Jewish Voices Against the Israeli Attacks

Not in my name

In the midst of the carnage in Gaza, it defies belief that my synagogue has asked me to march in solid support of Israel.

By Brian Klug
January 9 2009

In any conflict between peoples, there is a time for balancing the books, for placing facts neatly in the debit and credit columns, for issuing measured statements about the rights and wrongs on both sides. But not in the midst of one-sided carnage. The only decent thing to feel at the present time is outrage. The only thing for decent people to do right now is to condemn, without reserve or qualification, the brutal campaign that the Israeli military is waging against the population of Gaza. Every if and but derogates from decency.

Earlier this week, my synagogue sent its members an email containing details of two rallies in support of Israel “which we would urge you to support”. No ifs and buts here, just solid support for the perpetrator in the midst of the horror, it is perpetrating. Is it possible to go further in the opposite direction to decency?

Attached was a flyer for a “Mass Rally in Support of Israel” organised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, with “the support of the major organisations of UK Jewry”, to be held in London this weekend. The flyer proclaims: “End Hamas terror!” No ifs and buts here either. No hint at the unspeakable state terror being unleashed, day after day, by the Israeli military. It defies belief.

So, let me place on record the following fact: the board does not speak for all British Jews and certainly not for this one. Nor does the so-called Leadership Council, nor any of the organisations associated with this misbegotten event.

None of them represents me or the Judaism that I cherish and which leads me to say as follows: I condemn utterly the military offensive by the government of Israel against the people of Gaza. The loss of any human life, on whatever side of this conflict, is a terrible thing. At this juncture, though, my heart is with the Palestinians on the ground in the midst of their misery. And I extend my hand to those Israelis who are speaking out against their own government.

For alternative views among Britain’s Jews, see the website of Independent Jewish Voices

Source

So I took Brian’s advice and went to the Independent Jewish Voices.

This is what I found.

We are a network of Jews in Britain who share a commitment to certain principles, especially with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in mind: putting human rights first, rejecting all forms of racism, and giving equal priority to Palestinians and Israelis in their quest for a peaceful and secure future. We believe that these principles, rather than group loyalty, should determine the parameters of legitimate debate.

Read the Declaration

Sign the Declaration

List of Signatories
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On Gaza

Please find below viewpoints and links on the tragic situation in Gaza.
Jewish Voices Against the Israeli Attacks

‘They are doing good, but they can do more’, Avi Pilchick was photographed telling reporters (Jan 5). He was just one of the Jewish Israeli bystanders on nearby hill-tops, applauding the spectacle of bombs hurtling down upon Gaza.

The official voice of Jewish opinion around the world, if less celebratory, is rallying in support of Israel.

Yet, significant numbers of Jewish people, inside and outside Israel, are devastated. Unable to halt the routine violation of human rights in Israel’s occupied territories or the prolonged and brutal siege preventing even the most urgent supplies reaching Gaza, we now face the enduring horror of military invasion.

While condemning every rocket fired on civilians from Gaza, we reject as absurd the ubiquitous Israeli propaganda that bombing and terrorizing Gaza will end them.

Despite its ideological hatred of Israel, elected Hamas officials have proved willing to negotiate. Hamas largely kept its side of the ceasefire it had agreed with Israel before the ending of the truce period, while in Gazan eyes Israel’s continued siege of their territory constantly violated it, devastating civilian life.

Few people seem able to change the lens through which they view this tragedy. Yet, like the Canadian women who occupied the Israeli embassy in Toronto, the hundreds of well-known Israeli writers, artists, musicians, academics and others, calling upon the international community to stop Israel , more Jewish voices are fighting harder than ever to force the world to pressurize Israel to accept that there is no military solution to this conflict, and to begin honest negotiations with all parties necessary for a peaceful settlement: a strategy it has rarely attempted, and never consistently pursued.

Lynne Segal (Founding Signatory IJV)

“If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink” (Proverbs 25:21)

Our tradition contains some wise words. Perhaps the Israeli government would do well to return to the sources and reflect on the ethics of its actions.

