Freeze is essential

Photo: Larry StillmanA letter in the Melbourne Age, 18 Nov 2009
THE Australian Jewish Democratic Society concurs with your editorial’s conclusion that ”the only way that Israel can avoid having to choose between its Jewish identity and democracy is to keep the two-state solution alive”. A settlement freeze is the essential precondition to any credible negotiations.
How is it possible for Israel to credibly claim it supports the establishment of a Palestinian state, while at the same time continuing to expand and integrate its settler population into the West Bank? Israel’s supporters must stop pretending that the relative calm in the conflict is a stable endpoint. If Israel doesn’t grasp the opportunity it is being given to restart negotiations now, when will be the right time?
If this is clear to everyone other than the hardline settlers and their supporters, then the broadest possible coalition of Israel’s supporters needs to convey to Israel, openly, publicly and vocally, that it needs to declare its bona fides by stopping the settlement project completely and immediately.
Les Rosenblatt, Elwood, Steve Brook, Elwood, and Harold Zwier, Caulfield, executive members, Australian Jewish Democratic Society

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