Sign on: Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!


Please join 200 initial signers below by signing the statement below HERE


Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, July 22, 2014

On July 12, 2014, Gaza civil society issued an urgent appeal for solidarity, asking: “How many of our lives are dispensable enough until the world takes action? How much of our blood is sufficient?”

As Jews of conscience, we answer by unequivocally condemning Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza, whose victims include hundreds of civilians, children, entire families, the elderly, and the disabled. This latest toll adds to the thousands Israel has killed and maimed since its supposed withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

In response to this crisis, we urgently reaffirm our support for a ban on all military and other aid to Israel.

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opposed the Vietnam War with his famous declaration: “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

Today, *we* cannot be silent as the “Jewish state” — armed to the teeth by the U.S. and its allies — wages yet another brutal war on the Palestinian people. Apartheid Israel does not speak for us, and we stand with Gaza as we stand with all of Palestine.

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.

Like any colonial regime, Israel uses resistance to such policies as an excuse to terrorize and collectively punish the indigenous population for its very existence. But scattered rockets, fired from Gaza into land stolen from Palestinians in the first place, are merely a response to this systemic injustice.

To confront the root cause of this violence, we call for the complete dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime, throughout historic Palestine — from the River to the Sea. With that in mind, we embrace the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which demands:

* An end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories

* Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel

* Right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194

Initial Signers (list in formation; organizations, schools and other affiliations shown for identification only; *Co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return)

Avigail Abarbanel, Psychotherapist; editor, Beyond Tribal Loyalties: Personal Stories of Jewish Peace Activists (2012, Cambridge Scholars), Inverness, Scotland

Noa Abend, Boycott From Within

Stephen Aberle, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC

Lisa Albrecht, Ph.D. Social Justice Program, University of Minnesota

Anya Achtenberg, novelist and poet; teacher; activist; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Mike Alewitz, Associate Professor, Central CT State Unversity; Artistic Director, Labor Art & Mural Project

Zalman Amit, Distinguished Professor Emeritus; Author, Israeli Rejectionism

Anthony Arnove, International Socialist Organization

Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Switzerland

Ted Auerbach, Brooklyn for Peace

Anna Baltzer, author and organizer

Ronnie Barkan, Co-founder, Boycott from Within, Tel-Aviv

Judith Bello, Administrative Committee, United National Antiwar Coalition

Lawrence Boxall, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada; Vancouver Ecosocialist Group

Linda Benedikt, writer Munich, Germany

Nora Barrows-Friedman, journalist; Oakland

Jonathan Beller, Humanities and Media Studies Graduate Program in Media Studies, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn

Medea Benjamin, co-founder, CODEPINK

Rica Bird, Joint Founder, Merseyside Jews for Peace and Justice

Audrey Bomse, Co-chair, National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee

Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley

Lenni Brenner, Author, Zionism In The Age Of The Dictators

Elizabeth Block, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto ON

Max Blumenthal, Author, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel; and Senior Writer for

Mary P. Buchwald, Jewish Voice for Peace-New York

Monique Buckner, BDS South Africa

Maia Brown, Health and Human Rights Project-Seattle & Stop Veolia Seattle

Estee Chandler, Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles

Rick Chertoff, L..A. Jews for Peace

Marjorie Cohn, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; past president, National Lawyers Guild

Ally Cohen, Ramallah, Palestine; International Solidarity Movement media coordinator

Ruben Rosenberg Colorni, Youth for Palestine, Netherlands

Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)

Margaretta D’arcy, Irish actress, writer, playwright, and peace-activist

Natalie Zemon Davis, Historian

Warren Davis, labor and political activist, Philadelphia, PA

Eron Davidson, film maker

Judith Deutsch, Independent Jewish Voices Canada; Science for Peace

Roger Dittmann, Professor of Physics, Emeritus California State University, Fullerton; President, Scholars and Scientists without Borders Executive Council, World Federation of Scientific Workers

Gordon Doctorow, Ed.D., Canada

Mark Elf, Jews Sans Frontieres, London, UK

Hedy Epstein, Nazi Holocaust survivor and human rights activist; St. Louis, MO

Marla Erlien, New York NY

Shelley Ettinger, writer/activist, New York, NY

Inge Etzbach, Human Rights Activist, Café Palestina NY

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton University; Former UN Special Rapporteur on Occupied Palestine, 2008-2014

Malkah B. Feldman, Jewish Voice for Peace and recent delegate to Palestine with American Jews For A Just Peace

Deborah Fink, Co-Founder, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods UK

Joel Finkel, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago

Sylvia Finzi, JfjfP; Jüdische Stimme für gerechten Frieden in Nahost, EJJP. Germany)

Maxine Fookson, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Jewish Voice for Peace, Portland OR-

Richard Forer, Author, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine

Sid Frankel, Associate Professor, University of Manitoba

Cynthia Franklin, Co-Editor, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, University of Hawai’i

Racheli Gai, Jewish Voice for Peace

Herb Gamberg, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada

Ruth Gamberg, Independent Jewish Voices, Canada

Lee Gargagliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Cheryl Gaster, social justice activist and human right lawyer, Toronto ON

Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, American/Canadian Musician and Anti-Israeli Apartheid Activist

Jack Gegenberg, Professor of Mathematics, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton NB

Terri Ginsberg, film and media scholar, New York

David Glick, psychotherapist; Jewish Voice for Peace

Sherna Berger Gluck, Emerita Professor, CSULB; Israel Divestment Campaign

Neta Golan, Ramallah, Palestine; Jews Against Genocide; Co-founder, International Solidarity Movement.

Tsilli Goldenberg, teacher, Jerusalem, Israel

Steve Goldfield, Ph.D.

Sue Goldstein, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Canada

Marty Goodman, former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union Local 100; Socialist Action

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Freeman Fellow, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Spain

Jesse Greener, University of Laval

Cathy Gulkin, Filmmaker, Toronto ON

Ira Grupper, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

Jeff Halper, The Israeli Committee Against House demolitions (ICAHD)

Larry Haiven, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Halifax

Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, publisher, Germany

Stanley Heller, The Struggle Video News TSVN

Shir Hever, Jewish Voice for Just Peace, Germany

Deborah Hrbek, media and civil rights lawyer, NLG-NYC

Tikva Honig-Parnass, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor, Mondoweiss

Gilad Isaacs, Economist, Wits University.

Selma James, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Jake Javanshir, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto

Riva Joffe, Jews Against Zionism

Val Jonas, attorney, Miami Beach

Sima Kahn, MD; President of the board, Kadima Reconstructionist Community

Yael Kahn, Israeli anti-apartheid activist

Michael Kalmanovitz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (UK)

Dan Kaplan, AFT Local 1493

Susan Kaplan, J.D. National Lawyers Guild

Danny Katch, activist and author

Bruce Katz, President, Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), Montreal, Canada

Lynn Kessler, Ph.D., MPH, psychologist/social justice activist

Janet Klecker, Sonomans for Justice & Peace for Palestine, Sonoma CA

David Klein, California State University, Northridge; USACBI

Emma Klein, Jewish Voice for Peace, Seattle WA

Sara Kershnar, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Harry Kopyto, Legal activist Toronto ON

Richard Koritz, veteran postal trade unionist and former member of North Carolina Human Relations Commission

Yael Korin, PhD., Scientist at UCLA; Campaign to End IsraelI Apartheid, Southern California

Dennis Kortheuer, CSULB, Israel Divestment Campaign

Steve Kowit, Professor Emeritus, Jewish Voice for Peace

Toby Kramer, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Jason Kunin, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

David Landy, Trinity College, Dublin

Jean Léger, Coalition pour la Justice et la Paix en Palestine, membre de la Coalition BDS Québec et de Palestiniens et Juifs Unis

Lynda Lemberg, Educators for Peace and Justice, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto ON

David Letwin,* activist and teacher, Al-Awda NY

Michael Letwin,* former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; USACBI; Al-Awda NY

Les Levidow, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), UK

Corey Levine, Human Rights Activist, Writer; National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Joseph Levine, Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lesley Levy, Independent Jewish Voices, Montreal

Mich Levy, teacher, Oakland CA

Abby Lippman, Professor Emerita; activist; Montreal

Brooke Lober, PhD candidate, University of Arizona, Gender and Women’s Studies Department

Antony Loewenstein, journalist, author and Guardian columnist

Jennifer Loewenstein, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Alex Lubin, Professor of American Studies, University of New Meixco

Andrew Lugg, Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa, Canada

David Makofsky, Jewish Voice for Peace, Research Anthropologist

Harriet Malinowitz, Professor of English, Long Island University, Brooklyn

Mike Marqusee, Author, If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew

Miriam Marton, JD

Richard Matthews. independent scholar, London ON

Daniel L. Meyers, Former President National Lawyers Guild-NYC

Linda Milazzo, Writer/Activist/Educator, Los Angeles

Eva Steiner Moseley, Holocaust refugee, Massachusetts Peace Action board member and Palestine/Israel Working Group

Dorothy Naor, retired teacher, Herzliah, Israel

Marcy Newman, independent scholar; Author; The Politics of Teaching Palestine to Americans

Alex Nissen, Women in Black

Judith Norman, San Antonio, TX

Henry Norr, retired journalist, Berkeley CA

Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles/People Against Racist Terror

Bertell Ollman, NYU

Karin Pally, Santa Monica, CA

Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist

Karen Platt, Jewish Voice for Peace, Albany CA

Susan Pashkoff, Jews Against Zionism, London UK

Miko Peled, writer, activist; Author, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA

Mitch Podolak, Founder, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Karen Pomer,* granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor

Lenny Potash, Los Angeles CA

Fabienne Presentey, Independent Jewish Voices, Montréal

Diana Ralph, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism, London

Karen Ranucci, Independent Journalist, Democracy Now!

Ana Ratner, Artist, Puppeteer, Activist.

Michael Ratner, President Emeritus, Center for Constitutional Rights

Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, Jewish Voice Germany

Diana M.A. Relke, Professor Emerita, University of Saskatchewan

Bruce Robbins, Columbia University

Stewart M. Robinson, retired Prof of Mathematics

Professor Lisa Rofel, University of California, Santa Cruz

Mimi Rosenberg, Producer & Host, Building Bridges and Wednesday Edition, WBAI 99.5 FM; Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325

Lillian Rosengarten, Author, From The Shadows Of Nazi Germany To The Jewish Boat To Gaza

Jonathan Rosenhead, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)

Yehoahua Rosin, Israel

Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Martha Roth, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver BC

Marty Roth, Emeritus professor of English, University of Minnesota

Ruben Roth, Assistant Professor, Labour Studies, Laurentian University; Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Emma Rubin, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Middle East Scholar; Editor, Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict; Author, The Palestinians in Search of a Just Peace

Josh Ruebner, Author, Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Mark Rudd, retired teacher, Albuquerque NM

Ben Saifer, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Evalyn Segal, Rossmoor Senior Community

Sylvia Schwarz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Yossi Schwartz, Internationalist Socialist League; Haifa

Carole Seligman, co-editor, Socialist Viewpoint magazine

Yom Shamash, Independent Jewish Voices, Vancouver, Canada

Tali Shapiro, Boycott from Within; Israel

Karen Shenfeld, Poet, Toronto ON

Sid Shniad, National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

William Shookhoff, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto ON

Melinda Smith, Jewish Voice for Peace, Albuquerque NM

Kobi Snitz, Tel Aviv

Marsha Steinberg, BDS-LA for Justice in Palestine, Los Angeles

Lotta Strandberg, Visiting Scholar, NYU

Carol Stone, Independent Jewish Voices, Vancouver BC

Miriam (Cherkes-Julkowski) Swenson, Ph.D.