Source

Jewish Voice for Peace statement on Gaza attacks

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) – formerly known as the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians – is a network of 18 Jewish groups as well as individual Jews from across Canada who are opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

December 28, 2008

Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli.

Israel’s slow strangulation of Gaza through blockade has caused widespread suffering to the 1.5 million people of Gaza due to lack of food, electricity, water treatment supplies and medical equipment. It is a violation of humanitarian law and has been widely condemned around the world.

In resisting this strangulation, Hamas resumed launching rockets and mortars from Gaza into southern Israel, directly targeting civilians, which is also a war crime. Over the years, these poorly made rockets have been responsible for the deaths of 15 Israelis since 2004.

Every country, Israel included, has the right and obligation to protect its citizens. The recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza shows that diplomatic agreements are the best protection for civilian life.

Moreover, massive Israeli air strikes have proven an indiscriminate and brutal weapon. In just two days, the known death toll is close to 300, and the attacks are continuing. By targeting the infrastructure of a poor and densely populated area, Israel has ensured widespread civilian casualties among this already suffering and vulnerable population.

This massive destruction of Palestinian life will not protect the citizens of Israel. It is illegal and immoral and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. And it threatens to ignite the West Bank and add flames to the other fires burning in the Middle East and beyond for years to come.

The timing of this attack, during the waning days of a US administration that has undertaken a catastrophic policy toward the Middle East and during the run-up to an Israeli election, suggests an opportunistic agenda for short-term political gain at an immense cost in Palestinian lives. In the long run this policy will benefit no-one except those who always profit from war and exploitation. Only a just and lasting peace, achieved through a negotiated agreement, can provide both Palestinians and Israelis the security they want and deserve.

Source

Independent Jewish Voices Condemns Israel’s Gaza Massacre
By Independent Jewish Voices in  Canada

December 28 2009
Occupied Palestine

December 28, 2008
The Israeli military has unleashed its most vicious air assault against the people of Gaza in decades, killing over 280 Gazans and wounding over 700. Despite claims by the Israeli leadership that they are trying to avoid civilians the attacks have been concentrated on Gaza City and the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah. Israeli television reports that Israeli troops are massing on the border “in preparation for a supplementary ground offensive.”

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) condemns this murderous escalation of violence by the Israeli government. Diana Ralph, IJV Coordinator calls this assault “completely disproportionate to the unsupportable firing of Qassam rockets by Hamas fighters which killed one Israeli. It’s important to put this into the context of the deadly siege of Gaza by the Israeli forces, which continued in violation of the terms of the recent six month truce between Israel and Gaza. In the ethics of violent conflicts, it is the responsibility of the force wielding power – the Israeli government in this case – to create the conditions for a just peace.”

Dr. Judy Deutsch, IJV representative, added: “This massacre will only intensify the cycle of violence in the region and heighten the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The aim of these attacks is not to bring about peace but to strengthen the position of the Israeli government as it heads into elections next February.”

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) calls for an immediate halt to all violence in the conflict, the cessation of the Israeli government’s blockade against Gaza, a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Occupied West Bank and the dismantling of settlements.

We also call on the Canadian government to recall its ambassador to Israel and strongly condemn Israel’s assault.

Independent Jewish Voices (Canada) – formerly known as the Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians – is a network of 18 Jewish groups as well as individual Jews from across Canada who are opposed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Source

January 10 2008

In San Francisco, Jewish protesters joined pro-Palestinian forces this week as hundreds gathered outside the Israeli consulate to make their voices heard, some carrying signs saying “Gaza = Warsaw Ghetto.” Among them was Jack Fertig – known to many in town as performance artist Sister Boom Boom – who said, “I’m descended from Holocaust victims, and we need to identify with the oppressed, not imitate the oppressors.

Source

An Open Letter From Jewish Youth in Canada – Support of Gaza -all Jewish youth can sign

In Toronto Jan 7: Canadian Jewish women protesting against Gaza War, Arrested after occupying the Israeli Consulate

Gaza (1): A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza Petitions

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm  Comments Off on Jewish Voices Against the Israeli Attacks  
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