Why Israel must end the occupation: an open letter to Israeli political leaders

A Palestinian woman walks amid the rubble of a house after Israeli security forces demolished the homes of two Palestinians in east Jerusalem,
A Palestinian woman walks amid the rubble of a house after Israeli security forces demolished the homes of two Palestinians in east Jerusalem,

The following is an open letter written by some members of the Canadian Jewish community and recently delivered to the consul general of Israel in Toronto.

Dear Consul General of Israel,

This June, the State of Israel marked the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War. Historically, this was a war of necessity for Israel’s security and resulted in access to essential holy sites. Today, however, another consequence is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and military rule of its Palestinian residents.

We are writing as Jews who love Israel and care about its future. We urge the Israeli government to embark on the road of peace by returning to fair and just negotiations to end the occupation, for Israel’s sake.

We admire Israel’s incredible achievements over the past 69 years, but are very concerned that the 50 years of occupation is disastrous not only to the Palestinians, but also to Jewish Israelis. Israel’s Declaration of Independence sets out a legal and moral framework of basic human and civil rights for Israel to guarantee. Today, these values are under attack and threatened by Israeli government policies.

Specifically, settlement construction in the West Bank and continued disenfranchisement of, and military rule over, Palestinians, constitute major obstacles to peace and endanger the very fabric of Israeli democracy. Recent Israeli settlement policies raise concerns about violations of its own, and international, law.

Of key importance is that the ongoing occupation leads to more bloodshed and cycles of violence that undermine the hopes of most Jews and Palestinians, in the Middle East and the Diaspora. The great danger is that a two-state solution may no longer be possible unless there is a commitment to end the occupation, and a shared desire for peace.

Of particular concern to those of us in the Diaspora is the troubling ambivalence of young Jews in our community toward Israel. Increasing numbers feel alienated because they view the occupation as unjust and as a violation of their moral and democratic values. Hasbara campaigns cannot, and do not, justify the ongoing occupation. Losing the support of the younger generation is dangerous to the future of the Jewish People.

We ask that this letter be forwarded to the prime minister of Israel and the minister of foreign affairs, requesting a response as to the concrete steps the Israeli government will take to stop settlement expansion and make tangible progress toward a negotiated resolution that results in both Israelis and Palestinians living within their own sovereign states.

With great respect,

Barbara Landau, SISO Canada representative and chair, JSpaceCanada Shared Society Initiative
Gabriella Golliger, chair, Canadian Friends of Peace Now
Karen Mock, chair, JSpaceCanada
Issie Lyon, board member, Canadian Friends of Peace Now
Jacqueline Swartz, board member, Canadian Friends of Peace Now
David Brooks, board member, JSpaceCanada
Danny Schild
Maurice Green
Helen Poizner
Beverly Stern
Harold Chapman
Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg
Mary Chapman
Joe Goldfinger
Daryl Landau
Jo Anne Chisholm
Nicole Landau
Linda Litwack
Deborah Cherry


  • Hannibal

    The majority of Jews worldwide are not zionists. Notice the names of the signatories on this open letter.

  • Hind Abyad

    ‘Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is essentially a contest for control of the region’s resources, principally land and water. To the extent that these assets are used by one antagonist, occupation has been structured so that the other loses.


    • Rudy1947

      Israel is familiar with control of water resources. The Headwater Diversion Plan was approved by the Arab League in 1964 to prevent water resources to enter Israel.

  • Hind Abyad

    ‘Confiscation of Palestinian land has enabled Israel to proceed with the construction of settlements and related structures in various areas of the West Bank that were traditionally considered to be wilderness zones. Most important among these are the eastern slopes and the central part of the West Bank which once housed a variety of wildlife and provided a winter grazing ground for livestock and recreation for the local population. . . .

  • vs

    Why yalibnan must end the mental masturbation on Israel? Because Lebanon also occupied by Orabians like Land of Israel

  • Hind Abyad

    Testimonies From the Censored Massacre at Deir Yassin: ‘They Ran Like Cats’

    • vs

      was not “massacre”, sharmuta

      • Omega

        Strange. Accounts by the Irgun, LEHI and Haganah as well as others show otherwise: that it was a massacre. As a matter of fact, the Jewish leadership admitted there was a massacre and apologized for it.

