Jews with a conscience


Palestinians have been on the wrong end of a Zionist-fueled holocaust that has been designed to remove them from their land. Some 68 years ago, Palestinians were forcibly dispossessed of their lands often through violent means resulting in a catastrophic cycle that has led to the execution of a relentless and ongoing holocaust on the Palestinian people. In recent years, violence has been upped several notches with daylight executions in cold blood of innocent civilians by Israeli forces, especially in Gaza.

It is not just the brutal aggression against the civilian population that is distressing. It is coupled with persistent humanitarian woes and humiliating measures aimed at breaking the spirit of resistance. Today, the American NGO, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), has raised another alarm on more unsettling news.

JVP whose mission is inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights and respect for international law opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.

JVP says: “This is wrapped up in a bigger question we shouldn’t even have to ask: What will it take for the Israeli government to respect Palestinian human rights in Gaza? The US starts a peace process, which sucks up all the attention that media and the general public have for the issue. And what happens? Israel’s control over Palestinian life deepens, Palestinians are asked to ‘negotiate’ for human rights, and then blamed if they refuse.”

Today, more than 1,500 Palestinian children sit in Israeli prisons. The Apartheid Wall continues to snake its way through Palestinian territory, annexing ever more land and prohibiting Palestinians’ freedom of movement. The siege on Gaza with the daily killings will soon render that area uninhabitable and more than 50 discriminatory laws in Israel deprive Palestinian citizens of Israel of their rights. Israeli occupation policies are choking Palestinians.

JVP also charges that Palestinians are locked up and locked out just for being Palestinian. Poets are under house arrest for reading poems. Children are in jail for dissenting Facebook posts. Scientists are imprisoned indefinitely under “administrative detention.” Internationally renowned nonviolent movement leaders are blocked from leaving the country. The organization that consists of peace loving activists which include Jewish artists, academics, NGO members and staff have been organizing around the clock to demand justice for some of the movement leaders, such as Dareen Tatour, Omar Barghouti and Imad Barghouti. In more general terms, JVP wants to help “dismantle the status quo of apartheid and occupation that daily visits such injustice on all Palestinians.”

JVP has a fight on its hand. Against the massive machinery upholding Israeli occupation, they intend to build strength one by one. Jews and allies, students and academics, artists and authors - people from coast to coast coming together to build a movement strong and loud and unstoppable enough to take on the might of the Israel lobby and win! They have been marching on embassies, and calling the US State Department, and meeting with their representatives to bring the plight of the hapless Palestinians to light.

The role of the United States in how Israel conducts its affairs can never be underestimated. The US bankrolls Israel. It arms them and protects them from censure at the UN. It has argued long and hard against Iran and North Korea’s development in the nuclear field, yet has remained deceitfully mum on Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. It has choked all humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. While demanding that democratic principles be applied in every other country, the US looks the other way while Israel violates every norm of humane behavior against the Palestinians. This accommodating silence is why the Israeli policies of aggression have remained unchecked for so long.

And yet, thanks to NGO groups, such as JVP and others, the realities of Israeli policies have become increasingly evident to a previously uninformed public. There are more voices rising in support of Palestinian rights across the United States by common Americans who have come to know the facts despite the smokescreens erected by Zionist supportive media.

The Arabs, too, who are more embroiled with Daesh (the self-proclaimed IS) than Gaza, must come together and join hands with all those Jews who are standing for justice and equality for Palestinians, and who stand in condemnation of the policies of apartheid that have been executed by the Israelis. Shoulder to shoulder they must march to carry the message that they are united in the quest for Palestinian justice.

The author can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena