Americans for Peace Now (APN) is alarmed at the rapidly spiraling violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and calls on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to act to stop the violence and save lives.
Over the weekend, following the murder of an Israeli couple in the West Bank, there was a stabbing and shooting attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. Two people were killed in this attack. Another Israeli, a teenager, was stabbed and lightly injured near the Old City. APN strongly condemns these attacks, sends its condolences to the families of the Israelis who were killed, and wishes full recovery to those injured.
Following these attacks, West Bank settlers went on a widespread rampage across the West Bank, further fanning the flames of violence and revenge.
In clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, almost 100 Palestinians have been injured in the past couple of days.
This violence is a direct result of diplomatic stalemate, no political horizon, and a surge in religious tension revolving around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif, fed by irresponsible Israeli actions and statements and incendiary Palestinian reactions.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as regional and global stakeholders, must take action now to prevent further deterioration.
We share here the statement issued today by our Israeli sister-organization, Peace Now (Shalom Achshav), in reaction to the latest developments:
No Israeli, either from the left or the right, can stay indifferent to the tragedy and pain caused by the terror attacks of the last few days. Even if we disagree on policy, we stand together in our pain and grief.
But those who use the current public atmosphere to tell you that the only way to end this wave of attacks is through force are simply lying. Those who tell you settlement construction is the appropriate response to terrorism know this will not bring any kind of peace and quiet but only the opposite. Those who call for the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority understand the dire consequences of such a move. Those who keep trying to convince you that the conflict can be "managed" are simply deceiving the Israeli public and leading to further deterioration and continued Israeli control over millions of Palestinians with no rights.
So while the right wing takes advantage of the terror attacks of the last few days to promote political goals, the "disciplined" left condemns the attacks and sits still.
Especially now, we must call for a change in policy, as the current path can only lead us to more violence and more bereaved families.
Only a negotiated agreement, in which there are two states for two peoples will bring an end to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
It is time to choose between deterioration and violence, and a change in policy. We call anyone who believes a diplomatic solution, which includes compromises, is the way to end the conflict, to stand with us and struggle for change.