Sunday, June 6, 2010

An Open Letter Regarding The 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism & Israeli Apartheid

The Jewish anti-zionist network sent this press release to the student Insurgent, it is reprinted below: 
In less than a month, people from across the United States and beyond will be gathering at the 2010 U.S. Assembly of Jews: Confronting Racism and Israeli Apartheid (the "Assembly"). 

The Assembly is an historic event intended to build relationships, political clarity and Jewish anti- Zionist organizing and activism. It takes place at a time when recognition of the brutal nature of the State of Israel is growing, and increasing numbers of people are compelled to challenge its impunity. To date, the Assembly has over forty endorsers, anticipates two hundred participants, and has gained the interest of Palestinian, Palestinian solidarity and anti-racist movements in the United States, as well as the attention of mainstream Jewish media.  

Given the stated purposes of the Assembly, we are expecting challenges to be leveled against it. IJAN, the main organizer of the Assembly, is already receiving criticism based on inaccurate assumptions or apparently different political goals. With this momentous event upon us, we would like to take a moment to make clear the principles, positions and goals of the Assembly and help correct or prevent misconceptions.  

IJAN and the Assembly stand firmly against Zionism – the exclusionary colonial ideas, policies and practice that privilege Jews above, and at the expense of, Palestinian people. By extension we reject the Jewish nationalism that underlies Zionism, a nationalism that erases diverse Jewish histories and champions safety in separation, isolation and domination of others. We believe that true safety and long-term freedom can only be found in the emancipation of all people.  

We expressly challenge Zionism’s monopolization of our diverse Jewish histories, politics, cultures and religious practices.  We take strength from and join in the long tradition of Jewish commitment to human emancipation.  Against the Zionist betrayal of this tradition and the hijacking of Jewish history, the Assembly is a collective act of Jews reasserting and reconnecting with a long history of participation in social justice movements. 

In the same way that we reject Zionism’s inherent racism, we reject racism and hatred in any form and against any people or person. Thus we refuse to ally ourselves with anti-Jewish racists, white supremacists or Holocaust deniers. To do otherwise, would mean to embrace the Zionist strategy of conflating Judaism and Jewishness with Zionism, a tactic used to assume and even impose unconditional support of Jews for Israel regardless of that State’s actions. In our unequivocal rejection of Zionism, we do not and will not take part in actions that conflate Zionism and Judaism, whether intentionally or thoughtlessly. We believe that supporting Palestinian self-determination requires challenging Zionist ideas, policies and practice, not the practice of Judaism.  

To ensure that we are neither divisive nor obtrusive guests in Detroit, the Assembly will not endorse participation in any political activities other than those developed through the collaborative national process of the organizing for it. We request Assembly participants not to be provoked by those who may attempt to undermine the objectives of the Assembly, including by calling for our participation in activities outside of and contradictory to it.  

In addition, IJAN will not align itself with those who either seek to use the struggle against Zionism for their own ends, individual or collective, or who proclaim themselves anti-Zionist but whose divisive actions serve only to further a Zionist agenda, undermining Palestine solidarity work and anti-Zionist organizing.  Rather, the Assembly is intended to promote the building of organized forces of Jews who can multiply and amplify efforts to overcome Zionism and decolonize Palestine, by working with and in support of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.   

To that end, we welcome all who are 1) interested in supporting the organizing of anti-Zionist Jews as part of the broader Palestine solidarity movement and anti-racist, anti-imperialist organizing in the United States and beyond, 2) committed to the principles reflected in the Assembly's purpose, goals, assumptions and expectations, and 3) able to express this commitment through participation that supports the goals and activities of the Assembly. While we welcome discussions on our continually evolving struggle to overcome the destructiveness, including of life and land, of Zionist principles, practices and policies, we will not tolerate attempts to disrupt, undermine, provoke or attack participants, speakers or facilitators.  

The International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network 


Raul Reeve said...

"We refuse to ally with Holocaust deniers' - a strange priority for a pro-palestinian group! Have 'Holocaust deniers' offered an alliance? Probably not. This is more of a Freudian slip, showing once again 'Jews against Zionism' are more concerned about their own very successful ethnic group than they are about the people many people in their ethnic group are oppressing. It's as if the anti-apartheid movement rejected an alliance with the Pan Africanist Congress because it was anti-white. But it didn't, did it?

As long as we are concerned about 'anti semitism' and 'white supremacy' we will be impotent against the real racial supremacy which kills Palestinians and Iraqis.

These anti-Z Jews want to cover their a...s by separating Jewish 'culture' from 'Zionism'. But suppose they are closely intertwined? The ijan wants to ensure we daren't examine this. Not all anti-z Jews are like this, concerned with cleansing the anti-z movement of politically incorrect allies - see Palestine Think Tank for example.

Nemo said...

Well. The "open letter" went on and on and on about Jews and said almost nothing about Palestinians.

Anonymous said...

And here's something from an article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "J Street" is calling only for the Israeli government to investigate the attack on the flotilla, presumably opposing an international investigation, taking pretty much the same line that Obama is taking:

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the liberal J Street lobby, said in a statement issued Monday that "A credible, independent commission appointed by the Israeli government should provide the world with a full and complete report into the causes and circumstances surrounding the day's events and establish responsibility for the violence and bloodshed."

"Progressive" Zionists aren't worth dealing with.

Peace groups have wanted to have Jews involved in their organizations for whatever reason. Any person who supports their goals should be allowed to participate. But they've often brought in "progressive" Zionists who've undermined their work.