‘LA Jews for Peace’ proudly endorses platform of ‘Movement for Black Lives’

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The following is a policy statement by L.A. Jews for Peace. You can see their Facebook page here

LA Jews for Peace endorses “A Vision for Black Lives, Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom, and Justice,” the Platform of the Movement for Black Lives . The Platform is a strong and comprehensive statement for social, racial, political, and economic justice. We would very much like to live in the society it describes. We also note that some Jewish groups have criticized the Platform as anti-Israel. Their critique centers on three issues:

• The Platform endorses Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The Jewish American establishment objects to the Platform because they assert BDS’s goal is to destroy Israel. We disagree. Thousands of Jewish and other Americans support BDS as non-violent economic pressure on Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. They are not out to destroy Israel, and their BDS activities would stop when Israel ends it occupation and allows Palestinians to regain their political, human, and economic rights. This is why LA Jews for Peace urges the U.S. government to place comprehensive sanctions on Israel until it makes peace with Palestine, similar to the sanctions it placed on South Africa to end apartheid.

• The Platform characterizes Israel as an apartheid state. This is obviously true. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem Jews and Palestinians live totally apart and are subject to separate laws – Jews under Israeli civic law and Palestinians under military law. Jewish communities receive massive state infrastructure support while Palestinian community state support is extremely limited. Within Israel there are over 50 discriminatory laws that restrict Palestinian, but not Jewish, life. This is the definition of apartheid, an Afrikaans word meaning separation.

• The Platform states that “genocide [is] taking place against the Palestinian people.” That is a false assertion. Israel is not committing mass extermination; rather it extra judicially executes Palestinians; uses disproportionate force to attack Palestinian homes, civil, commercial, and municipal buildings like schools and hospitals; and expropriates private land and resources. There are more Palestinians alive today, and they comprise nearly half of the population under direct and indirect Israeli control, but their living standards and prospects have been destroyed.
In evaluating these critiques, LA Jews for Peace notes that none of the Platform’s statements are anti-Semitic. Critiques of Israel policy are directed at United States government policies that enable Israeli actions. And the Platform’s statements criticizing Israeli actions are directed at government policy, not at Israelis who are Jews.

LA Jews for Peace does not believe that the Movement for Black Lives Platform’s incorrect use of the term “genocide” negates an otherwise powerful statement for social, racial, political, and economic justice enunciated in the Platform’s other 37,000 words. That is why LA Jews for Peace proudly endorses the Platform of the Movement for Black Lives.

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14 Responses

  1. echinococcus
    August 11, 2016, 12:19 pm

    that “genocide [is] taking place against the Palestinian people.” That is a false assertion. Israel is not committing mass extermination; rather it extra judicially executes Palestinians; uses disproportionate force to attack Palestinian homes, civil, commercial, and municipal buildings like schools and hospitals; and expropriates private land and resources.

    incorrect use of the term “genocide”

    Or, how to sabotage BLM (or any other resistance to Zionism) by pretending to support it, and use it to spread Zionist propaganda talking points.

  2. yonah fredman
    August 11, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Since LA Jews for peace objects to the use of the term “genocide”, shouldn’t they have at least tempered their pride with critique and noted that the use of this term serves the purpose of putting Israel beyond the pale and such a perspective is unhelpful.

    • oldgeezer
      August 11, 2016, 3:51 pm

      @yonah

      IN A/RES/47/121 The UN recognized that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide. To suggest that ethnic cleansing was not doen, is not ongoing and even publicly stated as a solution to the I/P situation by members of the knesset and GoI is to ignore reality. Plain reality.

      The US voted for this resolution. (sadly I note the Canadian gov abstained). It was passed.

      Regardless of the nature of the resolution in terms of it’s binding nature it is not extreme to label what is occuring in Israel and Palestine as genocide.

      http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/47/a47r121.htm

      Everything in Israel is defined as unhelpful, inciting, provocation, antisemitism…. ad nauseum. Time to enforce the law. And until that point in time, BDS is needed and overdue.

    • Mr.T
      August 11, 2016, 6:11 pm

      “noted that the use of this term serves the purpose of putting Israel beyond the pale”

      Actually Israel’s Apartheid does this by itself.

