Boycott Duty Free Americas: Don’t buy airport goods that fund Israeli settlers

October 13, 2021

Activists call for a boycott of Duty Free Americas; its owners fund the settler movement’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and land.

BY DONNA NEVEL

OCTOBER 7, 2021

PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF DUTY FREE AMERICAS HEADQUARTERS IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, JUNE 2, 2021. (PHOTO: JVP SOUTH FLORIDA)

The article was originally published by Truthout on October 6, 2021.

Palestinian lawyer Mohammed Khatib once dreamed of bringing his own children back to ride the swing in the roman olive tree where he used to play as a child, but that vision was shattered by the ongoing illegal expansion of Israeli settlements.

“I always dreamed that this olive tree and this place that I used to play when I was a child, that my children will play there,” Khatib said. “Unfortunately, this has been demolished, this has been uprooted, and in its place, they have built a huge settlement.”

Khatib’s story is all too familiar. The settlement enterprise, backed by the Israeli government, is responsible for stealing Palestinian land and has destroyed approximately 48,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories since 1967. This ongoing process of settler colonialism began prior to Israel’s creation in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land and homes by the Zionist movement and then Israel. Known as the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic), it continues to this day.

Khatib, a human rights activist, was invited to share his experiences at the recent online launch of the campaign to Boycott Duty Free Americas (DFA), a chain of stores owned by a family that has donated millions of dollars to fund right-wing Israeli settler organizations.

Owned by the Falic family from South Florida, Duty Free Americas operates over 180 duty-free stores that sell items like hard liquor and chocolates at airports and border crossings across the United States and Latin America.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Falic family “has donated at least $5.6 million to settler groups in the West Bank and east Jerusalem over the past decade” and according to Haaretz, the Falic family also operates the Panama-based Segal Foundation for Israel, which ran afoul of even Israeli law because it “did little more than transfer millions of shekels to right-wing organizations in Israel.”

As documented by the Palestinian-led campaign Defund Racism, so-called charitable funds raised in the United States from donors such as the Falic family are used “to carry out the mission of the Israeli settler organizations.”

The South Florida Coalition for Palestine, a coalition of social justice organizations, has called for a campaign to boycott Duty Free Americas because of the role its owners play in funding the settler movement’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and land. The coalition felt a particular responsibility to initiate this campaign given that the headquarters of Duty Free Americas and its owners are based in South Florida.

At the launch of the boycott campaign against Duty Free Americas, South Florida Coalition for Palestine member Ken Barnes, who is also a South Florida representative with Jewish Voice for Peace, said, “We are boycotting Duty Free Americas until they stop funding Israeli apartheid.”

Anas Amireh, another coalition member representing Al-Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, echoed this sentiment, saying, “A corporation or business that funds the ethnic cleansing of an Indigenous nation must be held accountable.”

Meanwhile, in a video produced by the Defund Racism campaign and shown at the launch, Mohammed El Kurd, a writer, poet and activist from Sheikh Jarrah, explained the role of settler organizations. “You know we often say and speak about this settler colonialism,” he said, “but when you … see how it manifests and how this subtle colonialism crystallizes in real life, it is through the settler organizations who actively work to displace Palestinians or isolate Palestinians from one another in the Naqab, in occupied ‘48 territories, or in the West Bank.”

Khatib emphasized that “settlements are violent places,” explaining that many Israeli settlers are ready to kill, beat and threaten Palestinian farmers to prevent them from reaching their homes and land.

“What these settlers are doing, no one could imagine and accept it … and all of this is coming from American support,” Khatib said.

“Let’s end U.S. complicity in Zionist settler colonialism,” added Bana Abu Zuluf of the Good Shepherd Collective and Defund Racism campaign, discussing the importance of using multidimensional strategies and identifying clear targets in boycott campaigns such as this one.

The organizers of the Campaign to Boycott Duty Free Americas intend to engage in protest and community education and to continue to strategize and coordinate with partners in the U.S. and in Palestine. A simple ask coming from the coalition is for people to send photos with signs saying “Boycott Duty Free Americas” or “DFA funds ethnic cleansing” at the airport, in front of DFA shops, or at home. The groups representing the coalition say they are committed to long-term organizing and community building around this issue.

