As the executive committee of Scholars for Israel and Palestine, we are appalled by the escalating wave of violence now engulfing Jerusalem and other areas. No political grievances can justify murderous attacks against civilians, be they Israelis or Palestinians or anyone else, and we are disturbed that misleading public statements about imminent Israeli threats to Al Aqsa and about the nature of current Israeli-Palestinian violence are being used to inflame inter-group hatreds, intensify polarization, and promote further violence. At the same time, we must not forget that unjust and oppressive conditions for Palestinians–stemming from policies of permanent military occupation and subjugation in the West Bank and harmfully discriminatory residency policies in East Jerusalem that leave no hope for redress or alleviation–create a situation that is fundamentally unacceptable and always potentially explosive. We call on Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders to desist from spreading dangerous misinformation and to take active steps to calm the situation before it spirals into more large-scale violence. And we call on the Israeli government to take concrete steps that indicate a genuine commitment to bringing an end to the occupation and negotiating a peaceful solution to the conflict. There is an urgent need for political leaders and other voices to help both communities avoid a continuation of random and terrifying inter-ethnic violence and to move toward constructive political and diplomatic actions that can achieve a just and durable peace.
SIP Statement on the Crisis in Israel and Palestine