Blind dedication will no longer do

The launch last year of the British Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) – a group formed to speak out against Israeli aggression and mindless Zionism – led a group of us here in Australia to institute Independent Australian Jewish Voices (IAJV). We had a wonderful response and are currently planning a number of events for 2008. The silence and complicity of the mainstream Jewish community in the crimes of Israel needs to be challenged.

Our English friends are taking some important steps:

A controversial coalition of prominent Jewish activists and academics has reignited controversy in the British Jewish community after taking out an paid advertisement in The Times this week calling for Israel to lift its economic blockade of the Gaza strip and accusing the state of breaching international law.

The statement which appeared on the inside pages of the paper was signed by 250 of the groups members. Entitled “End the siege of Gaza!”, the statement condemned Israel’s actions in blockading Gaza as a violation of international law, and also called for a halt to Palestinian rocket attacks.

“The collective punishment of the population of Gaza is illegal under international law. We condemn attacks on all civilians including the rocket attacks on the residents of Southern Israel,” said the statement.

The statement also called for an end to the blockade and for “both sides to observe a ceasefire.”

There are many Jewish voices on the Israel/Palestine question. We are starting to be heard.

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