13 May

It’s time to ask questions

There can be no peace, however, until the Palestinians have justice.

By Dorothy Naor, May 8th, 2009

I write to you as a Jewish woman who is both American and Israeli. I have lived in Israel for over 50 years, and I can tell you that I have had enough of wars and insecurity.

America keeps on sending us billions of dollars in weapons every year. And yet, Israel has become the least safe country for Jews to live in (except for war zones such as Afghanistan, where no one is safe).

* Nowhere else in the world since WWII have we Jews lived through 12 wars/battles/campaigns-all in less that 61 years.
* Nowhere else in the world since WWII have so many Jews been killed in violence-over 23,000 since Israel came into being.
* Nowhere else in the world have so many Jews been injured.

And yet, we have no security.  61 years of the use of force have not brought us Israelis one iota of security.

To make matters worse, those of us who are seeking peace find ourselves harassed by the Israeli police. A number of my colleagues have had their computers confiscated, been called to interrogations, or have been made to sign declarations forbidding them to talk with one another. To add insult to injury, the police actions were carried out on Israel’s Memorial Day to send a subtle message to the public that our activism may compromise Israel’s security.

Our crime? We dared to ask questions. We dared to ask whether militarism was the only way. We are undeterred. We will continue asking.

It is your time to ask too.

If you are an American, please take a moment right now to call on Congress to ask the question: what happened with your US tax dollars in Gaza?

If you live in another country, ask yourself whether your government is involved in this trade of weapons and destruction.

Here in Israel, we do not need more US weapons.  We need you to help us achieve peace-lasting peace.

There can be no peace, however, until the Palestinians have justice.  The Palestinian catastrophe since 1948 has included expulsion from their homes and lands, and for those who remained in the West Bank and Gaza, extra-judicial executions, land confiscations, no freedom of movement, nor the freedom to build homes and communities, Palestinians live always with the fear of Israeli military incursions.  Since September 29, 2000 Israel has killed 6,248 Palestinians. 1,487 of these have been children.

Israel’s Memorial Day is the saddest day in the year for me, not only because of those who are already buried, but because of all those who might be killed for generations to come unless you help us achieve a just peace.



Dorothy Naor is the founder of MEPEACE, a non-profit organization, which aims to foster a growing community of peacemakers. “Our peacemakers, from 175 countries, are committed to realizing peace in the Middle East. Our community is active online and on the ground. Online, our web platform enables individuals and organizations to share and find information. The Israeli media titled us “Facebook of Peace” (Ha’aretz, March ’08). On the ground, we create community-building encounters, provide activist leadership training, and offer technology consulting to other peace organizations.”


The bottom line is this: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens–and honor its own previous commitments–by accepting its legal borders.  All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace under these conditions.  The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.

Jimmy Carter

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