We are an international network of Jews who are uncompromisingly committedto struggles for human emancipation, of which the liberation of the Palestinianpeople and land is an indispensable part. Our commitment is to the dismantlingof Israeli apartheid, the return of Palestinian refugees, and the ending of theIsraeli colonization of historic Palestine.
FromPoland to Iraq, from Argentinato South Africa, fromBrooklyn to Mississippi,Jews have taken up their quest for justice, and their desire for a more justworld, by joining with others in collective struggles. Jews participatedprominently in the workers’ struggle of the depression era, in the civil rightsmovement, in the struggle against South African Apartheid, in the struggleagainst fascism in Europe, and in many othermovements for social and political change. The State of Israel’s historic andongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their land contradicts andbetrays these long histories of Jewish participation in collective liberationstruggles.
Zionism-the founding andcurrent ideology that manifested in the State of Israel-took root in the era ofEuropean colonialism and was spread in the aftermath of the Nazi genocide. Zionismhas been nourished by the most violent and oppressive histories of thenineteenth Century, at the expense of the many strains of Jewish commitment toliberation. To reclaim them, and a place in the vibrant popular movements ofour time, Zionism, in all its forms, must be stopped.
This is crucial, first andforemost, because of Zionism’s impact on the people of Palestine and the broader region. It also dishonorsthe persecution and genocide of European Jews by using their memory to justifyand perpetuate European racism and colonialism.It is responsible for the extensive displacement and alienation of Mizrahi Jews (Jews of African and Asian descent) from their diverse histories,languages, traditions and cultures. Mizrahi Jews have a history in this regionof over 2,000 years. As Zionism took root, these Jewish histories were forcedfrom their own course in service of the segregation of Jews imposed by theState of Israel.
As such, Zionism implicates usin the oppression of the Palestinian people and in the debasement of our ownheritages, struggles for justice and alliances with our fellow humanbeings.
We pledge to: Oppose Zionism and the State of Israel
Zionism is racist. It demands political, legal and economic power for Jewsand European people and cultures over indigenous people and cultures. Zionism is not just racist but anti-Semitic. It endorses the sexist Europeananti-Semitic imagery of the effeminate and weak "diaspora Jew" and counters itwith a violent and militarist "new Jew," one who is a perpetratorrather than a victim of racialized violence.
Zionismthus seeks to make Jews white through the adopting of white racism againstPalestinian people. Despite Israel’sneed to integrate Mizrahis in order to maintain a Jewish majority, this racismis also seen in the marginalization and economic exploitation of the sociallydeprived Mizrahi population. This racialized violence also includes theexploitation of migrant workers.
Zionists disseminate the myth that Israel is a democracy. In truth, Israel has establishedand enforces internal policies and practices that discriminate against Jews ofMizrahi descent and exclude and restrict Palestinian people. Moreover, Israel, in collaboration with the United States, underminesany Arab movements for social change and liberation.
Zionism perpetuates Jewish exceptionalism. In defense of its crimes,Zionism tells a version of Jewish history that is disconnected from the historyand experiences of other people. It promotes the narrative that the Nazi holocaustis exceptional in human history — despite it being one of many holocausts fromNative Americans North and South to Armeniaand Rwanda.It sets Jews apart from the victims and survivors of other genocides instead ofuniting us with them.
Through a shared Islamophobia and desire for control of the Middle Eastand broader West Asia, Israelmakes common cause with Christian fundamentalists and others who call forJewish destruction. Together they call for the persecution of Muslims. This shared promotion of Islamophobia serves todemonize resistance to Western economic and military domination. It continues along history of Zionist collusion with repressive and violent regimes, fromNazi Germany to the South African Apartheid regime to reactionary dictatorshipsacross Latin America.
Zionismclaims that Jewish safety depends on a militarized Jewish state. But Israel does notmake Jews safe. Its violence guarantees instability and fear for those withinits sphere of influence and endangers the safety of all people, including Jews,far beyond its borders. Zionism colluded willingly in creating the conditionsthat led to violence against Jews in Arab countries. The loathing aroused by Israeliviolence and military domination toward Jews living in Israel andelsewhere is used to justify further Zionist violence.
We pledge to: Reject the colonial legacy andon-going colonial expansion
The moment when the Zionist movement decided to build a Jewish State in Palestine, it became amovement of conquest. Likethe imperial conquest and genocidal ideologies of the Americas or Africa,Zionism depends on the segregation of people and the confiscation of land thatproduces ethnic cleansing and depends on unrelenting military violence.
Zionists worked hand in hand with theBritish colonial administration against the indigenous people of the region andtheir legitimate hopes for liberty and self-determination. The Zionist imaginingof Palestine as"empty" and desolate justified the destruction of Palestinian life in the sameway that such racism justified the extermination of Native Americans, theAtlantic slave trade, and many other atrocities.
From the ever expanding settlements tothe Apartheid Wall, Israel’scommitment to colonial domination leaves its mark in environmental damage andthe destruction of the physical landscape of Palestine. The failure of these policies toend Palestinian resistance propels Israel toward ever increasingviolence and policies that, when followed to their fullest extent, end in genocide.In Gaza, theIsraeli state withholds access to food, water, electricity, humanitarian aid,and medical supplies as a weapon that targets the foundations of human life.
Israel, once a vehiclefor the British and French assault on Arab unity and independence, is now ajunior partner in the US-allied strategy for world military, economic andpolitical control, specifically for domination of the strategicMiddle-East/Southwest Asia region. The danger of nuclear war through a US/Israeli attack on Iran reminds us that Israel is an atomic bomb thatshould be urgently dismantled for the sake of saving the lives of all itscurrent and potential victims.
We pledge to: Challenge Zionist organizations
Beyondshaping the creation of Israel,Zionism determined its international policy of military dominance andantagonism toward its neighbours, and established a sophisticated globalnetwork of organizations, political lobbies, public relation firms, campusclubs, and schools to sustain and perpetuate Zionist ideas in Jewishcommunities and the general public.
Billions of US dollars flow annually to Israelto sustain the occupation and Israel’ssophisticated and brutal army. The war machine they fund is a leader in theglobal arms industry, which drains resources craved by a world in desperate needof water, food, health care, housing and education. Europe, Canada and theUnited Nations, meanwhile, prop up the infrastructure of occupation under theguise of humanitarian aid to Palestinian people. Together, the US and its alliescooperate in deepening the domination of the region and suppressing popularmovements.
An international network of Zionis
t institutions and organizationssupport the Israeli military and militant Jewish settlements with direct funds.These organizations also provide the political support necessary for legitimizingand promoting policies and aid packages. In individual countries, these organizations censor criticisms of Israel andtarget individuals and organizations with blacklists, violence, imprisonment,deportation, unemployment and other economic hardship.
These organizations facilitate the spread of Islamophobia. They beat thedrums of war abroad and push repressive legislation at home. In the United States and Canada,Zionist organizations helped pass "anti-terrorist" legislation makingorganizing in support of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel andsupport for Palestinian, Iranian, Iraqi, and Lebanese and Muslim organizationssubject to prosecution as aiding terrorism and committing treason. In bothEurope and the US,supposedly "Jewish" organizations are now at the forefront of pushing for warwith Iran.
Cracksare appearing in the edifice of Zionism as in that of US world dominanceitself. In the region, extraordinary resistance from Palestineand Southern Lebanon to Israeli and US aggression and occupation hasbeen sustained despite limited resources and many betrayals. Around the world, themovement in solidarity with the Palestine peopleand in confrontation with the U.S.and Israeli policy is gaining momentum. In Israel, this momentum can be seenin brewing dissent that creates possibilities for reclaiming two legacies of the1960s: Matzpen, an Israeli Palestinian and Jewish anti-Zionist organization,and the Mizrahi Black Panther Party. In Israel there also is growingrefusal of youth to participate in mandatory conscription into the army.
Withinthe governments and public discussions in the UnitedStates and Europe, the costs of unconditional support to Israel areincreasingly questioned. Israel and the USseek new allies in the global South to join in their economic and militaryconquests. The growing relationship between Israeland Indiais a stark example of this. Sharing an interest in political control andcapital gain for the few at the expense of the many, the elite in India as well as in countries across the MiddleEast and broader West Asia collude with theWestern economic and military agenda in the region.
Thepropaganda of the West’s Global War onTerror resonates with the Islamophobia that is needed and promoted by theIndian elite and has provided an opportunity for the severe repression ofdissent by regimes across the Middle East and South and WestAsia. Despite this, there are rising people’s movements based in richhistories of anti-colonial struggle that challenge and will ultimately defeatthis alliance.
Together with our allies, we aim to help widen those cracks, until thewall comes down and Israel isisolated as was apartheid SouthAfrica. We pledge to take up the battleagainst these organizations that pretend to speak for us, and to defeat them.
We pledge to: Commit our solidarity and worktoward justice
We commit our hearts, minds and political energy to support the variedand vibrant resistance movement of the Palestinian people and to confront theinjustices for which the countries we live in are responsible.
We unequivocally support the Palestinian Right of Return. We call for a dismantling of the racistIsraeli law of return that privileges the rights of any person that the Stateof Israel deems as Jewish to settle in Palestinewhile excluding Palestinians and making them refugees.
We respond wholeheartedly to the call from Palestinefor boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
We support the demand for the release of Palestinian political prisonersand an end to incarceration of Palestinian political leaders, women, childrenand men, as a method of control and terror.
It is not our job to prescribe what road the Palestinian people shouldtake toward defining their future. We do not presume to substitute our voicesfor theirs. Our strategies and actions will emerge from our activerelationships with those who are engaged in the range of liberation struggleswithin Palestineand in the broader region. We will support their struggle to survive, to holdtheir ground and to advance their movement as best as they can, on their ownterms.
We are partners in the vibrant popular resistance movements of our time thatdefend and cherish the lives of all people and of the planet itself. We arepartners in movements that are led by those most impacted by imperial conquest,occupation, racism and the global control and exploitation of people andresources. We stand for the protection of the natural world. We stand by therights of indigenous peoples to their land and sovereignty. We stand by therights of migrant peoples and people who are refugees to move freely and safelyacross borders. We stand by the rights of working people – including migrantworkers brought to Israelto replace both Palestinian and Mizrahi labor – to economic justice andself-determination. We stand by rights to racial equality and culturalexpression. We stand by the rights of women and children and all exploitedgroups to be free from subjugation. And we stand by the universal right to water,food, shelter, education, health-care and freedom from violence — the onlybasis on which human society can survive and flourish.
We commit to support justice so that healing may take root. There ismuch to heal: the wounds inflicted by the imposition and operation of colonialrule in Palestine and the broader region; the traumas of the Europeanoppression of Jews that the Zionist project is exploiting; the fears anddeprivations suffered through years of bloodshed; the manipulations of cultureand resources used to exploit Mizrahi Jews and divide them from Palestinians;and the continuing massacre, rape and dispossession of Palestinian people.
The justice we work for must be built by those throughout Palestine,including Israel, and by Palestinian refugees, whose struggle for self-determinationcan lead to equity and freedom for all who live there and in the surroundinglands.
We call you to join with us.
These pledges require the building of a united international Jewishmovement which challenges Zionism and its claim to speak on behalf of allJews. In the face of an internationaladversary, it is not enough to work only locally, or even nationally. We mustfind ways to work together across boundaries, distances, sectors and languages.There is room for many initiatives and organizations, established and new, towork independently and together, in mutual support and collaboration.
Do you stand against racism in all its forms? Then we call you to join with us in ending Israeli apartheid.
Do you support the sovereignty and land-rights of indigenous peoples? Then we call you to join with us indefending the sovereignty and land-rights of Palestinians.
Do you believe that all our lives depend on economic and environmentalsustainability? Are you enraged at the theft and destruction of the world’sresources? Then we call you to join withus in stopping Israel’sdestruction of Palestinian agriculture and land, the theft of land and water, andthe bulldozing of villages and groves.
Do you seek an end to the endless wars for oil and military dominance ofthe USand its allies? Do you want an end to militarized cultures, to the drafting ofour young people and the ransacking of resources that finance armies ratherthan the necessities of life? Then wecall on you to join with us in dismantling a critical piece of the globalwar machine.
Do you wish to dissociate yourself from the Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine and thedestruction of history, culture and self-governance? Do you believe there is nopeace without justice? Do you feel enraged and saddened that the holocaust againstJewish people is being used to perpetrate other atrocities?
Then we call on you to join with us in endingZionist colonialism.
For the people of this planet to live in safety, justice and peace, theIsraeli colonial project must be brought to an end. We joyfully take up this collective task ofundermining a system of conquest and plunder that has tormented our world forfar too long.