Matthew Taylor, author

Laura Tillem, Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas

Peter Trainor, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto

Rebecca Tumposky, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Darlene Wallach, Justice for Palestinians, San Jose CA

Abraham Weizfeld, JPLO

Bonnie Weinstein, Co-Editor of Socialist Viewpoint magazine; Publisher, Bay Area United Against War Newsletter

Sam Weinstein, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-Labor; former President, UWUA Local 132

Judith Weisman, Independent Jewish Voices; Not in Our Name (NION); Toronto ON

Paul Werner, PhD, DSFS Editor, WOID, a journal of visual language

Noga Wizansky, Ph.D., artist, instructor, and researcher; Administrator, Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley

Marcy Winograd, public school teacher, former congressional peace candidate

Bekah Wolf, UC Hastings College of Law Student; Co-founder, Palestine Solidarity Project

Sherry Wolf, International Socialist Organization

Dave Zirin, Author, Game Over: How Politics Have Turned the Sports World Upside Down

BDS lays the basis for a true peace process (Mondoweiss)

BDS lays the basis for a true peace process


The recent collapse of the “Kerry Plan” to revive the two-state solution has once again exposed the peace process as a cynical travesty devoid of justice.

Recycled in various permutations for over two decades, the U.S. sponsored two-state solution has had a consistent purpose: force Palestinians to formally accept an apartheid “Jewish state” on more than three-quarters of historic Palestine and—at best—an Israeli-controlled Palestinian Bantusan on what’s left.

It also demands that seven million Palestinian refugees, transformed through Zionist alchemy from victims of ethnic cleansing into a collective threat to Israel’s “Jewish character,” permanently concede their right of return.

To succeed, this process requires an indigenous accomplice willing to trade away Palestinian rights and demobilize popular opposition in exchange for what Palestinian grassroots activist Haidar Eid describes as “a flag, a national anthem, and a small piece of land on which to exercise municipal sovereignty and establish ministries, all with the permission of the occupier.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) was created by the 1993 Oslo Accords precisely to fulfill this function, to be administered by a compliant PLO “negotiating partner.”

For iconic Palestinian intellectual and one-time senior PLO advisor Edward Said, this “instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles” was a catastrophe. “I doubt that there was a single Palestinian who watched the White House [signing] ceremony,” he wrote, “who did not also feel that a century of sacrifice, dispossession and heroic struggle had finally come to nought.”

Today’s PA leadership under notional president Mahmoud Abbas represents a Palestinian neoliberal 1% and actively colludes with Israeli forces to suppress any signs of resistance, having become, as Said predicted, “Israel’s enforcer.” Abbas has unashamedly affirmed this role, recently declaring the PA’s “security relationship” with Israel “sacred.”

Yet despite its best efforts at collaboration, the PA cannot openly submit to Israeli demands for total Palestinian capitulation, for fear of being toppled by a new popular Intifada.

For its part, the Obama administration regards a two-state solution as the best long-term means of securing Israel’s ongoing role as watchdog for U.S. imperial interests in the region (Secretary of State Alexander Haig once referred to Israel as “the largest American aircraft carrier in the world”).

As in all alliances, however, there is tension. Israel’s highly conspicuous “Jewish only” settlements in the 1967 territories undermine the U.S. administration’s two-state plans as made clear by John Kerry’s “poof” comment regarding Israel’s responsibility for the most recent breakdown in the talks. At the same time, U.S. politicians know they must placate domestic pro-Israel forces or suffer the electoral consequences.

These strains notwithstanding, shared aims and ideology—rather than the “Israel Lobby”—ultimately guarantee unconditional U.S. support for Israel, which is therefore free to drag out endless negotiations to nowhere.

The 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israelchallenges all these machinations. BDS, the largest international movement in solidarity with Palestinian resistance, demands not only an end to the 1967 occupation, but equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel and that Israel “respect, protect and promote” Palestinian refugees’ right of return.

Zionists complain these demands spell the end of the “Jewish state.” They are correct. A “Jewish state” is by definition dedicated to the supremacy of Jews over non-Jews in Palestine, and is therefore irreconcilable with the justice advocated by BDS. As Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah summarizes, “The demand for a Jewish state cannot be implemented without violating the fundamental human rights of Palestinians, who are no less deserving of human rights than any other group of humans.”

In response to this message, Israel and its backers are striking back. In 2011, the Knesset passed legislation making BDS advocacy and Nakba commemoration a punishable offense. They are now seeking to do the same in the U.S., particularly at universities, where, as author Bill Mullen points out, the battles between Israeli proxies and emerging Students for Justice in Palestine chapters represent “the sharpest campus political conflicts since the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Vietnam antiwar movements.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently insisted not only that the PA acknowledge Israel as a “Jewish state” and “cancel” Palestinian right of return as a precondition for any agreement, but also is promoting a new Israeli Basic Law reaffirming Israel’s status as “the nation state of one people only—the Jewish people—and of no other people.” The Kerry Plan similarly insists that Israel is “the nation-state of the Jewish people”.

This language only underscores the racist premises of the “Jewish state,” and makes a mockery of John Kerry’s warning that Israel might in future become an apartheid state. In reality, Mr. Kerry, Israel has been an apartheid state since Day One.

Half a century ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded the world there can be no peace without the “presence of justice.” BDS, by insisting on liberation and full equality throughout historic Palestine, embodies this self-evident principle. Any genuine peace process must do no less.

About David Letwin

David Letwin works with Jews for Palestinian Right of Return. He has been published online at Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, The Sabbah Report, and Socialist Worker.



Image: We say ‘No’ to a ‘Jewish State’ anywhere in historic Palestine


Sign: Jews of Conscience Salute the ASA for Boycotting Apartheid Israel

Please sign, repost and share widely:

‘Jews For Palestinian Right of Return’ endorse American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions

JFPROR tinyurl

We salute the American Studies Association’s courageous endorsement of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli academic institutions, which are leading accomplices in more than six decades of ethnic cleansing, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.

As Jews, we refuse to remain silent as a so-called “Jewish state,” armed by the U.S. and its allies, commits these injustices with impunity in our name.

Contrary to baseless charges of “anti-Semitism,” BDS resembles the boycotts that “singled out” similarly racist regimes in Jim Crow United States and apartheid South Africa.

Applying the same standards to apartheid Israel, BDS demands nothing more — nor less — than freedom and justice throughout all of historic Palestine, by calling for:

• An end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories

• Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel

• Right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194

We call on Jews of conscience everywhere to honor our own proud heritage of resistance to oppression and injustice by standing with the Palestinian people, BDS, the ASA, and the growing international movement in support of these fundamental human rights.

Partial list of initial signers
(List in formation; affiliations listed for identification only)

  • Avigail Abarbanel, psychotherapist, activist, writer; Inverness, Scotland
  • Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-Switzerland
  • Prof. Jonathan Beller, Humanities and Media Studies; Director, Graduate Program in Media Studies, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn
  • Prof. Steve Brier, historian, New York
  • Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, Tel Aviv
  • Nora Barrows-Friedman, journalist; Oakland
  • Max Blumenthal, journalist and author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
  • Daniel Boyarin, Professor of Talmudic Culture, UC Berkeley
  • Lenni Brenner, author of Zionism In The Age Of The Dictators
  • Estee Chandler, Community Organizer, Los Angeles
  • Mike Cushman, Convener, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
  • Eron Davidson, award-winning filmmaker, Roadmap to Apartheid, USA
  • Warren Davis, labor and political activist, Philadelphia, PA
  • Hedy Epstein, Nazi Holocaust survivor and human rights activist; St. Louis, MO
  • Samuel Farber, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Brooklyn College, CUNY
  • Joel Finkel, Jewish Voices for Peace-Chicago
  • Prof. Cynthia Franklin, Co-Editor, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, University of Hawai’i
  • Lee Gargaliano, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-US
  • Dr. Terri Ginsberg, film and media scholar, New York
  • Sherna Berger Gluck, emerita faculty, California State University, Long Beach; founding member, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign
  • Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence, Berkeley
  • Hector Grad, Prof. of Social Anthropology, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
  • Ira Grupper, former National Co-Chair, New Jewish Agenda (1989-1993)
  • Jeff Halper, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
  • Stanley Heller, Host, “The Struggle” Video News, TSVN
  • Shir Hever, Jewish Voice for Just Peace, Germany
  • Tikva Honig-Parnass, former member of the Zionist armed forces (1948); author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine
  • Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor, Mondoweiss
  • Selma James, Global Women’s Strike; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-UK
  • Jake Javanshir, Independent Jewish Voices, Toronto
  • Emily Katz Kishawi, Jewish Anti Zionist Network, San Francisco
  • Sara Kershnar, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-International
  • David Klein, Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
  • Toby Kramer, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-US
  • David Letwin, activist and teacher, Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  • Michael Letwin, Former president, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; Organizing Committee, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
  • Dr. Les Levidow, Open University, UK
  • Brooke Lober, PhD candidate, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona
  • Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author
  • Jennifer Loewenstein, Faculty Associate, Middle East Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Samantha Liapes, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
  • Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance; Oakland, CA
  • Prof. David Makofsky, Research Anthropologist, People’s Republic of China
  • Mike Marqusee, author of If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew
  • Thomas Mayer, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Linda Milazzo, writer, activist, educator, Los Angeles
  • Michael Novick, Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles/People Against Racist Terror (ARA-LA/PART)
  • Prof. Bertell Ollman, Dept. of Politics, New York University
  • Prof. Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist
  • Miko Peled, writer, activist, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine
  • Prof. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Sakharov Prize laureate, Jerusalem
  • Karen Pomer, granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor
  • Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism, London
  • Michael Ratner, President Emeritus, Center for Constitutional Rights (for ID purposes only); New York
  • Ruben Rosenberg Colorni, Journalist, The News Junkie Post, Activist – Youth for Palestine; The Hague
  • Lillian Rosengarten, activist for Palestinian liberation and a bi-national Israel/Palestinian State; New York
  • Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics
  • Ilana Rossoff, community organizer; New Jersey
  • Cheryl Rubenberg, retired associate professor of Middle East politics at Florida International University (Miami)
  • Josh Ruebner, Author of Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace
  • Margot Salom, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane
  • Yom Shamash, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver
  • Tali Shapiro, Boycott from Within; Israel
  • Sid Shniad, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver
  • Jonatan Stanczak, Managing Director, The Freedom Theatre
  • Marsha Steinberg, BDS-LA for Justice in Palestine
  • Prof. Miriam Swenson, educational psychology
  • Steve Terry, criminal defense attorney; Brooklyn, NY
  • Sam Weinstein, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-Labor
  • Abraham Weizfeld, Administrative Secretary, Alliance of Concerned Jewish Canadians
  • Marcy Winograd, former congressional candidate, Los Angeles
  • Bekah Wolf, UC Hastings College of Law Student; Co-founder, Palestine Solidarity Project
  • Sherry Wolf, Associate Editor, International Socialist Review
  • Dr. Roger van Zwanenberg, Non-Executive Director, Pluto Books Ltd.; London

About Jews for Palestinian Right of Return

To learn more about Jews for Palestinian Right of Return please

Interview with Dr. Haidar Eid: ‘The Palestinian struggle is not about independence — it is about liberation’

whatcomesnextverticalInterview with Dr. Haidar Eid: ‘The Palestinian struggle is not about independence — it is about liberation’

 on December 2, 2013 

David Letwin (Jews for Palestinian Right of Return) interviews Dr. Haidar Eid, Associate Professor, Department of English Literature, Al-Aqsa University, Gaza Strip, Palestine. Dr. Eid is also a one-state activist and a member of Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

David Letwin: Many Palestinian solidarity activists in this country put their main efforts into opposing the 1967 occupation and more recently, Israel’s siege of Gaza. But you and other Palestinians have argued that Palestinian refugees’ right to return is at the core of the struggle for justice. Why is this?

Haidar Eid: Zionist dispossession and oppression of Palestinians does not begin with 1967. It goes back to 1948, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from villages and towns in Palestine, and were deported to neighboring countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria ,Gaza and the West Bank to make way for an apartheid “Jewish state.”

