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"Kol Acher" - "The Other Voice" - "Die andere Stimme"

"Eineinhalb Millionen Palästinenser leben in unerträglichen Verhältnissen" - Eine bewegende Petition aus Sderot (Israel)

Über 2.300 Menschen (Stand: 6. Januar) aus Israel, darunter etwa 500 aus dem Ort Sderot, der in besonderer Weise den Raketenangriffen aus dem Gazastreifen ausgesetzt ist, haben bereits im November 2008 eine Petition unterschrieben, in der sie die israelische Regierung auffordern, Ruhe zu bewahren und den Gewaltkonflikt mit den Palästinensern nicht zu eskalieren. Die Gruppe, von der die Petition ausgeht, nennt sich "The Other Voice" ("Die andere Stimme").
Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir den Text der Petition sowie einen Artikel über die Proteste in Sderot.

One of the more moving voices of dissent is coming out of Sderot and other Israeli communities around Gaza. A group called "The Other Voice" has published a petition calling for the Israeli government to prevent escalation and restore calm to the area (the petition and an article on the group are included as the first items below). The petition was written in November and is gaining more publicity now, for obvious reasons. It states" We prefer an option of a cold war in which not a single rocket is fired to a hot war with tens of innocent victims and casualties from both sides." So far more than 2,300 Israelis have signed it, including more than 500 people from Sderot.

"Kol Acher" - "The Other Voice"


(petition translated here by Tom Pessah)

Kol Acher (The Other Voice) from Sderot and the communities around Gaza calls on the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister to act urgently to restore calm in the area.

The period of calm dramatically changed the lives of the inhabitants of Sdrerot, Ashkelon and the communities around Gaza, and enabled us all to re- experience a normal and sane life. Continuing the period of calm is crucial and critical for the inhabitants of the areas from every possible angle: physical, psychological, mental and economic.

Another round of escalation could break down our psychological strength, fragile as it is, and bring all of us into another round of self destruction and pointless bloodshed. We will not necessarily survive it, and you should be aware of that, if you really care about the inhabitants of the area. We've been in this movie for too many years, and the results speak for themselves ? a feeling of no way out, abandonment and a loss of hope for us and our children!

On the other side of the border a million and a half Palestinians live in an unbearable reality, and the majority of them, like us, want quiet and a future for themselves and their families.

We feel that you wasted the period of calm, instead of using it to promote understandings and the beginning of negotiations, as well as continuing to fortify the houses of the inhabitants, as you promised.

We call on the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister not to lend your ears to the voices of incitement, and to do whatever you can to prevent another round of escalation, to promise the continuation of the period of calm and to work quietly for direct or indirect negotiations with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza in order to achieve a document of long term understandings.

We prefer an option of a cold war in which not a single rocket is fired to a hot war with tens of innocent victims and casualties from both sides.

We ask that you offer us an option of a settlement and political hope, and not an endless cycle of bloodshed!

"Kol Acher" - The Other Voice is a group from Sderot and the communities around Gaza , which has been engaged for the past year in conversations with people from the Gaza Strip that represent "an other voice". In the conversations, the suffering and hardship on both sides of the border come up, as well as the mutual will to break the continuing cycle of violence, and to offer a political option that will give civilians on both sides of the fence a true hope for a better future.

Quelle: www.othervoice.org/cgi-bin/petition1.pl

Sderot, Gaza residents call for renewal of truce

Some 1,800 Israelis and Palestinians, including 500 Sderot residents, sign petition calling for end to IDF operation in Gaza, renewal of dialogue between Israel, Hamas

by Daniel Edelson

Despite the ongoing rocket attacks on their town from Gaza in the last several years, some 500 Sderot residents have recently signed a petition calling to stop the IDF operation in the Strip and renew the truce with Hamas.

Arik Yalin, 43, from Sderot told Ynet that over 1,800 Israelis and Palestinians have already joined the petition. "About a month ago we realized that the situation was about to deteriorate into total chaos," he explained.

"It's important for us to voice an opinion that represents quite a few residents who live within the rocket range but who believe that we can, and should try to resolve this ongoing conflict in a peaceful manner

"We have experienced the terrible hardship of life under rocket fire for the past eight years, and it has deeply hurt us both mentally and physically. Our need to voice a different stance stems from the strong desire to change the situation and begin negotiations with the other side in order to stop the violence," he added.

According to Yalin, a military operation will only deepen the hatred on both sides and reduce the chances of reaching a settlement. "The underlying assumption is that eventually there would be some kind of understanding. The only question is how many innocent people would get killed along the way."

'Operation only leads to more hate'

Hakim Hassona, the owner of a Gaza hauling company, praised the initiative. "Why use violence when there are no winners in this war?" he asked. "At the end we are cousins and neighbors and there's no need to get into this situation.

"They say that an assault will create deterrence, but what kind of deterrence? This only leads to more hate. There isn't a family in Gaza who hasn't had a relative hurt in the raids? the ordinary person doesn't care about the war, he just wants to live in peace."

The "Different Voice" group, which was formed by Yalin and his friends, seeks to promote dialogue between Israel and the Hamas leadership in Gaza. Dozens of the group members maintain constant contact with several of Gaza's residents.

Quelle: www.ynet.co.il/english/

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