Press launch of the Founding Charter of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network


IJAN Launch in UK
L to r: Michael Kalmanovitz, SelmaJames, Professor Moshé Machover.


On Thursday morning, 2October, with great enthusiasm, people from many backgrounds met for thepress launch of the Founding Charterof the International Jewish Anti-ZionistNetwork (IJAN) at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town.  (Click links below for video.)

Chair Selma James, one of theinternational co-ordinators of IJAN, explained that the Charter represents anetwork of Jewish people who are adamant that “Zionism and the state ofIsraeldo not speak in our name.”

She said:“Zionists have tried to censor Palestinian and all other resistance toZionism, including the long Jewish tradition of struggles for liberation andagainst exploitation and oppression.  IJAN makes it clear thatresistance exists and has grown, and that as a network of Jewish people, we takeour direction from the Palestinian struggle.”

To much applause MsJames said the Charter would also be launched in continental Europe –France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland – as well as Canada, India, Israel,Italy, Latin America, Morocco, anda number of cities in the US.  “Our job is to make visibleopposition to Zionism everywhere in the world.”

Michael Kalmanovitz (IJAN)said that “We believe that Palestinian people must have the Right ofReturn given the deliberate, planned ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionists over the last 60years.”  And “We totally oppose the idea that Israelis a Jewish homeland”.

IJAN unequivocallysupports the call by Palestinian people for boycott, divestment &sanctions of Israel,known as BDS.  There were actions last week called by the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign and by JBIG, Jewsfor Boycotting Israeli Goods.

Mr Kalmanovitz said wehave been able to build on the work of Matzpenand the Mizrahi Black Panther Party;and currently the Shministim– Israeli teenagers who have refused en masse to be conscripted intothe army.  “IJAN is part of a worldwide anti-war, anti-racistmovement.”

ProfessorEmeritus Moshé Machover was aco-founder of Matzpen, thesocialist organization in Israel,which from its beginning in 1962 was comprised of both Palestinian Arabs andJews who were citizens of Israel. Their analysis of Israelwas that it was “a colonizing project and a settler state . . .structurally allied to imperialist domination of the whole region”.

Professor Machoversaid that “people are intimidated by the accusation that if youcriticize Israelyou are branded as anti-Semitic.” He said that in fact there has been“Zionist collusion with most anti-Semitic regimes since the verybeginning” and that he would go further: “the accusation itselfis anti-Semitic because it saddles all Jews with the criminal responsibilityfor what Israelis doing.”

He said that IJAN isvital because it can help “break this false propaganda and encouragepeople to mobilise and exert external force to help the internal struggle in Israel and Palestineand the whole of the Middle Eastregion.”

A lively Q&A followed with verypositive contributions from people involved in Black, asylum, and anti-rapeorganisations.  In response to a question from the Peace Strike campaigners based in ParliamentSquare, the speakers clarified that the first Jewish people imprisoned andworse in the concentration camps were anti-Nazi activists from the workingclass movement, and that Jewish people were not led like lambs to slaughteras the Zionists, in their anti-Semitism, would have us believe.

Finally it wasannounced that there will be a publiclaunch of the IJAN Charter on Friday, 24 October at the Trinity UnitedReformed Church in Camden,7-9.30pm, where anti-Zionists will take the next steps in thecampaign for BDS.  The Charter spells out its aim: ‘to help widen[the] cracks [in Zionism], until the wall comes down and Israel is as isolated as was apartheid South Africa.’  





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