Occupied Territories, Press Releases

RHR calls upon int’l community to prepare for when two-state solution becomes unachievable

0 Comments 09 February 2017

PRESS RELEASE | February 8 2017

Jerusalem: In a letter to several international bodies,  Israeli Human Rights NGO Rabbis for Human Rights is calling to draft a framework for human rights for the day when the two-state solution becomes unachievable. Amongst the recipients of the letter are officials in charge of human rights and\or foreign affairs in the American administration, European Union and the United Nations.final_logo-5

With the passing of the “Formalization Law” that retroactively “legalizes” settlements on private Palestinian land, Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights sent a letter today to several international bodies and administrations with a call to draft a framework for Human Rights for the day when the two-state solution becomes unachievable.

Read the full text below:

RE: A call upon the international community to draft a framework for human rights for the day when the two-state solution becomes unachievable

“Justice, justice you shall pursue that you may live” – Deuteronomy 16:20

Dear ____,

Rabbis for Human Rights is a rabbinic and Zionist Israeli human rights organization. For decades we have been defending and promoting the human rights of the citizens and residents of Israel, and of the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories under Israel’s control. Our organization recognizes the Jewish people’s right to self-determination – a right that was realized by the establishment of the State of Israel. We believe that the Palestinian people, presently under Israeli occupation, is equally entitled to self-determination.

Our struggle for human rights and religious commitment to the pursuit of justice and peace require us to pursue the personal and collective rights of all of the populations living in our shared political framework, whatever that may be. We must warn now that political developments lead to the possibility that the two-state solution may be taken off the table in the near future. (Developments such as the passing of the “Formalization Law” that retroactively “legalize” settlements on private Palestinian land as well as other proposals to restrict the Palestinians to hundreds of non-contiguous, crowded enclaves in Areas A and B). It is vital that Israeli and Palestinian society, the Arab world, and world Jewry prepare for the practical, moral, political, and economic consequences of that possibility; it therefore behooves international leaders and bodies to organize now for the day when the two-state solution vanishes and annexation becomes a reality. We propose drafting a framework for the rights of Palestinians and Israelis in such an eventuality and making it the focus of an open and multifaceted discussion.

It behooves the parties in the region and the international community to examine whether and at what time to declare a shift in international policy – for example, a shift from demanding an end to the occupation to a firm call to grant Palestinians full citizenship and equal civil and collective rights. This new policy should also require taking resolute action for economic and political equality for the Palestinians in the entire territory under Israeli control. Such a public declaration would make clear to everyone, including Israel’s citizens and government, the real meaning of continued settlement and occupation.

We do not claim that the two-state solution is no longer achievable. As a human rights organization, we do not take a position with regard to a political solution for the region. However, as Israelis concerned about the future of our country, who wish to be members of the international human rights community, we believe it is our duty to prepare for a day when the two-state solution may be declared unachievable and the parties required to offer alternatives. The Israeli public, its leadership, and international Jewish leadership must begin to think about the requirements necessary to maintain the country’s democratic character and its commitment to justice and equality in the event of annexation or de facto annexation of the West Bank to Israel.

This conversation must be held in a number of circles: In Israeli society and with its leadership, in Palestinian society, in worldwide Jewish communities, and in the Arab world. No less importantly, it must take place in the international community and its institutions, especially in those concerned with human rights and peace. As members of that vital international community, your voice is needed to promote that discussion. Raising it loudly and clearly will influence its moral quality. You can make a vital contribution to bringing about the realization of the divine vision of equality, justice and peace.

“And God shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” -Isaiah, 2:4


Rabbi Amy Klein, Chairwoman of the Board

Rabbis for Human Rights

PDF here


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