Annexation needs #ActionsNotWords
Annexation will permanently entrench a system of segregation for millions of Palestinians. Condemnation is simply not enough. We’re calling on our community to respond with #ActionsNotWords.
Faced with annexation we must stand for freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis. Silence is complicity with injustice, in the face of annexation we demand:
1. Jewish institutions must suspend their membership of the Zionist Federation until it speaks out against annexation.
Almost every denomination and youth movement is a member of the ZF, but unlike the Board of Deputies it makes no pretense of representing its members. It is purely a voice for the most right-wing, pro-occupation voices in our community.
Last year it held an event defending the demolition of Palestinian villages in the West Bank, and now its Chair is speaking out in supoport of annexation.
Members give it legitimacy through their affiliation and must force it to change by suspending their membership until it does.
2. Our Israel education must confront annexation.
It has failed to address the moral crisis of occupation for generations, with young Jews being taught to defend Israel instead of grappling with its reality, and this has partially contributed to the situation we’re in now.
That is why, going forward, all schools, cheders and youth movements must only deliver Israel education and programming which opposes annexation, and only work with organisations which explicitly oppose it.
3. All philanthropy to Israel must go to charities opposing annexation.
Our community sends millions of pounds to Israeli NGOs every year, and that now either needs to be redirected towards human rights NGOs or it needs to be conditional on other NGOs publicly condemning annexation.
There can be no justification for staying silent about this issue, in Israel or the diaspora, and we need to make that clear with how we our donate our money.
4. We need to end our community’s uncritical relationship with Israeli officials.
It is common for communal organisations to host informal events with the Israeli ambassador, or invite him to celebratory galas. It is understandable for various reasons why communal leaders may need to meet with Israeli officials, but these meetings must now always have annexation on the agenda and informal invitations must stop in order to send a message that the diaspora will not legitimise the Israeli government’s actions in the Palestinian territories.
Here’s some of the work we’ve been doing to ensure Annexation is met with #ActionsNotWords:
- We took our message of the need for material consequences for Annexation and Occupation on the road, projecting our demands on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the JNF and the Board of Deputies.
- We’ve had over 800 British Jews sign our petition demanding the UK government reject settlement minister Tzipi Hotovely as the next Israeli ambassador.
- Our members are calling on their Youth Movements directly to disaffiliate from the Zionist federation. Hear from some of them here, and here.
- Keep an eye out for more actions soon.