An Open Letter to The Middle East QuartetWe write to you, the members of the Middle East Quartet, at a time of extreme escalation in Israel’s massively disproportionate use of violence against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples.
There is much international talk of Israel’s violations of the Geneva Conventions. But the “international community” has done nothing to stop these violations and has done nothing to solve the root cause of the conflict.
Fifty-nine years after the United Nations called for the partition of Palestine into two states, the Palestinians are still denied the right to exist as a nation.
Three years ago, all four members of the Quartet signed up as sponsors of a plan that claimed it would create a Palestinian state by 2005.
It is now 2006. Far from having their own country, the Palestinians are further from a viable state than at any time in living memory. They have been left with scattered patches of territory, incapable of survival without permanent foreign aid. This is not the basis for a viable state and is a direct contravention of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 446.
The United States and the European Union have even imposed sanctions against the one side in this conflict whose national existence has been denied in fact, not words.
The time for official statements, requests and envoys calling for calm is now long past. Surely the bombs that are falling on the Palestinians and Lebanese have made that clear. Or must we wait for Syria and Iran to go up in flames too, extending a continuous line of war all the way from the east of the Mediterranean to the western border of China?
We appeal to the Quartet to take immediate action to:
- stop the military assault on Gaza and Lebanon;
- end sanctions against the democratically elected Palestinian government;
- secure the release of Palestinian government officials and other prisoners;
- enforce UNSC resolutions 242 and 446;
- and finally take real action to create and protect a viable Palestinian state.
The region and the world simply cannot afford continued failure on this issue.
Beijing International Peace Vigil