Petition for U.S. Jewish Solidarity with Muslim and Arab Peoples of the Middle East

As Jews of conscience living in the United States, we are outraged by the violence being perpetrated in our name both as Jews and as U.S. citizens. We, the undersigned, represent Jews across the United States who are choosing to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Gaza and Lebanon.

We are appalled by the blatant self-interest revealed in the U.S.'s leveraging of Israel's actions towards a "New Middle East" agenda, which it has advanced in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to serve an increasingly unilateral economic and political program enforced through military aggression. With Israel as its military proxy, this destructive U.S. foreign policy agenda seeks to establish puppet governments across the Middle East, in a grand effort to ensure continued oil supplies to the West at devastating cost to civilian lives and democracy across the Middle East and beyond.

Focusing upon Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza as well as Iraq and Afghanistan, this vision for a "New Middle East" has facilitated hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian civilian deaths, over a third of whom are children, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani deaths. We Jews of conscience know that no justice, no democracy, and no peace can result from such brutality.

We call upon Jews everywhere to hold the U.S. government accountable for its 58-year role in facilitating and benefiting from Israel's long-standing, military occupation of Palestine, its repeated acts of collective punishment against both the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples, and its military dominance over Lebanon and other countries in the region.

We are outraged, but by no means surprised, by Israel's brutality-and consistent support for it by the U.S. government. We are not surprised because Israel was founded through a process of colonization. It is well documented that Israel's founders knew then that their role in this colonizing process would require an ongoing military strategy to continue to "cleanse"; the Palestinian population in the name of a "Jewish" state. They also knew that military dominance of neighboring Arab countries would be necessary in the name of Jewish "self-defense." Israel's current attacks on Gaza and Lebanon are consistent with this history and Israel's founding vision.

Over and above its betrayal of Jewish ethical claims to justice, reason, and equity, Israel, the "Jewish" state, has failed to realize its stated goal to provide sanctuary for persecuted Jews. Israel's tactics of fueling hatred and inciting fear, not least where tolerance and co-existence were once longstanding rules, cannot ensure Jewish safety but will endanger the lives of Israeli citizens and residents and of Jews around the globe.

There is no Jewish safety in a country that rehearses the violence and persecution which Ashkenazi Jews experienced for centuries through the annihilation of the Palestinian people and their homeland.

There is no Jewish safety in alignment with the current Christian fundamentalist attack on Islam, used historically not only to justify persecuting Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews but to rain terror upon Arabs and Muslims since the time of the earliest Crusades.

There is no Jewish safety in allowing the history of Jewish persecution to be leveraged in support of U.S. political and economic interests as these entail amassing funding for Israel's military industry.

Finally, there is no Jewish safety, nor Jewish claims to justice, reason, or equity, beyond Jewish commitment to the unconditional safety and liberation of the peoples of Palestine, Lebanon and the other Arab and Muslim countries currently under assault by Israel, the U.S. and its allies.

We, Jews of Conscience, demand that the U.S. government:

  1. Require Israel to stop its brutal siege on Gaza and on Lebanon and call for an unconditional cease fire.
  2. Require Israel to stop the expansion of the Israeli Wall of Separation, dismantle the completed sections,and completely withdraw from Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  3. Support the United Nations resolutions demanding that Israel uphold international law and support the sanctions against Israel necessary to enforce these resolutions.
  4. End military and economic aid to Israel.
  5. Support reparations for the Palestinian and Lebanese people for the death and destruction they have suffered and for aid towards the rebuilding of their countries.

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