Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 17:13:05 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Laura Wernick <email@example.com>
Subject: Jews and Arabs Jointly Condemn Israeli Government's Actions
New York, APRIL 18, 1996--A coalition of Arabs and Jews, all long
active in promoting peace between Israel and its neighbors, and
stunned by the silence of American-Jewish leaders, together today to
condemn recent Israeli government actions.
Israel is a cting with
the most cynical of purposes: to demonstrate to the Israeli electorate
that the Labor Party is no less willing to injure, kill and dislocate
innocent Arabs, than is Likud, says LAURA WERNICK of the
International Jewish Peace Union, which has joined the ad-hoc
Once again, the Israeli government shows its flagrant disregard of international law.
The killings of nearly 100 people today is a shocking, but not
surprising consequence of Israel's reliance on military means to
resolve political problems, says IJPU's Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark.
There are more than 130 dead, perhaps half a million people
displaced from homes, and Lebanon's infrastructure is being
devastated, notes coalition member GEORGE BITAR.
inflicting death, destruction and dislocation on hundreds of thousands
of people, whose only crime is to live in areas in which the Israelis
believe terrorists also live, adds NUBAR HOVSAPIAN.
This is a
wildly disproportionate response to the initial mortar attacks.
Although I believe the recent attacks on Israeli citizens must be
condemned, adds RABBI J. ROLANDO MATALON, of Congregation B'nai
the Israeli response is morally and Jewishly
unacceptable. In my view, the best response to the complex in the
Middle East is the continuation of a negotiated settlement.
moral issues involved in indiscriminently targeting a civilian
population and the conscious creation of hundreds of thousands of
refugees as a political strategy are simple, observes wri ter
Such actions are wrong.
Israel claims that the strikes have been targeted at precise
Hezbollah strongholds. But, Israeli commanders have made it clear
that the real target of the indiscriminate destruction has been
Lebanon's civilian population, points out Rabbi Michael Fein berg.
Both the Deputy Defense Minister Ori Orr and the Prime Minister
have said that they intend to use the agony of Lebanon's civilian
population to force its government to act forcefully against
Hezbollah. But doing so might plunge the entire nation back into the
chaos of civil war.
The coalition considers it equally important to condemn Israel's
continued collective punishment and land appropriations in the West
Bank and Gaza.
Israeli authorities not only continue to demolish
the houses of families and friends of suspected terror ists, notes
civil liberties attorney ALAN LEVINE,
they are also using house
demolitions to Palestinians from the vicinity of Kiryat Arba, the
right-wing settlement outside Hebron. No one has suggested that the
owners of any of these houses have engaged in terrorist activities.
Collective punishment is a distinguishing feature of history's most
notorious outlaw states. It violates the fundamental moral and legal
principle that punishment shall only be upon the wrongdoer.
Members of the coalition, which includes writers, journalists, rabbis, educators and professionals, have been active with the American Council on Palestinian Affairs, the American Israeli Civil Liberties Coalition, the International Jewish Peace Union, J ews Against the Gulf War, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation, New Jewish Agenda, the Palestine Solidarity Committee, and The Road to Peace.
Contacts: Donna Nevel or Alan Levine 212-932-1949
Laura Wernick 718-399-0737