Israeli intellectuals endorse Palestinian state

A group of Israel Prize laureates and other notable artists and academics endorsed Palestinian plans to declare independence along 1967 lines at a Tel Aviv ceremony.

A rally was held April 21 next to the building where Israel’s founders declared statehood in 1948.

The event became heated when right-wing protesters heckled the group and some 200 supporters with calls of “traitors” and “the left supports terror.” Police were forced to physically separate the left-wing and right-wing groups.

“The Jewish people arose in the Land of Israel, where its character was forged. The Palestinian people is rising in Palestine, where its character was forged,” the declaration said. “We call on everyone who seeks peace and freedom for all peoples to support the declaration of Palestinian statehood, and to act in a way that encourages the citizens of the two states to maintain peaceful relations on the basis of the 1967 borders.

“The total end to the occupation,” it continued, “is a fundamental precondition for the liberation of the two peoples.” — jta