Niettegenstaande alles!Israëlische vredesstemmen voor een einde aan het geweld en voor meer begrip in Israël én Palestina
Op 7 oktober 2023 drongen militante strijders van Hamas vanuit Gaza Israël binnen. “Honderden mensen werden in hun huizen en tijdens een muziekfestival omgebracht, hele buurten werden totaal vernietigd.” Dat schrijft de Israëlische dienstweigeraar Haggai Matar. De gruwel is onvoorstelbaar.
Israël heeft intussen 300.000 reservisten opgeroepen en bereidt een grondoffensief voor in de Gaza-strook. De regeringsvertegenwoordigers van het oorlogskabinet van Netanyahu schreeuwen om wraak. Bijna tienduizend Palestijnen werden inmiddels gedood bij Israëlische bombardementen.
In deze oorlogsomstandigheden wil Connection e.V. ervoor zorgen dat Israëlische dienstweigeraars, gewetensbezwaarden en andere kritische stemmen uit Israël wereldwijd gehoord worden. Op de website van Connection e.V. staan tientallen getuigenissen van Israëlische vredesstemmen die een heel ander geluid laten horen over de nieuwste fase in de al lang aanslepende oorlog dan we vaak in de media horen. Een greep hieruit met links naar de originele stukken.
“Niet in onze naam!”, schrijft de groep dienstweigeraars Mesarvot. “Er is geen enkele gewelddadige actie in deze wereld die de mensen die we verloren hebben weer tot leven kan wekken. Het verlangen naar wraak en pijniging kan niet tot een oplossing van de problemen leiden. De enige weg naar een veilig leven hier bestaat erin de gruweldaden van Israël te beëindigen en vrede te bewerkstelligen. Alleen het elkaar tegemoetkomen kan ons uit deze hel bevrijden.”
Mesarvot: ‘War Diary’
“As young women and men about to be conscripted into Israeli military service, we say NO to dictatorship in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We hereby declare that we refuse to join the military, until democracy is secured for all.”
“A government that destroys the judiciary is not a government that we can serve. An army that militarily occupies another people is not an army that we can join.”
Oren Ziv: ‘Risking arrest and assault, Israelis begin protesting Gaza war’
Gathering outside the army’s headquarters in central Tel Aviv, dozens of Israelis called for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages.
This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Oren Ziv is a photojournalist, reporter for Local Call, and a founding member of the Activestills photography collective in Tel Aviv: https://www.972mag.com/israeli-protest-gaza-war-repression/
Natasha Roth-Rowland: ‘When ‘never again’ becomes a war cry’
In an Israeli war that has been retrofitted onto a Holocaust template, it is obscene that a plea to stop further killing is now read as moral failure.
Natasha Roth-Rowland is a writer and researcher at Diaspora Alliance, and a former editor at +972 Magazine. She has a PhD in History from the University of Virginia and wrote her dissertation on the history of the Jewish far right in Israel-Palestine and the United States: https://www.972mag.com/never-again-gaza-war-holocaust/
We are in an extraordinarily dangerous era in Israel-Palestine. The bloodshed unleashed by these events has reached extreme levels of brutality and threatens to engulf the entire region. Hamas’ murderous assault in southern Israel has devastated and shocked the country to its core. Israel’s retaliatory bombing of Gaza is wreaking destruction on the already besieged strip and killing a ballooning number of civilians. Emboldened settlers in the West Bank, backed by the army, are seizing the opportunity to escalate their attacks on Palestinians. This escalation has a very clear context, one that +972 Magazine has spent the past 13 years covering: Israeli society’s growing racism and militarism, the entrenched occupation, and an increasingly normalized siege on Gaza.
Adam Keller (Gush Shalom – Israeli Peace Bloc): ‘The Most Horrifying of Times – And What Can We Still Do?’
“There are people (of which I am one) who believe that peace is entirely possible and that Israel does have a Palestinian partner, should it want one. The fact is that we remain in a shrinking minority.”