        The evidence that the Irgun and Lehi perpetrated a massacre at Deir Yassin is overwhelming. It comes from numerous independent sources, Jewish and Arab, Haganah and dissidents and it is recorded on film.


        • vs

          The Jordanian newspaper Al Urdun published a survivor’s account in 1955, which said the FaLIEstinians had deliberately exaggerated stories about atrocities in Deir Yassin to encourage others to fight, stories that had caused them to flee instead

          • Omega

            Exaggerated the story to incite fighting you say. Fight with what exactly; spoons and forks? The Christian and Muslim Palestinian population was unarmed against the Zionists who were armed with weapons left behind by the Brits. Contrary to the mainstream/imposed narrative, the ethnic cleansing of the non-Jewish Palestinians was not a spontaneous act of violence carried out by soldiers in the heat of battle. It was planned for a decade (since 1937).

            Either way, the Jewish Leadership admitted to the massacre and apologized for it back then but yes, it’s “propaganda” according to you, today. High-5.

          • vs

            it is propaganda according wikipedia 𐤅𐤉𐤒𐤉𐤐𐤃𐤉𐤄, try edit wikipedia with your BS. FaLIEstinian population was born in June 1964 in Soviet KGB

          • Omega

            “according wikipedia” – enough said and you confirm it with “try edit”.

            Are the Palestinians actually Russians? Strange, they’ve lived on the land in Palestine for thousands of years. It is your ilk who came from outside to steal, kill, oppress – not them.

          • vs

            𐤅𐤉𐤒𐤉𐤐𐤃𐤉𐤄 Wikipedia aim was not creation for fools
            ,Are Russians Soviets
            Are Orabians FaLIEstinians

          • Hannibal

            Arguing with this yarmulka wearing donkey is futile. It is not human.

          • vs

            Arguing with mental masturbator Kannibal and OmegaHell and HebBlahblah antisemites? 𐤀𐤉𐤃𐤉𐤅𐤕𐤉𐤌 𐤋𐤊𐤅 𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍𐤅

      • Hind Abyad
        • vs

          𐤋𐤊𐤉𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍𐤉, 𐤔𐤓𐤌𐤅𐤈𐤄

        • Hannibal

          Shlomo Sand MUST be awarded the Nobel Price.

          • vs

            Wish you will be awarded the Price or Darwin, idiot

          • Hannibal

            The Darwin price MUST be awarded to me for discovering your ancestor being a monkey.

          • vs

            fascist 𐤋𐤊 𐤕𐤆𐤃𐤉𐤉𐤍

  • vs

    Operation near Ramallah, terrorist eliminated http://www.newsru.co.il/israel/16jul2017/ramallah_101.html

  • vs

    On Wednesday, July 19, Israel first released data on the amount of aid provided to Syrian citizens over the past few years.

    About the “Good Neighborhood” project, in which the IDF assists the civilian population of the Syrian part of the Golan Heights, Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, Chief of the General Staff, mentioned at the forum in Herzliya, but the details of this project were kept secret until now.

    According to published information, Israel provides assistance in the border zone, which is about 40 km long and is 15 km deep in Syria. Describing the situation in the “patronized” area, the military says that there are representatives of the armed opposition, the fighters of the IS and the government troops. Opposition groups unite or split, but each in its sector is fighting the terrorists of the “Islamic state” and opposes the government troops. The IDF notes that Israel is interested in weakening the “Shiite axis” and the “Islamic state” and in strengthening settlements in the Golan.

    The IDF says that, seeing the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria, Israel first appealed to international organizations in order to organize assistance through them to the Syrians, but the negotiations were unsuccessful, and then Israel decided to directly help the neighbors. First of all, Israel was concerned that the inhabitants of the Syrian Golan had drinking water, food, electricity, access to medical care.

    The 210th territorial division is responsible for the implementation of the “Good Neighborhood” project. About 200,000 citizens of Syria live in the zone over which “chief” Israel is living. Only in the last year Israel delivered 500,000 liters of diesel fuel to the Syrian villages, donated dozens of generators, cars and horse transport to the Syrians.

    Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, Israel has provided medical assistance to 4,000 Syrians, including 900 children, 2,000 women.

    Israel distributed 55 tons of warm clothes and 12 tons of shoes among the residents of the Syrian villages, and 12,000 cans with a milky formula for infants were transferred. Two polyclinics were opened