Received:  20 Aug 2001 04:10:58 -0000

Appeal for a fair settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Jews of Belgium state their position and commit themselves
We, citizens of this country, have decided to state our position
as Jews regarding the events that are setting the Near East
ablaze. As such, we feel it our duty to condemn the policy of
successive Israeli governments towards the Palestinian people, in
utter disregard of United Nations resolutions as well as of
fundamental human rights including the right to self-

In expressing our opposition to this policy, we deny the Israeli
leaders' claim to be acting in the name of the Jewish people. We
also wish to bear witness to the diversity of Jewish public
opinion in Belgium with regard to Israel, as opposed to the
picture that some representatives of the Jewish community try to
propagate. We refuse more specifically to be caught in a process
of predefined reaction which aims to divert our conscience and
deeds from supporting a just cause: that of peace based on the
recognition of a sovereign and viable Palestinian State alongside
the State of Israel, with Jerusalem as a capital of both

We consider that the Palestinian people's struggle for national
independence is legitimate. The occupation for more than thirty
years, in violation of the principles of international law, and
the forced exile to which the Palestinian refugees have been
condemned have lasted far too long. Any occupation will sooner or
later give rise to resistance on the part of those who suffer
from this occupation. The climate of violence to which Israelis
and Palestinians are today confined is the result of this long
occupation.The roots of the confrontation are essentially
political and cannot be reduced to a merely religious conflict.
It is not enough to proclaim support for a peace to which
virtually everyone lays claim. It is also necessary to state the
conditions on which peace must rely.

- It is important first of all to implement the decisions of the
United Nations Security Council, and Resolution 242 in
particular, demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the territories
occupied in 1967. We believe that a Palestinian State will not be
viable if Israel maintains under its authority, on the West Bank,
in Gaza and East Jerusalem, settlements illegal in terms of
international law. The annexation by Israel of most of the land
on which these colonies have been set up can only result in a
patchwork partition of the future Palestinian State. Movement
between Palestinian towns or from a Palestinian town to a
destination abroad would then be dependent on the goodwill of the
Israeli authorities. How could a sovereign state ever be able to
accept such an arrangement? Yet this is what the Palestinians
were offered at Camp David in July 2000.

- It is also important that the viability of the future
Palestinian State be guaranteed by measures to promote its
economic development and by ensuring the equal share of water
resources with neighbouring countries.

- The current plight of the refugees is another major obstacle to
real peace between the two peoples. The Zionist movement
instituted, after two thousand years, the Jews' right to return.
Fifty years on, surely the Palestinians are equally entitled to
demand a right for the refugees to return to the land from which
they were driven or, for those for whom a return is not feasible,
a right to compensation for the property taken from them.
Recognition by Israel of this principle would finally give the
Palestinians the justice they demand and would open the door to a
true reconciliation.

The Oslo agreement could have led in stages to a resolution of
the conflict if moves towards peace had been able to outweigh the
policy of unilateral decisions since pursued by Israel.
Sadly, this opportunity was missed.

In the light of the blatantly unequal balance of forces between
the two sides and leniency shown by the United States towards
Israel, bilateral negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians
have very little chance of success unless pressure is exerted by
the international community and especially by the European Union.
The persistence of the current situation constitutes a serious
threat to peace and political stability in the whole of the
Middle East. We therefore ask the Belgian and European
leaderships to ensure that international law prevail and to act
determinedly so that Israel conform to it. We shall also take
steps to make known all the appeals in this sense issued by those
organisations involved, under extremely difficult circumstances,
in the Israeli peace movement.

We share the hopes and beliefs of the many Israelis who long for
peace with their Palestinian neighbours and who today recognise
their right to a sovereign and viable State. They know that this
is the best guarantee for themselves to live in security in their
own country and to defend its democratic values.

As for us, we shall remain active until a just and balanced
agreement puts an end to a conflict that hitherto has brought
only suffering and desolation.

