Resistance against Israeli Occupation in Palestine. — 02. Figures and Peace Builders 1900-1949
and Figures of Resistance
against Israeli Occupation
Étienne Godinot - 26.08.2019
Translation : Claudia McKenny-Engström
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Shalom Salam Peace
The persons presented in this slide are in favour of a
compromise in order to allow the peaceful coexistence
between the two communities, and are opposed to anything
that renders negotiations difficult or impossible, such as the
creation of new colonies.
Many of them are in favour of nonviolent action, in order
to balance the situation by exercising a pressure that will
make negotiations possible.
- The persons whose name is in blue are Israeli or of Jewish
- The persons whose name is in green are Palestinian
- The persons whose name is both in blue and green are
Palestinians of Israeli nationality
- Those whose name is in black are neither Palestinian nor
Israeli or Jewish, but are engaged in the promotion of peace
and of Palestinian people’s rights.
and Figures of Resistance
against Israeli Occupation
1 – 1900-1949
(1895-1948), Swedish diplomat, Count of Wisborg, grandchild to
King of Sweden Oscar II. Vice President of the Swedish Red Cross,
negotiates the liberation of 15000 concentration camp prisoners during
the Second World War.
Following the 1947 Partition Resolution for Palestine, as
confrontations erupt between Jews and Arabs, he is named mediator by
the UN in Palestine, in may 1948. In June, and then September,
suggests different partitions for Palestine. He criticises “Zionist mass
pillaging and destruction of villages without necessity is evident.”
He is assassinated on 17 September 1948 in Jerusalem by
members of the Jewsih Zionist terrorist group Lehi, and with him French
colonel André Sérot, UN Chief Observer in Jerusalem.
“ It would be an offense to elementary principles but to impede
innocent victims (Palestinians) of the conflict from returning to their
homes, when Jewish immigrants flow in to Palestine, and what’s more,
threaten to permanently replace Arab refugees, who have been living
on this land for centuries.”
(1903-1994) Israeli chemist, Science historian, philosopher, moralist
and write, born in Latvia (then Russian empire ). He studied and wrote his
PhD in Berlin and Basel. Emigrates to Palestine in 1934. Supervises the
writing of the Encyclopaedia Hebraïca from 1956 to 1972.
Religious and Zionist, he nonetheless fights the idea of a religious
Zionism. Hostile towards the nuclear bomb, he is one the most influential
Israeli intellectuals, nick-named the “Prophet of Anger”.
Opposes rabbinate, “one of the most despiteful institutions in the
history of the Jewish people.” During the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, he
says that the exactions led by Jewish soldiers in Lebanon demonstrate the
“existence of a Nazi-Jew mentality.”
Fervently criticises Israeli politics, the system as much as the
government (party coalitions, corruption, etc.), and the occupation of
Palestinian territory, stating that occupation destroys the morality of the
occupant. He supports conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in
“ Israel is not a State of Judaism, Israel is the State of some
“ The occupation of Palestine causes the loss of the Jewish people’s
“ If the State of Israel does not achieve peace with its Arab neighbours,
with time, it will not be able to continue exiting. To last, it needs peace.”
“ Violence has become the essence of the State of Israel. Violence has
become, for us, commonplace. And we are used to living with it.”
(1911-1996) Born in Cairo of a Jewish Hungarian father and a
French mother, he leaves the École Centrale de Paris (engineering)
with the will to “build bridges between…men.” After becoming a
Dominican monk he is sent to Israel in 1952 due to his Jewish
origins, and founds in Jerusalem, the Saint-Isaie House, Dominican
centre for the study of Judaism. He obtains Jewish nationality on
In 1970, close to Latrun, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, he
founds the village of Neve Shalom - Wahat as Salam (“oasis of
peace”) where live tens of Israeli Jewish and Arab families who work
together towards the equality of rights and understanding of both
Several Palestinian activists blame Neve Shalom - Wahat as
Salam for being a window hiding Israel’s military occupation.
(1916-1999) American violinist of Jewish origin, then Swiss
citizen. Fist violin of Lamoureux’s philharmonic orchestra in Paris at
the age of 10. One of the greatest violinists of the XXth Century.
Undesirable in USSR for his positions against the Soviet regime.
Plays for Palestinian refugees and takes position in favour of a
unique and secular Israeli-Palestinian State.
“This devastating way of governing through fear, disregard of
fundamental human dignity, this continues asphyxia of a dependent
people should be the last methods employed by those who,
themselves, know the horrible signification, the unforgettable
sufferance of such an existence… This is not worthy of mu great
people, the Jews.”
(1917-2013) Diplomat and French political activist born German, his
grand father is a Polish Jew. He graduated from the ‘Ecole normale’, he
resisted during the Nazi occupation and was deported to Buchenwald. He
was secretary of the Commission in charge of writing the ‘Universal
Declaration of Human Rights’, led by René Cassin. He worked on
development, cooperation and immigration.
In the short book “Time for Outrage !” published in 2010, he explains
that the situation of the 3 million Palestinians chased from their land by
Israel and deprived of their fundamental human rights is his main subject of
indignation in today’s world.
“ In these occupied territories, Palestinians are constantly tested by
the Israeli presence. I mean especially in the case of Gaza: never did the
Nazi occupation encircle the French territory with such obstacles.”
Helmut Ostermann (1923-2018). He families flees the Nazi
regime and arrives in Palestine. In 1946, he founds the Eretz Yisrael
Hatz'ira movement. During the 1948 Israeli-Arab war, he is a soldier in
the Israeli army.