Samir Kakli from the South Florida Muslim Federation spoke at the launch of the campaign about the power of organizing collectively and collaboratively: “While we are constantly in a state of heartache due to the ongoing apartheid and occupation, we are also strengthened by the very strong and principled resistance taking place in Palestine and across the globe,” Kakli said. “Individuals, groups and communities must continue to come together, and collaborate in partnership, for the best results will come from working as a powerful collective.”

The organizers of the boycott campaign understand that there will surely be opposition coming from supporters of the Israeli settlements and from those who deny Palestinians their humanity, but Lara Ghannam of the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations urged activists to remain steadfast in their clarity about the reasons for the campaign.

“This is about human rights,” Ghannam said. “This is about the silence of world leaders as 73 years of violence continue against the Palestinian people. And this is why it is vital for us, everyone here today, everyone watching, to join the campaign to boycott Duty Free Americas.

Copyright © Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

Germany Gave My Family Reparations. Palestinians Deserve the Same From Israel.

June 16, 2021

TRUTHOUT

An aerial view of a collapsed building

A drone views the ruins of buildings in Gaza city, leveled by an Israeli airstrike, on June 11, 2021, in Gaza, Palestine.MAJDI FATHI / NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

By Jane Hirschmann

June 14, 2021

I am a first-generation American. My Jewish parents fled Germany as the horrors of the Holocaust were unfolding. They left behind family who perished in camps and were killed as they fled from their homes while being chased and shot at by Nazis.

My great-grandfather, grandfather and father had a thriving butcher business in Frankfurt. They lived in the apartment building next to the butcher shop. My father always said he barely realized he was Jewish until Hitler arrived. It was always Deutschland über alles.

My mother’s family were wheat traders in Wetzlar. After the rise of Hitler, my mother fled Germany first so that she could learn the language in her new country and make enough money to bring over her parents and brother. They came to the U.S. without much money and like many, had to build a life from the bottom up.

Once the war was over, Germany gave my father reparations for the loss of his business as well as for the crime of persecution. He received a monthly check until his death at the age of 91. Both of my parents were welcomed back by the German government and told they could get their passports and citizenship returned.

Those born to Holocaust survivors who can prove that their father was forced from his homeland between the years 1933-1945 have the right to become German citizens along with all of their children, grandchildren and all future progeny forever. Last year, my children, grandchildren and I became German citizens, and were given European passports.

As I think about my own family and its history, I wonder why the 750,000 Palestinians forced from their homes and land in 1948 when Israel was founded are not entitled to the same treatment my family received after WWII ended. But the war on Palestinians was never over. Instead, Israel continues to this day its policy of ethnic cleansing, as evidenced by the current expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah and other parts of East Jerusalem.

B’Tselem, a human rights organization in Israel, and Human Rights Watch have documented and denounced the continuing maltreatment of Palestinians by the Israeli government and the settler movement, including the confiscation of Palestinians’ lands and houses; the restrictions on movement; the limitations on rights of free speech and assembly; the denial of building permits; the denial of many basic civil rights and the terrorizing by Jewish settler extremists backed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Human Rights Watch has concluded that conduct toward the Palestinians amounts to persecution and apartheid, which are crimes against humanity under international law.

It is somewhat ironic that thousands of Jews in Israel are getting reparations and passports from Germany because of expulsion, loss of property and persecution, yet Israel will not allow Palestinians to return to a land from which they were expelled.

We recently witnessed the brutal bombing of Gaza, where 2 million Palestinians have been strangled by a 14-year blockade. Using the most sophisticated weaponry made in the United States, the IDF has targeted civilian population centers, hitting 18 hospitals and clinics, apartment buildings and killing scores of children and other innocent bystanders.

