By Ilana Sumka
It’s time for Jews from around the world to stand alongside Palestinian and Israeli nonviolent activists working tirelessly to end the occupation. We call on Jews from around the world to join the Center for Jewish Nonviolence for a week of Nonviolence In Action. Here’s why:
The recent killings of a Palestinian baby and two Palestinian teenagers are a tragic and sobering reminder of the violence that is inseparable from the injustices of the occupation. Those of us who are tired of watching the violence and want to do something productive have an opportunity to stand on the side of nonviolence and justice. While AIPAC brings delegation after delegation of Congress Members and donors to see their version of Israel through rose-colored glasses, it’s time for us to go and use our presence to show the world – particularly the mainstream Jewish world – what’s really happening.
Thanks to the work of All That’s Left, Rabbis for Human Rights, B’tselem and many other activist groups around the world, many people have already heard about the yet-again planned demolition of Susiya in the South Hebron Hills, recently featured in the New York Times here and here.
This October, when the World Zionist Congress convenes in Jerusalem, Jews from around the world will take a stand against the occupation’s violence and stand with Susiya. Jews from around the world will partner with Palestinians and Israelis working nonviolently to end the occupation. Together, we will build meaningful relationships with other Jews who urgently want to see an end to the occupation and the violence that comes with it.
Join us. We’ve made the delegation as inexpensive as possible: $300 for a week with free Jerusalem area home-stays, and we’ll offer suggestions on how to utilize crowdfunding to help offset your plane ticket. (We’re not Birthright! We’re going to have to be creative and resourceful to fund our own activism. We are developing a frequent-flyer matching program to help cover plane tickets. If you have miles to donate, please contact CenterForJewishNonviolence@gmail.com).
We invite all those concerned with a just future for Israelis and Palestinians to join us. There’s still a month left to register: registration deadline is August 31, 2015. To register for the October week of Nonviolence in Action, click here.
To receive more general information about the growing movement of diaspora Jews standing in solidarity with nonviolent Palestinian and Israeli activists seeking an end to the occupation (including our October delegation), sign up here.
We expect participants will have a diversity of ideas regarding a specific future political solution for Israelis and Palestinians (two-state, one-state, federation, other), and that participants will similarly differ regarding specific nonviolent strategies and tactics. We also expect that participants will have varying understandings of and relationships to Zionism and nationalism. This diversity is welcome.
We will unite in our shared commitment to dismantling the current system of occupation, working towards a future regional political system that upholds full, equal civil and human rights, and using nonviolent solidarity activism to draw attention to the current injustices faced by Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
We know that it is time - past time - for the Israeli occupation to end.
Ilana Sumka is the Director of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence.