Occupy the Occupiers: A Jewish call to action

Israel/Palestine

To learn more about Young, Jewish, and Proud visit their website here.

We call for young Jews and allies nationwide to join in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and with our Palestinian siblings living under their own form of occupation. Let us stand up to the 1% in our own community – the powerful institutions that support Israel’s corporate-backed military control of the Palestinian people and act as the gatekeepers for our community.

Throughout history, Jews have been persecuted as the scapegoats for powerful financiers, thus bearing the brunt of economic hardship on multiple fronts. This collective memory instills us with the responsibility to speak out against corporate exploitation and human rights violations, such as the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, which has politically and economically disenfranchised over nine million people in the name of Jewish statehood.

The ongoing colonization of Palestine has concentrated wealth in the hands of the ultra-stratified Israeli elite, as well as multinational corporations like Caterpillar, Motorola, Elbit, Northrop Grumman, and Veolia. In the United States, over $33 billion in foreign aid has gone to sustaining Israel’s occupation— most of it going directly into the pockets of US-based arms-makers— instead of funding jobs, education, healthcare, and housing for the 99%.

We face a similar dilemma in our own Jewish institutions, which tend to be dominated by a handful of wealthy right-wing donors who fund their own interests, such as free trips to Israel, while urgent community needs go unmet.

The occupation of Palestine and stratification of our own Jewish community are consistent with the grievances of the Occupy Wall Street New York General Assembly’s “Declaration of Occupation.” It is time for us to reclaim our own community.

It’s time to occupy Jewish institutions that actively obstruct human rights for Palestinians, like AIPAC, the Jewish Federations, Birthright, the Jewish National Fund, Hillel, and the foundations of right-wing philanthropists, like the Schusterman Foundation, which impose ideological litmus tests on Jews who want to work in or with the Jewish community.

It’s time to occupy the offices and stores of the multinational corporations that profit off of human rights abuses in Palestine.

Join us and make your voices heard!

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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16 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    November 7, 2011, 10:16 am

    “It’s time to occupy Jewish institutions that actively obstruct human rights for Palestinians, like AIPAC, the Jewish Federations, Birthright, the Jewish National Fund, Hillel, and the foundations of right-wing philanthropists, like the Schusterman Foundation, which impose ideological litmus tests on Jews who want to work in or with the Jewish community.”

    Don’t forget JINSA.
    And beware of your elitism in your group.

    • petersz
      November 7, 2011, 1:31 pm

      Don’t forget the so called Anti-Defamation League, which is now nothing but a blatant right wing Zionist organisation defending the Occupation and opposing equality.

      • hophmi
        November 10, 2011, 6:14 pm

        The ADL is not a right-wing Zionist organization. You have no clue what you are talking about.

      • Donald
        November 10, 2011, 6:57 pm

        I’ve looked at the ADL website. I just paid a brief visit now. They seem to think protecting Israel from harsh criticism is part of their mandate as an organization devoted to fighting anti-semitism. A person can object to the apartheid analogy (wrongly), but for the ADL to include that as an issue relevant to them seems to imply that they think it is anti-semitic.

        So yeah, on the I/P issue they are rightwing in some ways. But the term “rightwing” is relative. They might claim to favor a two state solution, but the people who claim to favor that range from Alan Dershowitz to Norman Finkelstein. Clearly Dersh is on the right edge of that spectrum.

        They can be leftwing on other stuff, of course.

  2. seafoid
    November 7, 2011, 10:22 am

    link to irishtimes.com

    Sir, – Those who lead European football must respond to an appeal from Palestinians dismayed at the prospect of Israel hosting Uefa’s under-21 tournament in 2013. A state that uses military might to hold sway over land it illegally occupies and exploits, flouts international law and ignores UN resolutions surely forfeits the right to be treated as a member of the community of nations. But western powers continue to embrace Israel as an ally.
    During the 2011 under-21 tournament in Denmark in June, 42 Gazan football clubs, backed by many sporting bodies, wrote to Uefa president Michel Platini calling on his organisation not “to reward Israel for its violent repression of Palestinian rights”. We ask Uefa to respond positively to this plea. – Yours, etc,
    ROBERT BALLAGH, artist and set designer; RAYMOND DEANE composer; FELIM EGAN, artist; STEPHANE HESSEL, diplomat, co-author of Universal Declaration of Human Rights; TREVOR HOGAN, former Munster, Leinster and Irish international rugby player; KEN LOACH, filmmaker; MAIRÉAD MAGUIRE, peace activist, 1976 Nobel Peace Prizewinner; MICHAEL MANSFIELD, barrister; MIRIAM MARGOLYES, actor; NURIT PELED, Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought joint winner 2001; JOHN PILGER, journalist and filmmaker; AHDAF SOUEIF, novelist and commentator; JEAN ZIEGLER, vice-president, advisory committee of the UN human rights council,
    C/o Lower Baggot Street,
    Dublin 2.

