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Message to the Israeli and Jewish Public
March 1999
We, the undersigned Palestinian intellectuals, address to the Israeli and Jewish public this message clarifying our point of view on the current peace process.
We are concerned that what is being contrived is not peace, but the seeds of future wars. The majority of Palestinians, including the undersigned, believed that the time was ripe for concluding with the Israelis a historic agreement that would allow us to live together finally in peace in one land, despite the injustice, suffering and dispossession inflicted on us over the decades by the Israeli side.
The majority of Palestinians believed that peace would be based on two principles: justice and the requirements of a common future. What we are witnessing in reality is far from these principles. One side believes the present balance of power to be in its favor, and that it can impose a humiliating agreement on the other side, forcing it to accept virtually anything it chooses to enforce. The historic settlement is becoming a settlement between Israelis themselves, not a settlement with Palestinians. It is a settlement that suffocates the Palestinians humanly, territorially, security-wise and politically: humanly, because it does not recognize their human and historical rights; territorially, because it isolates them within confined areas in towns and villages while progressively confiscating their land; security-wise, because it places Israeli security in principle over and above Palestinian rights, existence and security; politically, because it prevents Palestinians from determining their future and controlling their borders.
We believe we express the deepest convictions of our people when we openly confront you with these realities. You will have to choose between a settlement that is imposed by a balance of forces overwhelmingly favoring your government and your military, and one that is just, which will favor both Israelis and Palestinians, and which will provide the basis for long-term coexistence on the same land. We are placing the choice in your hands.
We state, in all clarity, that we see only two solutions for a just settlement of the Palestine question. The first solution is based on the establishment of a Palestinian state, with complete sovereignty over the lands occupied by Israel in 1967 and Jerusalem as its capital, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the recognition by Israel of the historic injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people. The Palestinian state will be established on the principles of democracy and human values adopted by the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988. The second solution is the establishment of one democratic binational state for the two peoples on the historic land of Palestine.
It is clear that the Palestinian negotiator, whose hands are tied by the overwhelming balance of power working against him, may be coerced into accepting a humiliating and degrading settlement that will lead to neither of these two solutions. History abounds with examples of nations that were coerced into settlements they did not support and that ended in catastrophe for all parties.
We address this message, first and foremost, to those Israelis who believe in the values of justice and equity, and to all those who aspire for peace the world over. We want to tell them that the settlement that the Israeli leadership is seeking to impose on the Palestinian negotiator could not be a settlement with the Palestinian people. It will be a fragile settlement bearing within it the seeds of its own destruction. We will neither support nor accept it.
We extend our hand to you to make a real and just peace, not the militarist peace of coercion, the generals' peace.
Signatories to the Message Addressed to the Israeli and Jewish Public Opinion (Excerpts)

Abdel Rahman Abu-Gharbia, president, Arab Thought Forum, Palestine
Ahmad Khalifa, editor, Institute of Palestine Studies Journal, Oxford
Azmi Shuaibi, PLC member, Palestine
Baker Abdel Munem, Ph.D. engineering, economics and political science, Canada
Bilal al-Hassan, journalist and commentator, editor of Al-Hayat newspaper, UK
Camille Mansour, director, Institute of Law, Bir Zeit University, Palestine
Faisal Darraj, literary critic, Syria
Fawzi Asmar, writer and journalist, USA
Fuad Mughrabi, professor, USA
Ghada al-Karmi, writer, UK
Ghazi al-Khalili, writer and journalist, Palestine
George Abed, economist, USA
Ghassan Abdullah, information analyst, Institute of Law, Bir Zeit University, Palestine
Ghassan Faramand, professor of law, Bir Zeit University, Palestine
Haidar Abdel Shafi, head of Palestinian delegation at Madrid conference
Hanan Ashrawi, PLC member and secretary-general of Miftah
Hisham Sharabi, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA
Ibrahim Muhawi, lecturer, Edinburgh University, UK
Islah Jad, Women's Studies Institute, Bir Zeit University, Palestine
Issam Nassar, researcher, Institute of Jerusalem Studies, Jerusalem; lecturer, Al-Quds University
Izzat Abdelhadi, director, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Ramallah
Izzat Darwaza, senior lecturer, Manchester University, UK
Jamil Hilal, writer and researcher, PNC member, Palestine
Jawdat Abu al-Haj, professor of sociology, the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil
Kamal Bullata, visual artist, France
Kamal el-Sharabi, PLC member, Palestine
Khalil E. Jahshan, president NAAA-ADC, USA
Khalil Hindi, professor of engineering systems, Brunel University, UK
Mamdouh Nofal, writer, journalist and member of PCC, Palestine
Manuel Hassassian, executive vice-president, Bethlehem University, Palestine
Muhammad al-Msawalma, film director, Palestine
Nabeel Anani, artist, Palestine
Nazmi Ju'beh, lecturer, Bir Zeit University, Palestine
Naseer Aruri, professor emeritus, University of Massachusetts, USA
Raji Sourani, director, Palestinian Center of Human Rights, Palestine
Salim Tamari, director, Institute of Jerusalem Studies, Jerusalem; lecturer, Bir Zeit University, Palestine
Samih Farsoun, professor, American University, Washington, D.C., USA
Shukri Nabulsi, engineer, Jordan
Suleiman Mansour, artist, Jerusalem
Tawfeeq Abu Baker, journalist and columnist, Jordan
Ziad Abu Amr, PLC member, Palestine

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