Then, in 1967, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, which represents the remaining twenty-two percent of historic Palestine.

As a result of this systematic and ongoing ethnic cleansing, fully two-thirds of the Palestinian people are refugees entitled to their right of return to their original homeland, in accordance with United Nations resolution 194. This is the root of the Palestine issue.

Solidarity supporters that only take the cause back to 1967 are ignoring the source of the problem, and reflecting the Zionist Left in Israel, which wants separation of Palestinians from Israeli Jews.

whatcomesnextverticalCan this central right of return be realized if there is a Jewish state anywhere in historic Palestine?

No, that is an impossibility. Zionism, by nature, is an exclusionary ideology that doesn’t accept the “Other.” And the “Other,” in Zionist ideology, is the Palestinian — the Arab in the historic land of Palestine. So a Jewish state means the denial of rights to non-Jews. I am from a refugee family, but because I am not born from a Jewish mother, I’m not entitled to citizenship in the state of Israel; I’m not entitled to my right of return.

How does this fit into your analysis of the Two-State versus the One-State Solution?

The two-state solution is a racist solution that calls for a “pure Jewish state”, and a “pure Palestinian state,” both of which would be based on ethno-religious identities. It does not take into account the rights of two-thirds of the Palestinian people. Neither does it take into consideration the national and cultural rights of 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel, who live as second-, if not third-class citizens of the state. This is extremely important.

Furthermore, the Palestinian struggle is not about independence — it is about liberation. Liberation is very different from independence, because our right to self-determination must lead to the right of return and full equality for all inhabitants of the state of Palestine.

The two-state solution is a racist dogma that cannot guarantee all the rights demanded by the 2005 BDS call around which we have a Palestinian consensus: withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Arab lands occupied in 1967; implementation of UN resolution 194, which calls for the right of return of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants; and an end to Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel. I’m sorry that we have solidarity activists who have fallen into the trap of supporting this so-called solution. Would supporters from the United States of America accept a state that officially discriminates against African Americans? Did South African supporters accept the “Bantustan solution”? No, they didn’t! So why accept it for the Palestinians?

And the One-State Solution?

The one-state solution is the only solution through which the Palestinian rights called for by the BDS movement can be achieved. Moreover, it is a very generous compromise from the oppressed colonized to the settler colonialists, offering citizenship in a state with total equality, exactly like what happened in South Africa, where white settlers were offered the same generous compromise by the indigenous population.

This is the 21st century, after all! We are offering a humane, inclusive solution that is not based on ethno-religious identity: a secular state for ALL of its citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender, etcetera.

If you’re really a supporter of Palestine, you are supposed to support our right to self-determination, which ultimately leads to a secular democratic state throughout all of historic Palestine. Otherwise, you would be supporting a racist solution! I don’t think that genuine support for Palestine excludes Right of Return. If that is the case, then where are the Palestinian refugees supposed to return? To an apartheid state that defines itself in ethno-religious terms? A state that is not their state since it is the state of Jews only?!

In a 2009 interview, BDS leader Omar Barghouti said, “I am completely against bi-nationalism. A secular, democratic state, yes, but not bi-national. There is a big difference.” Do you agree? And what, in your opinion, is the difference?

Yes, I completely agree. A bi-national state by definition is a state made up of two nations. These two nations are historically entitled to the land. But Jews do not constitute a nation. Israeli Jews constitute a settler-colonialist community, not unlike the whites of South Africa or the French in Algeria. Settler colonists are not entitled to self-determination. However, the indigenous people of Palestine, Muslims, Christians and Jews, are all entitled to self determination and they do constitute a nation.

In fact, bi-nationalism is a Zionist idea since it looks at ALL Jews as a nation that is entitled to the land.

What do you say to people who say, “OK, I agree with what you’re saying. But let’s be honest. Two-states is the only realistic solution, and if you really want to help Palestinians, you should focus on ending the immediate problem of the Occupation and supporting the two-state solution”?

I would say that the one-state solution is more practical/realistic than the two-state solution. South Africa proved that civic democracy for all the inhabitants of South Africa was the way forward; the land of South Africa, according to the Freedom Charter,  belongs to ALL those who live on it. That’s a lesson that we need to learn from history.

Israel has shot the two-state solution in the head by creating news facts on the ground: by annexing Jerusalem, having a “Greater Jerusalem,” and by increasing the number of settlers and expanding the existing illegal colonies (all colonies are illegal). In 1993, when the Oslo Accords were signed, the illusion of peace prevailed, unfortunately. People believed that it was possible to have two states: a Palestinian state on twenty-two percent of historic Palestine.

That year, 1993, the number of Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was 193,000. Twenty years later, the number of settlers in the West Bank has risen to 600,000. Israeli settlements — or rather the Jewish-only colonies, since Palestinians are not allowed to live there — have become towns and cities. Which means that Israel is not planning to leave the West Bank at all. And during these twenty years, Israel has erected a monstrous apartheid wall that separates Palestinians from Israelis, and Palestinians from Palestinians.

Israel has also transformed the Gaza Strip into a concentration camp (as much as these two words might disturb some people who claim to have monopoly on victimhood), an open-air prison. There is no communication between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The whole issue is personal for me; it is personal for all Palestinians. For example, my sister lives in Bethlehem, just a one-hour drive from Gaza. But I have not been able to see her for fifteen years. When both our parents died back in 2005, she was not able to come to their funerals. That personal experience tells you about the impossibility of having two-states.

So, just to clarify, you don’t support the one-state solution just because a two-state solution has “failed”; you support it because one-state is the only just solution, is that correct?

Absolutely correct. Even if you implemented the two-state solution — which is an impossibility — it does not fulfill the right of self-determination, which is right of return, equality and freedom. The two-state solution doesn’t do that.

At the 2013 Left Forum in New York, Steven Shalom argued that, while unjust, the “two-state solution” nevertheless paves the way for one democratic state and should be supported on that basis. Do you agree?

No, I do not! Does also think that the Anti-apartheid movement should have accepted the Bantustan solution based on the same logic? I have already made it clear in my previous answers and articles as to why that is a fallacy. A racist solution cannot pave the way to a just solution.

Archbishops Desmund Tutu said that “[they] wanted the full menu of rights.” Why are we expected to cater for less than that? I fail to understand.

Is it presumptuous for Jews and other non-Palestinians to endorse the call for one democratic state?

I strongly believe that all solidarity supporters should heed the call for one-state made by the oppressed Palestinians. They should be principled in their support for human rights and democracy as expressed through the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Does the two-state solution subscribe to that declaration? No. Then logic and principle demands they should support the call for the solution that does, the solution that calls for civic democracy and equality throughout all of historic Palestine.

After all, activists didn’t feel it was presumptuous to support a single democratic state in South Africa, did they? And when the “president” of Transkei called on the international community to support and recognize his “independent homeland,” – his version of the “two-state solution” — international anti-apartheid activists did not buy that line!

And, by the way, most South Africa anti-apartheid activists who have visited Palestine now support the one-state solution. Some of my South African friends and comrades say it very clearly: “The one-state solution is the only solution, because we can’t support a racist solution.” That’s why even the official South African line of supporting a two-state solution is not that popular amongst South African solidarity supporters of Palestine — not to say even amongst members of the cabinet! They know what racism is all about! The five-state solution in South Africa was the brainchild of the architects of Apartheid: White South Africa on 88 per cent of the land, and four “Independent Homelands”/Bantustans for the natives! In fact, the original plan was to have 11 Bantustans, if four was not enough for you!

The solidarity movement supported the call for civic democracy and a secular democratic state in South Africa, because that was the only solution. There could be no compromise, no negotiations with apartheid. The same thing should apply to the Palestine solidarity movement. Why is that so difficult to understand?!

In a recent interview, Noam Chomsky said that the one-state solution was an “illusion” because it “has no international support.” How do you respond?

Did he also add the that the two-state solution has become a facade, a fantasy in the head of those who believe in fantasies? Didn’t he also argue in his latest piece in Mondoweiss  that Israel and the US have killed the two-state solution?

Personally, I feel heart-broken when I see an extremely smart thinker like Chomsky missing the point and deciding to adopt a soft-Zionist  position! There is something with people like Chomsky and Finkelstein with whom you tend to agree about everything in the world except on Palestine. That’s why, understandably, some BDS and one-state activists in the US call them PEP (Progressive except on Palestine!)

There is an overwhelming international support for our right to self-determination; and this entails our right of return and equality. How is the two-state solution going to deal with these two internationally sanctioned rights? Chomsky fails to provide an answer, unless he thinks we are not entitled to our right of return and equality! He is smart enough to know that the two-state solution is a racist one. Didn’t he think so about the Bantustans of South Africa?!

You recently said, “At one point in time, the BDS movement will be asked to take that stand” in favor of one democratic state. Why has the BDS campaign refrained from taking this stand so far, and should it do so now?

Every activist knows very by now that the BDS movement is rights-based, rights that are guaranteed for ALL human beings regardless of ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, etcetera. BDS is guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That is why most, if not all, BDS activists are staunch human rights defenders.

I am, nevertheless, aware of tensions arising from the Boycott National Committee’s lack of a political program and its focus on a rights-based approach. This issue is certainly worthy of discussion within the BNC’s secretariat.

But we also need to take into consideration that the BNC is a coalition with all the compromises coalitions have to make in order to work as a front. That is why the BNC has become the frame of reference for international boycott movements. I believe that a good comparison with the South African experience, within this context, can be made, which shouldn’t overlook the role of the United Democratic Front (UDF) that functioned with representation from the National Congress Party, as well as other political parties and civil society organizations in exactly the same manner as the BNC. The UDF adopted two out of what South Africans called the “four pillars of struggle,” namely mass mobilization and the boycott campaign. History stands witness to this approach that contributed immensely to ending apartheid. In my opinion, the BNC has learnt this historical lesson from South Africa. But it took the international community about 30 years to heed the call made by the anti-apartheid movement, whereas the Palestinian BDS call was made in 2005 only.

That is why I think there will come a time when BDS will be asked to take a stand vis-à-vis the one or two-state solution. And I strongly believe that it will come in support of the former.

How is the call for a single secular democratic state throughout historic Palestine connected to other liberation struggles in the region?

When the Arab Spring started in Tunisia and Egypt, Israel was extremely worried because the struggle in the Arab world is for human rights and democracy. And democracy is the antithesis of Zionism; exactly the same way democracy in South Africa was the antithesis of apartheid, and which ultimately led to the end of institutional apartheid there in 1994. (I still think that economic apartheid exists in South Africa, but this is something we can address in another context)

As a Zionist project, Israel knows very well that true democracy in the Arab world would spread and reach Palestine. Israel would be expected by the international community and by the Arab Spring to be truly democratic. That means one person, one vote. And after the right of return, one person, one vote would ultimately lead to the collapse of  the Zionist enterprise in Palestine.

That, to my mind, is the link between the Palestinian struggle for freedom, self-determination, and liberation, and the struggle for democracy and human rights in the Arab world.

Speaking of BDS, Norman Finkelstein recently accused the BDS campaign of hypocrisy for appealing to international law when it comes to Palestinian rights, but refusing to respect international resolutions, like the 1947 UN partition, that — he claims — legitimize the existence of the “Jewish state.” How do you respond?

I’m so sorry to hear that from a smart person like Norman Finkelstein.

As US solidarity supporters, you have principles. You can’t reconcile an unjust partition and apartheid with human rights and democracy. Has Norman Finkelstein forgotten that Israel defines itself as the state of Jews only? Do you expect me to recognize something like this, just because the United Nations declared it to be so? We recognize those laws and resolutions, like 194, that are just and reject those, like the partition resolution, that are unjust. That is the way all human rights struggles have operated. How is that hypocritical?

