September 20, 2002
Statement by Jewish European Peace groups in Amsterdam,
19th & 20th of September 2002
The representatives of sixteen Jewish peace organisations from eight European countries,
gathered together at the invitation of An Other Jewish Voice at a conference entitled “Don’t say you didn’t know” in Amsterdam:
– Agreed to adopt the name ‘European Jews for a Just Peace’.
– Agreed to support and draw courage from all the Israeli peace and human rights groups, including the Refuseniks who oppose current Israeli policies towards the Palestinians
– Deplore the authoritarian and violent abuse by some Jews of the rights to free speech of those expressing criticism of Israeli policies
– Call on all Jewish organisations to ensure free speech, thereby promoting a constructive discussion on how to achieve a just peace in the Middle East.
– To support Angie Zelter
Angie Zelter is a member of the Pacifist Support Group of Greenham Common, UK, and an activist collaborating with Israeli and Palestinian peace groups working towards a just peace in the region. She has participated in peace initiatives since December 2000 when the first campaign in support of an international protection force for Palestinian civilians was launched under the slogan “Io donna vado in Palestina” (I, as a woman, will go to Palestine), by the association Donne in Nero (Women in Black) in Italy.
On 29 August 2001, Angie was attacked by a group of settlers armed with stones, and later witnessed an assault on an old Palestinian man by other settlers, IDF soldiers kept her from aiding the old man and did not lift a finger to help him. In the end, one of the settlers assaulted Angie as well and destroyed her camera, remarking that she had had photographed their acts of violence.
Angie Zelter filed a lawsuit in Israel against the settlers, and the first hearing was set for 4 September 2002. Although we have yet to receive news as to the outcome of the hearing, we do not hesitate to express to Angie Zelter our deep support for and solidarity with her stance, and to condemn the settlers’ violence in this case and in the far too many other cases that go unpunished or that are met with complacency from the IDF. We thank those international activists who so generously have dedicated their time and energies to the cause of a just peace in the Middle East and say that we shall not leave them alone in the future.