‘The Moral High Ground’: Leading Israelis Rally to Support Palestinian Statehood
Three hundred leading Israeli citizens, mostly progressive cultural leaders and academics, rallied in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to express their support for Palestinian statehood and to urge Israel to establish such a state. Agence France-Presse reports that the 300 included 17 winners of the Israel Prize, awarded each year for contributions to the Jewish state and considered the nation’s most prestigious honor.
The 300 signed a petition calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the borders that existed before Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War.
“We are here to welcome the expected announcement of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel according to the borders of our independence fixed during the 1949 armistice,” the petition stated, referring to the increasing likelihood that the United Nations will recognize Palestinian sovereignty. “The complete end of the occupation is an essential condition of the liberation of the two peoples.”
Among the signatories were: Menachem Yaari, former president of Israel’s Academy of Sciences, painter and sculptor Danny Karavan and Meretz Party founder Shulamit Aloni.
Several dozen furious right-wing protesters turned up at the rally site, shouting “traitors!” at their fellow countrymen. They had to be kept away from the pro-Palestinian group by what AFP called a “heavy police presence.”
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