That is how it was in the struggle against apartheid South Africa. Whether it was Norman Finkelstein or his mentor Noam Chomsky, everybody heeded the call by South Africans. We all said, “What do you want, you oppressed, colonized South Africans?” They said, “We want an end to apartheid.” And right now, Palestinians are saying we want an end to Israeli apartheid.

And I would have understood him had he supported the two-state solution based on UN resolution 181, passed in 1947; it offered to partition Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state as THE solution! It is a very unfair and problematic resolution in that it offered the Jewish minority (660,000 out of 2 million people) the larger part of the land (56%). This 56 percent, offered to the Jews, included an equal number of Jews and Palestinians. And since most Zionists, soft or not, fought for a Jewish majority in Palestine, that ultimately led to the NAKBAH, i.e, an orchestrated process of ethnic cleansing. Two-staters, such as Finkelstein, do say that a Palestinian state should be established on 44 per cent of Palestine based on UN resolutions!

So I would argue that it’s Norman Finkelstein who’s being hypocritical, because he is unwilling to do for Palestinians what he and all other activists did for South Africans. And in fact, he’s being Zionist and racist when he actually expects us Palestinians to listen to what he has to say in the first place. No, excuse me — he is supposed to listen to what *we* have to say. Unless he has decided to ignore the fact that the 2005 BDS call has been endorsed by the overwhelming majority of Palestinian Civil Society, including National and Islamist forces!Is that not enough for you if you were a genuine supporter of Palestine?

It has been twenty years since Oslo Accords were signed. What effect did these accords, and the so-called “Peace Process,” have on the struggle for the core Palestinian rights called for by BDS: equality, right of return, and end of Occupation?

I’ll sum it by quoting Edward Said in 1993: the Oslo Accords are a second Nakba. Oslo has reduced the Palestinian people to those who only live in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, while excluding Palestinian refugees and Palestinian citizens of the state of Israel. Oslo never alluded to Palestinian’s right to return to their villages and towns from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and never alluded to equality in the 1948 territories. Oslo basically codified and legitimized the ethnic cleansing — the Nakba — of 1948.

Oslo also gave a false impression to the international community that you have “two equal parties” — Palestinians on the one hand, and the Israelis on the other — engaged in “dialogue” to solve their problem. But there are not two equal parties. There is no dialogue. There is an apartheid regime seeking to perpetuate its rule on the one hand, and an indigenous people struggling for their inalienable rights on the other.

Rather than acknowledging the necessity of disassembling this apartheid regime once and for all, Oslo fetishized the trappings of statehood, that if you offer Palestinians a flag and a red carpet for its president and a national anthem, then you have solved the Palestinian question once and for all!

Going back to Norman Finkelstein: you have the struggle of colonized Palestinians against settler colonialists — thanks to the BDS movement, thanks to the formation of the BNC, thanks to the formation of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and thanks to the revival of the one-state idea. You have intellectuals and activists like Edward Said, Azmi Bishara, Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Ramzy Baroud, Joesph Masaad, Ilan Pappe and all these people who have decided to say farewell to the two-state solution, and to endorse the one-state solution.

As solidarity supporters you need to support democracy and human rights — the same principles you followed in the Eighties against apartheid South Africa. You didn’t waste time discussing the practicalities of having Bantustans in South Africa. So you need to join us in putting the two-state solution on the shelf in a museum, because it delays our liberation, and support our call for one-state.

This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.” This series was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace as an investigation into the current state of thinking about one state and two state solutions, and the collection has been further expanded by Mondoweiss to mark 20 years since the Oslo process. The entire series can be found here.

Jews For Palestinian Right Of Return: Updated List (295 Signers, 419 Allies)

JFPROR tinyurl

To support the Jews for Palestinian Right of Return statement below, please:

**Sign as an individual or organization at:

**Join, invite friends to, and repost the Facebook event page at:

**Repost widely on websites and blogs

Praise for JFPROR

Ali Abunimah (Electronic Intifada): “Beautiful!”

Mezna Qato (US Palestinian Community Network): “Absolutely beautiful.”

Dr. Ghada Karmi, M.D.: “An excellent statement which gets at the heart of the Palestinian cause. All people of conscience must sign it.”

Fatin Jarara (Al Awda-NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition): “Thank you, JFPROR, for your support of the right of return for Palestinian refugees to all of Historic Palestine and for the call for a single democratic state, a point that must never be compromised by Palestinians, first and foremost, or their allies.”

Max Blumenthal: ”I was proud to join so many outstanding people in signing.”

Stuart Bramhall (Daily Censored): “Profoundly moving.”

Kevin Ovenden (Palestine solidarity activist, London): “Well done – forwards to peace and justice, without which there can be no peace.”

Jews For Palestinian Right of Return
January 1, 2013

“For Palestinians, the right to return home and the right to live in dignity and equality in their own land are not any less important than the right to live free of military occupation.”
Prof. Saree Makdisi

For more than a century, Zionists have sought to construct a “Jewish state” through forced removal of the indigenous Palestinian people.

In 1948, this state was established through the Nakba (Catastrophe): erasure and occupation of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages, dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians, and a terror campaign of which the massacre at Deir Yassin is but the most infamous example.

Since 1967, Israel has also occupied and colonized the remainder of historic Palestine. Today, this relentless ethnic cleansing continues — armed and financed by the U.S. and its allies — on both sides of the 1948 “Green Line.”

As a cumulative result, seventy percent of Palestinians are in exile, the world’s largest refugee population.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Gaza, where Israel inflicts particularly brutal collective punishment on 1.7 million people — most of them refugees — for defiantly resisting expulsion from their homes throughout historic Palestine.

“Pick a point, any point, along [Gaza's] 25-mile coastline,” writes Gaza City resident Lara Aburamadan, “and you’re seven or so miles — never more — from the other side. The other side is where my grandparents were born, in a village that has since become someone else’s country, off limits to me. You call it Israel. I call it the place where the bombs come from.”

To hide these crimes and shield itself from their consequences, the Zionist regime officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial. It has even authorized legislation to penalize those who memorialize the Nakba — a step toward criminalizing its observance altogether.

As it is for all colonized peoples, liberation means reversing dispossession. “The Palestinian cause,” writes Dr. Haidar Eid in Gaza, “is the right of return for all refugees and nothing less.”

Return — one of the key demands of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign — is affirmed in U.N. resolution 194, but derives from the principle of universal human rights and, as such, cannot be renounced or abandoned by any body or representative; it inalienably attaches to Palestinians, both individually and collectively.

Despite this, even some who criticize Israel’s 1967 occupation claim that Palestinian return is “unrealistic.”

However, solidarity means unconditional support for the just aims of those resisting oppression. As Palestinian journalist-activist Maath Musleh explains: “If you think that [return] is not possible, then you are really not in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”

Some also object that refugees’ return would mean an end to the “Jewish state.” But supporters of social justice must ask themselves how they can defend a state whose very existence depends on structural denial of Palestinian rights.

Recently, more than a hundred leading Palestinian activists reaffirmed their opposition “to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism, and other forms of bigotry directed at anyone, and in particular people of color and indigenous peoples everywhere.”

Such racism and bigotry is reflected precisely in Zionism’s attempt to erase the Palestinian people, a century long campaign that dishonors the memory of Jewish suffering and resistance in Europe.

The moral response is clear: “There is one geopolitical entity in historic Palestine,” writes Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah. “Israel must not be allowed to continue to entrench its apartheid, racist and colonial rule throughout that land.”

As Jews of conscience, we call on all supporters of social justice to stand up for Palestinian Right of Return and a democratic state throughout historic Palestine — “From the River to the Sea” — with equal rights for all.

The full measure of justice, upon which the hopes of all humanity depends, requires no less.

(Except where marked as organizational endorsements,* affiliations below are listed for identification only.)

Initial Signers
Max Ajl, Writer and activist; Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
Gabriel Ash, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Switzerland
Max Blumenthal, Journalist and author
Prof. Haim Bresheeth, Filmmaker, photographer and film studies scholar
Lenni Brenner, Author and antiwar activist
Mike Cushman, Convenor, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
Sonia Fayman, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France
Sherna Berger Gluck, Founding member, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Coordinator, Fellowship of Reconciliation Peacewalks, Mural Arts in Palestine and Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
Hector Grad, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network Spain
Abraham Greenhouse, Blogger, Electronic Intifada
Tony Greenstein, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (UK)
Jeff Halper, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Stanley Heller, Host of “The Struggle” TV News
Tikva Honig-Parnass, Former member of the Zionist armed forces (1948); author of False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine
Adam Horowitz, Co-Editor,
Selma James, Global Women’s Strike; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK
David Klein, Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Dennis Kortheuer, Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Israel Divestment Campaign; Dump Veolia LA
David Letwin, Activist and writer; Gaza Freedom March
Michael Letwin, Co-Founder, Labor for Palestine; Organizing Committee, U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; Al-Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Antony Loewenstein, Australian journalist and author
Barbara Lubin, Executive Director, Middle East Children’s Alliance
Mike Marqusee, Author of If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew
Hajo Meyer, Auschwitz survivor; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Linda Milazzo, Participatory journalist and educator
Prof. IlanPappé, Israeli historian and socialist activist
MikoPeled, Author of The General’s Son
Karen Pomer, Granddaughter of Henri B. van Leeuwen, Dutch anti-Zionist leader and Bergen-Belsen survivor
Diana Ralph, Assistant Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices-Canada
Dorothy Reik, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Prof. Dr. Fanny-Michaela Reisin, President, International League for Human Rights (German Section FIDH); Founding member, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace – EJJP Germany
Rachel Roberts, Civil rights attorney and writer
Ilana Rossoff, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
Carol K. Smith, Activist and civil rights attorney
Lia Tarachansky, Director, Seven Deadly Myths
Hadas Thier, Contributing author of The Struggle for Palestine; Israeli-born daughter and granddaughter of Nazi Holocaust survivors
Dr. Abraham Weizfeld, Jewish People’s Liberation Organization (Montréal)
Sherry Wolf, Author and public speaker; International Socialist Organization; Adalah-NY
Marcy Winograd, Former Congressional peace candidate; public school teacher
Dr. Roger van Zwanenberg, Non-Executive Director, Pluto Books Ltd. 