Editorialist for daily newspaper Haaretz and later Haolam Hazeh,
he is elected Member of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) from 1965 to 1973
and from 1979 to 1981, as member of the political party Haolam Hazeh.
In 1993, he creates the movement Gush Shalom (“peace block”),
which campaigns for the return to the 1967 borders, the partition of
Jerusalem and the recognition of a Palestinian State under the slogan
“Two peoples, two States.”
“ Our role is only a little one in a global struggle for peace, justice and
equality between Men and Nations, for the preservation of our planet.
All this can be summarised in one word, which, both in Hebrew and in
Arab, not only means peace, but also integrity, security and well-being :
(1923-1995) Israeli General, Chief of Staff of the Army, crafter of
the Six Day War victory in 1967, he is also director of the Arab
Language and Literature department in Tel-Aviv University.
First Israeli, together with Uri Avneri, to pave the way for a direct
dialogue with the PLO, then forbidden by Israeli law, by meeting with
Issam Sartaoui in 1976, representing the POL in Paris. President of the
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Committee, he asks for the total retreat of
Israel from occupied territories. He is also a member of a left party in the
After the signature of the Oslo Agreements in 1993, he
participates, in Lyon, Marseille and Nice, in a series of public FTM
meetings, side by side Dr. Ahmad Hamzeh, member of the Palestinian
National Council, and Toufik Zayyad, poet and mayor of Nazareth.
Father of Nourit Peled-Elhanan, who creates the “Forum for grieving families”. Grand-father to
Elik from the Refuzniks movement, Israeli soldiers who refuse the occupation of Palestine.
Jewish, born in Romania in 1928, he survives the Holocaust. In
1947, he emigrates to Palestine, and cofounds a kibbutz. From 1967,
denounces Israel’s disregard for, expropriations and imprisonment of
In 1970, he founds with Bruno Hussar the Neve Shalom / Waha
al-Salam (Oasis of peace) which brings together Jews and Palestinian
Arabs, all Israeli citizens, and leads pedagogical work for peace,
equality and understanding between both peoples.
Co-organises the European Jews for a Just Peace association,
network of 18 Jewish organisations in 10 European countries, that
demand the end of Israeli occupation.
In September 2010, he participates in the Irene catamaran
operation against the maritime blockade of Gaza.
(1929-1994), Palestinian Arab, poet and author, politician.
Studies literature in the USSR. Mayor of Nazareth and member of
the Knesset from 1973 to 1994 under the Rakah list, communist
party. He is the co-author of a report describing the detention
conditions and use of torture against Palestinians in prison, report
published in Israeli paper Al HaMishmar.
Founder in the 1950’ of the nonviolent movement al-Ard (“The
earth”), forbidden by Israel, which organises peaceful demonstrations
claiming the right to land. The 30 March 1976 strike and
demonstration which protest against land-grabbing in Galilee are
violently repressed: 6 dead and a hundred wounded. Since then, the
30th March has become the “Day of the land” (Yom al-Ard),
celebrated by Palestinians in Israel, Negev and occupied territories.
He was killed on 5th July 1994 in a frontal collision in the Jordan
valley, on the road back from Jericho, where he had hosted Yasser
Arafat, president of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, back
Abd el-Jawad Saleh
Palestinian born in 1931, political economy graduate from the
American University of Cairo in 1955. Former mayor of El Bireh, close
to Ramallah. Activist within women movements, cultural centres and
youth organisations. In 1974, is elected in to the executive committee
of the PLO.
Is one of the founders of the Palestinian Liberation Front;
former minister for agriculture, he resigns after the Oslo agreements.
Probably the best theorist of a nonviolent resistance strategy in
Palestine. Already in 2001, denounces the militarisation of the
“To resist peacefully, leaders must be strong, but the Palestinian
movement of nonviolent resistance also has a lot to say for itself. In
1973, the creation of the Palestinian National Front gave birth to a
necessary central organisation, which brought together leaders from
all occupied territories. Its objective ? Collectively oppose Israeli
occupation using nonviolent means.”
Abd el-Jawad Saleh
“The first Intifada succeeded because it stopped Israel from
fully using its military force. Using armed weapons goes in favour of
Israel, which can then impose its conditions and use terminology such
as “war between two parties” and perpetuate a false image of the
Military action makes it easier for Israel to use force* in repressing a
popular movement. It allows Israel to justify the complete destruction
of the fragile economy of occupied territories and to re-draw the maps
by temporarily or definitively displacing its population.
Armed resistance also excludes certain groups, such as women.”
*The use of the word “force” is here incorrect : it should have been written
“violence”. The force that obliges an adversary to give in and negotiate is not a
violence that destroys and kills. Nonviolent action is an exercise in which
violence is excluded, where the battle is respectful, and that aims to achieve
justice and reconciliation.”
Palestinian, born in 1932. She studies music in Paris and
psychology in Beirut. Musician, pianist, singer and composer, she co-
founds the Edward Said national Conservatory of Music. She is the
President of the General Union of Palestinian Women in Palestine.
Creates an association dedicated to the training of women, the
In Ash et Usra, which sponsors orphans and children who live without
their parents (dead, disappeared, imprisoned) and family, as well as 5
orchestras, one composed solely of wind instruments, one for children,
and one for young pupils.