I ask myself: How is it possible that the victims of the Holocaust and their progeny can so brutally victimize another people on racial grounds? I ask myself why Palestinians don’t have the same rights to reparations and return afforded to my family after Germany accepted responsibility for their crimes. Shouldn’t Palestinians be entitled to reparations and the right of return? Shouldn’t they have the same rights to self-determination that Israel itself claims?

Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the homes from which they were displaced is well-established in international law. The first source of support is UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 1948, in which the UN General Assembly, “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the governments or authorities responsible.”

It is somewhat ironic that thousands of Jews in Israel are getting reparations and passports from Germany because of expulsion, loss of property and persecution, yet Israel will not allow Palestinians to return to a land from which they were expelled.

I simply cannot reconcile these profound contradictions that obviously preclude any possibility for peace in the region.

I am deeply ashamed and angry that these acts are committed in the name of the Jewish people and that my government provides the money and arms to support these Israeli crimes.

Jane Hirschmann is an author, psychotherapist and longtime organizer for justice, a co-chair of Freedom2Boycott NYS Coalition and co-founder of Jews Say No!.

Ellen Davidson

June 3, 2021

Ellen Davidson is an activist photojournalist who has traveled to Palestine five times. She works with Jews Say NO!, U.S. Boats to Gaza, and Veterans For Peace. She discusses the present crisis in the occupied territories with Mark Dunlea for Hudson Mohawk Radio Network.

Ex-Israeli pilot: ‘Our army is a terrorist organization run by war criminals’

May 24, 2021

Yonatan Shapira in Oslo, speaking at a rally in front of the Norwegian Parliament, May 19 2021 .

What We Did: How the Jewish Communist Left Failed the Palestinian Cause

May 14, 2021

Dorothy Zellner in Jewish Currents

May 12, 2021

I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD when World War II ended, but I remember the way the war lived in our house. Both my parents were secular, non-Zionist Jewish immigrants and lifelong followers of the Soviet Union, which they believed would end exploitation, poverty, and racism. My siblings and I have memories of blacked-out windows and air raid sirens and the sound of incessant war reports on the radio, which my father turned up as loudly as possible to drown out the normal din of childhood. He raved almost daily, waving his fists in the air, cursing the “Nazi swine!” and obsessively following the progress of the Red Army, which he hoped would save not only the Jews but the entire human race. I cannot recall my parents talking about what many American Jews of that period considered the promised land, the Zionist project in Palestine.

Until the late 1940s, the Soviet Union and its Communist followers in the United States opposed the partition of Palestine to create a Jewish state, advocating instead for the establishment of a single state that would confer equal rights on everyone who lived there. In the US, this Jewish Communist left was small in number but influential. Thus it was significant that in 1947, the year I turned nine, the Soviet Union abruptly altered its position, throwing its support behind the creation of what would become the State of Israel. After a brief period of shock and confusion, the Jews of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) followed suit.   

Until the late 1940s, the Soviet Union and its Communist followers in the United States opposed the partition of Palestine to create a Jewish state, advocating instead for the establishment of a single state that would confer equal rights on everyone who lived there. In the US, this Jewish Communist left was small in number but influential. Thus it was significant that in 1947, the year I turned nine, the Soviet Union abruptly altered its position, throwing its support behind the creation of what would become the State of Israel. After a brief period of shock and confusion, the Jews of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) followed suit.        

I learned of these events only a few years ago, when I went searching for a record of how my own political forebears reacted to the founding of the State of Israel. The impetus for my research was the 20 years I spent living in the American South, five of them spent working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the early 1960s. What I learned from SNCC is still firmly planted in my head, especially the wisdom that if you are white and anti-racist, you need to organize inside the white community, where racism lives. After a few decades of denial, I became a Jewish activist in the Palestine solidarity movement 18 years ago. In the past few years, I’ve sought in particular to reckon with how the community of my own origins, the American Jewish Communist left, acted in 1948, and how it might be implicated in Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. 