Brussels, 25/12/2000
(227, 23-feb-2001)
Barbara Abramowicz, Bettina Abramowicz, Manuel Abramowicz, Marco
Abramowicz, Stella Abramowicz, Mateo Alaluf, Quentin Alaluf,
Valérie Alaluf, Daniel Apelbaum, Jacques Aron, Cécile Baldwin,
Emmanuelle Balzano, Georges Bauherz, Hugues Pierre Baum, Mylène
Baum, Joëlle Baumerder, Jérome Beghin, Marianne Berenhaut, Daniel
Berkenbaum, Ivan Berkenbaum, David Berman, Henri Bier, Sarah
Blau, Micheline Blust, Francis Borle, Dorette Brat, Ariane
Bratzlavsky, Carine Bratzlavsky, Inge Brinkman, Didier Buch,
Jerzy Buczek, Jacques Bude, Catherine Buhbinder, Maroussia
Buhbinder, Anita Chaberman, Rosy Chauvier, Sarah Chemd, Eric
David, Fransi De Villar Dille, Judith Debroux, Frédérique
Devillez, Koen Dille, André Dimidschstein, Elise Draise, Gisella
Drenger-Nudel, Agnès Dumont, Nathalie Dunkelman, Maurice Errera,
Bernard Fenerberg, Patricia Fenerberg, Fanny Filosof, Maurice
Fogel, Danielle Frank, Norbert Frankfort, Thérèse Frankfort,
Annelise Früh, Laurette Frydman, Mady Frydman, Patricia Geller,
Geneviève Gendebien, Pierre Gillis, Victor Ginzburgh, André
Goldberg, Charles Goldenberg, Marianne Goldfinger, Rosa Goldman,
Charly Goldmann, Maurice Goldstein, Jeannette Goldsztein, José
Gotovitch, Louise Gotovitch, Anne Grauwels, Maya Grinberg, Simon
Gromowski, Catherine Gross, Elie Gross, Laurent Gross, Léa
Grunbaum, Julos Gruszow, Paul Gruszow, Marcel Gudanski, Marco
Gudanski, Michel Gudanski, Edgard Gunzig, Alfred Gutmann, Boris
Gvirtman, Sylvie Harold, Christiane Havet, Anne Herscovici,
Charles Herscovici, Paula Hirsch, Marc Hordies, Berthy Hudes,
Agnès Hurwitz, Henri Hurwitz, Manuelle Hurwitz, Léon Ingber,
Christian Israël, Lolita Iven-Abramowicz, Jean-Pierre Jacquemain,
Gaspard Jedwab, Virginie Jortay, Dolf Kacenelenbogen, Amélia
Kalb, Willy Kalb, Catherine Kestelyn, Simone Klajman, Anna
Klipper, Stéphane Kohn, Jacques Koplowicz, Rachel Kramermann,
Estelle Krzeslo, Edith Kuropatwa, David Lachman, Alain Lapiower,
Hélène Lapiower, Sarah Lefèvre, Cécile Lenkowitz, Florence Levis,
Allégra Levy, Rosine Lewin, Dominique Liebermann, Henri
Liebermann, Sophie Liebermann, Anne Liebhaberg-Scarpa, Adeline
Liebman, Michèle Liebman, Riton Liebman, Sophie Liebman, Claire
Liebmann, Daniel Liebmann, Jean-Claude Liebmann, Léon Liebmann,
Laura Liebstaedter, Lili Liensens, Christophe Lisart, Anne Lucas,
Arié Mandelbaum, Ariéh Mandelbaum, Marcelle Mandelbaum, France
Marage, Vital Marage, Chantal Marissal, Noé Martens, Thérèse
Massart, Nicole Mayer, Robert Minc, Yves Minc, Viviane Mora,
Irène Moskovic, Annette Nicolle, Josée Noël, Emmanuel Nudel,
Michel Nudel, Myriam Othmane, L. Pary, Tessa Parzenczewski, Jenny
Peper, Jean-Marc Picard, Manuel Piette, Alain Potaznik, Léon
Potaznik, Léon Prays, Gérard Preszow, Irène Prowizor, Fabienne
Raindorf, Jean-Michel Raindorf, Nadia Raindorf, Norma Raindorf,
Jacques Rajchman, Jacques Ravedovitz, Léon Ravedovitz, Adi Raz,
David Roger, Pierre Roger, Claire Roger-Wolf, Cécilia Ronsse
Nussenzveig, Suzy Rosendor, Sabine Rozen, Dominique Rozenberg,
Edith Rubinstein, Daniel Saks, Anne Sapir, Marc Sapir, Robert
Scarpa, Herman Schonker, Lisa Schonker, Noémie Schonker, Blanche
Schtourner, Daphné Simon, Jacques Simon, Dora Simonovici, André
Slezingher, Vincent Soubeyran, Michel Staszewski, Marcel Stelzer,
Marka Syfer, Georges Sylin, Henriette Sztajer, Gitla Szyffer,
Anne Thyrion, Daniel Tursch, Lisa Tzavara, Esther Vamos, Muriel
Vamos, Arnaud Van Cutsem, Simon Van Dessel, Eric Van Praag, Dan
Van Raemdonck, Pierre Van Thieren, Jean Vogel, Laurent Vogel,
Ludmila Vondracek, Bella Wajnberg, Henri Wajnberg, Admon
Wajnblum, Henri Wajnblum, Liliane Wald, Axel Wang, Nadine Wang,
Richard Wang, Mathieu Weemals-Rosenfeld, Thierry Wenes, Gilbert
Wolf, Larissa Wozek, Grégory Yarm, Léon Zaidenband.
Further signatures to this appeal can be addressed by e-mail to:

This appeal will be made public at a press conference and will be
widely distributed. This all costs money. If you wish to help the
campaign, contributions -however small - may be transferred
directly to Belgian bank account number 063-9216842-34, which has
been set up for the purpose.