10th August, 2006
We, the undersigned writers, gathered for a festival of literature in the idyllic Brazilian town of Paraty, cannot but help think of the innocent victims of wars in the Middle East.
The Israeli invasion of Lebanon is only the most recent addition to the litany of war and occupation. The deliberate destruction of the social infra-structure of Lebanon and the massacres of Marwahin, Qana and Srifa should awake the conscience of the world.
In the absence of any support from the â€œinternational communityâ€� for the people of Lebanon and those trapped in the Gaza ghetto, we call on all citizens with a conscience to raise their voices against these crimes, especially in the U.S. where T.V. networks have censored images of civilian casualities.
The cynical plan to use an international U.N. or N.A.T.O. force to further Israeli war aims will solve nothing. What is required for a lasting peace in the region is:
The immediate withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Lebanon as a prelude to an unconditional cease-fire.
The release of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners from Israeli prisons, including the elected representatives of the Palestinian people as well as the release of the three Israeli soldiers.
An end to the occupation of Iraq and the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
Luis Antonio de Assis Brasil
Ã�ngel Gurria Quintana (journalist)
Lucimar Mutarelli (teacher)
Miguel Sanches Neto
Julio Silvera (publisher)
Tariq Ali (Pakistani writer)
Radwa Ashour (Egyptian writer)
Mourid Barghouti (Palestinian poet)
Alonso Cueto (Peruvian writer)
Toni Morrison (African-American novelist)
Ali Smith (British novelist)
David Toscana (Mexican writer)
Susan Watkins (Editor of New Left Review, U.K.)
Benjamin Zephaniah (British Jamaican poet)