Facing the mistakes of the Party that I so respected remains an incredibly painful task. All these years later, I still applaud its pioneering role in organizing interracial labor unions during the Great Depression, its heroic participation in the Spanish Civil War, its courageous fight against fascism during World War II, and, most importantly, its constant, uncompromising struggle against racism. Yet I am deeply critical of the way the CPUSA followed the Soviet party line—both when it came to Israel and on other occasions—to the detriment of its own internal democracy and stated principles.  

READ MORE     

Dorothy M. Zellner is a longtime social justice activist who worked for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Conference Educational Fund in the early 1960s, and at the Center for Constitutional Rights and CUNY School of Law. She has also contributed several articles to Jewish Currents. She is one of six editors of the prize-winning book, Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC.

When a stone confronts a rifle

May 10, 2021

When a person holding a stone confronts soldiers who are armed with rifles, ask yourself why they are willing to do that.

On May 8, 80,000 Palestinians came to stand in front of rifles and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque.  They overwhelmed the rifles with their numbers and spirit.  We stand with them.

We deplore Israel’s violation of sacred space during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. We are horrified by the mob violence and the paramilitary police who enable it. This is not a ‘clash’ between two opinions, this is occupation and apartheid at work. 

We reject Israel’s campaign to dispossess the Palestinians, including current efforts to evict families from Sheikh Jarrah.  The New York Times notes, “A spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, said Friday that the evictions ‘would violate Israel’s obligations under international law’ prohibiting the forced transfer of residents from occupied territory…. [Aryeh] King, the deputy mayor, said ‘of course’ [the evictions] are part of a wider strategy of installing ‘layers of Jews’ throughout East Jerusalem.” 

We say, stop the evictions, and get the Israeli settlers out of occupied East Jerusalem.  This is ethnic cleansing.

Israel’s refusal to vaccinate the Palestinians whose land it occupies in Gaza and the West Bank has been condemned by UN Rapporteurs as “discriminatory and unlawful.” Covid is rampant and we plead with our governments to provide the lifesaving assistance that Israel is withholding. 

We call for an end to Israel’s impunity.  These are crimes.  We must begin to respond to them as crimes. 

We hold the Palestinian protestors in our thoughts.

 — International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine

Israel and apartheid | Opinion

May 4, 2021

SPECIAL TO THE South Florida SUN SENTINEL  MAY 04, 2021 

By DONNA NEVEL

Palestinian laborers some wearing protective face masks amid concerns over the country's coronavirus outbreak, cross illegally into Israel from the West Bank through an opening in a fence, south of the West Bank town of Hebron on Sept. 6, 2020. One of the world's best-known human rights groups says Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution. Human Rights Watch cites discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within Israel's own borders and in the occupied territories. In so doing, the New York-based group joins a growing number of commentators and rights groups that consider Israel and the territories as a single entity in which Palestinians are denied basic rights that are granted to Jews.

Palestinian laborers some wearing protective face masks amid concerns over the country’s coronavirus outbreak, cross illegally into Israel from the West Bank through an opening in a fence, south of the West Bank town of Hebron on Sept. 6, 2020. One of the world’s best-known human rights groups says Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution. Human Rights Watch cites discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within Israel’s own borders and in the occupied territories. In so doing, the New York-based group joins a growing number of commentators and rights groups that consider Israel and the territories as a single entity in which Palestinians are denied basic rights that are granted to Jews. (Oded Balilty/AP)

While he wears his great friendship with Israel as a badge of honor, it would do the governor well to read a historic report just released by the prominent global human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch, which documents in great detail and over a period of many years the ways that Israel is committing “crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution” against Palestinians.Advertisement

Gov. DeSantis has long championed the state of Israel and has called himself Israel’s greatest friend. In fact, while campaigning for governor, DeSantis proclaimed, “As soon as I take the oath of office, that very day, we’ll have the most pro-Israel governor in the country.”

This comes on the heels of another position paper the governor should have read, issued last January by Israel’s premier human rights organization, B’Tselem, which came to similar conclusions. While the charge of apartheid continues to be denied by Israel’s defenders, the evidence could not be any clearer, as laid out in this 213-page report and the numerous well-documented accounts of Israeli apartheid that preceded it.