      “…and such a perspective is unhelpful.”

      Unhelpful to do what? Unhelpful to cover up Israel’s crimes against humanity in Palestine? Unhelpful to make it so you can pretend that the state you like isn’t a vile, racist shitpile? You people repeat that phrase as if a just and peaceful solution is just around the corner so long as we ignore the fact of the Israelis crimes. You know what we get when we do ignore their crimes?? Worse crimes. Is that what you want?

    • Mooser
      August 11, 2016, 6:42 pm

      ” the use of this term serves the purpose of putting Israel beyond the pale and such a perspective is unhelpful.”

      Shorter “Yonah: ‘Nobody pushes 200 million Jews around with words like “genocide”. You better ask us nicely, or make enemies of 200 million Jews!’

  3. Marnie
    August 12, 2016, 4:15 am

    LA Jews for Peace needn’t be so proud.

  4. pabelmont
    August 12, 2016, 8:55 am

    “Apartheid” and “genocide” are, among other things, legal terms, perhaps having (as “terrorism”does in the USA’s statutes) several legal definitions. Israel may properly be called by these terms under important existing definitions. Mass killing is part of a socially understood definition of genocide, but is not a required part of (some) international definitions.

    As to the use of these term s being unhelpful, this claim appears to me to mean that the use of these terms makes some people (read: Zionists and their fellow travellers) uncomfortable. Since I still hope that continued civil-society pressure against Zionism may someday induce governments to apply sanctions against Israel, I refuse to believe that using these terms is unhelpful — at least not unhelpful to those who support Palestinian rights.

    • yonah fredman
      August 12, 2016, 9:22 am

      pabelmont- you disagree with this post, in that you think the term “genocide” fits some definitions. this post disagrees with you. based upon the content of the objection of LA Jews for Peace, I feel that they should express their objection even a little louder, that’s all. those who have no objection to the use of the term, then the considerations are as you say, is it good for the Palestinians or bad for the Palestinians. My level of comfort is besides the point.

      my own take on “genocide”: i’ve heard it before and i’ve read the textbook definitions. i think the excess killing of civilians in Gaza in 2014 was horrible and i seek to have the modus vivendi vis a vis gaza changed as soon as possible so as to avoid the next excess killing. i cannot say that i oppose the jews having an army of their own, okay, the zionist jews having an army of their own and I think the mindset of the use of the term “genocide” puts the conversation where it needs to be vis a vis stopping the next round in Gaza, but I think it miseducates people vis a vis the Jewish presence in Palestine. to be clear: Let BLM use whatever term they want. But I am allowed to react. I realize that when ADL reacts people listen and that’s the essential question vis a vis big organizations like ADL and those who feel compelled to skewer and mock the ADL, fine. but as an individual person, my comfort level aside, i feel there is a whole rigmarole that comes with the language that was used and I think the use of the term miseducates people.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 12, 2016, 10:46 am

        I realize that when ADL reacts people listen and that’s the essential question vis a vis big organizations like ADL

        huh? what’s the essential question? you don’t need all those extra words.

      • Mooser
        August 12, 2016, 1:51 pm

        Shorter “Yonah”: ‘My own take on “genocide”, tells me you can’t do it to Palestinians. They simply don’t qualify.’

      • yonah fredman
        August 13, 2016, 1:53 pm

        This is off topic and a couple days later, but since Annie is present in this discussion and it is her “lament” (that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem was merely symbolic as embodied by their physical refusal to move en masse or even in significant numbers to Israel throughout the centuries) that is my focus, it’s an opportunity to speak.

        Today is the 9th of Av. This year it is celebrated on the 10th of Av, (delayed by the concurrence of the 9th of Av and Shabbos, aka Shabbat).

        When Napoleon heard the Jews (of Paris?) lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem, he marveled at the continuity and solidarity of the peoplehood of the Jews.