Additional Signers
Dr. Liz Aaronsohn, New Britain, CT
Stephen Aberle, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Deborah Agre
, Middle East Children’s Alliance; Berkeley, CA
Seymour Alexander
, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; Slough, UK
*American Jews For A Just Peace (
Steve Amsel
, Jerusalem
Jeremy Appel, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) York; Toronto, ON
Ruth Bader
German-Jewish/Australian daughter of Holocaust survivors
Adam Balsam, Independent Jewish Voices Canada
Miri Barak, Israel
Elifelet Sara Der Barambdiker, Jerusalem
Moran Barir, Human rights activist; Jerusalem
Ronnie Barkan, Boycott from Within; Tel-Aviv
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Journalist
Dalit Baum, Israeli feminist teacher and activist
Medea Benjamin, Codirector, Codepink
Ray Bergmann, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Craig Berman
, Kampala, Uganda
Mark Berman, Playwright
Rima Berns-McGown, Writer and Adjunct Faculty, University of Toronto at Mississauga
Frances Bernstein, Leeds, UK
Professor Naomi Binder Wall
, Toronto, ON
Councillor Jonathan Bloch, London, UK
Elizabeth Block
, Independent Jewish Voices; Toronto, ON
Audrey Bomse, National Lawyers Guild, Free Gaza
Lawrence Boxall, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Professor Dennis Brasky, Rutgers University
Monique Buckner, BDS South Africa; Cassington, Oxfordshire, UK
Estee Chandler, Founding Member, Jewish Voice for Peace, L.A. Chapter
Linda Clair, Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign, UK
Jonathan Cohen, College Park
Robert A. H. Cohen, Kendal, Cumbria, UK
Richard Colbath-Hess, Jewish Voices for Peace; Cambridge, MA
David Comedi, Tucumán, Argentina
Prof. Stuart Cryer, Gatineau, QC
Prof. Roger Dittmann, Scientists Without Borders; CSU Fullerton
Gordon Doctorow, Toronto, ON
Amy Druker, Toronto, ON
Sarah Ducker
, Leeds, UK
Mark Elf
, Jews sans frontiers
Arlene Eisen, San Francisco, CA
Marc Etlin, NYC
Prof. Sam Farber, NYC
PnIna Feiler, Yad Hanna, Israel
Marian Feinberg, Environmental and social justice activist; Bronx, NY
Harry Feldman, Blogger
Keith Fine, Birmingham, AL
Deborah Fink
, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; UK
Julius Fisher, Vancouver, BC
Alexei Folger, Jewish Voice for Peace; Bay Area
Maxine Fookson, Jewish Voice for Peace; Portland, OR
Racheli Gai, Tucson Women in Black; Jewish Voice for Peace
Prof. Roni Gechtman, PhD, Mount Saint Vincent University; Halifax, NS
Nicole Gevirtz, Voorhees, NJ
Amit Gilutz, Ithaca, NY
Dr. Terri Ginsberg, film scholar; Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism; NYC
Christoph Glanz, Oldenburg, Germany
Neta Golan, ISM, Palestinian Territories
Nathan Goldbaum, International Socialist Organization; Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators, Chicago Teachers Union
Sharon Goldberg, Surrey, BC
Michael Golden, Ashland, OR
Steve Goldfield, PhD, Former chair, Palestine Solidarity Committee; former editor, Palestine Focus; Oakland, CA
Jean R. Goldman, Women in Black; Miami Beach
Rachel Goldstein, Lakewood, CO
Sue Goldstein, Women in Solidarity with Palestine; Toronto, ON
Arifa Goodman, San Cristobal, NM
Kathryn Goodman, Paekakariki, Kapiti Coast, Wellington, NZ
Marty Goodman, Former Executive Board member, Transport Workers Union Local 100, NYC
Allen Greenberg, NYC
Terry Greenberg, Vancouver, BC
Shaina Greiff
, Researcher/writer; London, UK
Jennifer Grossbard
Heidi Grunebaum, Cape Town
Cathy Gulkin, Independent Jewish Voices; Queers Against Israeli Apartheid; Toronto, ON
Georges Gumpel, Union Juive Française pour la Paix
Freda Guttman, Tadamon!; Montreal
Boris Hammerschlag‏, Internationalist Socialist League, grandson of holocaust survivors and victims (Dachau); Israel/Occupied Palestine
Shaul Hanuka, Mitzpe Ramon
Benjamin Hecht, Germany
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, Author and journalist; Germany
Elliot Helman, Jewish Voices for Peace; San Francisco, CA
Annette Herskovits, Holocaust survivor, writer, and activist; Berkeley, CA
Louis Hirsch, Chicago, IL
Rebecca Hom, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network-U.S.
Bec Hynek, Socialist Alternative; Sydney, NSW
Naomi Isaacs, Munich, Bavaria
*Jews Opposing Zionism, Not In Our Name – NION (Canada)
Riva Joffe
, Jews Against Zionism; London, UK
Bette Jones, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; Network of Oxford Women (NOW) for Justice & Peace; UK
Ramsey Judah, Activist and immigration rights attorney; Los Angeles, CA
Elena Judensnaider, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Alex Kane, Assistant Editor,; World Editor, AlterNet
Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary, AFT Local 1493, San Mateo, CA Community College Federation of Teachers
Jenny Kastner, Cambridge, MA
Louis Katz, Longmeadow, MA
Martha H. Katz, Youngstown, OH
Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta, Author, Refusing to be Enemies: Palestinian and Israeli Nonviolent Resistance to the Israeli Occupation; Independent Jewish Voices–Canada; Burnaby, BC
Asaf Kedar, Zochrot
Alice Diane Kisch, Jewish Voice for Peace; Emeryville, CA
Elena Klaver, Niwot, CO
Janet Klecker
, Sonoma Valley Peace & Justice
Mark Klein, Toronto, ON
Dr. Irena Klepfisz
Jacob Klippenstein, Chicago, IL
Harris Kornstein, Graduate student, UC Santa Cruz
Bud Korotzer, Brooklyn, NY
Francine Korotzer, Brooklyn, NY
Yael Korin, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid; Southern California
Al Kovnat, Vietnam Vets Against the War; OSS; Veterans for Peace; Bensalem, PA
Prof. Emeritus Steve Kowit, American poet, Southwestern College
*L.A. Jews for Peace
Rosa Kurshan-Emmer, public school teacher; Oakland, CA
Micha Kurz
, Grassroots Jerusalem; Al-Quds
Sylvia Laale
, Ottawa, ON
Stephen Landau, Translator and publisher; White Plains, NY
David Landy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Lenny Lapon, Springfield, MA
Valerie Lasciak, WILPF Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Santa Cruz, CA
Lillian Laskin, L.A. Jews for Peace
Prof. Barbara Laslett, Seattle, WA
Albert Meyer, Gainesville, FL
Alan Myerson, Culver City, CA
Pauline Laurance
Chuck Scurich
, Oakland, CA
Melanie Lazarow
, University of Melbourne, Australia
Rachel Lederman, Attorney; San Francisco, CA
Howard Lenow, Union Attorney, Founder, American Jews For A Just Peace;
Sudbury, MA
Aaron Lerner, Senior, University of Washington-Seattle
Leah Levane, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; London, UK
Adam Levenstein
Michael Levin
, Musician; Chicago, IL
Rebekah Levin, Steering Committee, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine; Oak Park, IL
Daniel Levyne, Union juive française pour la paix, France
Brenda Lewis, Child of Holocaust survivor; Guelph, ON
Mark Lickerman, Chicago, IL
Molly Lidz, Labor organizer; Philadelphia, PA
Daniella Liebling, Brooklyn, NY
Prof. Emerita Abby Lippman, McGill University, Montreal
Dave Lippman, NYC
Michael Locker, NYC
Stephanie Locker, NYC
Jennifer Loewenstein, Faculty & Programming Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Henry Lowi
Prof. Alex Lubin, American University of Beirut
David Makofsky, Research anthropologist; Oakland, CA/Beijing, PRC
Helga Mankovitz
, Independent Jewish Voices; Kingston, ON
Eli Marcus, Occupied Palestine
Richard Marcuse, Independent Jewish Voices; West Vancouver, BC
Katrina Mayer, Jewish socialist & anti-Zionist; Leeds, UK
Hilda Meers, Scottish Jews For a Just Peace
Helaine Meisler, Jews Say No!, Middle East Crisis Response
Chloe Meltzer
Peter Melvyn, Critical Jewish Voice; Vienna
Abraham Melzer, Publisher and Journalist; Neu Isenburg, Germany
Waldo Mermelstein, Sao Paulo, Brasil
Karen Meshkov, Philadelphia, PA
Gail Miller, Passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza-The Audacity of Hope; NY
Prof. David Moshman, Lincoln, NB
Susannah Nachenberg
, Oakland, CA
Dorothy Naor
, Herzliah, Israel
Ofer Neiman
, Jerusalem, Israel
Sheryl Nestel
, Independent Jewish Voices Canada; Toronto, ON
Prof. Hilton Obenzinger, Palo Alto, CA
Orna Neumann
, London, UK
Marlene Newesri, NYC
Hiam Tabbarah Odds, Spain
Paula Orloff, Nevada City, CA
Norah Orlow, Jerusalem
Akiva Orr
(1931-2013), Matzpen
Dr. Susan Pashkoff, London, UK
Ibrahim Paul, Sweden
Sharon Pavlovich, Teacher, NYC
Yael Petretti
, Southampton, MA
Karen Platt, Jewish Voice for Peace; Albany, CA
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Peter Purich, Ottawa, ON
Prof. Peter Rachleff
, Macalester College; Saint Paul, MN
Dr. Marco Ramazzotti Stockel, Ebrei Contro l’Occupazione; Roma
Roland Rance, Jews Against Zionism; London, UK
Zohar Chamberlain Regev, Dúrcal; Granada, Spain
Fanny-Michaela Reisin, Jewish Voice for a Just Peace-EJJP Germany
Renen, Boycott From Within; Tel Aviv
Ernest Rodker, Jews for Justice for Palestinians; UK
Barbara Rosenbaum, Co-editor, Patterns of Prejudice; London, UK
Ernesto Rosenberg, Gynecologist; Neuquén, Argentina
Prof. Jonathan Rosenhead, Chair, British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP)
Emma Rosenthal, Director, Cafe Intifada; Los Angeles, CA
Yehoshua Rosin, Gush-Shalom; Rehovot, Israel
Martha Roth, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Peter Roth, Stockholm, Sweden
Reuben Roth, Laurentian University, Oshawa, ON
Gerald Rozner, Monroe, MI
Prof. Cheyl A. Rubenberg, Boca Raton, FL
Rachel Rubin, Chicago, IL
Sandra Ruch, Toronto, ON
Michael Sackin, Leicester, UK
Leslie Safran, London, UK
Margot Salom, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane, Australia
Marlena Santoyo, Jewish Quaker, Germantown Friends Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
Prof. Christiane Schomblond (Ret.), University of Brussels
Ralph Schoenman, Author: Hidden History of Zionism; Vallejo, CA
Abraham Schultz,  Mexico City
Chuck Scurich, Oakland, CA
Susan Schwartz, Thousand Oaks, CA
Sylvia Schwarz, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; Saint Paul, MN
Yossi Schwartz
, Internationalist Socialist League; Haifa
Amanda Sebestyen, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network UK, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, Independent Jewish Voices
Carole Seligman, Co-editor, Socialist Viewpoint; San Francisco, CA
Noa Shaindlinger
, PhD candidate, Department of Near and Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
Stephen Shenfield, Researcher and translator; Providence, RI
Ur Shlonsky, Geneva, Switzerland
Sid Shniad, National Steering Committee, Independent Jewish Voices; Vancouver, BC
Mya Shone, Author, The Hidden History of Zionism
Benjamin Silverman, Student and writer; New Jersey
Inbal Sinai, Tel-Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine
John Sigler, Jewish Friends of Palestine, Colorado Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Judy Slosser, Los Angeles, CA
Erica Smith
, New Rochelle, NY
Kobi Snitz, Tel Aviv
Abba A. Solomon
, Author of The Speech, and Its Context
Peter Sporn, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East; Oak Park, IL
Lyn Stein, San Francisco, CA
Marsha Steinberg, BDS LA for Justice in Palestine
Alan Stolzer, NYC
Bilha Suendermann Golan, Human rights activist; Beit She’arim, Israel
Rhonda Sussman
Cy Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East; Philadelphia, PA
Lois Swartz, Grandparents for Peace in the Middle East; Philadelphia, PA
Len Szajko, Israel
Marta Szedlak, Australia
Joshua Tartakovsky, Jerusalem
Prof. Barry Trachtenberg, Historian; Albany, NY
Matthew Taylor, Founding member, Young Jewish and Proud group within Jewish Voice for Peace; Berkeley, CA
Steve Terry, Criminal defense attorney; Brooklyn, NY
Sara Traub, Toronto, ON
Michael Treiger, Palestine
Lily van den Bergh
, Documentary filmmaker & organizer; Women in Black; NL
Dominique Ventre, French Jewish Union for Peace; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network France
Richard Wagman, Honorary Chairman, French Jewish Peace Union (UJFP), Paris
Donna Wallach, Founder, Justice for Palestinians
Judith Weisman, Independent Jewish Voices; Not in Our Name (NION); Toronto, ON
Jeff Warner, La Habra Heights, CA
Suzanne Weiss, Not In Our Name (NION); Toronto, ON
Barry Weisleder, Federal Secretary, Socialist Action/Ligue pour l’Actionsocialiste; Toronto, ON
Devra Wiseman
Adrienne Weller
, Freedom Socialist Party; Seattle, WA
Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, Founder member, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; UK
Bekah Wolf, Co-Founder, Palestine Solidarity Project
Tamar Yaron, Founder & moderator: Encounter-EMEM for International Israel-Palestine peace activities; Kibbutz Hazorea, Israel
Myk Zeitlin, London, UK
Helen Holt Zuckerman, Philadelphia, PA
Larry Zweig, Solidarität International e.V.; Fürth, Germany