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a Jewish social justice activist living in South Florida.
Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a Jewish social justice activist living in South Florida.

The Human Rights Watch report details how Israel, in order to achieve its goal of domination over the Palestinians living there, practices institutional discrimination. As stated in the report, “On the basis of its research, Human Rights Watch concludes that the Israeli government has demonstrated an intent to maintain the domination of Jewish Israelis over Palestinians across Israel and the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territory). In the OPT, including East Jerusalem, that intent has been coupled with systematic oppression of Palestinians and inhumane acts committed against them. When these three elements occur together, they amount to the crime of apartheid.”

The report goes on to point out that government policy has, for decades, been guided by the clear objective “of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power and land.” And, as the report also documents, “In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”

One often hears Israel claiming that it carries out certain practices for security reasons, yet the Human Rights Watch report makes clear that the Israeli government often uses security as a justification to advance its demographic objectives, and so its claims of security needs have served as a pretext for its acts of aggression and violence against Palestinians.

It is no secret that Israel has sought since its inception and in whatever ways it had at its disposal to maintain its control over the land, and that it has long-denied Palestinians their civil, human and national rights. Palestinian human rights groups, scholars, writers, activists and researchers have long described and applied the apartheid framework to Israel. Israel’s laws have always been discriminatory toward Palestinians, and the government has engaged in massive land theft and displacement of Palestinians from their homes. According to Adalah, a legal justice center protecting the human rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the OPT, which has welcomed the HRW report, “Israel has long promoted Jewish supremacy and racial segregation between Jews and Palestinians in all the territories under its control.”

The HRW Report echoes what Palestinians have been saying in great detail for decades. It is also worth noting that over the years, no fewer than four Israeli prime ministers, from David Ben Gurion in 1967 to Ehud Olmert in 2007, have warned that Israel would be an apartheid state if it continued to rule over Palestinians. It is impossible to read the HRW and other reports and testimonies and not recognize the reality of Israeli apartheid. Florida doesn’t need a governor who is an apologist or cheerleader for Israel’s discriminatory system, but, rather, one who stands firmly for liberty, human rights and justice.

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a Jewish social justice activist living in South Florida.

Challenging Antisemitism: Why Criticism of Israel Shouldn’t be Singled Out & Our Interconnected Struggles for Justice

April 4, 2021

Posted in Tikkun magazine

By Donna Nevel | March 31, 2021

I remember attending a pro-Israel hasbara (propaganda) workshop over forty-five years ago that strongly encouraged, as a response to critics of Israel, accusations of antisemitism. Don’t focus on the argument, we were told, but, rather, discredit the person making the argument by accusing them of antisemitism. Accusations of antisemitism directed at Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian rights are not new and have been a strategy of Israeli government and pro-Israel hasbara for decades. 

One of the most visible iterations of this phenomenon currently is the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. Promoted by Israel’s right-wing government and its supporters, and adopted by the U.S. and other western governments, the IHRA definition goes full speed in conflating criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian justice with antisemitism. Just this past week, while Israelis elected overt fascists to the Knesset (Parliament), with the help of the Prime Minister, Israel and its defenders continued to hold up the IHRA definition to smear Palestinians as anti-Semitic for describing Israel as racist.

Recent statements such as the Nexus Document and the just released Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) offer a push-back to the IHRA definition, challenging its authority and strong-hold on (at least some of) what it calls antisemitic, particularly in relation to Israel. The JDA, in particular, refutes many of the most pernicious examples of supposed antisemitism within the IHRA definition that Israel and its advocates employ to target Israel’s critics. Yet, even in these new documents, criticism of some of Israel’s policies and practices continues to be singled out as examples of antisemitism.

We must not reinforce the notion that there is anything about criticism of Israel that requires “special” attention. There is not. This false framing most of all impacts Palestinians and their call for justice. When criticism is made of Israel, the relevant question is whether the statement is true or not. Israel’s history is rooted in the expulsion and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian population from its land and homes. That process of land theft and violations of Palestinians’ most basic civil and human rights have continued until this day. To understand that reality is to appreciate why Israel–a nation-state–deserves criticism and why accusations of antisemitism are an attempt to discredit those who make visible that history and demand justice. To feed into the frankly anti-Palestinian notion that criticism of Israel warrants particular skepticism is exactly what the IHRA proponents want us to do. 

