09/15/2016, 15.52
ISRAEL

Israeli intellectuals appeal to Diaspora Jews to "end the occupation"

Signatories include Nobel Prize for Economics Daniel Kahneman, writers Amos Oz, David Grossman, Sami Michael, film director Amos Gitai, seven retired army generals, 20 ambassadors, 48 ​​ writers and scientists recipients of the highest awards of the State of Israel, 160 university professors and dozens of parliamentarians.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Some 500 high-profile Israeli intellectuals, artists and public figures have issued a statement calling on Diaspora Jews to join them to end Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.

"If You Care About Israel, Silence Is No Longer an Option,” says at the start the statement by Save Israel Stop Occupation (SISO), an initiative launched at the end of 2015 by a group of Israeli university professors and diplomats, including historian and current director of the Museum of Europe in Brussels Elie Barnavi, former director general of the Foreign Ministry Alon Liel, ambassadors Colette Avital and Ilan Baruch, and award-winning political psychologist Daniel Bar-Tal.

The appeal goes on to say, "We call upon Jews around the world to join with Israeli partners for coordinated action to end the occupation and build a new future, for the sake of the State of Israel and the generations to come." The goal is to organise events to raise awareness around the world ahead of 5 June 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and the beginning of the occupation of Palestinian territories.

The appeal, the first by leading Israelis to Diaspora Jews, coincides with a recent poll that suggests that most Israeli Jews (75.7 per cent) believe that the State of Israel is responsible for the fate of the Jews in the diaspora, and Jews in the Diaspora are responsible for the fate of the state of Israel (78 per cent). The majority of Israeli Jews (66.8 per cent) agrees that the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians has a negative impact on the condition of the Jews in the world.

“Never since 1948 have we been as much in need of an alliance between Israel and the diaspora,” said Alice Shalvi, an English literature professor (and 2007 Israel Prize recipient). “Then we fought together for the establishment of an independent Jewish State. Now we must invest all-out efforts in saving Israel’s soul, restoring its moral compass.”

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