We’re working around the clock to stop the disastrous attack on Gaza . But we wanted to take time to share JVP’s basic principles that apply to our work everyday. If they speak to you, please forward them to friends and colleagues. Now is the time to invite our friends and families to stand with us!
We’re mobilizing in the streets every day. And those mobilizations express our unique long-term vision and strategy.
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Yesterday, the Israeli military struck a UN school at the Jabaliya refugee camp where some 3,300 Palestinians were seeking shelter, and not long after, a crowded marketplace during what was supposed to be a humanitarian lull.
This past weekend, Israeli soldiers killed 3 Palestinians as the West Bank erupted in mass protests beyond anything seen in years, while some 7,000 anti-war protestors in Tel Aviv were taunted with chants like “Death to Arabs,” and worse.
Throughout Israel, racist attacks against Palestinians, and Jewish anti-war activists as well, continued to make it unsafe on the streets, while rockets struck fear in the hearts of families across the country.
And our response? Jewish Voice for Peace supporters like you mobilized again and again, building an unprecedented wave of resistance—especially Jewish resistance— to Israel’s war of choice and unbearable assault on Palestinians.
But we also know that achieving justice for Palestinians, and a peaceful future for all the people of Israel and Palestine is long-term work. We’re not simply against this attack – we’re for justice and universal human rights.
And these are the principles we think will get us there:
1) The siege, assaults on Gaza, and the occupation would not be possible without unconditional financial and diplomatic support provided by the US, so any successful peace agreement requires a change in US foreign policy. It is our job to change these unjust policies and to oppose lobby groups like AIPAC who pressure policymakers into unconditional support for Israel while claiming, falsely, to speak for all Jews.
2) The Israeli government has proven its interest is not peace, but rather acquiring more and more land, for Jews only. Decades of U.S-brokered “peace talks” have provided cover while Israel actually expanded settlements. Israel won’t give up its power willingly, and must be pressured. That’s why we support Palestinian-led unarmed resistance, including the on-the-ground resistance in Palestinian villages, and the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement which gives every one of us an opportunity to vote with our wallets.
We already know from Israeli leaders that economic pressure can and is making a difference. We work strategically with thousands of activists and partners to build grassroots boycott and divestment campaigns on campuses, churches and in communities that we can all use to extricate ourselves from corporations that profit from the occupation.
3) Any resolution that has a chance of achieving a lasting peace must address Israel’s 47-year-old occupation, the unequal treatment of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the creation of what has now grown to be the world’s largest refugee population when Israel was established in 1948. Therefore we work to educate ourselves and others about the Nakba (catastrophe), the forced dispossession and expulsion of Palestinians when Israel was created.
4) Sustainable long-term change comes from the grassroots, which is why we dedicate resources to training, organizing and cultivating leaders in over 40 chapters, on campuses, and in networks where we can help. In the last 3 weeks our chapters have organized hundreds of actions, often risking arrest, to raise a cry against those institutions and corporations that aid the Israeli assault on Palestinians.
It’s also why we partner, not only with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, but with a diverse range of groups committed to a just peace- Christians, Muslims, Arab Americans, artists, academics, religious leaders, students, and more. Together, we move mountains.
5) While it is up to Palestinians to lead their liberation movement, we Jews must lead ours. We know that one people’s freedom cannot be achieved at the expense of another’s, and that Israelis can never be made safe by oppressing Palestinians. We also fight intolerance and racism in Jewish communities, work with young leaders who will replace the out of touch leadership of many Jewish institutions, and support efforts to undo the dehumanization of the oppressor in Israel and all over.
To that end, we invite you to JOIN US. We are only as powerful as our willingness to speak out together.
Please forward this email to anyone you know who cares about this issue. If you’re not already on it, sign up on our list, get our bulletins, and learn more about what you can do for a lasting peace for all peoples of Israel and Palestine.
Co-Director of Organizing
Jewish Voice for Peace
1611 Telegraph Ave, Suite 550
Oakland, CA 94612
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