Al-Awda’s partner organization, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, has issued the following statement in response to Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress. To sign on, please visit: https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-benjamin-netanyahu-netanyahu-s-apartheid-israel-does-not-speak-for-us
Netanyahu’s Apartheid Israel Does Not Speak For Us
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, March 10, 2015
As Jews of conscience, we condemn not only Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to the United States, but the entire apartheid state he represents.
That regime is guilty of:
*Mass ethnic cleansing and dispossession of Palestinians to make way for the creation of the “Jewish state” in 1947-1948 (Al Nakba, or “The Catastrophe”);
*Discriminatory laws against Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to maintain the state’s “ethnic purity”;
*Denial of Palestinian refugee right of return to their homeland throughout historic Palestine;
*Occupation of, and denial of basic human rights in, the 1967 territories of historic Palestine;
*Ongoing siege of and terror against the people of Gaza, including repeated massacres of civilians.
Like any other people, Palestinians have the inherent human right to resist such crimes. Netanyahu, on the other hand, is a war criminal who belongs in the dock.
Instead, he is lauded with bipartisan standing ovations in Congress and showered with billions in annual military aid to defend U.S. imperial domination of the Middle East. As Secretary of State Alexander Haig once said, “Israel is the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk.”
Netanyahu has also exploited recent violence in Europe to encourage Jews around the world to move to Israel for their supposed “safety.” But the solution to anti-Semitism, real or perceived, can never be a state based on racist oppression of others.
For these reasons, we reaffirm our support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), which demands that Israel recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with international law by:
1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
To those who say these demands spell the end of the “Jewish state,” we echo Miko Peled, Jewish anti-Zionist and son of Israeli general Matti Peled:
“We should demand recognition that Israel is occupied Palestine, that all Israeli towns and cities are illegal settlements, and that it is time to free Palestine and its people from the illegal colonialist regime known as Israel.”
Justice and lasting peace demand no less.