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Half-million signers demand two states

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More than a half-million Israelis and Palestinians have signed a petition demanding a two-state solution.

The OneVoice Movement said Tuesday it had exceeded its goal – four months early – of 500,000 signatures, with 262,008 Israelis and 274,435 Palestinians signing on.

The petition calls on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately start negotiations and arrive at an agreement by Oct. 18, 2008 – exactly one year after planned rallies in Jericho and Tel Aviv, as well as satellite events in Washington, London and Ottawa.

It calls for the sides to “recognize the right of both peoples to independence, sovereignty, freedom, justice, dignity, respect, national security, personal safety, and economic viability” and to “implement concrete confidence-building measures that will improve the lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people, including ensuring freedom of movement for ordinary civilians and fostering education against incitement on both sides.”

OneVoice, describing itself as a “youth-led” movement, is funded primarily by Daniel Lubetzky, a Mexican-Jewish entrepreneur. It has the support of, among others, Sheik Taysir Al-Tamimi, the top Palestinian religious judge; Dennis Ross, a former top U.S. Mideast peace envoy now advising presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.); Dov Lautman, a leading Israeli industrialist; and Sir Jonathan Sacks, the British chief rabbi.

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