“For many years, when I saw the word ‘genocide’ in the statements of radical groups in Israel and abroad, I would approach the writers and comment that – however appropriate the condemnation of Israeli acts of oppression – Genocide is not among these acts. But this week Roy Sharon, a ‘respectable’ radio and TV commentator on the main Israeli broadcasting corporation, spoke very explicitly of his desire to see “a million dead bodies in Gaza”.
“And the streets of Tel Aviv are flooded with red stickers reading ‘Exterminate Gaza!’. Not ‘Destroy!’, not ‘Flatten!’ – but clearly and explicitly ‘Exterminate Gaza!’. ‘Le-Ha-Sh-Mid!’ – ‘Exterminate!’ Every Hebrew-speaking Jewish Israeli knows from a young age exactly what this word means. ‘Exterminate!’ ‘Exterminate!’ ‘Exterminate!’. Hundreds of times ‘Exterminate!’ on every street corner.”
Three weeks into the Gaza War – a somber and sober assessment, with some historical perspectives http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1464389870
Israeli Conscientious Objector Haggai Matar: ‘Hamas Attack Reflects Israeli Violence in Palestine’ (Democracy Now! 10 October 2023):
Israel has mobilized some 300,000 army reservists as it ramps up its war on Gaza following a devastating surprise attack by Hamas militants on Saturday that killed hundreds inside Israel, including many civilians. Journalist Haggai Matar of +972 Magazine says that while the violence shocked Israelis, the unending military occupation and apartheid set the stage for this weekend’s events. “There is no military solution. These recurring attacks on Gaza bring nothing but death and destruction, and no hope for any of us,” says Matar, a conscientious objector who refused service in the Israel Defense Forces.
Sahar Vardi (Sahar Vardi is a Jerusalem based anti-occupation activist): ‘Dual loyalty’. It’s so hard to have humanity here. It’s exhausting, and it feels like time after time the world is just asking you to let go. Blog-opinion in The Times of Israel: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/dual-loyalty-2/
Sahar Vardi: ‘A tribute to Khalil’
On Monday, October 30, Khalil Abu Yahia, a past contributor to +972 Magazine, was killed by an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip. Even in his death, Khalil reminds us of our role as human rights activists and freedom fighters: to keep going, so that this won’t happen again to anyone (November 3, 2023): https://www.972mag.com/khalil-abu-yahia-tribute-gaza/
B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories)
The essence of the apartheid regime in place between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is to promote and perpetuate the supremacy of one group over another. B’Tselem works to change this reality, recognizing that this is the only way to realize a future in which human rights, liberty and equality are guaranteed to all human beings living here, Palestinians and Jews alike.
Suffering does not justify suffering and, one injustice does not justify another and one crime does not warrant another https://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20231015_suffering_does_not_justify_suffering…
Orly Noy: ‘Listen to Israeli survivors: They don’t want revenge’
Against the prevailing public mood, many survivors of the Oct. 7 massacres and relatives of those killed or kidnapped are opposing retribution on Gaza.
Orly Noy is a political activist, and a translator of Farsi poetry and prose. She is the chair of B’Tselem’s executive board and an activist with the Balad political party. Her writing deals with the lines that intersect and define her identity as Mizrahi, a female leftist, a woman, a temporary migrant living inside a perpetual immigrant, and the constant dialogue between them. (October 25, 2023): https://www.972mag.com/israeli-survivors-hamas-massacre-revenge/
Moshe Zuckermann interview (in het Duits) in de Zwitserse krant Die Wochenzeitung (woz, Schweiz): Die lange Geschichte der Eskalation – “Es bleibt nur der Friedensweg”, Interview mit Moshe Zuckermann, Nr. 41 – 12. Oktober 2023: Der israelische Historiker und Soziologe Moshe Zuckermann sagt, die Hamas sei fundamental böse. Dennoch dürfe Israel jetzt nicht zum reinen Opfer gemacht werden https://www.woz.ch/2341/die-lange-geschichte-der-eskalation/es-bleibt-nur-der-friedensweg/!EK6104XB2BH
Refusers‘ Solidarity Network
Het Refusers’ Solidarity Network werkt samen met een aantal Israëlische vredesorganisaties zoals Mesarvot, Free Jerusalem, Yesh Gvul, Mothers Against Violence en andere en probeert in contact te komen met meer vredesorganisaties om hen te steunen in hun essentiële werk om het geweld te bezweren en pro-vredesboodschappen te verspreiden in deze vreselijke oorlogstijden.