  3. Justice Please
    November 7, 2011, 11:59 am

    “which tend to be dominated by a handful of wealthy right-wing donors”

    I hope they don’t fall too much into the trap of the false left-wing-right-wing paradigma. But otherwise very commendable!

  4. Kathleen
    November 7, 2011, 12:58 pm

    It’s too bad it seems Young Jewish and Proud is blocking any constructive criticism of their group. I posted this earlier over at “Young Jewish and Proud earlier and just a few moments ago:
    “Kathleen says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    November 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I posted this comment hours ago. Why has it not been posted?

    “A wonderful group of young people. Although I have been around the edges of the group observing. Beware of claiming that you are the birthers of this movement. which I heard some members of your group claim. Honor those who have been out on the front lines of the I/P issue for decades. The majority have been non Jews. The last five years have been wonderful watching far more Jews coming out and standing firm on justice for the Palestinians. This is a new phenomena, but a welcome shift.
    Stay aware of an exclusionary undertone in your group.”
    —————————————————————

    At the “Move Over Aipac” event I listened closely to what some of their members were saying and I heard several members laying claim to the I/P movement and its birth. And also heard a few seriously exclusionary statements repeated. These are qualities that will undermine any group of individuals. They would also be wise to acknowledge Carter, Said, Barghouti, Tutu, Finkelstein etc etc all of those who have been out on the front lines of this issue for decades instead of some of them fueling that this movement was birthed with their evolving consciousness about these issues. Danger.

    • jayn0t
      November 7, 2011, 8:23 pm

      “I posted this comment hours ago. Why has it not been posted?” – because this is an offshoot of a group of crypto-Zionists who want to control solidarity with the Palestinians, like they manipulated the Move Over AIPAC conference. They say Jews have been persecuted throughout history as scapegoats. Thats\the reason they should ‘speak out’ against the ‘occupation’ of the West Bank. Which means that ethnic cleansing in 1948 was kosher, but not in 1967. The Deir Yassin massacre was OK, Shatillah was not. This is a fallback position. All they care about is Jews, no-one else.

      • annie
        November 7, 2011, 8:44 pm

        this is an offshoot of a group of crypto-Zionists who want to control solidarity with the Palestinians

        please. i know some of these people. can we not go bizerk on people who are speaking out and making a difference. it could very well be no one is moderating over there today.

        breathe. some of these people post here too. please. i even traveled to gaza with one of the people in this group. she’s not trying to control anything. just a person doing the best she can.

      • jayn0t
        November 7, 2011, 11:15 pm

        OK, she’s just a person trying to do the best she can. You could say the same of the members of the Bolshevik Party. Political organizations don’t follow how their members feel about things. Stalinism today is touchy-feely because its a more effective form of control than the old patriarchal version. “Some of these people post here too”. Well, let’s see them answer my arguments, then, rather than using how they feel about things as a political weapon.

      • Kathleen
        November 8, 2011, 8:33 am

        I heard some of the very same people on the above clip say some extremely ethno centric statements at the Move over Aipac conference. Extremely ethno centric. I stood next to many of them listening closely. Also some very ego centric statements about having birthed the focus on the I/P issue. Now not all but a significant amount of these young people.

        My alert to them. Is reflect carefully on your attitudes and claims. Clearly someone is monitoring. They do not want constructive criticism or criticism. Too bad. A bit telling, reaffirming in some way what I heard and observed.

      • annie
        November 10, 2011, 6:42 pm

        jaynot, are you saying young jewish and proud is like stalinism?

    • Eva Smagacz
      November 8, 2011, 3:05 am

      Kathleen, maybe their moderators are part-time volunteers?
      I don’t doubt that they have to screen messages, but they don’t have full time moderator, I am pretty sure of that.
      When I post, I need to wait till following day for my messages to show , due to time difference.

  5. jayn0t
    November 7, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Look at the website of http://www.youngjewishproud.org
    Young Jews say the settlements delegitimize Israel
    Young Jews say the Occupation delegitimizes Israel
    Young Jews say the siege of Gaza delegitimizes Israel
    They don’t want to delegitimize Israel – they want to save it from itself.

    And the tone of these kind of organizations is so schmaltzy, it makes me shudder.

  6. W.Jones
    November 7, 2011, 9:26 pm

    It is just the youth wing of JVP. I wish them well.

    • Kathleen
      November 8, 2011, 8:34 am

      I wish them well also. Have been part as many of us have of groups just forming, growing. Any ethno centric leanings or ego centric leanings should be reflected upon in a serious way

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