Anger concerning the Israel assault on a flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid is pouring in from all parts of the world. In South Africa, Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu said the attack was “inexcusable,” while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his shock and in Sweden Foreign Minister Carl Bildt demanded answers from Israel’s ambassador to his nation. Each hour there are new reports as to the dead and wounded with latest estimates being at least 19 and dozens more wounded. The Israel government’s only response has been to blame the ships for demonstrating a “political provocation”–whatever that means. It is clear that Israel might soon experience a violent outburst from Palestinians and it could result in ending present hopes for peace with the Palestinian Authority. There is scant doubt religious fundamentalist fanatics in Israel welcome this outcome just as do their fellow fanatics in Iran.
The question confronting Israel is what must be done. We write as a co-founder of a Holocaust Museum and one who loves the Israeli people. But, this is what is needed –NOW!
1. Release of all people who are in custody and return them to their home nations.
2. Ask the United Nations to dispatch troops to man all entry points in Gaza and work with Israel forces to ensure that civilian aid enters without any further restrictions.
3. A formal apology must be expressed to Turkey and other nations from which people in the ships came as well as assurances the Israel government will cooperate in allowing a new flotilla to land humanitarian supplies.
4. Organize an internal investigation of those responsible for this violation of international law.
5. The Netanyahu government must resign and form a new coalition with Kadima and get rid of religious fanatics in the Cabinet.
6. Remove Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman immediately. This man is a thug and clown, not a diplomat.
7. Cease all further settlement construction until a peace agreement has been reached with the Palestinian Authority.
The bottom line is HONEST NEGOTIATIONS WITH PALESTINIANS MUST BE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY!!