An Open Letter to Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair
December 23, 2004
Shulamit Aloni and Dr. Hannan Ashrawi
A former Israeli Minister of Education and a leading Palestinian official have authored a joint lettert appealing to the leaders of France and the United Kingdom asking for international intervention to put the necessary pressure on the Sharon government to halt "a century of bitter conflict and nearly 40 years of brutal occupation."
An Open Letter to:
President Jacques Chirac (France)
Prime Minister Tony Blair (Great Britain)
The following open letter is a call for the application of effective international pressure on Israel, in order to put an end to the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel.
The letter is addressed to President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Tony Blair and will be delivered to them by leading French and British public personalities, respectively, together with the list of international signatories.
Peace activists worldwide are invited to add their signatures to this open letter, in order to add to its moral weight. Our common goal is to collect as many signatures as possible within 4-6 weeks, please send a link to this page to those who you think may want to join.
The letter is signed initially by:
• Shulamit Aloni — Former Israeli Minister of Education and leader of the Meretz party
Dr. Hannan Ashrawi — Secretary General of The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH) and Palestinian Legislative Council Member for the Jerusalem District.
Mr. President / Mr. Prime Minister
This letter is being written at one of the darkest moments in the history of the conflict between the state of Israel and the Palestinian people. Palestinians are being killed daily and the level of destruction to the Palestinian infrastructure is catastrophic.
Israelis, for their part, are now living in constant fear of suicide attacks with violence ruling the day. Both sides are longing for a real peace which they have not enjoyed for even one year since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
In view of the extent of Israeli colonization and stubborn resistance to the dismantling of even the smallest settlements in Gaza, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel does not have the will, nor the political resolve, required to end the occupation and allow the creation of a sovereign, free and viable Palestinian state. Indeed, not only is there no real intention of returning lands, there is even intensified building around Jerusalem and expansion of settlements.
We therefore call for firm and decisive international intervention that will put the necessary pressure on Israel, in order to make sure it complies with international law, the principles of human rights and the relevant UN resolutions
The end result of this intervention should be the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 war, and the creation of a Palestinian state therein. We do not regard such international intervention as anti- Israeli, or anti-Semitic, but rather the contrary.
This seems to us the only way to put an end to a century of bitter conflict and nearly forty years of brutal occupation that seems set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Britain and France have been involved with this part of the world since the end of the 19th century. Since 1945 you have supported the forces of peace and cooperation in Europe and all over the world.
We ask you to use your influence and do the same in the Middle East! The roots of this conflict go far back, at the least to May 16th, 1916, when the Sykes-Picot agreement between France and Britain divided control over the crumbling Ottoman Empire. The wounds and scars of that division are still apparent today, and their effects can clearly be seen in the current conflict.
We are asking, therefore, that France and Britain take a bold, historic stand that will move us from strategies of power to strategies of reconciliation — a stand that will reflect your resolve that the 21st century be a century of respect for international law and institutions, a century of justice and peace.
To Sign the Petition, go to: