To the Editors:

Your readers may be interested in the enclosed statement issued by the Israeli and Palestinian Writers, Artists, and Academics Committee Against the Occupation and for Peace and the Freedom to Create. The Committee was organized in 1985. It includes some twenty-five novelists, poets, critics, and academics—Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, and Arabs from the occupied territories. It meets regularly in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the occupied territories, and is the only forum we know of in Israel or in the occupied territories in which Jews and Arabs meet regularly in an atmosphere of collaboration. The statement that follows was issued in June 1988.

Yoram Kaniuk

Emil Habibi


Tel Aviv, Israel


We the undersigned, Jewish and Arab writers, artists and academics in the State of Israel and Palestinians in the occupied territories, hereby accept and adopt the following peace treaty between the State of Israel and that of Falastin, the principles of which are as follows:

  1. The creation of a sovereign and independent Palestinian State in all the territories occupied by Israel since the War of 1967 in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.

  2. The sovereign Palestinian State acknowledges and recognizes the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security within its borders preceding June 5, 1967. Concurrently, the State of Israel acknowledges and recognizes the right of the Palestinian State of Falastin to live in peace and security within its own borders.

  3. The two sovereign States, Israel and Falastin, will sign a peace treaty and a non-aggression accord between themselves. Proper international guarantees will be required to ensure the sovereignty and peaceful existence of the two States within their recognized borders.

  4. A demilitarized Jerusalem with open borders, in which citizens of both States live side by side in peace, is the capital of the State of Israel as well as the capital of the sovereign Palestinian State of Falastin.

  5. A just solution will be found to the refugee problem within the framework of the peace treaty.

  6. All the stages, processes and procedures leading to the creation of the State of Falastin will take place under international supervision.

We hereby call upon the Government of the State of Israel to enter immediately into negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization with the intent of realizing the above-outlined peace treaty within the framework of an international conference or any other framework acceptable to both parties involved. All the parties involved undertake to cease all acts of violence against each other immediately upon the beginning of the peace negotiations.

Dr. Samir Abdalla, lecturer at the El-Najah University; Chava Alberstein, singer; Nabil Annani, painter; Shim’on Balas, writer; Tulli Bauman, painter; Mohamed Bakry, actor; Ory Bernstein, poet; Gedalya Besser, actor and director; Ya’akov Besser, poet and editor; Siham Daoud, poet; Karim Dabah, painter; As’ad El-As’ad, poet and chairman of the Palestinian Writers Association in the West Bank and Gaza strip; Dr. Wasfi El-Kafrie, lecturer at Bir Zeit University; Adnan El-Kashief, writer; Samih El-Kassem, poet and chairman of the Arab Writers Association in Israel; Jamil El-Salhut, writer; Ya’ir Garbuz, artist; Emil Habibi, writer and editor; Dani Horvitz, playwright; Dr. Tamer Issawi, lecturer at the Bir-Zeit University; Ibrahim Joohar, writer; Dr. Nissim Kalderon, lecturer at Tel-Aviv University; Yoram Kaniuk, writer; Dan Kedar, painter; Amos Keinan, writer; Gershon Knispel, artist; Yael Lotan, writer and editor; Suleiman Mansoor, painter and chairman of the Palestinian Painters Association in the West Bank and Gaza strip; Salman Natoor, writer; Mohamed Hamza-Ghanayem, poet; Jamal Salsa, poet; Yehoshua Sobol, playwright; Yossef Shiloah, actor and director; Ilan Toren, actor and director; Yoshka Wallerstein, painter; Natan Zach, poet

P.S. Since this statement was signed last June, approximately one hundred other Palestinian and Israeli writers, intellectuals, and artists have supported and signed the statement, among them A.B. Yehoshua, Sari Nusseibeh Professor Menachem Brinker, Daliah Rabikowitz, and Anton Shammas.

A deportation order has been issued against one of the signers, Taiseer Arouri of Bir Zeit University; and some other Palestinian writers who had signed were put under administrative detention in the Ktzei’ot camp. Two of these writers remain in the camp, and one of them, Abd el-Nasser Saleh, is reported to be in bad physical condition.

Anyone who thinks that the state of israel should encourage dialogue with the Palestinians instead of detaining Palestinian intellectuals is requested to send a letter of protest to the Israeli defense minister.

September 15, 1988

This Issue

October 13, 1988