“ In the time of the Ottoman Empire, and later the English one,
Jews, Christians and Muslims were all Palestinians and lived in mutual
understanding. In 1948, we put a religious State in the middle of
Palestine, and thus began discrimination and division. (…)
We are no longer allowed to go to Jerusalem or Gaza to visit our
families and friends. ”
Palestinian, born in 1933, he studied in Beirut and Paris. Latin
Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem (Israel-Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus) from
1987 to 2008, he is the first Arab of Palestinian origin to have been
nominated to this position. He is President of the Pax Christi International
He clearly condemns all forms of violence and terrorism, but
observes that this violence is the consequence of a military occupation
and the pursuit of colonisation. He takes position for the coexistence of
the Palestinian and Israeli States, and the right to return for Palestinian
He is critical of the separation wall and calls for the end of the
occupation of Palestine. States that nonviolence is the best way for
Palestinians to obtain recognition of their rights, but observes that this
requires an education that hitherto, has not existed.
“ We must believe in our ability to love, all of us, Israelis and Palestinians.
We are capable of love and justice for ourselves and for others.”
(1935-2003) American literature theorist, critique, intellectual and
pianist of Palestinian descent, he is English and comparative literature
professor at Columbia University in New York.
Analyses colonialism and the history of colonial discourse on
oriental populations placed under European rule.
Defends the political legitimacy and philosophical authenticity of
Zionist claims for the rights of a Jewish nation, but also for the inherent
right to national auto-determination of the Palestinian people.
Co-founds, with Daniel Barenboïm, the West-Eastern Divan
Orchestra, Israeli-Palestinian orchestra.
Born in 1935 into a Jewish family of Polish Galicia, he grows up
in France. Israeli historian and political thinker, he graduates from the
Institut d’ Etudes Politiques in Paris, and later teaches political science
in the Hebraic University of Jerusalem. He wins the Israeli prize in
2008 for his research in political science.
He is one of the founders of the Shalom Akhchav (“Peace
now”) movement, arguing for un compromise of peace with
“ There are two ways of seeing things. Some, like me, believe in
universal rights. There are two peoples on the same land, and we must
ensure both benefit from the same rights. The best way of reaching
that goal, is to share the land. Others say that the Jews own the land
because it was given to them by a divine decision.”
Born in Frankfurt in 1935, her parents, German Jews, flee to
the USA. She becomes American, and works as psychotherapist in
the Hudson valley. She is also a writer, poet and Buddhist.
Pro-Palestinian rights activist, she denounces the land
occupation and ethnical cleansing led by the Israeli State which
declares itself owner of these territories by invoking verses from the
In September 2010, she is a member of the crew aboard the
Irene catamaran (under British flag) that protests against the
maritime blockade of Gaza, captured between international and
“ Israel is now more and more isolated and cannot survive if it
continues in this paranoia and racism.”
Under his real name Khalil al-Wazir (1936-1988), he is a
military chief and Palestinian politician. Born in Ramleh, exiled in the
Al-Burei camp, on edge of Gaza. From his teen years, takes part in
fedayin actions against Israeli border villages. Together with Yasser
Arafat, clandestinely creates the Fatah, in 1959, following the model of
the Algerian NLF. Leads Fatah’s external military operations. In 1982,
establishes himself in Tunis, where the Palestine Liberation
Organisation (PLO) is granted permission to set up its headquarters.
In 1987, understanding that armed conflict is not the right
strategy, asks and commands that no fire weapon be used during the
first Intifada in occupied territories, which has a double objective : 1-
Take over vital sectors of activity neglected by Israeli authorities
(hospitals, agriculture); 2 - Develop national awareness for a mass
The first Intifada, except from the throwing of stones, is
He is assassinated under the eyes of his wife in April 1988 in
Sidi Bou Said, in the North-East of Tunis, by a Mossad Israeli
commando. The forensic counted 75 bullet impacts on his body.
Born in 1936, French writer of Polish Jewish descent. Mime,
painter and writer, he campaigns in favour of human rights (USSR,
Argentina), against racism and anti-Semitism, and for peace in the
Middle East. In 1968, he founds with his wife Clara the review
Elements, for which collaborate Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs. He
is also co-founder of SOS Racism.
In 1992, participates in the organisation of secret meetings
between Palestinians and Israelis in Paris and then Oslo.
“ As there are urges of evil in each of us, there are urges of
goodness. Thus, we can do something against ideologies that prone
intolerance. The ideal would be to talk to each individual separately,
because opposite from the group, the individual has a conscience. If
evil is contagious, so is goodness.”
Born in 1936, he is a French historian and political activist. Directs
his research work on Mediterranean questions. In 1960, co-founds the
‘Unified Socialist Party’ and within which he is responsible for international
Presides the ‘France-Palestine Solidarity Association’ (AFPS)
between 2001 and 2009, and the French NGO ‘Platform for Palestine’
(2001-2011). He condemns all forms of anti-Semitism in the struggle in
favour of the Palestinian people. He is one of the organisers of the Russell
Tribunal for Palestine.
« In 1987, the PLO exterior board established in Tunis and its
strategist, Abu Jihad, asks and commands that no fire weapon be used.
This historical decision was entirely respected during many months, thus
proving the incontestable popular legitimacy earned by the Palestinian
central. From that moment, a yet unseen civil insurrection develops within
the Arab world. The real surprise was its lasting nonviolent nature (…).
Using stones rather than fire weapons, proved to the world, and in
particular to Israeli citizens, that the Palestinian “threat”
born from the Intifada did not question, even symbolically, the
physical existence of Israel or its “security,” in the name of which
it justified its wars.
Before this new insurrection that is the second Intifada,
the Israeli strategy is clear: avoid by all means the renewal of an
Intifada according to the same model as the previous one, which
was for a long time nonviolent and which led the international
opinion to deligitimise Israel’s attempt to militarily repress it, thus
allowing the political victory of Palestine. Hence, Israel’s decision
to militarise the conflict by provoking a military reaction from the
Palestinians, in order to be able to use weapons, including the
heaviest (tanks, helicopters). Which is what actually happened.
