Seven years after the creation of JCall, (the European network for Israel and for peace), our “Call to Reason“ is as relevant as ever. The occupation of Palestinian territories following the Six Day War, which was a war of defence, is now in its fifty-first year, with no prospect of ever ending. Its effects are a dissaster for Palestinians, still deprived of the fundamental right to self-determination, and for Israel, put in a position to contradict some of the key principles upon which is based its 1948 Declaration of Independence.
The occupation of the West Bank did not bring security or peace to the Israeli people, just the opposite.
The continued occupation of the West Bank, backed up with a settlement policy based on the ongoing expansion of Israeli colonies, threatens the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic State. This policy contravenes the international law as well as, in some cases, the Israeli Law. It fuels a cycle of violence the high price of which is paid by both peoples. The preference given to the settlements by budgetary decisions also results in an increasing social disparity in Israel, and by an encroachment on national cohesion.
The impact of the Israeli policy of occupation has seriously damaged the international image of the State of Israel. As for us, European citizens, Jews, members of JCall unfailingly attached to the State of Israel, we see the results of that policy—especially among young people—through the efforts we undertake in order to fight the calls for a boycott of Israel which are spreading in Europe. The situation in the Middle East is complex and we must avoid slipping into cliches. We are aware of the dangers threatening Israel and we have nothing in common with the people who relish in that deterioration, claiming that this is all Israel’s fault.
We also know that the answer cannot be limited to a condemnation of the opposite camp. Even according to former Israeli generals, members of the association of “Commanders for Israel’s Security“, who all had key responsibilities in Israeli security agencies, the continuing occupation is “ the only real existential threat the State of Israel has to face now“. Time has come to put an end to it.
It is the reason why we join the campaign #BecauseWeCare launched by “SISO – Save Israël, Stop the Occupation”, an international movement of Israelis and diaspora Jews, in order to restate our opposition to the occupation and to ask the Israeli government to take all initiatives and decisions necessary to implement a negotiated solution of the conflict, which will be the only means of building a future allowing the Israeli people and the Palestinian people to coexist in two sovereign States.