News Release

Jewish Criticism of Israel

ABBA SOLOMON, abbasolomon at gmail.com, @Abba_A_Solomon
Solomon is author of The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein’s Speech ‘The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews’. Solomon said: “During the latest crisis, the tone was set by July 8 when J Street’s home page carried the headline ‘J Street Expresses Solidarity with Israelis under Rocket Fire.’ It could have as easily read ‘J Street Expresses Solidarity with Israelis AND GAZANS under Fire,’ but that would have reflected an absent dedication to humanism. … As Israelis and Palestinians demonstrated in Jerusalem for a ceasefire, J Street’s statement said that the violence must stop, but in the context of Israel maintaining its self-defined security: ‘We fully endorse Israel’s right to defend its people from these reprehensible attacks. At the same time, we also feel for the Palestinian civilians in Gaza who are caught in the middle of this tragic conflict.’ For Israelis, solidarity and support for bombing in the name of self-defense. For Palestinians being bombed, just easy platitudes: ‘we feel for the Palestinian civilians in Gaza.’” Abba Solomon is, with IPA executive director Norman Solomon, author of “The Blind Alley of J Street and Liberal American Zionism” and “Editorial Position of the New York Times: Thumbs Up for Gaza Slaughter.”

DONNA NEVEL, denevel at gmail.com, @jvplive
Nevel is with Jewish Voice for Peace, which just released a statement: “Nine demonstrators were arrested today shortly after noon at the office of the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) on Broadway and 40th [in New York City]. More than two dozen protestors stood with them in solidarity in front of the building and several lay in the street with makeshift shrouds as a ‘die-in.’ The demonstrators, largely from Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No!, protested the bombing of Gaza by the IDF, which has killed more than 600 Palestinians and injured over 3,000 since July 8. Among those arrested were the daughter and granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, and a young paralegal who went on an Israeli-sponsored propaganda trip to Israel, which had the opposite effect.”

ILAN PAPPE, MIKO PELED, TIKVA HONIG-PARNASS, MICHAEL LETWIN, mletwin at gmail.com and via Karen Pomer, krpomer at gmail.com
Pappé, available for a limited number of interviews, is professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. He is author of numerous works, most recently The Bureaucracy of Evil: The History of the Israeli Occupation. He recently wrote the piece “Israel’s Incremental Genocide in the Gaza Ghetto.” Peled is an Israeli peace activist and writer. His father was an Israeli general, military governor of the Gaza strip, and a member of the Knesset. He is the author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. He is on twitter @mikopeled and was recently interviewed on “Democracy Now!” Tikva Honig-Parnass, a scholar, fought in the 1948 war and served in the Knesset (1951-1954). Since breaking with Zionism in 1960, she has been an active supporter of Palestinian national rights. She is author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine. Letwin is a New York City public defender, former President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and co-founder of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, which organized a petition of Jewish people from around the world: “End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel.”

The petition states: “In the face of incessant pro-Israel propaganda, we heed Malcolm X’s warning: ‘If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.’

“For Israel’s relentless war on Gaza is no more an act of ‘self-defense’ than such infamous massacres as Wounded Knee (1890), Guernica (1937), the Warsaw Ghetto (1942), Deir Yassin (1948), My Lai (1968), Soweto (1976), Sabra and Shatila (1982), or Lebanon (2006).

“Rather, it is but the latest chapter in more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, and genocide — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees.”

In addition to the above, other signers of the petition include: Max Blumenthal, author, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel and senior writer for alternet.org; Hedy Epstein, Nazi Holocaust survivor and human rights activist; Richard Falk, professor of international law, emeritus, Princeton University and former UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, 2008-2014; Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Freeman fellow, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Michael Ratner, president emeritus, Center for Constitutional Rights.