Open letter against the occupation


A new alliance of Israeli intellectuals is urging diaspora Jews to oppose Israel's West Bank policies.

An open letter signed by 470 people including 48 winners of Israel's most prestigious awards; seven high-ranking IDF officers; 20 former Israeli ambassadors, ministers, senior government officials and MKs; and 160 professors in Israeli universities, opens with the declaration: "If you care about Israel, silence is no longer an option."

One of the signatories, Alon Liel, a former envoy, said: "Diaspora Jews naturally support Israel and leave the strategic issues to the government of Israel. But what we think is that after almost 50 years of occupation, diaspora Jewry should also be thinking strategically - we should be thinking about this together."

The statement was issued by a group called the Israel-Diaspora Partnership Against the Occupation, which has the slogan "Save Israel, Stop the Occupation."

The letter claimed that Israel's current arrangement in the West Bank was "inherently oppressive for Palestinians and fuels mutual bloodshed" and "undermines the moral and democratic fabric of the state of Israel".

Writers David Grossman and Amos Oz signed the statement, as did the prominent former MK Colette Avital.

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