The current object of the Israeli authorities’ media and
semantic battle is to assimilate and form of Palestinian
resistance, in particular the nonviolent one, to terrorism and anti-
Born in 1937, Palestinian, Minister in the Anglican Church,
founder of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
(Sabeel : path, but also stream). Articulates liberation theology with
the situation of occupied Palestine, denounces the occupation,
violence, discrimination, violations of human rights, the separation
wall, illegal colonies, checkpoints, confiscation and demolition of
homes, refugee camps, environmental deterioration. Fights for
justice and reconciliation.
Sabeel organises trainings for young people, women, trips to
holy places, a wave of prayers each week on Thursdays, edits the
review Cornerstone, and is represented throughout the world
(Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Canada, Australia).
Born in 1937, he is an American literature professor and peace
activist, ex-President of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at
Berkeley University, California, as well as President of the Blue
Mountain Centre of Meditation.
Member of consultative council of the Faculty for Israeli-
Palestinian Peace-USA, network of Palestinian, Israeli and international
professors and students, that campaigns for the end of the occupation of
Palestinian territories by Israel and for a just peace.
Founder and President of the Metta Centre for Nonviolence,
dedicated to “promoting Gandhi’s legacy of nonviolence, through
innovative projects, education and implementation of these principles.”
Born in 1938, Violette Khoury is a Melkite Christian
Palestinian Israeli. She was born and still lives in Nazareth, were
she worked as a pharmacist. An all time activist, she denounces the
injustices towards the Palestinian Israeli population (Palestinians
who remained on Israeli territory after 1948 and their descendants).
Founder and director of the Sabeel Centre in Nazareth.
Sabeel is an ecumenical association that fights for the rights of all
Palestinians and that grounds its action on Liberation Theology.
“ Seeing the face of God in any human being does not mean
consenting to any form of evil or oppression in his name. Love
rather consists in correcting the evil and stopping oppression.”
“ It is time for these discriminations, segregation and
limitations to free movement to stop. It is time to honour those who
suffered, Palestinians and Israeli.”
Born in 1939, Elias Chacour is an Arab Palestinian, citizen of
Israel, Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church for Saint
John of Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and Galilee.
Originally from the village of Kafar Bire’m, from which he was
chased at the age of 8, when the village was destroyed by the
Israeli army of occupation*.
He is the founder and animator of the Mar Elia University
next to Haifa, first Arab University within Israel, open to over 2000
Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze students, which is now
integrated to other structures.
* 518 Palestinian villages have been destroyed since 1948.
Elias Chacour has organised many marches and actions for
peace, namely after the Sabra and Shatila massacres, and given
conferences across the Globe on the conditions for peace in the
Relentless activist for peace and reconciliation between Israel
and Palestine, he claims, as did his mother, that Jews and
Palestinians are of the same blood.
“ Israel responds to the bestiality of terrorism, which represents
only a minimal proportion of the Palestinian population, with collective
punishment. Gaza is locked up, and so is Palestine. Education,
health care, work, freedom of movement, those are the antidotes
against extremism. Peace without justice is only a void slogan.”
The “Wall of Shame” around Palestine.
(1939-2018), birth name and pen name : Amos Klausner, Israeli
poet, novelist and essayist born from Ukrainian parents. His mother
commits suicide when he is 12, an event that will deeply mark his work.
He joins the Houlda kibbutz at the age of 15 and takes the name “Oz”
(“strength” in Hebrew). Literature professor at the Ben Gourion University
in Beer Sheva, is the author of 18 publications.
Co-founder of the “Peace Now” movement and fervent defender of
a two-State solution. He joins the New Left (Israeli party in favour of a
territorial partition) in November 2008 to fight the Likoud (right nationalist
Denounces Netanyahu’s pro-colonisation policies, boycotts
international official events organised by Israel to protest against “a
growing extremism” within the government, but also denounces those
who argue for the destruction of Israel.
“ Without a fast two-State solution, it is very probable that, in order
to stop the establishment of an Arab State stuck in between the
Mediterranean and the Jordan, a dictatorship led by Jewish fanatics will
temporarily be installed, a racist regime that will oppress both Arabs and
its Jewish opponents.”
The inhabitants of Kafar Bire’m
Kafar Bire’m is the village where Elias Chacour was born,
in Upper Galilee, not far from the Lebanese border. The Israeli
government evacuated the 1 050 inhabitants living in it in
November 1948, and destroyed it in 1953.
Since 1967, Kafar Bire’m expatriated villagers, spread
across Israeli and foreign lands, have not ceased to bury their
dead in the village. They claim a right to return to the unused 2
227 acres. They bring up their children to believe in this rights,
and organise yearly summer camps in the village.
Since 2013, at the week-end, 5 people sleep in tents in the
only house that still has a roof.
Israeli, born in 1940, his parents emigrated from Poland. During
his youth, was a member of the Hashomer Hatzair movement (Jewish
socialist scouts, act for brotherhood among peoples).
Ex-secretary of the kibbutz national movement. Ex-minister of
Agriculture, member of the Meretz in the Knesset (Parliament) until
2011. Is one of the founders of the Shalom Akhshav movement (Peace
Now), and signatory of the Geneva Agreements.
“ We need, today, to find an agreement in favour of all, because
any other alternative is worse. I have two objectives: 1. Achieve a
realistic solution that will allow to maintain a long term peace; 2. Hope it
will be accepted by my people. (…).
The idea behind Geneva was to put all cards on the table, start
anew, leave no question open, and proceed following successive
Photo below : Hashomer Hatzair logo.