*Al Awda NY: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Avigail Abarbanel
, Psychotherapist, activist and writer; Inverness, UK
Medhat Abbas, Bioinformatician, Director, Egyptiske KulturSenter I Norge
Lamia Abbas, Atlanta
Ramy Abdeljabbar, Paterson, NJ
Milagros Ahmad, Clermont
Jane Alexander, Oxford, UK
Faisal Algahtani
, Saudi Arabia
Elaine Algrain, Luxembourg
Tony Ali, Vancouver, BC
Jackie Alsaid, Academic lawyer in international law; Fareham, UK
Nawal Annab
Don Anderson, Vietnam Veteran; Lebanon, OR
Muhammad Haris Ansari, Medical student; Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Marshall Ansell
, Sweden
Larry C. Anthony, Richardson
Enzo Apicella, FCSD/Cartoonist; London, UK
Rita Appleby, Grays, Essex, UK
B. Ross Ashley
, Steering Committee, NDP Socialist Caucus; Toronto, ON
Captain Wajkih Asi, Los Angeles, CA
Muna Assaf, Ramallah, Palestine
Rev. Rene August, Cape Town, South Africa
Prof. Silvio Augusto de Carvalho, Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Ahmed Azeddine, Retired didactic engineering specialist, Teknologist Institut, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Belal Bahader, Writer/activist, Seton Hall University; South Orange, NJ
William Bailey, Kaneohe HI
Maggie Bagon, Florence, OR
Samar Barakat, London, UK
Benjamin Baker
, Doctoral candidate, University of Pennsylvania
Prof. Mona Baker, Translation Studies, University of Manchester, UK
Julien Ball
, International Socialist Organization; San Francisco, CA
John Banks, Care Africa; Las Vegas, NV
Pier Luigi Barberini, Civitella San Paolo, Italy
Brenda Barnard, Brighton, UK
Julia Barnett, Toronto, ON
Faye Bartlett, United Methodist; Bellingham, WA
Bonita Behun, Sebastopol, CA
Nancy J. Bell
, US Student Ambassador for Peace to Israel (1978); Rossville, GA
Linda Benedikt, Writer; München, Deutschland
Ray Bergmann, Just Peace for Palestine; Brisbane, QLD
S. Bergsma, Zwinderen, NL
Joshua Beth

Ada Bilu, Jerusalem
Nils Bjørkelo, Fredrikstad, Norge
Paul Bouwmeester, Elgin, IL
Anne Bowers, Women in Black; NYC
Sallye Steiner Bowyer
Soraya Boyd, Facilitate Global; London, UK
Eamon Bradley, Derry, Ireland
David Bragin, USA
ed Brandt, Occupied Media; Brooklyn, NY
Nadine Brennan, Santa Cruz, CA
Tibby Brooks, NYC
Jean Brown, Oakland, CA
Pauline Brown, Oakland, CA
Regina Brown, MD, Anochi; San Francisco, CA
Tom Brown
, Oakland, CA
Rick Burgess, Bangor & Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group, Anglesey, Wales
Dr. Clint Le Bruyns, Director & Senior Lecturer of Theology & Development Programme, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Francisco Caballos
, Sefarad Al Andalus, Rojo, Seville, Spain
Edith Cacciatore, Novato, CA
Maria Cal, Vigo, España
Paola Canarutto, Italy
Jen Carlo, Staten Island, NY
Smadar Carmon, Human rights activist; Toronto, ON
Daniel Carnie, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)-UCLA
Vittorio Caroselli, Blogger; Palermo, Italy
Eva Carter
, Pittsburgh, PA
Eric Carwardine
, Thornlie, Western Australia
Teresa Castillo, Madera, CA
Carolyn Cicciu, Palestine Education Network (NH) and New Englanders for Justice in Palestine; Goffstown, NH
Ben Collins, International HIV Partnerships; London, UK
Margot Connolly, Charleville, Co. Cork, Ireland
Ismael Cordeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sue Cosgrave, Cork, Ireland
Aquila Coulibaly, Occupy The Hood; Philadelphia, PA
Armand Crispin
, Staten Island, NY
Prof. Susan Curtiss, PhD, UCLA
Ian Cuthbertson, UK
Michelle Dalnoky, RN; Florida
Jamal Daoud
, Viva Palestina Australia; Sydney, NSW
Susan Daum, MD, NYC
Walter Daum, League for the Revolutionary Party; NYC
Howard Davidson, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid; Toronto, ON
Rebeca Dawson
, MD; Houston, TX
Jean Day, Seattle, WA
Langlois Dominique, Hainaut, Belgium
Elsie Dean, Burnaby, BC
Pucci Dellanno, Public speaker, music manager; Porterville, CA
Alexander R. DeSantiago, Stockton, CA
Dr. Sheila Delany
, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
Stany Dembour, Belgium
David DePoe, Teacher, Rank and File Education Workers of Toronto, Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly
Merav Devere, Brighton, UK
Gustav Draijer, Amsterdam, NL
Francine Dumas, Gatineau, Quebec
Shane Duran, Brisbane, QLD
Juan De Santiago, San Jose, CA
Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian & Gay Solidarity; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sarah Ebady
David Ehrens, Dartmouth, MA
Prof. Nada Elia, Antioch University, Seattle WA
Hilde Kristin Ellingsund, Norway
James A. Everett, President, Ark of the Covenant Foundation
Shaban Mahamoud El-Hellou
, Gaza, Palestine
Ramzy Elian
Liz Elkind
, Scotland
Philip Englehard
, Macclesfield, UK
Sydda Essop, Cape Town
Unni Evang
, Norway
David Evans, Rochester, NY
Prof. Faramarz Farbod, Moravian College, Nazareth, PA
Kathy Felgran
, Watertown, MA
Daniel Fernandes, Curitiba, PR, Brazil
Prof. Gary Fields,
University of California, San Diego
Michael J. Fitzgerald, Klamath Falls, OR
Steven Flowers
, Chicago Cuba Coalition
Richard Forer, Author, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion–A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict; Trenton, NJ
Heather Formaini, Italy
Sadie Fourie, Pretoria, South Africa
Prof. Cynthia Franklin
, Univ. of Hawaii
Carl Freeman
, France
Joseph Freeman, Toronto, ON
Craig Fulton
, UK
Patricia Furlough, Conway SC
Maria Galan, Spain
Alisa Gayle-Deutsch, Toronto, ON
Daniel Geery, Salt Lake City, UT
Gumpel Georges
, Union Juive Française pour la Paix, France
Ihsan Ghadieh, Michigan
Kamran Ghasri, CA Green Party Israel Divestment Campaign
Bilal Billy Gibbons, London, UK
W. Gifford, Leesburg
Christoph Glanz, Oldenburg, Germany
Veronica Golos, Poet, Taos, NM
Alicia Fdez Gómez, Asturias
Neil Gordon, Author; Paris
Alice Graner, Minneapolis, MN
Shaina Greiff, Researcher and writer; London, UK
Elsa Guerra, San Francisco, CA
Leticia Guerra, San Antonio, TX
Mitchell Gumbley
Marilyn Hacker
, Poet, translator and editor; Paris
Ismail Hammad, Fairfield, CA
Khaled Hamam, Qatra, Palestine
Cliff G. Hanley
Marcus Christain Hansen, Alstead, NH
Jane Harries, UK
Leora Harris, Brooklyn, NY
Wendy Hartley, Palestine-Israel Working Group of Nevada County, CA
Kamal Hassan, Grants Pass, OR
Abe Hayeem, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, UK
Dietrich Heißenbüttel
, Esslingen, Germany
Detlef Heier, Watamu, Coast, Kenya
Amy Helfant, Activist and worker
Philippe de Henau, ingénieur civil member of ABP, INTAL; Belgium
Elise Hendrick
, Cincinnati, OH
George Henry, Bellevue
Shir Hever, Goettingen, Germany
Pat Hewett, Friends of Sabeel; USA
Guy St. Hialie, Canada
Martin Hijmans
, Journalist & blogger, Amsterdam, NL
Sally Hinshaw, Columbus, OH
Reverend Andy Hird, Santa Fe, NM
Guus Hoelen, Leusden, NL
David Howard, Ojai, CA
Michael V. Hugo, Youth and Young Adult Minister; Clinical Social Worker; Mundelein, IL
Thami Hukwe, Socialist Party of Azania
Tony Iltis
, Green Left Weekly, Melbourne, Australia
John A. Imani, Los Angeles, CA
Jane Jackman, Researcher, UK
Mohammed Jaradat, Torrance, CA
Jake Javanshir, Toronto, ON
Patrick Jay
, Occupy Colorado Springs
Lee Jenkins, Deputy General Counsel, Howard University; Sterling, VA
Michael Jerome, NYC
Roland James Jesperson, Attorney, Taylor, ND
Nicholas Jewitt
, Bangor, Wales, UK
Linea Johansen, Social-and healthcare helper; Denmark
Susan Kadray, London, ON
Ghada Karmi, UK Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Adah Kay

Asaf Kedar, Zochrot
Warren Keller, Clearwater, FL
Kieran Kelly, Aotearoa
June Forsyth Kenagy, Albany, NY
Stephen Kerpen
, Portland, OR
Dr. Israr Khan, UK
Migna Khan, Advocates for Peace and Social Justice; West New York, NJ
Dr. Nasir Khan, Historian and peace activist; Oslo, Norway
Samira Khoury, Lebanon
Mark Kilian, Internationale Socialisten NL, Alkmaar, Nederland
John King, NYC
Orang Kiyani, London, UK
Kim Klausner, San Francisco, CA
Susie Kneedler, USA
Gill Knight
Margaret Knight
, Santa Cruz, CA
Terri Knoll, Tampa, FL
Kostas Kounenidakis, Athens, Greece
Robert Krikourian
Larry Kronen
, Albuquerque, NM
Elfriede Krutsch
, Berlin, Germany
Jurgen P. Kuhl, Burnaby, BC
*Labor for Palestine
Scott Lafferty
, Brighton, UK
Mika Laiho
, Ex-peacekeeper, UNIFIL, UNPROFOR, IFOR; Pori, Finland
David Landy, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Dublin
David K. Langstaff, Bay Area, CA
Marian Larsen
, Odense, Denmark
Pam Laurance, London, UK
Larry Lawson, Tignish, PEI, Canada
Rachel Lea

Arthur Leahy, Ireland
William Leavy
Lucien Legrand
, Président, Comité pour unePaixJuste au Proche-Orient (CPJPO)–Luxembourg
Margaret Leicester
, Albuquerque, NM
Paola Leonardini, Livorno, Italy
Kathy Lessuck, Providence, RI
Benji de Levie, NL Palestina Komitee, Rotterdam
Jeremy Levinger
, University of Wisconsin-Madison; St. Paul, MN
Carol Frances Likins, ICUJP (Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace); Los Angeles, CA
Scott Linder
, Fremont, CA
Brittney Little, Students for Liberty; Toms River, NJ
Brooke Lober, PhD Student, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson
Tristan Lohendrin, Amsterdam, NL
Ben Lorber, Journalist and activist; Chicago, IL
Leila J. Louis
Rhonda Lumley, Pensacola, FL
Prof. Andrew Lyons, PhD; Toronto, ON
Prof. Emerita Harriet Lyons, University of Waterloo, Toronto, ON
Michael McAllister, Founder of Ché scholarship Bethlehem University; Belfast, Ireland
Ellen McGovern, Buderim, QLD
Dr. William F. McIver II, PhD; Eugene, OR
Paula McPheeters
Dorothy Macedo

