Many calls for solidarity with Palestine have rung out across the U.S. since the Israeli onslaught on Gaza began—a sign of the turning tide of public opinion. In this statement, the Chicago chapter ofdescribes why expressions of support for all Palestinians are more important than ever.
… It is important to spread the message that Jewish identity is not synonymous with Zionism. Too often, both in our communities and in the media, the two are conflated. Criticism of Israel is painted as anti-Semitism and support for Israel has become the shibboleth of participation in most Jewish communities. We call for the development of a new approach to Jewish identity, one which mobilizes our histories and our heritage as a source of power in confronting injustice wherever we find it. We stand proudly in the tradition of resistance fighters, ghetto uprisers, partisans, and the long history of Jews who have stood for justice, tolerance and liberation.
In May 1947, the Jewish Anti-Zionist League released a pamphlet in the streets of Cairo. Its words are as important now as they were then:
Jewish men! Jewish women! Zionism wants to throw us into a dangerous and hopeless adventure. Zionism contributes to making Palestine uninhabitable.
Down with Zionism! Long live the brotherhood of Jews and Arabs!
We also write this statement out of a conviction that, as Egyptian Jews wrote over a half-century ago, Israel is engaged in a dangerous adventure that not only risks the lives of innocent Palestinian civilians, but undermines the very safety of Jews across the globe.
Occupation and apartheid are not Jewish values! Solidarity and liberation are!
In solidarity and struggle,
Jews for Justice in Palestine