(1941-2008) Palestinian Poet, he comes from a village destroyed
by the Israeli army. Deeply involved in his people’s struggle for its
existence, land, freedom and dignity. Imprisoned many time between
1961 and 1970 for his political activities, has nonetheless never ceased
to believe in peace.
“ More than ever, we need poetry. In order to recover our
sensitivity, conscience in our threatened humanity (…). Beauty is
freedom and freedom is beauty. That is how poetry that defends
freedom becomes a form of resistance.”
“ The long occupation has not succeeded in erasing our human
nature, neither to dry up our language and feelings before the barriers
erected in front of us (…). Hope is the incurable illness of the Palestinian
Born in France in 1942, he survived the hunt down of Jews.
Emigrates to Israel with his family in 1951 following his father’s death.
Studies medicine, is an Army doctor in a parachutist unit, and ends his
military service as lieutanant-colonel.
Later becomes surgeon at the Chaïm Sheba Medical Centre of
Tel Hashomer, close to Tel Aviv.
Member of the Physicians for Human Rights since 1992, he
intervenes in occupied territories.
“ I consider myself an Israel patriot, a Zionist. But I consider
humanism an essential Jewish value. I cannot accept that people who
claim to be Jewish – having suffered oppression and domination
throughout generations – could do exactly the same to a people under
“ We find ourselves in front of a demonisation and
dehumanisation of the adversary, mainly because there is no
interaction with them anymore.”
“ The idea according to which we are going back to our
ancestors’ lands is historically unrealistic.”
“ The duties towards foreigners are mentioned 36 times in
the Torah, much more often than the observance of Shabbat,
respect of kosher rules, etc.”
“ The consequences of domination are heavy to bear.
There are two parallel catastrophes: the ones caused on Arabs,
and the deep alteration suffered by the Israeli society.”
“ In stead of leading the way, our leaders feed our fears.”
Photos : Logo and picture of the Chaïm Sheba Medical Centre of Tel Hashomer.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1942 of Russian Jewish parents, he is
a pianist and conductor of Argentine and Israeli nationality. Becomes
a Spanish citizen in 2002 and carries a Palestinian passport.
Founds, together with Edward Saïd, the Andalusian
Barenboïm-Saïd Foundation for peace in the Middle East, Andalusia
being a symbolic place where cultures and religions peacefully
coexisted. Also with Saïd, creates the West Eastern Divan
Orchestra, an Arab-Israeli orchestra, in 1999.
“ There is military solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, neither
from a moral stand point, nor from a strategic one. Since it is another
solution that must be found, I ask: What are we waiting for? (…).
“ We do not seek political consensus. We seek to understand,
especially when we disagree.”
Frenchman born in 1942, he directs for 15 the humanitarian
NGO EquiLibre, present in 25 countries, denouncing the deadly
embargo imposed on Iraq for 10 years.
In 2001, founds the Swiss foundation Hommes de Parole,
dedicated to resuming the dialogue between Men and to act on the
root causes of conflict. He organises meetings between Imams and
Rabbis in Brussels in 2005, in Seville in 2006 and Paris in 2008.
“ Bringing together those who cannot meet in classic
contexts. Giving them the possibility to get to know each other, to
discover their common view points, their common needs, to find
solutions to their issues, to build and act together.”
“ Gathering around human values is a not a pious wish, it is
the most achievable wish of all. Men of Faith can help negotiators
formulate treaties of peace, fair for all of us.”
Palestinian born in 1943. When his house finds itself in the
middle of a no man’s land separating enemy troops in 1948, he
becomes a refugee in Old Town Jerusalem. After secondary school,
goes to the USA as PhD candidate in psychology, and becomes an
American national. Creates programmes to support handicapped or
victim of abuse children.
In 1983, states that “nonviolent action constitutes the most
efficient resistance method against the occupier in Palestine and
Gaza.” During a trip to Palestine in 1985, creates the Palestinian
Centre for the Study of Nonviolence. Before the first Intifada, gives a
conference and publishes articles about nonviolence as means to
resist the Israeli occupation. Evicted by Israel in 1988, he returns to
Is considered in the Middle East as the father of civil
disobedience during the first Intifada.
“ My grandfather was killed, my father was killed. My mother told
me : Never kill, never injure, never insult.”
“ For whoever is under occupation, the first concern is to
free oneself from this occupation. For that, you need to make it
costly for the occupier. Whoever it is, you must make its life
impossible on several aspects: political, economic, psychological,
“ Israeli Jews have the feeling no one is allowed to say
anything against them because they carry the history of a
persecuted people. What’s more, Western world Christians find it
difficult to indicate the path for justice to Israelis because the
Christian community, within its organised Church, was the origin
of the persecution against Jews.”
“ If Palestinians and Israelis cannot completely kill each
other off, then we will have to find a solution. This solution will not
be to love one another, nor to trust each other, but merely to
“ If someone must save us or help us, is it only ourselves ! ”
Born in 1943, Palestinian Catholic priest, liberation theologian.
Patriarchal vicar of Jerusalem. General secretary of the Catholic
pastoral. Ex-consultant for the ‘Interreligious Council for Dialogue with
Muslims’ and during 5 years, for the dialogue with Jews.
Co-author of the Kairos Palestine 2009 Declaration : a group of
religious leaders, representing the main Christian confessions, asks
that theologians do not legitimise the injustices made against
Palestinians. They remind them of their duty to resist evil and call to
boycott Israeli products. They also denounce the Jewish definition of
the Israeli State and call for the respect of all.
“ The three religions can use the answers to the questions “Who is
God, who is the other, who am I ?” to develop a perspective in favour of
peace, reconciliation and comprehension.”
