The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) condemns Israel’s escalation of violence, as well as the revenge threats by the Israeli government and citizens and Zionist organizations and public figures. We denounce Western states and media claiming this brutality is somehow justified retribution for the deaths of three Jewish settlers from the racist, Jewish-only colony of Gush Etzion in the West Bank of Palestine.
In the space of just a few days, the Gaza Strip has been indiscriminately bombarded by warplanes; upwards of 600 Palestinians have been rounded up and imprisoned, and at least ten Palestinians have been killed—including several children, a pregnant mother, and a seventeen-year old boy whose burnt, mutilated body was found dumped in a forest outside East Jerusalem. These actions expose the terrorism of a racist settler-colonial state. IJAN stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and defends their right to resist the violence of colonialism and apartheid.
IJAN mourns the loss of all human life. We also recognize that the deaths of these three Jewish settlers are being exploited to justify Israel’s ongoing colonization of Palestinian lands and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Israel and its supporters, including Western media and politicians, have portrayed these Jewish settlers as innocent casualties—either of alleged Palestinian barbarism or of an intractably and inexplicably tragic conflict. In either case, Jewish Israeli lives are recognized and valued, while Palestinian lives are invisible and meaningless. Also erased is these settlers’ presence on the front lines of the Zionist terrorizing and dispossession of Palestine’s indigenous population. Further blotted out is the constant terrorism of the Zionist project and its irreducible responsibility for all deaths which occur in the course of its brutal expansion, be they Israeli or Palestinian.
IJAN also insists that any people whose lands, livelihood and dignity are being robbed from them by colonizers have a right to resist this violence. Prominent Zionist thinkers have often cynically recognized this fact. As the political predecessor of the present-day Israeli right, Vladimir Jabotinsky, famously wrote: “Every people will struggle against colonizers as long as there is a spark of hope of ridding itself of the danger of colonization. This too is what the Palestinian Arabs are doing and will go on doing as long as there is a spark of hope.” The brutality Israel is currently carrying out with the diplomatic and financial support of the US state is a futile attempt to extinguish that spark of hope, and to once again knowingly mislabel popular resistance against oppression as “terrorism.”
IJAN stands in solidarity with and honors the perseverance of Palestinian resistance, and calls on civil society everywhere to hold Israel accountable for its recurrent crimes, and end the occupation, colonization and apartheid in Palestine. We also call on Jewish people everywhere to recognize in this most recent bout of Israeli terror a larger and unmistakable pattern of unbridled violence and murder, collective punishment and hatred. We reject the suggestion that this is in the name of “the Jewish people.”
Propelled by the inescapable implications of its colonial logic, Zionism is not a revival of Jewish communal life, but a self-fulfilling prophecy of self-destruction. As Jewish people, we must act for the sake of Palestinian self-determination.
It is urgent that we act: Over the next week, please organize rallies, protests, actions, demonstrations and vigils to protest this latest escalation of Israeli violence.