Hundreds of activists are spreading the word about a ten-day activist consortium hosted by the Center for Jewish Nonviolence (CJNV) this July 10-20 in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills.
Here’s why you have to be there:
- Occupation is not our Judaism: As members of a people who have historically experienced oppression through displacement, incarceration, ghettoization, and ethnic cleansing we need to stand in solidarity with Palestinians fighting for self-determination.
- The movement for justice is growing: Following the assault on Gaza last summer there is unprecedented criticism of the occupation in Jewish communities throughout the world. Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, If Not Now, Open Hillel, Rabbis for Human Rights, T’ruah, All That’s Left and others are all challenging the old consensus in the institutional Jewish world regarding Israel’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. A Jewish mass movement against the occupation is emerging and this summer you can join with others to help build this momentum through a series of historic actions in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills.
- Oppressing others will not bring us safety: This past year the state of Israel once again used a rhetoric of “security” to justify the collective punishment of Palestinians and intensify the occupation. We need to show that not all Jews share this vision and that safety will never come through the oppression of others but only through a just peace.
- Palestinians in the West Bank have asked for our presence: Communities in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills have invited us to fight with them against evictions, demolitions, land theft, army closures, and settler attacks this summer. We need to be present and support them in the ways they ask.
- Israeli activists have asked for our support: The left in Israel is demonized more than ever before and various sectors of progressive civil society have called for the international community’s support as it contends with a rising tide of conservatism, censorship, and racial bigotry.
- Judaism teaches us to honor our neighbors: Diasporic histories teach us to look at every situation through the eyes of the stranger, the marginalized, and the oppressed. Our past should help us to understand the conditions Palestinians live in today. And as Judith Butler writes, if diasporism is “thought of not only as a geographical situation but also as an ethical modality, then [it] is precisely the principle that must be ‘brought home’ to Israel/Palestine.”
- These kids are adorable: See photo.
- We need to be accountable: Continuing legacies of violence grant Jewish people citizenship, relative security, and free movement in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We need to be accountable to our privileges and use them to work against a system of hierarchy in which Palestinians in the West Bank live under martial law.
- We need to be on the ground: As Peter Beinart says, “We need to think very hard and very creatively about how we amplify Palestinian nonviolent protest in the West Bank [and] the best way we could do that is to be there ourselves.”
- It’s time for Israel to live up to its own standards in the Declaration of Independence: “[Israel] will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”
To apply for the CJNV summer 2016 direct activism trip or for more information please go here.