Born in 1943 in Jerusalem of Jewish parents, English on
his father’s side, Czech on his mother’s. Israeli professor, he is
also an activist of the Palestinian situation. Co-founder of the
Movement against Israeli Apartheid in Palestine, he gives
conferences in Science of Peace at the University of Bradford.
Marries a Palestinian activist and converts to Islam. He is
elected as councillor of the Fatah in August 2009. Partisan of a
bi-national State, in which all citizens would have equal rights.
“ Racism is a popular form of xenophobia, and Israel is in
the regard not more racist than the USA or the UK… The
apartheid is a legal regulation of racial differences. Israel is
simply more ingenious than South Africa: there are none of those
ridiculous segregation laws. It is more subtle than that…”
(1943-2007), Israeli linguist. Professor of linguistics in the
Universities of Tel-Aviv and Utrecht. Anti-Zionist activist, takes position
in various Israeli newspapers. Holds a regular column in Israeli daily
paper Yediot Aharonot.
Distinguishes two main axis of the Israeli strategy against
occupied territories: the final expulsion of Palestinians, following what
started in 1948, or the instauration of an apartheid system, which
started with the Oslo “peace process”.
“ I continue to believe that terrorism (which is profoundly wrong
morally), but also armed struggle against the occupier, is a bad choice
and must not be followed by the Palestinian population. The only hope,
in these conditions, with all other options being closed, will always be
the slow, painful and patient path of civil disobedience, of the whole
(1948-2010) Playwright, American rabbi engaged in the
struggle for civic rights in the USA and against the war in Vietnam.
After establishing in Israel in 1972, is dismayed by the fact that Israeli
rabbis are less concerned by ethical questions and more by rituals.
Founder in 1988 of the organisation Rabbis for human rights.
He protects, among others, Palestinian farmers against Israeli
colonisers, fights against the demolition of Palestinian houses. Today,
the organisation brings together over 100 Israeli rabbis.
“ Above all, he acts on the grounds of a deep and Jewish
attachment to human rights, as stemming from the idea that we were
all created in the image of God.”
Rabbi Arik Asherman, executive director of Rabbis for human rights
Born in 1944, she is an Ulster nonviolent activist. In August
1976, an Irish republican Army (IRA) car chased by British soldiers,
runs over her sister’s 3 children. With Betty Williams, witness to the
scene, she organises the Women’s Peace Movement, denouncing
the violence on both sides. Both are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
in 1976 for their efforts of reconciliation in Ulster.
In April 2007, supports the Palestinian’s nonviolent resistance
in Bil’in, and in May 2010, is aboard the boat – intercepted by the
Israeli army – denouncing the maritime blockade on Gaza.
“ I believe that this country will know peace, but only if Israel
puts an end to the apartheid and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian
Born in 1945, Israeli admiral, former commander of the military
fleet, director of Shin Beth (Israeli secret services) from 1996 to 2000,
and later, Labour member of the Knesset.
Together with Palestinian philosopher Sari Nusseibeh (photo
below), promotes the pacifist initiative The People’s Voice : it suggests
the formation of two States, the retreat of the Israeli army from occupied
territories, and the return of refugees to their land. The petition
supporting this project is signed by 400 000 Israelis and Palestinians.
“ I do not distinguish prisoners between those who have blood on
their hands and those who don’t. I distinguish them between those with
whom I have managed to reach an agreement and those with who I
On a boat, when you want to see if you are leading, you do not
stand at the back of the boat, staring at the wake behind you. When I
see that our ideas are today object of a national consensus, then I
realise we are moving forward.”
Israeli born in 1945. History student, she is doctor in
philosophy, and lived for 11 years in the USA. Worked 4 years for Yad
Vashem, Holocaust memorial, directed an institute specialised in
Judaic teaching, and later Machon Mifne, an institute dedicated to the
education to democracy of young clergymen.
Political figure, she is a member of Meretz in the Knesset, and
signatory of the Geneva agreements. In the name of her religious
beliefs, is active against occupation and colonisation.
“ We are the sole ones responsible for our morality and actions
(…). There is here an important group of people who suffer
enormously under our domination (…). In the end, I think the miracle
that will get us to stand up and leave will be the result of internal and
Photo below : Meretz party logo (left Zionists, secular, who support the principle :
2 people, 2 States).
Palestinian born in 1945, former physics and science professor
at the Teacher’s Training College. Is imprisoned during 6 months in
1979 and under house arrest for 7 and half years due to her political
activities. Secretary general of the Palestinian Democratic Union
Party. Form executive director of the Palestinian Women’s Research
and Documentation Centre, UNESCO project, former Minister for
Women within the Palestinian government.
Cofounder of the Jerusalem Chain, coordinating women’s
associations for a fair peace.
“ The population calls for a two State solution, both in Palestine
and Israel, because the occupation kills Palestine physically and
Israel morally (…). I am a realist, meaning I can compose with reality
Born in 1945 of Jewish parents who emigrated from
Germany. Israeli soldier and politician. General, the Mayor of Haifa
from 1993 to 2003, leads the Labour Party in 2002-2003. In
December 2012, joins the centrist party Hathuah (logo below).
Participates and signs the Geneva Agreements.
“ How have we come to behave as a violent, cynical society, that
no longer cares for anyone? The suffering of others no longer
interests us, leading to threaten our country’s security. (…)
I always told Yitzhak Shamir that we could, without too much
difficulty, repress the Intifada, but never put an end to it (…).
I told my soldiers that they should see their own mother’s in
each Palestinian women demonstrating (…).
We are responsible because we hold the power.”
