Israel Rejects Peace Petition
The Israeli government has dismissed a petition calling for a cease-fire with Hamas. The document, which was written by some of Israel’s leading writers and intellectuals, notes that “Israel has in the past negotiated with its worst enemies.”
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The signatories of the petition – which was organized by the sponsors of the Geneva Initiative and will be published today – include the novelists Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, Meir Shalev, Judith Katzir, Eli Amir, Savyon Liebrecht, Yehoshua Sobol and Dorit Rabinyan.
The petition, titled “Agreement with [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas, cease-fire with Hamas,” reads: “Israel has in the past negotiated with its worst enemies … Now, the appropriate course of action is to negotiate with Hamas to reach a general cease-fire to prevent further suffering for both sides.”
“We believe Israel is facing an opportunity to promote the peace process ahead of the regional peace summit planned for November,” the document continued. “We urge the prime minister to strive to reach tangible agreements with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and not miss this opportunity.”
In response, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev described the petition as counterproductive.
“The position of the government of Israel and that of the European Union, Canada and the United States is that we must engage with the Palestinian moderates,” he said.
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