Statement of Purpose
IJSN is a growing international network of Jews whose Jewish identities are not based on Zionism but on a plurality of histories and experiences. We share a commitment to participation in the legacy of struggles against colonization and imperialism. As such, we struggle against Zionism and its manifestation in the State of Israel’s historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and the confiscation of their land. This colonial project also dishonors the persecution, displacement and genocide of European Jews by using their memory to justify and perpetuate European authoritarianism and colonialism. It is responsible for the extensive displacement and alienation of Mizrahi Jews (Jews of Sephardi, Asian and African descent) from indigenous identities, languages, histories, cultures and homelands and attempts to reduce all of our diverse cultural, religious, ethnic and racial identities to one of national identity. As such, it implicates us in the oppression of the Palestinian people and in the debasement of our own heritages, struggles for justice and alliances with our fellow human beings.
We understand Israel’s historic and current policies and practices of colonialism, and the Zionist ideology and institutions propelling them, are unjust and unconscionable. These policies and practices:
a) lead to further entrenchment of an apartheid system and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people;
b) expand Israeli military control over the West Bank and East Jerusalem;
c) maintain economic and military control over Gaza, thus destroying economic and political infrastructure and creating lack of access to food, water, sanitation and health care;
d) deny the political, cultural, economic and land rights of the Palestinian people living in Israel;
e) endanger all people and communities of the region;
f) encourage the demonization of Arabs and Muslims everywhere;
g) result in the racist repression, invisibility and economic marginalization of Mizrahi Jews;
h) distort and debase Jewish cultures, whether religious or secular;
i) implicate us in oppression by conflating Judaism and Jewish identities with racist policies and practices; and
j) expand Western capitalist control over and destruction of land, people, and the environment across the region.
Therefore, we are committed to the decolonization of Palestine.
We understand the current political and ideological map of the Middle East as predominantly the product of historic and current colonialist and imperialist domination. We understand that Zionism requires the replacement of expelled Palestinian labor with that of undocumented guest workers. This feeds the capitalist process of economic exploitation while denying Palestinian people access to employment. We understand that Zionism requires the militarization of society with all the implications of the military suppression and oppression of the Palestinian people as well as the creation and perpetuation of gender-based violence and male dominant culture in Israeli society. We understand the current use of Islamophobia as a strategy for defending and justifying an imperialist US-European agenda. Therefore, we hold as central to these global struggles the resistance of the people and communities of Palestine and the region against the forces of apartheid, racism, class oppression, military occupation, imperialism and capitalism.