The following was published in the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds on June 21, 2002.
To the Editors:
Due to the dangerous situation under which the Palestinian people are living and as part of our responsibility, we, the undersigned, call on those who stand behind military operations which target civilians in Israel to reconsider their policy and refrain from recruiting young Palestinians for the purpose of mounting such military attacks. We strongly believe that actions of this type aggravate the current critical situation and augment hatred between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Besides, such military attacks deepen the gap between the two peoples and lead to a further deterioration of the situation. They also kill all possibility for the two peoples to live in peace side by side in two neighboring countries.
We believe that these operations do not contribute to the development or accomplishment of our national project, which is premised on freedom and independence. On the contrary, these operations only increase the number of enemies of peace on the Israelis’ side, and offer excuses to the government of Israel headed by Ariel Sharon to escalate its military aggression against Palestinian children and the elderly, and against Palestinian cities and villages. This Israeli aggression also targets our accomplishments, aspiration, and our national project.
The positive and negative features of a military operation are defined by whether national political goals are achieved, and not by setting the operations as a standard unto themselves. Consequently there is a need for people involved in such operations to reconsider their actions, which we believe only heighten tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, and drive them toward war and destruction devoid of all logical, humane, or political rationale.
Professor Sari Nusseibeh, PLO ,Commissioner of Jerusalem
Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Legislative Council
Saman Khoury, Palestinian National Council, Central Committee of the Palestinian Democratic Union (FIDA)
Salah Zuheika,Secretary General, Fatah, Jerusalem
Mamdukh Nofel ,Adviser to Yasser Arafat
Hana Seniora,Editor,El-Fajr ,in English
Muhamed Ishtaya,General Director, Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR)
Salah Raafat, Secretary General, FIDA
Professor Manuel Hassassian, President, Bethlehem University
Dr. Munther Dajani,Professor of Political Science, Al-Quds University
(Partial listing. The appeal has been signed by approximately 650 people.)
August 15, 2002