Jewish-Palestinian Declaration for a Just and Lasting Peace
The Jewish Peace Forum and The Palestinian American Women’s Society, USA
June 26, 2002
Today, as we look toward the war-torn land that we both call “home”, the promise of peace appears farther away than ever. At this tragic time, we publicly express our joint grief over all of the innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives that have been lost during this war.
We, the undersigned Chicago area Palestinians and Jews, also make a public commitment to the following principles. They form a map toward a peaceful resolution to this violent conflict. Please sign our declaration, walk with us toward peace.
1. Both Israelis and Palestinians have just claims and just needs for national homelands. We acknowledge that both peoples have a deep attachment to the same land. We call for this land to be shared by both peoples with the establishment of a contiguous and economically viable and secure Palestinian state alongside a secure State of Israel.
2. We condemn violent actions and human rights violations perpetrated by both peoples against innocents and call upon the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to do the same. These actions foment hatred between our peoples, endangering everybody’s security. The longer these go on, the longer it will take us to heal from this damage. Ultimately, the only true security can be developed in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
3. We condemn anti-Arab and anti-Jewish incitement throughout the world. We call upon Arab and Jewish parents to teach their children to recognize the humanity of one another, so that they grow up understanding that there is nothing inherently dividing us.
4. We recognize the tragic paradox in that the creation of the State of Israel was experienced as an occasion of great joy and liberation for the Jewish people and simultaneously was experienced as a time of great suffering and exile for many Palestinians.
5. We acknowledge that Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip has increased the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis alike and remains a major obstacle to peace. It is time for Israelis and Palestinians to transcend responses of revenge and embolden those among them who seek non-violent means to end the occupation.
6. We urge all peoples and their respective leaders to work diligently to achieve a just and viable peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
7. We agree to remember that the children of Sarah and the children of Hagar are brothers. Isaac and Ishmael, although estranged, did come together to bury their father, Abraham. Our two peoples, the children of Isaac and the children of Ishmael, are currently estranged. Let us come together to mourn all our dead, to see each other face to face at last, and to make peace.
The above statement was developed by the Jewish Peace Forum and the Palestinian American Women’s Society, two groups that believe in the possibility of a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.