The Israeli peace group Gush Shalom placed the following paid statement in Haaretz and the International Herald Tribune on July 7:
The march of folly
The offensive on land, from the sea and from the air does not put an end to the launching of Qassam rockets. It is leading to their increase.
The sowing of destruction in the Gaza Strip does not bring Gilad Shalit home. It is endangering his life.
Actions against the Hamas ministers, members of parliament and social institutions will not bring Hamas down. It will intensify popular support for them.
A Government that refuses to negotiate will sink even more into the quagmire.
And together with them – all of us.
The following letter was also sent to all European embassies in Israel, and will likewise be published in the International Herald Tribune:
The internationally-lauded “disengagement” from Gaza did not end the occupation there. This continued in the form of an Israeli stranglehold over Gaza’s communications with the outside world. The Gaza Strip has been turned into a huge open-air prison.
With the Israeli government refusing to talk to the elected Palestinian government, the only dialogue left now is the dialogue of the bombs, often directed at civilian targets on both sides of the border.
Without international intervention, a brutal escalation has become almost inevitable.
WE, Israeli patriots and peace activists, call upon the European Union and its member states, possibly in conjunction with other countries, to intervene immediately and effectively in the looming Israel-Palestinian crisis, and, especially to –
1. APPOINT a representative of ministerial rank to Israel/Palestine to monitor unfolding events and advise the European Union on immediate steps the situation may demand.
2. STOP the severe sanctions imposed by Europe on the Palestinian Authority as a penalty for exercising their democratic right and electing a government of their choice. This by itself is a brutal intervention on behalf of the occupation.
3. ENGAGE both the Government of Israel and the elected Palestinian president and government in a serious dialogue, with the view of putting an end to the present crisis and paving the way for meaningful peace negotiations.
4. EXTEND the European Union Border Assistance Mission, already successfully operating at the Rafah border crossing, to all border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip, in order to ensure the regular flow of foodstuffs, medicines and other goods in both directions, irrespective of political and military developments.
5. ACT as a permanent mediator for acute crises, such as the case of the Israeli prisoner-of-war, Gilad Shalit.
6. OFFER both sides to station a permanent European peace-keeping force between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
7. CONSIDER the convening of an international conference for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
EUROPE CANNOT AFFORD TO REMAIN SILENT!
GUSH SHALOM p.o.b. 3322 Tel Aviv 61033
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For more on Gush Shalom see WW4 REPORT #45
See also our last post on Israel/Palestine.