The next stage
in the Peace Cycle – an urgent call for justice
2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of
the Israeli state. The Peace Cycle does not pretend to know all
the answers to the conflicts in the Middle East, and we would
not deny any state its right to existence or security. We do
however recognise that the creation of Israel caused what the
Palestinian people call “al
Nakba” - the Palestinian catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands
of the indigenous population of Palestine were expelled from
their land, thousands of innocent men, women and children were
killed, hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed, and a
process of ethnic cleansing began which continues to this day.
Sixty years on, millions of Palestinian people are either living
as refugees across the world or as prisoners in their own land,
occupied by a regime that controls every aspect of their lives
and denies them freedom or security.
that if the Israeli people are ever to have the security they
seek themselves, they must end the occupation of Palestine as
called for under International Law and United Nations
Resolutions. Only when Israel complies with International Law
and the Geneva Convention on Human Rights, will a peace process
have any chance of even getting started.
Palestinian people have agreed to give up their right to 88 per
cent of their land. They have said that in the name of peace
they will accept 22 per cent of historic Palestine, and wish to
build a state on Gaza, the West Bank (within the 1967 borders),
and East Jerusalem.[i]
But this land is still being occupied by Israel, which continues
to demolish Palestinian homes to build settlements deemed
illegal under International Law. Israel also continues to build
a barrier in the West Bank which not only illegally annexes land
which belongs to the Palestinian people, but which severs
Palestinians from their land and from each other. The
Palestinian people are now among the poorest and malnourished in
and a whole generation of Palestinians has grown up knowing
nothing of freedom, but only of military occupation and
of groups and
across the world are calling for an end to the occupation as the
essential first step towards peace, and many Israeli people
that they will never live peacefully until their leaders comply
with International law and allow people their human rights.
is still not listening.
pressure must be applied to Israel to end this illegal and
brutal occupation. It does not seem that the United States of
America will apply any real pressure to the Israeli government,
but perhaps Europe can. Perhaps Europe will take a stand against
injustice and tell Israel it must abide by International Law and
the basic principles of human rights.
Peace Cycle will take its campaign straight to the heart of the
European Parliament and tell them it’s time to take action, and
we will call on all fair-minded and peace seeking people across
Europe to join us!
that if enough people know what is really happening in Israel
and Palestine, and if enough people use their voices to demand
justice, then those voices will have to be heard.
Aims of the Peace
To send an international group of cyclists direct to Palestine
to show solidarity and support to the Palestinian people, and to
encourage future advocacy and campaigning.
To raise funds to help alleviate suffering and hardship in
To tour the West Bank on bikes with cyclists from the newly
formed Palestinian Cyclist Club, to witness the occupation and
its effect on daily life.
To return via the European Parliament in Brussels to meet with
MEPs, followed by public and media events in the UK to speak of
what we have seen and demand an end to this injustice.
Outline of events
the Peace Cycle is
events to show solidarity and raise much needed funds for the
Palestinian people, and to demand action to end the occupation.
previous years, when the Peace Cycle campaigned in Europe at the
start of the journey, 2008 will see cyclists from all over the
world visiting Palestine first. This will enable participants to
learn about the realities of life under occupation, meet and
cycle alongside Palestinians, hear their stories and witness the
means that instead of raising money to fund the bike ride across
Europe, cyclists can help and support the Palestinian people who
are living in increasing poverty and hardship.
therefore be asking participants of this years Peace Cycle to
raise funds to cover the costs of taking part, PLUS an amount to
charities to help alleviate suffering and poverty and make a
real difference to the lives of many people.
Cycle has made an arrangement with the charity Medical Aid
for Palestinians, so that donations can be made directly
towards humanitarian aid in Palestine. Working with MAP in this
way will ensure that the money donated by Peace Cyclists can
help specific and urgent projects in the West Bank and Gaza –
and we plan to visit some of those projects during the ride.
goals are to:
with local partners to help meet the health and medical
needs of Palestinians and other vulnerable communities in
Respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and
public awareness in the UK of the impediments to Palestinian
access to health and medical care.
Aid for Palestinians is a registered UK charity, number 1045315.
information about MAP, see their website at
Please note that everyone involved in organising the Peace Cycle does
so on a voluntary basis, so once costs are covered, all money
raised will go directly to charitable projects in Palestine.
Cycle 2008 will therefore enable cyclists to show their
solidarity by being with the Palestinian people, and will help
alleviate their suffering by donating urgently needed funds.
the ride ends in Jerusalem, the Peace Cycle participants will
travel to Brussels and campaign to the European Parliament,
demanding that Europe takes action to end the occupation. We
will be asking European groups and
to meet us there in a mass demonstration calling for justice and
part in the Peace Cycle 2008, you can be part of that united
PLO has accepted that Israel’s 1967 Pre-Occupation
borders (the “Green Line”) shall serve as the
international border between the states of Palestine and
Israel. In other words, Palestinians have recognized
Israel on 78% of historic Palestine while accepting to
create a state on the remaining 22%.
position is consistent with international law, which
forbids Israel from acquiring territory by force.
Negotiations Affairs Dept. Summary of Palestinian
Positions, 3rd February 2002.
[ii] A special
report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
in July 2007 found that 56% of West Bank Palestinians
and 70% of Palestinians in Gaza are living below the
poverty line. This equates to over 2 million people
living in poverty in the Occupied Palestinian