Given the harrowing war waged by Israel on the Palestinian people in Gaza, and the indiscriminate Israeli massacres that accompany it, a group of artists, authors, and academics from various Arab countries, have addressed a letter to the intellectuals of Europe and North America, calling upon them to condemn the barbarous crimes committed by Israelis against the Palestinians and to acknowledge the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to and in their own homeland. It also invites Western intellectuals to a dialogue based on the core moral and rational values of human civilization. Below is the text of the letter, undersigned with the names and affiliations of its signatories.

In the midst of the current conflict between the Palestinians and the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza Strip – as in several previous Israeli acts of aggression, we had been expecting freedom-loving artists and writers in the Western world to unequivocally support the Palestinian struggle aspirations for their just and legitimate rights, and to be in harmony with those in the western countries population and driving forces who demonstrated solidarity with the Palestinians, and their rejection of oppression, bloodshed, colonization, and siege carried out by the oppressive occupying Israeli forces trying systematically to diminish and eventually to eradicate the historical rights of Palestinians, including the right to life. Furthermore, we had been expecting Western Intellectuals at large to identify with the principled and courageous position taken by several of their intellectual, literary, and artistic peers in Europe and North America.

We had always looked at the intellectuals in the Western world as the a most vital nucleus segment of society, embodying the values that have shaped the better part of modern civilization, sharing with us a common commitment to the principles of freedom, justice, reason, equality, human rights, and the refusal of dogmatism, racism, war, colonisation, and occupation, and a recognition of the rights of peoples to self-determination and national independence.

Signatories of this open letter are aggrieved by the sense of a deepening chasm and enormous gap between what values many of our Western counterparts declare in principle, and positions or silences adopted in practice, and the drift towards supporting the oppressor at the expense of the victim whose land is occupied, and of blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator.

This chasm is glaringly manifest in the cleavage between principled stands towards other just global issues, the silence and oblivion when the issue concerns the Palestinian rights in and to their land, liberty, and life, repeatedly underlined by so many United Nations resolutions and human rights organisations. We find this double standard a shame to both moral values and the value of rational and considered judgment.

Official policies of most European and North American governments and their pliant mediatic chorus are inclined to support Israel and stigmatise all acts of the oppressed as acts or words of terror. The complicity of the intellectuals is most poignantly disquieting and bodes ill for the integrity and cogency of European and North American culture. The conflation of acts of the oppressed with wanton terrorism demeans all just resistance in modern history, including in South Africa and in German-occupied France.

We invite European and North American intellectuals to a dialogue on the common moral values of liberty, justice, and reason, and to relate these to the right of Palestinians to be judged by these values on the basis of common humanity. The exclusion of Palestinians from the normal template of humans, be it by silence or by stigmatisation, is a blessing to the wanton disregard of rights by both Israel and her backers.

1 Adonis
2 Abdelilah Belkziz
3 Tahar Labib
4 Marcel Khalifa
5 Ali Oumlil
6 Abdel Majeed al-Charfi
7 Shawqi Bazi‘
8 Mohamed Barrada
9 Nabil Abdel Fattah
10 Pascal Lahoud
11 Aziz Al-Azmeh
12 Mohamed Bennis
13 Nabil Suleiman
14 Abdel Hussein Sha ‘aban
15 ‘Ulwiyya Sobh
16 Ahmed Ma’alla
17 Muhammad Al-Ash ‘ari
18 Naseer Shamma
19 Omar Azraj
20 Al-Fadl Shalak
21 Nour Al-Din Afaya
22 Salah Boussrif
23 Najia Al-Warimi
24 Abdul Rahman Tankul
25 Ali Kanaan
26 Saad Mahio
27 Hassan Najmi
28 Talal Maal
29 Rashid Al-Daif
30 Fakhri Saleh
31 Ahmed Al-Madini
32 Firas Sarrah
33 Moncef Al-Wahabi
34 Wahid Abdel Majeed
35 Amin Al-Zawi
36 Nabil Saleh
37 Abdel Qader Al-Shawi
38 Abdullah Ibrahim
39 Mohammed Haddad
40 Khalil Sweileh
41 Mubarak Rabi’
42 Shawqi Al-Duwaihi
43 Nader Kazem
44 Najib Al-‘Awfi
45 Rajeh Daoud
46 Sharaf Al-Din Majdolin
47 Farid Al-Zahi
48 Abdo Wazzan
49 Fadel Al-Rubaie
50 Mulim Al-Arousi
51 Wafa Al-Omrani
52 Wasini Al-A ‘raj
53 Abdel Mon’im Ramadan
54 Ali Jaafar Al-‘Allaq
55 Ahmed Shawqi
56 Jalila al-Qadi
57 Gokha Al-Harithi
58 Mustafa Al-Razzaz
59 Ghassan Mas’oud
60 Muhammad Al-Ma ‘zouz
61 Daoud Abdel Sayed
62 Abbas Al-Nouri
63 Rabi’a Jalti
64 Ahmed Youssef Daoud
65 Saeed Al-Maghribi
66 Al-Zawawi Bghoura
67 Abdel-Baqi Bel Fakih
68 Ahmed Dalbani
69 Muhammad Shoman
70 Magdy Ahmed Ali
71 Basil Al-Khatib
72 Hassan M. Youssef
73 Abdel Kabir Rabie
74 Diana Jabbour
75 Iman Sharabati
76 Reem Habib
77 Samir Morcos
78 Ezz Al-‘Arab Al-‘Alawi
79 Abdel Latif Abdel Majeed
80 Joud Saeed
81 Fayez Qazaq
82 Bassam Kusa
83 Nidal Khalil
84 Samer Muhammad Ismail
85 Bilal Al-Masry
86 Munther Masri
87 Muhammad Abdel Shafie Issa