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Nasser Al Shaer freed! Free the Palestinian Congressmen!
by Yacov I. Claude
2007-07-26 04:31:43
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After the liberation of reporter Alan Johnston, detained for four months in Gaza by a Jihadist movement, and the Minister of Education, Nasser Al Shaer, detained for 54 days in Israel without mandate, we can all perceive the deeply subhuman, intolerable nature of this conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

At the hinge of the three continents, Africa-Asia-Europe, of the three monotheisms, Judaism-Christianity-Islam, and of the two worlds: Occident- Orient, rich countries-poor countries. We cannot accept anymore in silence, nor can we bear the treating of Men as pawns, of Human Beings as perverted merchandise, bargaining chips to be swapped and abused.

We cannot accept anymore in silence, nor can we bear the killing of Men as preys, the treating of countless civilian victims as “insignificant collateral damage”, or “legitimate targets”. The rule of law has to prevail at all levels, and in all places, for peace to return between Israelis and Palestinians.

In every circumstance, those who have in their hands human life, human dignity and human security have to be held accountable. In this spirit, the undersigned carry to public knowledge a communiqué, co-signed by 22 Nobel laureates and 19 Members of the European Parliament, which urgently demands new gestures from the people in charge, on the way to justice and common sense.

To those who doubt the use of such campaigns, we recount Alan Johnston’s words, on the morning of his liberation: "[On hearing radio reports about the campaign for his release] It gave me a psychological boost. It was amazing to be laying in solitary confinement and hear people from Nigeria, Malaysia or friends from London and colleagues sending messages of support."

Desmond Tutu & Betty Williams (Peace), Arvid Carlsson, Roger Guillemin & Richard Roberts (Medicine), Frank Wilczek (Physics), Wole Soyinka (Literature), Véronique de Keyser (Belgium), Caroline Lucas (Great-Britain), Jamila Madeira (Portugal), Willy Meyer Pleite (Spain), Eva-Britt Svensson (Sweden).

Communiqué calling for the release of the Palestinian Members of Parliament, so far co-signed by nine Medicine Nobels (Baruj Benacerraf, Günter Blobel, Arvid Carlsson, Christian de Duve, Edmond Fischer, Roger Guillemin, Craig Mello, Marshall Nirenberg, Richard Roberts); eight Chemistry Nobels (Elias Corey, John Fenn, Dudley Herschbach, Sir Harold Kroto, Yuan T. Lee, Douglas Osheroff, John Polanyi, Jens Skou); three Peace Nobels (Desmond Tutu, Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi); one Physics Nobel (Frank Wilczek); one Literature Nobel (Wole Soyinka) and eighteen Members of the European Parliament (Alain Lipietz, Kader Arif, Françoise Castex – France; Anders Wijkman, Eva-Britt Svensson – Sweden; Luisa Morgantini, Umberto Guidoni – Italy; Sajjad Karim, Caroline Lucas – Great-Britain; Frieda Brepoels, Véronique de Keyser – Belgium; Kyriacos Triantaphyllides – Cyprus; Piia-Noora Kauppi – Finland; Margrete Auken – Denmark; Justas Paleckis, Aloyzas Sakalas – Lithuania; Jamila Madeira, Miguel Portas – Portugal; Willy Meyer Pleite - Spain).

“After the sweep of some thirty elected members of the Palestinian government and legislature in the West Bank by Israeli troops 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." - European Parliament President Pöttering at the March 2007 Euro-Mediterranean assembly in Tunis.



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