The Jerusalem Link

August 2, 1996

The Jerusalem Link was established in 1993 to advance the active involvement of Palestinian and Israeli women in achieving peace and social justice. The creation of the Jerusalem Link, comprising two independent women's peace centers--The Jerusalem Center for Women and Bat Shalom--was facilitated by a common political understanding first enunciated in the Brussels Declaration, agreed upon at the first International Palestinian-Israeli Conference held in May 1989. This was convened by Ms. Simone Susskind, under the title: "Give Peace a Chance: Women Speak Out". These principles were revised on March 10, 1990 and subsequently reaffirmed at the Second International Israeli-Palestinian Conference held in Belgium in September, 1992, which led to the foundation of The Jerusalem Link.

In light of the Oslo Agreement, the signing of the Cairo, Paris and Taba accords, and the dramatic changes on the ground that have occurred since, it is now necessary to reaffirm and update the principles upon which the common efforts of the Jerusalem Link are based.

The Jerusalem Link Declaration

We, Palestinian and Israeli women, united in a joint effort to bring about a just and lasting peace between our two people, affirm our commitment to working together, within the framework of The Jerusalem Link, for the rapid realization of our common vision of peace, based on the following principles:

1. Recognition of the right to self-determination of both peoples in the land, through the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

2. The city of Jerusalem: two capitals for two states.

3. The Oslo Declaration of Principles, signed on September 13, 1993, and all subsequent agreements, must be implemented in their entirety and should serve as the basis for negotiations of the permanent settlement.

4. The permanent settlement negotiations must resume immediately, the terms of reference being UN Resolutions 242 and 338, and the Oslo Agreements.

5. The settlements and their ongoing expansion constitute a severe impediment to peace.

6. Respect for international conventions, and the active involvement of the international community in the peace process, is crucial to its success.

7. The realization of political peace will pave the way for mutual trust, and good neighborly relations on the basis of equality and respect for the national and human rights of each community.

8. Women are central partners in the peace process � their involvement in negotiation and in government is critical to the fulfillment of an open and just peace.

9. We women are opposed to the use of violence and are committed to the promotion of democratic norms and civil society for the realization of an enduring peace. We call on women in the region and elsewhere to join in making our vision of peace a reality.