Thirty-three years after the first officers’ letter, we are launching another petition calling on officers, soldiers and reservists to sign the second officers’ letter, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to enter negotiations with the Palestinians immediately out of the recognition and understanding that only a brave peace agreement will prevent Israel’s international isolation and allow its continued existence as a Jewish and democratic state.
*Exact replica of the original letter.
To Prime Minister
Menachem Begin* Benjamin Netanyahu,
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 closed to the State of Israel (in 1978 it said “opened”), we feel obliged to call upon you to avoid taking any steps that could cause irreversible damage to our people and our state.
We are writing this with deep anguish. A government that prefers the existence of the State of Israel within the borders of Greater Israel to its existence in peace with good neighborly relations will be difficult for us to accept. A government that prefers the existence of settlements beyond the Green Line to the resolution of our historic conflict and creation of normal relationships in our region will make us question the justice of our cause. A government policy of continuing to rule over a million Arabs might harm the Jewish-democratic character of the state, and make it difficult for us to identify with the State of Israel.
We are aware of Israel’s security needs and the difficulties it faces on the road to peace. But we know that true security will only be reached with the arrival of peace. The IDF’s power is in its soldiers’ identification with the State of Israel.
We call on you to choose the path of peace and thereby strengthen our faith in our rightness.
About the Officers’ Letter:
The officers’ letter is an open letter that was sent in 1978 to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, signed by 348 soldiers and reserve officers, calling on Begin to strive for peace with Egypt and prefer peace to the idea of the Greater Israel.