We don’t need more definitions (of antisemitism) to protect Jews or to fight antisemitism, especially ones that continue to include Israel as a particular focus. Instead, we should continue to put front and center the calls from community after community that are doing the work to challenge injustice: Our work against anti-Black racism, white supremacy,  Islamophobia, anti-Asian racism, antisemitism, transphobia, and all forms of injustice are deeply connected to one another. That is easy to say, but we must practice this in our lives, which means, at the very least, not minimizing other struggles for justice, and, at our best, thinking tangibly about how connecting our struggles can be a lived reality. 

The upsurge of antisemitism comes, for the most part, from the upsurge in white nationalist violencethat impacts so many of our communities. Any special consideration of antisemitism can too easily serve to minimize and de-center, for example, the pervasive anti-Asian, anti-Black and anti-Muslim violence and discrimination in all spheres of society. That there is disproportionate attention paid to antisemitism does not correspond to the realities of the ongoing violence, both interpersonal and state-sanctioned, that different communities are experiencing. One shouldn’t have to be afraid to make such a statement; it does not disparage the fight against antisemitism even slightly. In fact, locating the challenge against antisemitism as an integral part of other struggles for justice, rather than exceptionalizing it, can only strengthen all our movements against racism and white supremacy.

From political protest to community education and all in between, our collective commitment to justice is about building a society dedicated to everyone’s dignity and well-being. That is what will ensure safety for all of us.

Donna Nevel, a community psychologist and educator, is a long-time organizer for justice. She is a co-director of PARCEO, a community resource, education and research center rooted in principles of Participatory Action Research (PAR).

Open Letter to Mayors from Jewish groups Across the Globe

March 6, 2021


Jews Say No! is pleased to be part of this open letter to Mayors from Jewish groups across the globe expressing concerns about the political agenda underlying the upcoming mayors summit against antisemitism.

Open Letter to Mayors ConcerningUpcoming Summit Against Antisemitism

Dear Mayor:

You may already have received an invitation addressed to mayors from all over the world to a digital summit against antisemitism organized by the Frankfurt, Germany, municipality and scheduled for March 16.

As Jewish individuals and organizations across the world committed to challenging all forms of racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia, we would like to inform you about the real purpose of this invitation.

One of the panels will address the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, which includes several examples that equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism. This definition is being used worldwide as a tool to assert that criticism of Israel is inherently antisemitic, and to shut down local initiatives by many communities that are resolutely opposed to Israel’s human rights violations. As with any other country, Israel’s actions can and must be criticized. The IHRA definition’s advocates say that Israel is being unfairly singled out. However, it is this definition that singles out Israel by claiming that criticizing its violations of international law and human rights, especially Palestinian rights, is antisemitic rather than a requirement of global leadership. The IHRA definition is opposed in many countries, including by many Jewish associations and individuals. 

This meeting, therefore, is not genuinely made with the intention of combating antisemitism. It is no accident that one of the partners to this event is the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

You will be asked to support this IHRA definition. Instead, we appeal to your political and moral integrity to reject it and encourage you to join the collective struggle against racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia.

We urge you to make your positions of principle known. Should you wish to discuss the matter with us, we will be happy to provide you with any additional information you may require.  

