The occupation is already in its 49th year. I am certain that it must be brought to an end as soon as possible for the sake of the future of the State of Israel, a future to which I am deeply committed. In view of the increasingly extreme policies espoused by the Israeli government and its clear intentions to go on controlling the Occupied Territories while dispossessing the local Palestinian population, I recently resolved to no longer attend any affairs held in my honor at Israeli embassies around the world. It was not a decision taken lightly, and it was one that pained me greatly. Yet the ongoing oppression and dispossession in the Occupied Territories, the incitement against anyone who objects to the government’s policies, and the legislative efforts to curb freedom of expression and undermine the courts – all combined to bring about my resolution.
I have been on B’Tselem’s Public Council for many years. I would gladly forego this honor were the occupation a thing of the past. But, until that time comes about – and it will – I am proud of the fearless work carried out by B’Tselem: from the field researchers in Gaza and the West Bank to the office staff in Jerusalem and its volunteers. B’Tselem not only reliably and meticulously documents human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, it holds up a mirror to Israeli policy, revealing the dubious guise of legality under which Israel has held sway over Palestinians for nearly fifty years, seizing their land and oppressing them.
2014 was one of the deadliest years that Israelis and Palestinians have known since 1967. Lamentably, 2015 has also seen many, many weeks of violence. I object to any and all violence against innocent persons. But I also reject the attempt to pin recent events exclusively on incitement or “anti-Semitism”, while discounting the occupation regime with its many years of daily violence against millions of Palestinians bereft of rights.
These are some of the reasons I choose to be on B’Tselem’s Public Council and support the organization. And that is why I am writing to you, to ask that you join me in strengthening B’Tselem by making a clear show of support in favor of human rights and against the occupation. Only ending the occupation can bring about a future filled with justice, freedom and dignity for all who live here. Please join me and make a donation to B’Tselem – Israel’s leading human rights organization which sees the occupation for what it is, documents it, elucidates its implications, and takes a clear stand against it.
Our mailing address is
B'Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories 35 Mekor Haim St. (1st Floor), Jerusalem