Savdah Manjra, Toronto, ON
David Marchesi, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK
Daniel Marlin
Eugene Marner
, Franklin, NY
Robby Martin, Dublin
Marita Mayer
Marijke Merel, Utrecht, NL
Katherine M. Metres, Writer entrepreneur; Silver Spring, MD
Cecily Michaels
, Blaxland, NSW
Salem Mikdadi, China
Julia Miranda, Montreal, QC
Mirna Miranda, U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation; LaPorte, CO
Sean Mohsin, Chicago, IL
Jeffrey Monheit, Fresh Meadows, NY
Liron Mor, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine
Margrit Moser, Berne, Switzerland
Marie Mouradi, East Greenwich, RI
Neil Mulholland, Ireland
Mariyam Mulla, London, UK
Sean Mulligan, Alpharetta, GA
Haroon Munir, Watford, UK
A. Munshi, Toronto, ON
Maarten Muskens
, PK NL; Germany
Prof. Rima Najjar, Al Quds University, Occupied Palestinian Territory; Bloomington, IN
Taghreed Najjar, Amman, Jordan
Yahya Nana
, Lenasia, South Africa
Jeff Neff, Los Angeles, CA
Mical Nelken
, London, UK
Diana Neslen, Ilford, UK
Si Neumann, Artist, Cairo
Cindy Newman, Los Angeles, CA
Hayley Newman
*New York City Labor Against the War
Tony Nicholas, Sydney, NSW
Rael Nidess, MD; Marshall, TX
Kathy Nitsan, Berkeley, CA
Dagmar Noble
, Weston-super-Mare, Avon, UK
Devon Nola, Political and social justice activist
Judith Norman, San Antonio, TX
Henry Norr, Berkeley, CA
*North Pyget Sound Israel-Palestine Mission Network, Everett, WA
Adam Nuchtern, Houston, TX
Cornelius O’Brien, London, UK
Dr. John O’Brien, Sydney, NSW
Margaret O’Bryan, Australia
Gerry Ohannessian, London, UK
Annika Ohlson
, Teacher; Bjärred, Sweden
KajOhrnberg, Historian; Helsinki, Finland
Roberta Olimpi
Vaneide Olmo
, São Paulo, Brazil
Cristina L
ópez Ortiz, Barcelona, Spain
Sot Otter, Scotland
Kevin Ovenden, Palestine solidarity activist and Respect Party; London, UK
*Palestine Poster Archives
Pauline Pan
, Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine
Dr. Kathy Panama, London, UK
Meredith Pass, Louisville, KY
Judith Pecho, RN; Educator; Corrales
Grahame Perkins
, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Deutschland
Ursula Peters, Germany
Mr. Blair M. Phillips, St. Catharines, ON
P.G. Phippen, New London, NH
Caroline Picker
, Phoenix, AZ
Daniel Pines, Rochester, NY
Sophia Ponders, Interfaith worker; Los Angeles, CA
Sylvia Posadas, Blogger, Kadaitcha; Noosa, QLD
Jenean Qaddura, SMU; Dallas, TX
*Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Australia
Ezyño Ezygual Quemasda, Madrid, Spain
Steve Quester, Teacher; Brooklyn, NY
Attia Rajab, Palestine Solidarity Committee; Stuttgart, Germany
Najah Rammouni, Dearborn Heights, MI
Boris Ran, Dallas, TX
Sterling Rand
, Eugene OR
Naomi Rankin, Edmonton, AB
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed, Vietnam-era veteran; NYC
Dan Read
, Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Peter Reid
, Abbotsford, BC
Dick Reilly, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism
Michael Richter
, München, Deutschland
David Rider
, Washington
Rosalie Riegle, Neighbors For Peace; Evanston, IL
Bill Risebero, Palestine Solidarity Committee; Friend of Alrowwad; London, UK
William Roberts, Redwood City, CA
Liz Roberts, War Resisters League; Brooklyn, NY
Stewart Robinson, Cleveland Hts., OH
Joan F. Rodriguez, San Mateo, CA
Linda Rogers, Bangor and Ynys Mon Peace and Justice Group; Llangoed, Ynys Mon, Wales
Ned Rosch
Rudy Ruddell
, Castro Valley, CA
Michael Ryan, Lacoste, France
Sara Saba, Esq., Attorney and human rights activist; Princeton, NJ
Katherine Salahi, Oxford, UK
Joe Salameh, Brentwood, CA
Julieta Salgado, Organizer, New York Students Rising; Brooklyn, NY
Herbert Salit, Los Angeles, CA
Yasmina Samahy
, Houston, TX
Dr. Ian Saville, Lecturer, Middlesex University, London, UK
Michael Schembri
, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine; Allawah, NSW
Gabriel M. Schivone, Ad Hoc Steering Committee, National Students for Justice in Palestine; Tucson, AZ
Fred Schloessinger, Nanaimo, BC
Margot Schlösser, Malmedy, France
Angelika Schneider
, German Branch Fellowship of Reconciliation; Lilienthal
Björn Schneider, Frankfurt, Germany
Prof. Christiane Schomblond (Ret.), Brussels, Belgium
*Scientists Without Borders
Neil Scott, Auckland, NZ
Chuck Scurich, Oakland, CA
Prof. Sako Sefiani, Glendale, CA
Mehrdad Shahabi, Tehran, Iran
Mehraz Shahabi, Bristol, UK
Jennifer Selwyn
, PhD
Mona Seredin, Delray Beach, FL
Ellen Shatter, Providence, RI
Glenn Shelton, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice; Detroit, MI
Anouche Sherman, London, UK
Amanda Joy Sidell
, Chicago, IL
Damon Simonetti, ACLU, F&AM; Greenfield, MA
Sam Simpson, Cork, Ireland
Inbal Sinai, Tel-Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine
Diego Siragusa, Author of “Il terrorismoimpunito”; Biella, IT
Melinda Smith, International peace education consultant; Albuquerque, NM
*Socialist Party of Azania
Rebecca Anshell Song
, Redmond, WA
Dan Sockrider, Indianapolis, IN
Isabelle Spreafico
Prof. Carol Strauss Sotiropoulos, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI
John Spritzler, Editor,
Aviva Stahl, US researcher, CagePrisoners; London, UK
Rick Staggenborg, MD
, Board President, Take Back America for the People; Coos Bay, OR
Burton Steck, Chicago, IL
Ron Strand, Vancouver, BC
Mary-Alice Strom, USA
Deena Stryker, Philadelphia, PA
Beverly Stuart, Seattle, WA
Dr. Dwyer Sullivvan, Organization Director, Camp Micah: Leadership for Peace and Justice; Kitchener, ON
Liz Taha, London, UK
Mohamed Taha, London, UK
John Taulbee
, Fort Wayne, IN
H. Kelly Taylor, University City, MO
Nadya Tannous
Barbara Thiessen, Kansas City
Laura Tillem, Wichita, KS
Maxime Touzel, Sept-Iles, QC
Roger Tucker
, Publisher, One Democratic State; Eronga, Michoacan, Mexico
Beth Tupper, Allston
Rogers Turrentine, WGAwest; Encinitas, CA
Samir Twair, Journalist; Los Angeles, CA
Willi Uebelherr
, Halle/Westfalen, Germany
Katie Unger, NYC
*US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)
Lily van den Bergh, Documentary filmmaker & organizer; Women in Black; Amsterdam, NL
Rev. Johan A. van der Merwe, Dutch Reformed Church; George, West Cape, South Africa
Dottie Villesvik, North Pyget Sound Israel-Palestine Mission Network; Everett, WA
Johan Viljoen, South Africa
Maria Vittoria, Italy
Viva Palestina Australia
Fay Waddington
, Founding member, Queensland Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Brisbane, Australia
Bonnie Walker
, Portland, OR
Dan Walsh, Palestine Poster Project Archives
Sharron Ward, London, UK
Stuart Ward, Chairperson, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) Thailand;
Nadia Warrayat, Washington, DC
Kathy Wazana, Director, They Were Promised the Sea; Toronto, ON
Terry Weber
Lilian Wehbe
Alison Weir
, Executive Director, If Americans Knew, USA
Pim Wiersinga
, Rotterdam, NL
Barbara B. Wilhelm, Brookline, MA
Samantha Wischnia
, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP
Vincent Calvetti-Wolf
, TESC Divest!; Oakland, CA
Naomi Woodspring, Palestine Solidarity Committee; UK
Elizabeth Woolever, Lay Delegate, United Methodist Upper NY Conference; Rochester
Efa Wulle
, Wales
Rhona Wyer, Bangor & Abglesey Peace & Justice Group; Upper Bangor, Wales
Rev. Darrell Yeaney, Santa Cruz, CA
Sue Yeaney, Santa Cruz, CA
Samar Yunis, Florida
Ben Young, London, UK
Errol Young
, Toronto, ON
Frances Yule, Mt. Barker, Western Australia
Giuseppe Zambon
, Grankfurt am Main, Deutschland
Elizabeth Zoob, CSW; Boston

Akiva “Aki” Orr: A working-class hero

[Explanatory Note: The late Akiva Orr was a signer of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return. The author of this memorial is Tikva Honig-Parnass, a JFPROR initial signer.]

International Socialist Review, March-April 2013

Akiva “Aki” Orr:
A working-class hero

MY CLOSE personal and political connection with Akiva Orr and his family began in 1959 when Aki was still a member of Maki—an acronym for the Israeli Communist Party. He had growing doubts and criticisms of the party, which led him and Moshé “Moshik” Machover together with two other comrades to leave Maki and participate in the founding of the Israeli Socialist Organization (ISO or Matzpen) in 1962. It was only natural that I was one of the first to whom Aki sold the first issue of the organization’s newspaper, Matzpen, which he brought to the department of sociology in Givat Ram (the temporary residence of the Hebrew University until it returned to Mount Scopus after the 1967 war) where I was working and studying.

Aki’s wife Lea came to work together with me in the Henrietta Szold Institute in Jerusalem soon after the birth of my daughter Sivan. A year later when Lea and Aki’s daughter Sharon was born we met often, spending the afternoon hours with our baby daughters. No doubt the talks we had in those meetings strengthened the contradictions in my Zionist Left political viewpoint and prepared me to later accept the Marxist and socialist anti-Zionism of Matzpen.

However, my way to a fall departure from Zionism was not easy. The circumstances surrounding my first meeting with Lea shed light on the extent of the enormous difficulty that then (and maybe even more at present) confronted anyone who attempted to release himself or herself from the tight grasp of Zionism. No doubt it was even harder for me, who identified with the “Marxist” stream of the Labor Zionist movement since my post as the secretary of Mapam (an acronym for the United Workers Party) in the Knesset in the years 1954-55. Lea’s application for a job in the Henrietta Szold Institute was immediately approved. This was after she was fired from the Central Bureau of Statistics when she married Aki, who was known as a member of Maki.

The sheer political persecution behind the alleged security risk Lea posed is especially conspicuous in light of the nature of the work she had done for several years after her graduation from the department of statistics at the Hebrew University. She was editing statistical reports and analyses that were ready to go to the print shop. Lea’s case reflected the prevailing policy of Zionist Left governments headed by David Ben-Gurion to which the “Marxist” Mapam was partner. These were years of despotic rule of the Labor Zionist movement in all walks of life, drawing boundaries for legitimate Zionist consensus. This was reflected in the official slogan coined by Ben-Gurion: “Without [the right wing] Herut and without Maki.”

