There are two sides to the on-going Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza. One side looks horrifyingly helpless while the other, well equipped, is on their way to fulfil their mission.
Palestinians say they fight for their right to live on their homeland. Israel is noisy with their claims of self-defence in Gaza. However, media reports, videos, pictures and social media updates give us a different picture in Gaza. Obviously, Israel brings in mind the image of Jews with their Zionist egos. One can’t generalise this, because an increasing number of Jews openly throw their weight behind Palestinians.
Zionism is a hide-bound nationalism that led to the formation of the state of Israel. However, other branches of Judaism including Satmar Hasidim and Neturei Karta oppose the Zionist movement. Satmar Hasidim, a branch of ultra-orthodox Judaism, is against all forms of Zionism. Neturei Karta group believes that Jews are forbidden to have their own state until the return of the Jewish Messiah. These dissident Jews have formed organizations across the world and voice for the Palestinians on human rights ground. Of them, Jews for Justice for Palestinians opposes Israeli policies that undermine the livelihoods, human, civil and political rights of the Palestinian people. The organisation was founded in February 2002 in London.
Informed sources say that the organisation is critical of Israel’ policy on the Palestinian territories, particularly the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and seek a change in their political status. They support Palestinian rights not only out of moral imperatives of promoting human rights, but also because this is the best means of securing peace for Israelis as well. It vouches for Israelis’ right to live in freedom and security within its1967 borders.
“We believe that such actions are important in countering anti-semitism and the claim that opposition to Israel’s destructive policies is itself anti-semitic,” so they state on their website, http://jfjfp.com.
Jewish Voice for Peace is another organisation based in San Francisco in US. They claim it is a diverse and democratic community of activists inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, and human rights.
The organization opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. It also seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
“JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East,” says their website, http://jewishvoiceforpeace.org.
Besides these organizations, many Jewish intellectuals openly come out against Israel’s excess in Palestine. Ellen Davidson, a journalist who works with New York City-based The Indypendent, writes: “Growing up in my Jewish family, it was a given that Jews supported civil rights, opposed the Vietnam War and believed in education, science and progress. Israel was a distant place where survivors of the brutal European Holocaust struggled to live in peace, occasionally beset by terrorists and attacking armies from the surrounding countries….[But] the more I learned about Israel, the more I realized that what I had been taught growing up was a lie.”
Ellen Davidson (center) participates in a vigil for Palestinian rights.
Photo courtesy: http://indypendent.org
Also he says “These days, as Israelis rampage through the streets of Jerusalem calling for killing all Arabs and Gaza is once again bombarded in a storm of collective punishment, the racist underpinnings of the Jewish state become harder to ignore.”
(Full text of the article: http://indypendent.org/2014/07/16/1st-person-jew-cant-support-israel)
The Israel-Palestine conflict became the background for Michelle Cohen Corasanti, a Jewish-American writer, to write her debut novel, “The Almond Tree”.
Talking to The Hindu on June 1, 2013, the writer has said the Palestinians need to be compensated for all that they have suffered like the Jews were after the Holocaust.
“I believe in a secular democratic country where everyone lives with equality and freedom. I believe the Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return. The majority of Israelis in Israel came today from the Arab world. This way, not only will the Palestinians be free, but so will the Israelis. One can’t be free when oppressing another people,” she says.
(Read the full text of the interview: http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/a-voice-for-palestine/article4772133.ece)
Recently, the lone Jewish member of Iran's parliament likened Israel's bombing of Gaza to the actions of Nazi Germany. Iranian news agency Fars, quoted him as saying that the Zionist regime's crimes were reminiscent of those by the German Nazis during the World Wars.
Many Jewish people like them across the world protest against the Israel’s aggression in Gaza. This motivates people to pour in streets across the world voicing for Palestinians. “The actions of the state of Israel against the Palestinian people, now or going back decades, this entire occupation and oppression - this is not supported by all Jews and certainty not condoned by Jewish religion," Irish Times reported quoting Rabbi Dovid Feldman from Neturei Karta International, Jews United Against Zionism, who took part in the protest in New York.
An increasing number of Jews---along with other human rights activists and intellectuals---voice for the justice of the Palestinian people. Why don’t Israeli bigwigs listen to these voices?