

For these reasons we have decided to take action based on the following principles:

1- The future of Israel depends upon urgently achieving peace with the Palestinian people on the basis of the Two States Solution. As we all know, this is urgent. Israel will soon be faced with two, equally disastrous choices: either to become a state in which Jews would be a minority in their own country, or establish a regime that would be a disgrace to Israel and lead to civil unrest;

2- It is essential therefore that the European Union, along with the United States, put pressure on both parties and help them achieve a reasonable and rapid solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. History confers on Europe a particular responsibility in this region of the world;

3- While the final decision belongs to the sovereign people of Israel, our commitment to Israel as Jews of the Diaspora obliges us to work towards reaching a just solution. Systematic support of Israeli government policy is dangerous and does not serve the true interests of the state of Israel.

4- Our objective is to create a European movement that will allow the voice of reason to be heard by all. This movement is non-partisan. Its aim is to ensure the survival of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. This depends on the creation of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state,” according to the promoters, in their call to “all those who agree with the above principles to sign and encourage others to sign this call.

All that is fine and may raise some hope for the war-torn Middle East region.

U.S. President Barack Obama has repeatedly called upon Israel to halt its settlements and accept the two-state solution. Arab countries still hold to their 2002 initiative which proposes total recognition of Israel in exchange of its withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 borders and the creation of an independent, severing Palestinian state.

To whom this Jewish Call For Reason should go? Unless new, unexpected, unlikely change happens, it will most probably fall in Netanyahu and his minister’s deaf ears.

See also Sydney Irresistible and Mike Hitchen Unleashed
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