AkivaOrr being interviewed in 2012

It is important to emphasize the central role of Mapam in laying the legal and ideological infrastructure of Israel’s apartheid regime and to understand the enormous impact Mapam had on me as well as on others who were genuinely committed to socialism. Especially important was Mapam’s role in creating a false narrative of the Nakba, as emphasized by Stanford University professor of Middle East history Joel Beinin: “[Despite what they knew] after the war, it was Mapam’s prescription for the conduct of Israeli forces—rather than the reality of expulsion—that became official Israeli history, and eventually, came to define the Jewish Israeli collective memory of what happened in 1948.”[l] The Zionist Left intellectuals had articulated an ideology that granted moral and “scientific” legitimacy to the state-centered political culture justifying its alleged security as a supreme value. This clarifies not only my own relatively late departure from Left Zionism. It also confirms the courage of Aki, Moshik, and their comrades when they joined the Communist Party and even more so when they left it and founded Matzpen.

As a Stalinist party, Maki supported the UN Partition Plan. Its leader Meir Vilner signed the shameful “Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel,” which recognized the historic right of the Jews to the land of Israel and negated Palestinian national rights. However, Maki’s commitment to the basic narrative and premises of Zionism did not deter the Labor Zionist establishment from persecuting its members. Since 1948, Maki campaigned against tine second-class citizenship of the Palestinians and against military administrative rule (1948-66), which enforced spatial immobility and political paralysis upon the terrorized Palestinian population. This enabled the Labor-led coalition governments along with Mapam to seize Palestinian lands, the majority of which were taken in the first years of the state’s existence. Maki also opposed Israel’s support of British and French imperialism, which fought against the independence of the Arab peoples, as was revealed in the 1956 Suez war.

Hence it was not by accident that despite the persecution policies of Labor governments, a nonprofit research institute unaffiliated with the Labor government and directed by a “liberal” person hired Lea without any reservations. In a short time however, even the few islands of liberal thinking were smashed under the oppressive dominance of the “state-centered” version of the Labor movement. Hence the enormous difficulty experienced by me and by others to disconnect from the Zionist Left, especially from Mapam, which claimed a commitment to both Zionism and socialism.

As members of Maki, Aki and Moshik’s disassociation from Zionism was not yet complete. This made it easier for me to adopt their criticism of the state policies against the Palestinians as well as the anti-worker policies of the Histadrut—the arm of the Zionist colonial project since before 1948. These were the years (1959-61) in which Akiva and Moshé Machover wrote the book Peace, Peace, When There Is No Peace. As they said in the book’s introduction, the original plan was to show that “Israel’s participation in the British and French invasion of Egypt in 1956 was not a ‘war of no choice,’ as the Israeli government—and most of the public in Israel—insisted, but rather a contrived war and an integral part of Israel’s policy under Labor’s David Ben-Gurion: he preferred alliances with colonial powers over compromise with the Arab states.”[2] However as they gathered material for the book, a wider understanding of Israel’s prevention of the creation of a Palestinian state was revealed to them: namely, the secret accord between Ben-Gurion and King Abdullah of Jordan in 1948. Under this agreement, Ben-Gurion robbed the Palestinians of half of the area allocated to them by the November 29, 1947, UN partition resolution, and the other halfway given to Abdullah.

Learning about these facts was a shock for me and for a close group of people who still believed in Israel’s acceptance of the UN partition resolution and in Israel’s presumably genuine search for peace. However these new facts still were not enough to bring me to challenge the justification of Zionism and the Jewish state. My political development was then dependent on Aki and Moshé’s own departure from Zionism, since I by then already filly trusted their interpretation of Marxism for analyzing Zionism and the nature of the Israeli state. But they themselves had not yet reached an unequivocal challenge to the colonial nature of Zionism. As they emphasized in the introduction to the second edition of the book in 1999:

In the framework of this organization [Matzpen] we developed, together with our comrades, a principled critique of Zionism that was far more extensive than the one we had formulated in the book. We no longer see the 1948 war as an Israeli liberation struggle against British imperialism, as the book suggests, but as a continuation of the colonizing enterprise of Zionism. Our position on the Soviet Union also became, after 1962, much more critical than the one reflected in the book. But the roots and basic direction of our critical position on Israeli policies and Zionism are clearly discernable in this volume.

It was the founding of Matzpen, and especially the developing perspective depicting Zionism as a colonial project, which created an earthquake in my political and personal life. Matzpen’s positions and analyses wiped out the remains of my Left Zionism, and of my support for Maki. Matzpen helped me to remove the dust that Mapam and Maki teachings had piled upon the foundations of Marxism I acquired in my youth reading Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Now I could clearly see the state of Israel as a tool for the advancement and expansion of the Zionist project, in the service of Western imperialism in the Middle East.

Matzpen equipped me with the political and ideological principles that were to lead my thinking and activity in the years after Aki and Moshé moved to London, and later when Matzpen gradually stopped functioning as an active political organization. I could thus apply Matzpen’s perspectives, retaining a critical outlook when I joined the Trotskyist Revolutionary Communist League (Lakam, affiliated with the Fourth International) and the Alternative Information Center it founded. I sharply rejected the Oslo Accords, which my comrades at the time saw as a promising step toward the two- state solution they supported. By the same token, I could condemn the Lakam for “dissolving” politically into the 1967 protest movement, whose Zionist leadership supported the Palestinian Authority headed by Arafat.

After 1965, when Aki and Lea moved to London, I spent long summer vacations in their warm and open home. After 1968, I followed Aki’s gradual distancing from what he named “Orthodox Marxism,” until finally his membership in Matzpen came to an end. During these years there were other members and supporters of Matzpen who ended their connections with the organization in addition to the splits that took place on ideological grounds. Some withdrew to build their professional or academic careers. Others saw their main role in joining the movements—especially those connected with the protest against the 1967 occupation or with civil rights NGOs. There were also those who replaced their socialist anti-Zionism with what Moshik called “ethnic patriotism”—seeing their Jewishness as a central feature of their self-identity—a perspective contradictory to the universalist values embedded in genuine socialism by definition.

Aki did not adopt any of these defeatist non-internationalist positions, nor did he choose the comfort of a nonpolitical way of life. Although departing from the Marxist socialism of Matzpen, he retained his revolutionary passion and fighting spirit. His writings, activity, and style of life were directed toward his tireless search for a thorough change in the current “capitalist democracies.” His call for a “direct democracy” (presumably permitted by innovations in electronic communication since 1980) was indeed naive and unrealistic. However, it reflected his persistent drive for a fill egalitarian society that would avoid what he assumed to be the shortcomings of socialism—namely, a system retaining power and authority within some political center, which does not truly represent the people. Instead he proposed “Autonarchy”—a political system of self-rule based on the right of workers and citizens in general to propose and decide on any political issue.

In his daily political activity and writings, Aki remained loyal to Matzpen’s main principles—fighting against Israel’s political apartheid and economic neoliberalism and enthusiastically supporting the Palestinian struggle for freedom and the liberation of the Arab world from the yoke of US imperialism.

Aki’s lifestyle embodied a kind of anarchism that usually does not prevail among members of radical Left organizations. For Aki there was no separation between his personal and political life. Each of the political campaigns in which he was involved was soon translated into a personal relationship with his partners in the struggle with whom he was sharing his daily schedule. Thus when he wholeheartedly enlisted in the campaign for the release of Mordechai Vanunu (the famous whistle-blower who disclosed nuclear secrets to a British newspaper) and for a Middle East free from nuclear weapons, Mordechai’s brother Meir Vanunu directed the campaign from Aki’s home in London.

When Aki returned to Israel, he used to visit weekly the Marxist-socialist Daud Tourki, by then lonely and almost completely forsaken by his past comrades, at his home in Haifa. Tourki was released in 1985 after spending seventeen years in an Israeli prison. He had been accused of heading a “spy network” affiliated with Syrian intelligence. Some members of the network were Matzpen or ex-Maki members who left those organizations to found a Jewish-Arab underground to fight against the Israeli occupation and for an independent Palestine by attacking military and governmental facilities.

Aki, like all members of Matzpen, opposed this initiative, but unlike Maki, he and Matzpen never engaged in the hateful, mass hysterical condemnation of network members during their widely publicized trial. Moreover, in 2007, following Tourki’s death, Aki bravely published on Maki’s Left Bank site an obituary in which he expressed his admiration for Tourki’s socialist stance and the noble motives which brought him to adopt incorrect methods for fighting against the Zionist state.

As it had been in London, Aki’s home in Israel was opened to dozens of young activists who were looking for answers to their growing doubts regarding the nature of the Jewish/Zionist state and its bloody policies toward the Palestinians. Many of them were involved in various protest activities against the 1967 occupation, like their joint militant weekly demonstrations against the separation wall that separated the Palestinian villagers from their cultivated lands. Aki’s personal, simple, eye-to-eye style of communication with them and with other young people resulted in deep admiration for him and his teachings. Through his easygoing and seemingly “nontheoretical” approach he sowed in them the aspiration for more fundamental change in Israeli society and its state, and taught them not to be satisfied solely with their protest activities.

The spark of radicalism Aki lit brought some of these activists to Matzpen’s fiftieth-anniversary commemoration, where Aki contradicted those ex-Matzpen members mentioned above who expressed their admiration for protest as such but rejected the theoretical debate among some Matzpen veterans regarding the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict.” Aki addressed the youngsters with a clear-cut message that Matzpen was not merely a “protest movement,” but a revolutionary organization aimed at changing the state and its society, and as such it needed theory.

Some of the young activists attended his funeral and later joined other Matzpen members and supporters who met in a private home—feeling it difficult to return to their daily routine. The young followers of Aki looked like orphans who had lost their ideological father.

Aki had a magnetic impact on those who over the years met him personally or listened to one of his many public talks. I have chosen to conclude my obituary of comrade Akiva Orr with words written by a woman who does not officially belong to the ranks of the radical Left in Israel, that were posted in her personal blog named “Radically Blond.” Her moving words demonstrate Aki’s deep political influence on people throughout the long years since he left Matzpen. Aki’s teaching has made these people ripe to join a living radical socialist organization, which unfortunately does not exist in Israel.

“Radically Blond” expressed her “feelings of loss and confusion” when she heard of the death of Aki, whom she saw as her political mentor. After listening to him in a meeting she attended by chance many years ago, she felt she was “fortunate to meet an astonishing person,” and began to follow attentively his and Matzpen’s publications.

Aki was one of those who have not given up; who determinately continued to struggle against the occupation, Zionism and Capitalism…. He was one of those who attempted to delineate the road we should take. . . . Aki was one of the few who knew how to be a genuine Left and at the same time criticize the camp to which he belonged. He refused to compromise on his determined fight on the side of the oppressed.

We have so few models to follow on the Israeli Left—so few torches to light our way and aid us in a search for the right road. Aki was one of them. And now, when he has gone, the road seems a little darker. Rest in peace, Aki. I hope to follow your political mission. Aki joins now the long list of heroes of the working class whose legends we, revolutionaries, nourish. They dedicated their life, albeit in different ways, to our joint cause: liberating our societies from oppression and exploitation.

Tikva Honig-Parnass fought in the 1948 war as a Zionist. Years later she would break with Zionism and join the ranks of the Israeli Socialist Organization (ISO), a Marxist anti-Zionist group that was active in Israel during the 1960s and 1970s also known by the name of its publication, Matzpen (“Compass”). After obtaining a PhD in sociology from Duke University in the United States, Honig-Parnass returned to Israel where she is active in various movements, including those against Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, for Mizrahim (Middle Eastern Jews), and for feminism. Along with Palestinian activist Toufic Haddad, she coedited the journal Between the Lines, and later they coauthored the book Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians, and the US “War on Terror” (Haymarket Books, 2007). Her latest book is False Prophets of Peace: Liberal Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine (Haymarket Books, 2011).

1. Joel Beinin, “No More Tears: Benny Morris and the Road Back from Liberal Zionism,” Middle East Report 34, no.230 (Spring 2004),