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Peace Lines
by Yacov I. Claude
2007-06-26 09:46:36
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On June 24th, 5,000 cyclists joined in a 28-km ride in Northern Israel, to the Lebanese border and back, demonstrating their solidarity with Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, detained in Gaza, for a year now, and Israeli Reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, detained somewhere in Lebanon, presumably, for almost a year as well.

In the same spirit, we want to express our utmost concern and solidarity with the 45 members of the Palestinian legislature detained somewhere in Israel, incommunicado. One of them was the Palestinian Minister of Education, Nasreddin Al Shaer, who has been a partner for peace education in the Palestinian school system.

Now is the time to step forward for the liberation of all these detainees, starting with these civilians. Including the BBC reporter Alan Johnston, detained in Gaza by the “Army of Islam” for over three months.

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Communiqué calling for the release of Dr Al Shaer, so far co-signed by five Medicine Nobels (Günter Blobel, Christian de Duve, Richard Roberts, Roger Guillemin, Edmond Fischer), three Peace Nobels (Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi), two Physics Nobels (Sir Harold Kroto, Frank Wilczek), two Chemistry Nobels (Yuan T. Lee, Elias Corey), one Literature Nobel (Wole Soyinka) and twelve Members of the European Parliament (Anders Wijkman – Sweden; Alain Lipietz, Kader Arif, Françoise Castex – France; Luisa Morgantini, Umberto Guidoni – Italy; Sajjad Karim, Sarah Ludford – Great-Britain; Frieda Brepoels – Belgium; Kyriacos Triantaphyllides – Cyprus; Piia-Noora Kauppi – Finland; Margrete Auken – Denmark).

“After the sweep of some thirty elected members of the Palestinian government and legislature in the West Bank by Israeli troops – among them the Minister of Education, Dr Nasreddin Al Shaer – as a « response » to the constant firing of kassams from Gaza, we ask for the immediate release of those detained. Such moves can only make things worse, and fuel the atrociously vain, deadly spiral of aggression and retaliation.

We also call for an immediate and permanent end to all kassam firing, and to all extra-judicial killings, as they so obviously feed each other with innocent lives of by-standers slain, maimed, and traumatized by countless hundreds.

‘Mankind and human dignity, the personality of the individual, have to be taken as the starting point of any dialogue’ (President Pöttering of the European Parliament, at the Euro-Mediterranean assembly in Tunis, in March 2007).



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