Sincerely yours,

International Jewish Collective for Justice in Palestine, consisting of groups and individuals in 14 countries across the globe

Jews Against the Occupation, Sydney, Australia

Een Andere Joodse Stem (Another Jewish Voice), Belgium

Independent Jewish Voices, Canada

Union of French Jews for Peace (UJFP)

Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, Germany

Boycott from Within, Israel 

Alternative Jewish Voices of New Zealand

South African Jews for a Free Palestine

Jewish Network for Palestine, UK

Free Speech on Israel, UK

Jews Say No!, US

Jewish Voice for Peace, US

JVP BIJOCSM Network, US

Atlanta and Chicago chapters, Jewish Voice for Peace, US

SEDQ: A Global Jewish Network for Justice

Jews across the globe applaud statement by Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists, and intellectuals

December 12, 2020

Jews across the globe applaud statement by Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists, and intellectuals

PROTEST BANNER IN LONDON, 2018. (PHOTO: JEWISH VOICE FOR LABOUR (UK) VIA THE PALESTINE POSTER PROJECT ARCHIVES)

We, Jewish groups and individuals from across the globe, applaud the recent powerful statement and set of principles signed by 122 Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists, and intellectuals regarding the definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the way this definition has been applied, interpreted and deployed.

As the letter states so compellingly: ” The fight against antisemitism should not be turned into a stratagem to delegitimise the fight against the oppression of the Palestinians, the denial of their rights and the continued occupation of their land.”
It avers: “Antisemitism must be debunked and combated. Regardless of pretense, no expression of hatred for Jews as Jews should be tolerated anywhere in the world. We also believe that the lessons of the Holocaust as well as those of other genocides of modern times must be part of the education of new generations against all forms of racial prejudice and hatred.”

And it also makes clear: “The fight against antisemitism must be deployed within the frame of international law and human rights. It should be part and parcel of the fight against all forms of racism and xenophobia, including Islamophobia, and anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism. The aim of this struggle is to guarantee freedom and emancipation for all oppressed groups. It is deeply distorted when geared towards the defence of an oppressive and predatory state.”

See the full statement from Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists, and intellectuals here.

Signatories:

Anya Topolski Een Andere Joodse Stem, Another Jewish Voice, Belgium

Hilla Dayan Academia for Equality, The Netherlands

Wieland Hoban Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost Germany

Dror Feiler European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP) Sweden

Dr. Itamar Shachar Belgium / Israel

Ofer Neiman, Boycott from Within Israel

Donna Nevel, Jews Say No! USA

Alan Rückert Z. Chile

Sheryl Nestel, Independent Jewish Voices Canada Canada

David Comedi, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-Argentina Argentina

Marilyn Garson, Sh’ma Koleinu – Alternative Jewish Voices New Zealand

Vivienne Porzsolt, Jews against the Occupation Australia

Rina King, South African Jews for a Free Palestine SAJFP South Africa

Ronnie Kasrils South Africa

Liliana Cordova-Kaczerginski, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Spain

Alejandro Ruetter, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Spain

Guy Bollag Switzerland

Richard Wagman, UJFP (French Jewish Peace Union) France

Eyal France

Corey Balsam, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Rowan Gaudet, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Itay Sapir, Université du Québec à Montréal Canada

sue goldstein, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Canada

Haim Bresheeth, Jewish Network for Palestine UK

David Cannon, Jewish Network for Palestine UK

Mike Cushman ,Free Speech on Israel UK

Leah Levane, Jewish Voice for Labour UK

Michael Kalmanovitz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network–UK UK

Rob Ferguson, Steering Cttee Free Speech on Israel & SocialistWorkers Party UK

Rachel Lever, Labour Party UK

Dorothy M. Zellner, Jews Say No! USA

Stefanie Fox, Jewish Voice for Peace USA

Lesley Williams Jewish Voice for Peace, USA

Ivan Strasburg, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (ATSE) USA

Rachel Giora, Boycott From Within Israel

Anat Matar, Tel Aviv University Israel

Haley Firkser Israel

Shir Hever, Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in NaHost. e.V. Germany

The Board A Different Jewish Voice, Amsterdam Netherlands

Michal Sapir Israel

Rebecca Vilkomerson United States

Ofra Ben Artzi Israel

Dr Les Levidow UK

Angie Mindel UK

Yehuda Aharon Australia

Heather Mendick UK

Angie Mindel UK

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead UK

Sue Rabkin South Africa

Motti Shimoni USA

Mike Simons United Kingdom


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