September 24, 2002
Fifteen Jewish peace groups from eight countries in Europe have joined forces to condemn Israeli government actions against the Palestinians and demand an end to the occupation.
On 19th and 20th September, at a conference in Amsterdam entitled ‘Don’t say you didn’t know’, a coalition of European Jewish groups adopted a statement (full text and signatories below) calling for
• an immediate end to the occupation and recognition of the June 1967 borders
• complete withdrawal of Jewish settlers from the Occupied Territories
• an independent and viable Palestinian state with the guarantee of security for both Israel and Palestine
• recognition of the right of both states to have Jerusalem as their capital
• recognition by Israel of the responsibility for its part in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem and of the right of Palestinians to return or receive compensation.
The statement says that a just, fair and practical solution must be negotiated, and must include the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel or Palestinian territory, or compensation. The Amsterdam conference called on the international community to support these demands and insisted that only a just peace could guarantee safety for Israelis and Palestinians.
There was concern about antisemites and racists exploiting the Middle East conflict, but also condemnation of those pro-Israel groups that engage in harassment and violence against Jews who speak out against Israeli policies. The conference agreed to support all the Israeli peace and human rights groups, including the Refusenik soldiers, and called on Jewish organisations to promote constructive discussion on how to achieve a just peace in the Middle East.
The Amsterdam meeting was hosted by the Dutch-based group Een Ander Joods Geluid (An Other Jewish Voice), firstname.lastname@example.org
The full statement of European Jews for a Just Peace
We, representatives from 16 Jewish peace organisations from eight European countries, gathered together at the conference, ‘Don’t say you didn’t know’ in Amsterdam on the 19th and 20th of September 2002, call upon:
• the Israeli government to change its current policy and implement the the proposals in the following declaration and
• all other governments, the United Nations and the European Union to put pressure on the Israeli government to implement the proposals in the following declaration.
We believe that the only way out of the current impasse is through an agreement based on the creation of an independent and viable Palestinian state and the guarantee of a safe and secure Israel and Palestine. This requires:
- an immediate end to the occupation of the Occupied Territories: West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem with recognition of the 4th June 1967 borders;
- complete withdrawal of all Jewish settlements in all the Occupied Territories
- the recognition of the right of both states to have Jerusalem as their capital;
- the recognition by Israel of the responsibility for its part in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem. Israel should recognise in principle the Palestinian right to return as a human right. The practical solution to the problem will come about by agreement between parties based on just, fair and practical considerations. It will include compensation, the return to the territory of the State of Palestine or of Israel, without endangering Israel’s existence. We call upon the international community, especially Europe, for political and financial support.
An Other Jewish Voice (The Netherlands)
Union des Progressistes Juifs de Belgique –UPJB (Belgium)
Network of Jews Against Occupation (Italy)
Group Martin Buber – Jews for Peace (Italy.)
Friends of the Israeli Palestinian Coalition for Peace (UK)
Just Peace UK (UK)
Jews for Justice for Palestinians UK (UK)
Jewish Socialists’ Group (UK)
Rabbis for Human Rights UK (UK)
Jewish Manifesto (Sweden)
Jews for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (Sweden)
Jüdische Stimme für einen gerechten Frieden zwischen Israel und Palästina (Switzerland)
Union Juive Française pour la Paix – UJFP (France)
Le Cercle Français de Juifs Diasporiques de Gauche Cercle Gaston Crémieux (France)
New Outlook (Denmark)