This statement was re-printed in the Jewish Journal of Massachusetts.

Jewish Voice for Peace–Boston responds to misguided “Palestinian Violence against Israelis” Statement

Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), the umbrella organization that purports to speak for the Greater Boston Jewish community, posted a “Statement on Palestinian Violence against Israelis” on October 12. Their “hearts go out” to Israelis only, casting them as victims and Palestinians as terrorists, tracing the roots of the current surge in violence to Palestinian resistance.  

CJP ignores the political context for instances of Palestinian uprising, which is generations of Israeli occupation, dispossession, and state violence directed at Palestinians.  A context in which Palestinians (like black people in the United States) are shot on any suspicion of posing a threat while Israelis attack Palestinians with impunity.  Where the collective punishment of Palestinians includes mass arrests, opening fire on unarmed protests, and the lockdown of cities and towns. CJP also fails to acknowledge the disproportionate suffering of Palestinians, who have faced 50 deaths and 2,000 injuries at the hands of Israeli military and vigilante attackers. Nine Israelis have been killed and 83 injured in the same time period. We mourn for the Palestinians, Israelis, and the one Eritrean asylum seeker who have tragically suffered as a result of an ongoing system of oppression.

Palestinians have lost patience with a system of colonial occupation that controls and limits all aspects of their lives. Despite Israel’s claim to be “the only democracy in the Middle East,” it has entirely different policies, laws and judicial protections for Palestinians and Jews, while Jews of color also face discrimination. For decades Israel has accelerated its takeover of Palestinian land, restriction on movement, and limited access to religious sites.  CJP not only denies this political reality; they deny the humanity of Palestinians.

As American Jews in Greater Boston, we will not abide Israel’s ongoing military occupation, discrimination, and denial of international law, which is at the heart of the violence in Palestine and Israel. CJP does not speak for us.