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Israel’s War On Gaza And Our Jewish Communal Institutions

The International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine (IJCJP) wishes to express our abhorrence for the many ways in which Israel-supporting Jewish organizations in our countries have stoked the flames of racism and have embraced genocidal military violence through their support of Israel’s war on Gaza. It is unfathomable that Jewish leaders choose to justify Israeli violence when two million Gazans are starving, displaced, ill, wounded, and in mourning for the nearly 25,000 Palestinians killed by indiscriminate Israeli bombing and land incursions. The International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine fully supports South Africa’s case in the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide in the Gaza war and calling for an immediate suspension of it military campaign.

Jewish community leaders have vilified those protesting the war by labelling them “terrorist supporters,” “gangs,” “mobs,” and other epithets intended to operationalize the anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia so ubiquitous in the west. Our communities have also been deeply implicated in the suppression and criminalization of speech on Palestine which disproportionally impacts racialized individuals. Dissident Jews who are demonstrating openly in their tens of thousands worldwide against this immoral war have not been immune to slander from Jewish institutional leaders and are characterized as “useful idiots,” “self-haters,” “un-Jews,” and worse; this betrays the long Jewish tradition of theological debate and political diversity.

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While millions around the world march in the streets demanding an end to the inhuman devastation of Gaza, many of our communities choose to characterize this unprecedented demand for an end to genocide as antisemitic. We are appalled that there is not even a glimmer of humanity or compassion expressed for the thousands of Palestinians killed and the families who have been decimated in this horrific war. Jews who are challenged in the streets with vocal opposition to Israel’s genocidal violence and eliminationist racism are portrayed as victims for whom the sight of a Palestinian flag or the sound of chants for Palestinian freedom pose an existential threat despite little evidence that this is true. In the meantime, attention is diverted from the actual threat of antisemitic white supremacism which is growing exponentially.

Histories of Jewish suffering must never be used justify inflicting unimaginable misery on the civilian population of Gaza. We call on all Jews to reject this politics of Jewish exceptionalism and to hold our communities accountable for supporting and enabling this wholly unjustifiable war, a war that is destroying Palestine and which imperils Jews while defiling our prophetic tradition.

Signed by:

International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine

(Canada, U.S., UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Luxembourg, South Africa, New Zealand, Israel, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina)

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