On leaving Israel/Palestine today, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, who has spent the last 10 days in Israel-Palestine campaigning for an end to the detention of Mordechai Vanunu, said:

“I believe it is sad and shameful that the Israeli Government continues to detain Mordechai Vanunu for this the 20 year of his internal exile within Israel. He has no secrets. He is no threat to Israeli security. I therefore call upon the Israel Government to uphold Mordechai Vanunu’s human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of movement and let him go.

I also support his call for a Nuclear Free Israel, Middle East and world and call upon the Israeli Government to open Dimona for inspection, and to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty.

During my visit I have travelled to Jenin Refugee Camp, Hebron, and Bethlehem in the Israeli Occupied Territories. I have witnessed the daily suffering of the Palestinian people living under an increasing and worsening oppressive Israeli occupation.

I believe there is a great desire for peace amongst all the people, but in order to move into serious dialogue and negotiations urgent steps, and the political will; particularly from the Israeli Government, need to be taken. I therefore make the following Appeal:

  1. I call upon the International Community, European Community, the United States of America, to intervene to end the 40 year occupation by Israel and to end the Palestinian suffering in Palestinian camps for 60 years. The International Community must not be intimidated and silenced by threats of being anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli, but must be bold in demanding Israel upholds it obligations under International Law.
  2. The way for peace must be for Israel to end the occupation and recognize and respect all the national and international human rights of the Palestinian people.
  3. I call upon the Palestinian people to use the methods of Jesus Christ, Badshan Khan, Gandhi, Martin Luther King of nonviolent resistance to the occupation and apartheid system, which continues to cause so much suffering to their people. And for the International Community to support such a nonviolent resistance by the Palestinian people.
  4. I call upon the Israeli Government to uphold International Court of Justice and dismantle the Apartheid wall, and the Apartheid system of injustice. To recognize the democratically elected Government of the Palestinian people and enter into serious dialogue with their new ‘partner for peace’.
  5. I call upon Israeli Government, European Union, United State, to restore Foreign Aid as the withdrawing of this, is in effect. a collective punishment of the Palestinian people, many of whom already live under great poverty and hardship, due to the continuing illegal occupation and colonization of the Palestinian Territories.
  6. I call upon all Israeli and Palestinian people to continue to hope and believe and act for peace, and to do everything in their power to begin to build trust and friendship amongst each other. Nuclear Weapons, militarism, and emergency laws will not build trust, but overcome the fear of each other, and continuing the great work already being done by both Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, and many others, will bring peace. The Israeli Government can help this process by making it possible for people to actually meet each other, and build a grassroots peace movement together.

I have great hopes for both Israeli-Palestinian and leave strengthened and upheld by the love and affection I have received from my many Israeli and Palestinian Friends.

Mrs Mairead Corrigan Maguire Nobel Peace Laureate

Peace People 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast. BT9 Northern Ireland – UK. www.peacepeople.com Tel: (44) (0)2890 663465 Fax: (44) (0)2890 381987 Email Info@peacepeople.com

Mairead Corrigan Maguire received the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize and the 1991 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Distinguished Peace Leadership Award. She recently participated in the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 2006 International Law Symposium, “At the Nuclear Precipice: Nuclear Weapons and the Abandonment of International Law.”