Israeli reserve army general, born in 1946. Chief of military secret
services and later military administrator of the occupied territories. Director
of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), reflection group; President of
the Herzliya Conferencen, and annual conference on Israeli security.
Created the Council for Peace and Security, also a reflection group
composed of reserve officers who argue for a political solution to the
conflict, on the basis of two States.
“ Peace is the best guarantee for security, but there are people against
it (…). During the last seven years, Hamas shot over 3 800 rockets in the
south of Israel.”
Defends the operation Cast Lead against Gaza (bombed in Dec. 2008 and attacked on
ground in Jan. 2009). The declared objective of the Israelis was to put an end to the
Quassam rockets shot by the Hamas from Gaza, in particular onto the neighbouring
town of Sderot. This military operation was largely criticised by the international public
opinion, as deemed over-proportionate, leading to many deaths on the Palestinian
side, and due to the use by the Israeli army of weapons whose use are restricted or
even forbidden by international humanitarian law.
Photo below : Quassam rocket
Born in 1946, is a Jewish American anthropologist, author
and political activist established in Israel since 1973. Cofounder
and coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions (ICAHD), to resist against Israeli policies
systematically destroying Palestinian housing in occupied
The activists stand before the bulldozers and collect money
to rebuild the demolished houses on their original grounds.
“ Out of 28 000 houses demolished since 1997 in East
Jerusalem and the Jordan valley, maybe only 600 were destroyed
for security reasons (…). The situation is getting worse, but we
have made of Palestine a question that concerns the entire world. I
believe in the possibility of a bi-national State.”
Born in 1946 in Austria of Jewish parents, spends the two first years
of his life living in a Polish Jew refugee camp in Germany. Grows up in
Israel where his parents emigrate. During the Six Day War (1967) in which
he is a soldier, witnesses, in Jericho, a barbaric act committed by his army
on an old Arab man. Becomes active in the Israeli extreme left in favour of
two republics (one Israeli, the other Palestinian) and in the perspective of
a confederation. Finishes his studies in Paris.
Israeli historian specialised in contemporary history, professor at Tel
Aviv University. Defends the idea that Israel’s national construction is
grounded on a founding myth that makes of Jewish populations one
people, united by the same origin and by a common national history.
In reality, until the advent of Zionism, these populations defined
themselves through their common religion but did not perceive
themselves as one people. Contrary to a spread idea, the diaspora
was not born from the eviction of the Hebrews from Palestine, but
due to successive conversions in North Africa, southern Europe and
the Middle East.
“ There is a tight link between the identification of the Jews as
ethnic group or eternal people-race and Israeli politics regarding
those of its citizens considered as non-Jews, namely immigrated
workers from foreign countries, and of course, its neighbours
deprived from their rights and submitted under a regime of
occupation that has now lasted almost fifty years.”
Born in 1947, Arab Christian theologian and educator, of Israeli
nationality. Is evicted with his family in 1948. Studies theology in France.
Priest and director of the Saint Joseph College in Nazareth.
To promote reconciliation and teach about the Holocaust, organises
in 2003 the first Judeo-Arab trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau (500 persons).
Archimandrite of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
“ This act of memory will signify our radical refusal of such
inhumanity, it will testify of our capacity to understand another’s wounds
(…). But this detour through the darkest abysses of humanity’s memory
must never make us put another people’s sufferings into perspective, in
other places, in other times. On the contrary, it can only make us face our
own responsibilities in the present, and our vocation as human beings to
French man of Jewish origin, born in Tunisia in 1948. IT consultant
and writer, lived in Israel for 10 years, and did his military service in Tsahal.
Lives in Paris, president of the French association Shalom Akhshav –
Deeply attached to the existence of an Israeli State, this association
founded in 1978 by 348 Israeli reserve officers and soldiers claims the
imperative need to reach a compromise with the Palestinians and the Arab
world. It refuses the pursuit of the occupation and domination of the
Palestinian population, the prolonging of which corrupts Israeli society.
Travelled Israel and Palestine in 2004-200 to meet men and women
deeply rooted in their society, in favour of a compromise to end the conflict,
recognising the existence of one another, conscious of the need to
renounce part of the dreams of their own side, opposed to extremism on
their own side.
“ Since 1967, the permanent places for both societies to
meet are those of their confrontations: the battle field or prison.”
“ It is not a simple border conflict (…). This conflict confronts
each of these peoples to their own identity, obliging them to
define – or redefine – the collective national project. And in both
cases, it is built in reference to their respective pasts (…). The
objective, for both, is to find a way to inscribe this identity in time
“ Each side must abandon a part of its dreams and think of
the effect of its position on the other. Thinking of the future,
dealing together with common problems, finding a way to share
resources, too rare in this region – land and water – those are
the true stakes of tomorrow.”
Photo : The Jordan river’s source in Banyas.
Palestinian born in 1948. Imprisoned for two years in 1977
for his political activities within the FDPLP, and then for four years in
1988 as leader of the first Intifada. Founder of the Palestinian
Signs the Geneva Agreements, Director of the Peace and
Democracy Forum, co-President of the Palestinian Israeli Peace
NGO Forum, member of Radio All for Palestine-Israel Journal.
“ I was linked to the FDPLP because I never believed in an
armed movement, in armed fighting. Standing up in front of the
occupation is more productive. It brings together more people.
Weapons lead nowhere.
(…) The end of the occupation will liberate both Palestinians
and Israelis from a burden of dehumanisation, of animosity
(…). Weapons can make you win or lose, but the people
Yasser Abd Rabbo and Yossi Beilin
Y. A. R, born is 1944, is a Palestinian politician, former member of
the executive committee of PLO. Form Minister in Mahmud Abbas’
government. He condemns suicide bombings during the second
Intifada, which gave him the reputation of being a moderate man.
