We are a group of Jews in Canada from diverse backgrounds, occupations and affiliations who share a strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. We come together in the belief that the broad spectrum of opinion among the Jewish population of this country is not reflected by those institutions that claim to represent Jewish communities as a whole. We further believe that individuals and groups within all communities should feel free to express their views on any issue of public concern without incurring accusations of disloyalty.
We have therefore resolved to promote the expression of alternative Jewish voices, particularly in respect of the grave situation in the Middle East, which threatens the future of Palestinians and Israelis as well as the stability of the whole region.
We are guided by the following principles:
- We affirm that human rights are universal and indivisible and should be upheld without exception.
- We believe that all people living within Israel-Palestine have the right to freedom, equality, and to peaceful and secure lives.
- We believe that the fight against antisemitism is undermined when principled opposition to unjust Israeli government policies and practices–including those that contravene international law–are branded as antisemitic.
- We oppose all forms of racism, including antisemitism, anti-Arab racism, anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, and intra-Jewish racism, which marginalizes Jews of colour, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews.
- We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (North America) in their efforts to overcome the impacts of European colonization both past and present.
- We seek direction from the communities with whom we stand in solidarity and follow their leadership at every opportunity.
- We strive to be inclusive, justice-seeking, democratic, and open to diverse ideas and practices.
- We believe that true security requires justice and solidarity.
We hereby reclaim the tradition of Jewish support for universal freedoms, human rights and social justice. The lessons we have learned from our own history compel us to speak out.
These principles are violated when we allow an occupying power to trample the human rights of an occupied people. Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, living under Israeli occupation and military blockade, face appalling living conditions, with desperately little hope for the future. At the same time, Palestinian Israelis are subjected to a range of discriminatory laws and regulations and are consequently unable to enjoy the same rights and freedoms that are enjoyed by Israeli Jews. This institutionalized discrimination has led increasing numbers of people around the world to identify Israel an apartheid state.
We therefore declare our support for a properly negotiated peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people and oppose any attempt by the Israeli government to impose its own solutions on the Palestinians. Furthermore, we support full equality for Palestinian Israelis.
To these ends, IJV supports the 2005 call issued by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee for an international campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to compel the State of Israel to comply with international law and support Palestinian Israelis’ human rights by
- Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
- Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
- Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
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