- Friends: We don't often hear on the mass media these days that there is a strong peacemovement in the Middle East. Below is a statement by Bat Shalom, an Israeli women's peace organization that has been resisting Israeli occupation of Palestine and now is calling for the immediate end of the attacks on Lebanon.....maxBat Shalom StatementThe current crisis in Israel, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories- Bat Shalom StatementWe, members of Bat Shalom, an Israeli womens peace organization, dedicated to ending the occupation and achieving a just, sustainable peace based on a two-state solution, regard the continuously escalating use of violence and force in our region as a direct threat rather than a potential solution.It is our belief that the current escalation is a direct result of lack of political process to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, including Gaza. Furthermore, the Israeli policy to de-legitimize a democratically elected Palestinian government, and thus unilaterally managing the conflict, led to the siege of Gaza and the violation of the basic human rights of an entire civilian population.This political vacuum was misused both by Hammas and Hezbollah for their own political aims and the counter attacks on Israeli innocent civilians.Therefore, as Israeli citizens, we call upon our government to enter into negotiations with the elected Palestinian government. An immediate step should be stopping the further destruction of Lebanon, a total cease-fire, and negotiations to bring about a prisoners exchange.We call upon the international community, both individual states and through collective bodies, to bring the parties to the political track and to address the need for ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories, which will lead to the two states solution.Only political negotiations and a just and sustainable peace will guarantee security for all the civilians in the region.Bat Shalom of the Jerusalem Link.E-mail: info@...July 20th, 2006Visit my web page at http://daga.N3.net/maxWe often look at saints and heroes and think, "I so admire who they are, but I could never do what they do."Yet a legacy begins with a humble act. A simple invitation opens the portal into a new universe. God makes those invitations to us all of the time. Whether we choose to walk through that portal determines our destiny. - David Batstone
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