Y. B, born in 1948, Israeli left-wing politician. Member of the
Knesset and former Minister for Justice, he leads the Meretz-Yachad
party. Is involved in the Oslo Agreements in 1993, in the Taba
discussions in 2001, in the Geneva Agreements in 2003 and in the
overall peace process between Israel and Palestine.
Both are main negotiators in the 1st December 2003 Geneva
Born in 1949, Palestinian, Doctor in Philosophy from the University
of Harvard, Professor at the Bir-Zeit University. In 1987, meets Moshav
Amirav, member of Likoud (right-wing Israeli party), a meeting that will lead
to the latter’s exclusion from the party… Political and military chief of the
Fatah during the first Intifada, he is imprisoned for two years by Israel.
With Peace Now, condemns the missiles sent on Tel-Aviv. Is a member of
the committee for the Madrid conference. Represents the PLO in
Jerusalem in 2001.
In September 2001, calls for “definitive peace between the two
people” on the basis of their coexistence as “two neighbouring but distinct
In 2002, takes stand against an armed second Intifada, condemns
the suicide bombings and calls for civil disobedience and for an non-
militarised Palestinian State.
In 2002-2003, writes and distributes, together with Israeli Ami
Ayalon, the call of The people’s voice.*
In 2010, chooses the option of a bi-national State, and in 2012
for a condominium, step towards a federal Israeli-Palestinian State.
“ It will be difficult to forget the suffering we have inflicted on
one another. But we learn from experience. Those who suffered
know best what this means. They are therefore also those best
prepared to make the world a place in which no one will ever
have to suffer loss again.”
* That suggests two States, with Jerusalem as capital of both, the retreat of Israel
from occupied territories, and the return of refugees limited to occupied territories.
The petition supporting the project is signed by 400 000 Israelis and Palestinians.
Photo above : Ami Ayalon and Sari Nusseibeh.
Born in 1949, American. First women to become a rabbi in the
Jewish Renewal Movement. At the age of 17, goes to Israel for a
student exchange, is confronted to racist segregation, discriminations
and massive incarceration of people based on their identity.
For 45 years, is deeply involved in all sorts of efforts to achieve
peace between Israelis and Palestinians : dialogue, education,
delegations, direct action. Supports the BDS action. Member of the
International Fellowship for Reconciliation (IFOR).
“ Mountains of credible testimonies as well as thousands of eye
witnesses including, in the last 6 decades, Palestinians, Israeli Jews,
internationals and human rights organisations, leave no doubt as to
Israel’s pursuit of politics that are an insult to Jewish history.”
Born in 1949, son of the Great Rabbi of Strasbourg.
Journalist, editorialist, gives conferences and is an Israeli activist.
Cofounder in 1984 and former President of the Alternative
Information Centre (AIC) that gathers several Israeli and
Palestinian peace organisations. His involvement for the
Palestinian cause will lead him to a 20 months detention in 1989.
The AIC is awarded, in 2012, the “French Republic Human
Rights Prize,” by the National Consultative Commission for
Human Rights. He is a member of the Russell Tribunal on
“ It is either the Jewish ethnic discrimination or democracy.
Colonies or the hope of two people. The illusion of a barbed-wire
wall, check points and kamikazes, or an international border
mutually agreed on, and Jerusalem as common capital for both
.. / ..
“ All the institutions of this colonial regime, and I would say
almost all political parties, are not only accomplices but also
implicated without even knowing it.”
Israel is “ on an agitated sea, more and more agitated, on a
relatively fragile boat, with a captain who doesn’t know how to read
a map, who cannot use a compass, and who is gradually getting
drunk (…). I am preoccupied by the blindness of this government
and its politics that are very, very sort term.”
“ What should we do to allow Palestinians, today, to better
resist, and tomorrow, to fight back? For me, the answer is to be
found in three letters: B D S. I like to say S B D: Sanctions,
sanctions, sanctions, and otherwise, Boycott and Disinvestment.”
Palestinian born in 1949. Studies sociology and anthropology
at the American University in Beirut. From 1994 to 2005, is General
Delegate of the Palestinian Authority in France. Since the
recognition of Palestine by the United Nation General Assembly as
Observer State, is Palestinian Ambassador for the European Union
in Brussels. She is one of the three promoters of the Russell
Tribunal on Palestine.
“ Following Palestine’s admission to the UN General Assembly,
Israel’s decision to build another 3 000 housings on Palestinian
territory – Palestine and East Jerusalem – makes the viability of a
future Palestinian State even more doubtable, Palestine thus being
cut in half. This decision only proves Israel’s spite and arrogance
towards the international community. Nothing will change unless the
latter decides on sanctions.”
Israeli born in 1949, daughter of General Matti Paled, Professor
in Science of Education at the Hebraic University of Jerusalem. In 1997,
her daughter Samarder, then aged 14, is killed in a suicide bombing
perpetrated by a Palestinian in Jerusalem. She forbids Benyamin
Netanyahu to attend the funeral and declares: “These attacks are the
direct consequence of the oppression, slavery, humiliation and siege on
Palestine such as imposed by Israel. These attacks are the answer to
our own actions.” She denounces “blind politics that refuse to recognise
the rights of others and that foment hate and conflicts.”
Member of the Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF), Israeli-
Palestinian organisation that brings together parents who share grief
and the will to transform their personal tragedies in a struggle for peace.
She is a promoter of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine,
awarded the Sakharov Prize for Human Rights in 2001.