Naomi Chazan Speaks about Civil Rights in Israel @ 60
On Sunday, March 30, 2008, Prof. Naomi Chazan, a three-term Member of Knesset for Meretz (1992-2003) and current President of the Meretz Party Convention, discussed civil rights in the state of Israel, 60 years after its creation. In general, Prof. Chazan noted, Israel, like all other democracies, must work to bridge the gap between principles and reality. Israel has made tremendous progress on some civil rights issues over the last sixty years, she said, but in other areas it has accomplished too little. Prof. Chazan chose to focus on three areas still needing attention: equality, social justice, and religious pluralism.
Click here to read the full summary of Prof. Chazan’s remarks.
Young Meretz to Hamas’ Khaled Mashaal: “Recognize Israel. Release Shalit.”
On Wednesday, April 16, the chairman of Young Meretz, Uri Zaki, met with former President Jimmy Carter, who is now visiting Israel. Zaki gave Mr. Carter a letter to deliver to Hamas’ Political Bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal, with whom the ex-President is expected to meet this weekend in Damascus. The letter includes the following remarks:
We in Young Meretz were encouraged by your recent declaration that Hamas’
political goal is a Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967 borders. We regard
this as a milestone that ought to be taken seriously by both Israel and the
international community, and we hope that you will take another bold step and
lead the way to Hamas’ recognition of the State of Israel. Such a decision could
pave the way to a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. …
Both the Israeli occupation and the Palestinian terror have failed. The
only solution is a common recognition of the fact that both nations are here to
stay and must therefore develop a normal relationship. …
We call upon you to release the abducted soldier, Gilad Shalit. His release
will be a clear sign that just as the Hamas can be a tough enemy, it can be a
proper partner for dialogue. Shalit’s release can be a catalyst for a long-term
cease-fire that will free the Palestinians in Gaza and the Israelis in the
western Negev from the living hell that they’ve been in.
Zaki told reporters that, “it is time to launch a dialogue with Hamas in order to bring back Gilad Shalit, stop the Qassam rocket fire and bring about a solution of two states for two peoples.” He noted that he would be willing to meet with Mashaal at any time, explaining: “I’m not certain that Hamas is a possible partner for dialogue, but I’m not certain that it isn’t, so we have to lead a bold effort to clarify this issue.” For coverage in YNet, click here.
Read also the Washington Post’s cautious editorial and an op-ed in that day’s edition by Mahmoud Al-Zahar, the Hamas foreign minister.