I thought readers might be interested in seeing the latest statement made by the Meretz party in Israel. It’s on their new (and much improved) Hebrew website. My translation of the statement, below, is an unofficial one.
It is hard to be a progressive or a humanist in wartime, and Meretz indeed seems to be struggling to balance its support for Israel’s right to security and self-defense with a refusal to be taken in by the seductive fallacy of defeating Palestinian terrorism militarily; a determination to keep the two-state solution alive; and an insistence on recognizing the humanitarian situation on both sides.
Here’s what Meretz has to say:
The Meretz Executive made the following decision on December 31 regarding the fighting in Gaza and Israel’s south.
- The Meretz Executive calls for an immediate cease-fire, whether aided by various international initiatives, direct dialogue or even by unilateral announcement of a cease-fire for a fixed period. A long-range agreement on calm must guarantee quiet in southern Israel, a rapid conclusion of the negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit and the opening of the crossings into and out of the Gaza Strip.
- The Meretz Executive warns against the continuation of military action, especially against entering the Gaza Strip on land, which will lead to [Israel’s] sinking in a quagmire, this time in Gaza.
- The Meretz Executive condemns the ongoing attack on Israel’s citizens by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations, and supports the State of Israel’s right and obligation to defend its citizens.
- The Meretz Executive condemns the killing of innocent Palestinians. Even an action to stop the terrorism against the [Israeli] communities surrounding Gaza does not justify hitting the innocent.
- There is not and there cannot be a military solution that absolutely stops the terrorism. Even at this hour, and perhaps more intensely at this hour, we must continue to promote, on all possible tracks, a diplomatic agreement between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in the spirit of the Arab League’s peace initiative.
- The Meretz Executive stands with (mehazeket y’deihem shel) the residents of Israel’s south, who are under harsh attack, and it demands that Israel’s government act to ease their hardship and suffering.
- The Meretz Executive sharply condemns the voices calling to undermine the rights of Israel’s Arab citizens when they express their positions regarding the operation in the Gaza Strip. They have a complete right to express their opinion as long as this is done so within the framework of the law.