Coexistence or No Existence.  End Occupation. End Apartheid

Statement by the Jewish Socialists’ Group, updated 12th October 2023

The Jewish Socialists’ Group stands for a future of peace and coexistence for all the people in Israel and Palestine. The prospect of coexistence was pushed so much further away on 7th October, when, in a single day, more than 500 people’s lives were known to have been taken, most of them civilians. That number has multiplied fivefold following the revelation of the scale of Hamas’s terror attack and the subsequent retribution bombing of Gaza by the IDF. Our immediate goal must be to save lives, and we call for an exchange of hostages without delay.

We stand fully behind the right to resist occupation and oppression and the siege of Gaza. We stand equally against the targeting of civilians. Our opposition to acts of terror against civilians and to collective punishment applies equally whether such crimes are carried out by individuals, resistance movements or state armies. The siege of Gaza, cutting off access to basic supplies, and the bombardment which has displaced more than 330,000 people are an affront to international law and to humanity.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu declared a state of war in response to the action of resistance fighters from Gaza last Saturday morning. That state of war against Palestinian aspirations for equality and freedom from occupation has existed for decades. When Israel passed its Nation State Law in 2018, it wrote longstanding discriminatory practices into its “Basic Laws”.

When openly declared racists and fascists were welcomed into Israel’s Cabinet after the November 2022 elections, the oppression of the Palestinians increased in intensity. Settlers in the occupied West Bank have carried out pogroms with impunity. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed, many more wounded, arrested and imprisoned, and homes demolished in 2023 before the horrific events of 7th October. As Jewish Socialists we are against fascism everywhere.

Palestinians and Israeli human rights bodies have come under attack, as have attempts to support Palestinians internationally through peaceful boycott activities. Israelis who stood alongside Palestinians in protests against occupation and apartheid have faced increasingly violent oppression from the Israeli authorities.

We stand with those young Israelis who are refusing army service on political grounds in unprecedented numbers. They are part of a future that can build coexistence based on justice, equality and freedom. But this can only be achieved if there is an end to occupation, colonisation and apartheid practices that reflect racist and fascist values of supremacy.

Numerous groups within Israel/Palestine are campaigning on the ground, including Mesarvot Refuser Solidarity Network, B’Tselem, Green Olive Tours, Kav La’oved Workers Hotline, Adalah and others, with accurate news and analysis from +972 magazine.

Posted: 13 October 2023