        The Jews might have continued to long for Jerusalem at a distance on the 9th of Av, but a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, history. And history both the raw kind like the European tumult from 1914 to 1945 and the subtler kind like modernization, secularism, rationalism occurred to the group of people who identified themselves as Jews in contradistinction to the wider societies. This process lagged in Czarist Russia and it was there that most of the world’s Jews lived in 1880. The process of moving to America and adopting America and Americanism, contributed to the dissolution of the peoplehood that Napoleon perceived. Nationalism is a construct and it is a construct that can be processed out of people through migration and secularization, and in fact the Jews of America are really not a nation, except if they pray and identify with the religion of old, or if they identify with the Zionist effort.

        The Jews were passive previous to Zionism. This sentence is obviously an exaggeration, but let me continue. The attachment to Jerusalem would have changed as a result of modernity, that is with the advent of television and frequent air travel, it would have been inevitable that the relationship of the Jews with the land would have changed. (that is those Jews who received their inspiration from the prayers and holy books of the religion.) But in fact, there was a long tradition of passivism, of suffering as a fate decreed, as paying for some sin of our fathers and viewing the exile as a state of mind, a distorted, even crippled state of mind.

        These are constructed images and ideas. The connection of the Jews to Israel, say in 1803, was totally different from most connections that people felt towards a land. When I was a kid some kid in my class knew of a place called Eden and thought of it as the Garden of Eden. (maye he meant Aden.) When a Jew sits as if mourning in reaction to the destruction of Jerusalem, that is significant. And secularism can rinse that nationalism away and so it has been and might have remained if only history had been a bit kinder.

        So, the Jews are connected to Jerusalem and for me the commemoration of the 9th of Av is a symbol of the incompleteness of the redemption and it is not only mankind that is unredeemed, but particularly Jerusalem.

        To my Arab and Palestinian brothers and sisters, (children of the one creator), the Jewish people of Jerusalem need you and for the most part they deny this. I don’t know if there is anything to be done. It seems that history has its own momentum, but it is passivity that concedes defeat to history. I wish I had a way to wake up my Jewish Jerusalem brothers and sisters, but they don’t hear me. This is not a proposal. It is a lament.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 13, 2016, 2:23 pm

        her “lament” (that the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem was merely symbolic as embodied by their physical refusal to move en masse or even in significant numbers to Israel throughout the centuries)

        yonah, if you care to launch off on some OT fangango because it’s “the 9th of Av” you certainly don’t need to lie about what i think or place quotemarks around “lament” (a word i didn’t use nor is it my “lament”).

        here’s what i said in response to mayhem’s allegation (that “The simple fact of the matter here is that Hebron matters more to the Jews historically and religiously than to any other people”):

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/israeli-soldier-palestinian/#comment-850054

        The simple fact of the matter here is that had Hebron mattered more to the Jews than to anybody else it wouldn’t have taken a couple centuries and a holocaust to convince the overwhelming majority of them (those who immigrated) to get their tuchuses down there (and that goes for jerusalem too). that’s the simple fact of the matter.

        no where did i say the Jewish attachment to Jerusalem was merely symbolic and no where did i reference a “physical refusal to move en masse”.

        suggesting palestine, hebron or jerusalem, “matters more” to jews than the vast majority of people who actually lived there for centuries is stupid.

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2016, 3:14 pm

        “Yonah” didn’t you read Adam Horowitz’ article on the commenting system being upgraded? They solved the problem of logorrhea overloading the system.
        All that work and use of technology on the Shabbos wasted. Too bad. Or maybe you think you are saving the horse?

      • Mooser
        August 13, 2016, 3:52 pm

        “When Napoleon heard the Jews (of Paris?) lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem, he marveled at the continuity and solidarity of the peoplehood of the Jews.”

        And who can ask for a better recommendation? Napoleon, a big Jewish hero, who palindromically said: “Able was I, ere I saw Elba!”.

        “Yonah”, when Napoleon heard the Jews in Paris, neither Reform nor Conservative Judaism were yet invented. You know “Yonah” the denominations which make us “in the boat of being a little bit antisemitic”

        “The Jews were passive previous to Zionism.”

        “Yonah” can we get together and make a best-selling book out of a collection of your comments? We can call it “Yonah’s Excuse”

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