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Jews against Oppression and Occupation
4 July 2002
With Israeli troops back in the towns and cities of the Occupied Territories, it is time for more Jews to make their opposition to the policies of the Israeli government clear. The following covering letter and statement were formulated to enable Jews who are Zionists, Jews who are anti-Zionists and Jews who are indifferent to the existence of the state of Israel, alike to sign. The original document, in PDF format, can be obtained from
10 May 2002
Early in Claude Lanzmann's movie Shoah, he and his interpreter speak to a man, Czeslaw Borowi, who has lived all his life at Treblinka ... Lanzmann asks Borowi whether he and others working nearby, seeing the transports of Jews arriving at the camp, were afraid (as he indicated they were for themselves) also for the Jews. The interpreter gives Borowi's reply: 'Well, he says, it's this way: if I cut my finger, it doesn't hurt him.' (From Norman Geras, The Contract of Mutual Indifference.)
The countless historical atrocities against Jews were perpetrated by relatively small groups of people. They were made possible by the acquiescence of the majority. Let us draw the lesson and speak up against the atrocities currently being perpetrated in our name.
We hope that you will join us, by signing the accompanying statement, in making a stand for the values of justice, compassion and humanity and against the growing public perception that:
(1) all Jews support the policies of the Israeli government; and (by clear implication);
(2) all Jews are ruthless, warlike people who are willing to resort to any means to defend what they perceive to be their interests.
When the list of signatories is sufficiently lengthy, we plan to post it on a website and publicize its existence by media release.
We ask you for your telephone number and email address only so that we may contact you if we need to. These details will not be posted on the website or made public in any other way.
If you support this initiative, please help us collect more signatures. Signed statements, with the information indicated at the end, may be faxed to 00 61 2 9418 9787 (tel code adjusted for Aoteaoroa/NZ).
Rick Kuhn (Canberra) David Liebhold (Sydney)
Jews Against Oppression and Occupation
We Australian Jews do not believe that the Israeli state is acting in the best interests of Jews either in Israel or those who live in other parts of the world.
Israel's dispossession, discrimination against and murder of Palestinian people are crimes that should not be accepted by any human being. These crimes have also increased the insecurity of Jews everywhere.
We believe that the fundamental cause of the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people is the dispossession of the Palestinians and their oppression at the hand of the Israeli state.
We call for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the West Bank and Gaza.
We call for a total Israeli withdrawal, including all settlements, from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
We regard the equation of opposition to Israeli actions with antisemitism as preposterous.
We call on Jews everywhere (and everyone else) to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and to campaign for an immediate and total Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories.
Please fax your signed copy of the statement to 00 61 2 9418 9787 (tel code adjusted for Aoteaoroa/NZ).