This summer, the world witnessed yet another massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Those massacred were men, women and children who are occupied, besieged and, since 2007, subject to a total blockade by the armed forces of Israel, the occupying power.
This blockade is illegal, immoral and inhuman.
But the immorality of the collective punishment Israel is inflicting on the Palestinian people goes well beyond the borders of Gaza. Israel is an apartheid state, as defined by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Suppression of the Crime of Apartheid. Continue reading
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV) has endorsed the referendum question put forth by undergraduate students at Concordia University supporting the call from the large majority of Palestinian civil society to advocate for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel until it respects Palestinian rights. As a non-violent form of resistance, BDS is the best available means by which the global community can pressure Israel into respecting Palestinian rights by ending its systematic violations of international law.
We join students at Concordia in calling on the university to cut its institutional links to Israel. By continuing to partner with Israeli institutions, Concordia is sending the wrong message to its students. If it cuts ties with these institutions, Concordia will affirm that Israel must be held accountable for its systematic violations of Palestinian rights. Students and teachers alike should not collaborate in Israel’s apartheid system.
IJV continues to affirm the universal values of human rights and social justice, which as Jews of conscience we have carried with us through generations of oppression and struggle. From our own history of being an oppressed group, we choose to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, rather than exploiting the history of Jewish suffering in order to perpetuate the suffering of others. We strongly repudiate the claims of Jewish organizations that try to silence criticism of Israel’s policies, and that misuse the history of Jewish suffering to justify the permanent occupation over Palestinian lands and lives.
Israeli apartheid supporters are once again getting their knickers in a knot over Concordia students running a referendum question in favor of joining the growing movement to boycott, divest and sanction the Israeli apartheid regime. We’ve been down that road before.
On behalf of Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), we wish to express our strongest solidarity with the students who took it upon themselves to do the work of educating and mobilizing their peers in the fight for justice and human rights.
PAJU, as an organization, is old enough to know that the struggle against injustice and oppression is always controversial and never comes easy. Israeli Apartheid apologists will make many claims in their attempts to bully students of conscious out of their right to vote and to take a stand at Concordia. But students shouldn’t feel scared or worried. In fact, the students who initiated the debate at Concordia University are once again making history in the fight against Israeli apartheid and impunity.
There is no more excuse for standing on the side of apartheid. Times are changing and justice and human rights will prevail as the resolutions in favor of the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli apartheid cumulate all over the world. Boycott apartheid! Free Palestine!
Bruce Katz, President
Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU) Continue reading