Sobol. 'September 20 - not a declaration of war'
Photo: Yehonatan Zur

Intellectuals back Palestinian state

Initiative launched by Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol, Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali claims 'Palestinian state living in peace with Israel is both an Israeli and a Palestinian interest'

A newly established cooperation between Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol and Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali has led to a petition calling on intellectuals on both sides to support the foundation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.


According to Sobol, the petition – distributed by email in recent days – has been signed by some 100 artists and academics. It says that "the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 border, which will live in peace with Israel, is a crucial interest both for Israel and the Palestinians.


"All Arab countries and most of the world's countries support this solution for the conflict. According to the Arab Summit Conference in Beirut in 2002, all Arab countries and 60 Muslim countries would recognize the State of Israel and establish diplomatic relations with it if Israel were to recognize the '67 borders as the borders of just, comprehensive and sustainable peace with the future Palestinian state.


"These borders will gain the recognition of the UN and the countries of the world, as well as international guarantees."


Sobol and Muhammad Ali warn in the petition that the ongoing political stalemate will create fertile land for extreme forces, who they say seek to drag the region's people into bloodshed and disastrous wars, which "create destruction, perpetuate backwardness and prevent any option of normalization of life and furthering social justice."


Talking about social justice, the two say that the recent popular protests movements in Arab countries and Israel express the aspirations for normalization of life that will exist in the region in times of peace, which will guarantee the fulfillment of the existential interests of the citizens of Israel and the Palestinian state and allow economic prosperity and social justice for all of the region's nations.


"For all these reasons, we the undersigned welcome the establishment of a Palestinian state within the '67 borders, including east Jerusalem, and call on its leadership and on the Israeli leadership to resume – immediately upon the foundation of the Palestinian state – the negotiations for ending the conflict based on UN resolutions and the international legitimization of a sustainable peace settlement between the two countries."


'Governments must discuss a better future'

Sobol told Ynet on Saturday, "We worded the manifesto together with the intention of taking preventive steps against what is being prepared for September 20.


"We are basically saying openly and unequivocally that there is no consensus in Israel against the establishment of a Palestinian state within the '67 borders and that its foundation is clearly a joint interest, and therefore it cannot be a cause for a new war but rather a motive for resuming peace negotiations between two sovereign countries."


According to Sobol, this is a spontaneous initiative which has created a chain reaction.


"I hope that the 100 people who have already signed will be joined by many in order to face the warmongers seeking to present to the world a distorted picture of a non-existent reality. To those I say: Just rest. Not everyone views September 20 as a declaration of war.


"We are saying that we mustn't say we have had enough of negotiations, and once the Palestinian government is established – the Israeli government must sit down with it and discuss a better future."



פרסום ראשון: 08.28.11, 15:39
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