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The Officers' Letter - March 1978

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Peace Now was founded in 1978 during the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks.  At a moment when these talks appeared to be collapsing, a group of 348 reserve officers and soldiers from Israeli army combat units published an open letter to the Prime Minister of Israel calling upon the government to make sure this opportunity for peace was not lost.

מכתב הקצינים המקורי. נמצא בגנזך המדינה. תודה לרותם אמיתי

 

To

Prime Minister Menachem Begin

Dear Sir,

Citizens that also serve as soldiers and officers in the reserve forces are sending this letter to you. The following words are not written with a light heart. However at this time when new horizons of peace and cooperation are for the first time being proposed to the State of Israel, we feel obliged to call upon you to prevent taking any steps that could cause endless problems to our people and our state.

We are writing this with deep anxiety, as a government that prefers the existence of the State of Israel within the borders of “Greater Israel” to its existence in peace with good neighborliness, will be difficult for us to accept. A government that prefers existence of settlements beyond the Green Line to elimination of this historic conflict with creation of normalization of relationships in our region will evoke questions regarding the path we are taking. A government policy that will cause a continuation of control over million Arabs will hurt the Jewish-democratic character of the state, and will make it difficult for us to identify with the path of the State of Israel.

We are aware of the security needs of the State of Israel and the difficulties facing the path to peace. But we know that true security will only be reached with the arrival of peace. The power of the IDF is in the identification of its soldiers with the path of the State of Israel.

348 signatures
March, 1978