A letter sent by Other Voice member Dr. Julia Chaitin to Israeli ministers and Knesset members upon the commencement of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians; and a reply sent by Labor Party Chairman MK Shelly Yachimovich's office
Today, Wednesday August 14 2013, the Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiation teams are scheduled to meet.
On both sides there are people/groups that are trying to sabotage the peace process – whether by firing rockets or by building and expanding settlements.
You must rise above all this and proceed with the process you have started.
I, Julia Chaitin, a resident of Kibbutz Urim in the Eshkol Regional Council and lecturer at Sapir College, located 2 kilometers from the border with Gaza, urge and encourage you not to give up. We, Israelis and Palestinians, demand – do not give up. Talk, talk some more and then continue to talk, until you have achieved results.
The road will not be easy, there will be obstacles, there will be ups and down. You will be able to agree on some issues, while others may remain unresolved, but do not give up – move on forward.
Do whatever is required to find more and more issues on which you can agree. We must all make concessions and I trust that you – both teams – will be wise enough to concede on the issues that would allow us to continue to live in security, with freedom of movement and mutual respect.
I wholeheartedly believe that it is possible to reach a respectful agreement and live side by side in peace and mutual respect. All that is needed is to find a formula that is acceptable to both parties.
It is possible.
You must want it and act towards it.
I wish you success – do not give up!
Dr. Julia Chaitin
Other Voice member
I write in response to your letter to Shelly Yachimovich.
Firstly, we thank you for your letter. Negotiations and securing a settlement are undoubtedly primary interests of the State of Israel, and are first and foremost an Israeli interest.
The Labor Party, under Shelly's leadership, has committed to support the government in this process and assure its political stability should progress in the negotiations undermine the government. This is due to the party's and Shelly's responsibility and commitment to the route of peace and dialogue. In this process, the Labor Party shall act as an issue-oriented opposition.
We are all hopeful that the process shall yield results, despite the heavy toll and difficult challenges it will surely encounter along the way.
Your letter is so moving because of its sincere concern for Israel's future. It is important that the citizens of Israel – like you – consider themselves contributors to this success. Unquestionably, the public opinion on both sides will play a central role in the process's success.
Assistant to Labor Party Chairman MK Shelly Yachimovich