Ze hebben veel steun nodig van de internationale gemeenschap, vooral fondsen en middelen om hun verzet tegen deze oorlog voort te kunnen zetten. Steun voor deze initiatieven is mogelijk via de volgende link: https://app.moonclerk.com/pay/386algm2olp1
New Profile: ‘Who said there is no choice? The people should not build the military, the military should not build the people’. We do not need to live in a militarized society.
Militarism in Israel: What is militarism, why is it problematic, and what is the connection between feminism and opposing militarism?
New Profile is promoting a critical discourse regarding the effects of militarism on our society and the individuals within. If you want to read, learn, or ask questions about militarism in Israel, this is the place to understand how we conceive militarism, its problematic significance, and how it negatively affects with gender, society, and education: https://newprofile.org/en/
After 120 days in prison Shahar and Evyatar finally have been released (WRI, 21 March 2023): https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2023/after-120-days-prison-shahar-and-evyatar-finally-have-been-released
WRI (War Resisters’ International): ‘War is a crime against humanity: Stop the violence immediately in Israel-Palestine’
WRI executive statement on the escalation of violence in Israel-Palestine, London, 9 October 2023
As full scale war again returns to Israel-Palestine, we turn to the WRI founding statement, that “War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war”.
War is sometimes fought with bombs and bullets. Sometimes it is fought by restricting access to the resources that allow people to meet their basic needs, and for humanity to flourish. As antimilitarists, we can and will always reject and condemn both the immediate, deliberate and organised violence that grabs headlines and shocks the world, and simultaneously recognise that the violence that has occurred in Israel-Palestine since Saturday 7th October is rooted in a decades long, asymmetrical, grinding conflict.
We also want to recognise that, though many of us will have our attention drawn to the shocking and immediate violence, we often fail to act or engage during the times of “normal”, sustained but no less damaging acts of violence and oppression. This is true for Israel-Palestine, but also in Nagorno-Karabakh, Rojava, West Papua, and so many other places.
When violence escalates, we may feel like we need to “pick a side”, and there will be many voices demanding that we do so. However, we also reject such a binary way of looking at the world, that make us think others as enemies who must be oppressed or killed and the difference be eliminated.
No matter how loud these demands become we know that there are, have been, and always will be people and communities who reject the false choice violence demands.
Instead, we align with those that choose to build security not with guns and bombs, but by nonviolently building trust and cooperation, supporting those who refuse to kill even when under immense pressure to do so, and perhaps even dare to imagine a more just and peaceful world. We want to again commit ourselves to hearing and amplifying these voices.
We, as War Resisters’ International executive committee, as people from different countries and territories, condemn the violence and destruction from all sides, in any way and stand in solidarity with conscientious objectors, and all those who believe in peaceful, nonviolent approaches to resolve conflicts.
Meer informatie over Israëlische vredesorganisaties en dienstweigerbewegingen op de website van Connection e.V. (Offenbach)
Wie in België een petitie wil ondersteunen die oproept om de geweldspiraal in Palestina/Gaza te doorbreken, kan onder meer terecht bij 11.11.11 en Amnesty International:
PETITIE 11.11.11: Stop de vicieuze cirkel van geweld in Palestina/Israël https://11.be/petitie-stop-de-vicieuze-cirkel-van-geweld-palestinaisrael
Amnesty International: Eis een staakt-het-vuren en stop de humanitaire ramp https://www.amnesty-international.be/staakt-het-vuren-gaza
Samenstelling: Jan Van Criekinge, vertalingen uit het Duits: Marc Colpaert