Thursday, January 01, 2009

What do American Jewish organizations have to say about war in Gaza?

It occurred to me to wonder what various Jewish organizations are saying about the current war in Gaza, and what actions they advocate. So here I list links to statements from American Jewish organizations from the left to the right.

Farther left

Jewish Voice for Peace - "Jewish Voice for Peace joins millions around the world, including the 1,000 Israelis who protested in the streets of Tel Aviv this weekend, in condemning ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza. We call for an immediate end to attacks on all civilians, whether Palestinian or Israeli."

While this statement seems rather mild to me, the blog attached to the JVP website, MuzzleWatch, is much more radical. See, for example, a recent post: "To be clear, attacks against civilians are generally to be condemned, whether occurring in Gaza or Sderot, but it is necessary to understand the causes of conflict and violence, and to properly assess the unambiguously disproportionate nature of this conflict. We get very little of this from the US corporate press which will almost always first discuss Israel’s need to defend itself, has the Israeli ambassador to the US on, etc, before mentioning the slight possibility that some people in some part of the world may think that the Israeli attacks might just be a tad too harsh."

The website for Common Dreams has a variety of left-wing views on Israel and Gaza, including many articles written by American and Israeli Jews.


Brit Tzedek - "There is no doubt that Israel has the right and the obligation to protect its citizens. But Israel's only hope for survival as a secure and democratic Jewish homeland lies in a diplomatic - rather than military - solution, and in a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians."

American Friends of Peace Now - "APN mourns the loss of life and the suffering on both sides. APN supports its Israeli sister organization, Peace Now, in calling on the government of Israel to end its military operation in the Gaza Strip and to act toward achieving a ceasefire. APN strongly denounces the firing of rockets and mortar rounds from Gaza into Israel and expresses its solidarity with the residents of communities in southern Israel, who have been subject to the unacceptable terror of incoming fire from the Gaza Strip. APN also expresses deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Gaza."

Israel Policy Forum - "Israel Policy Forum (IPF) urges the United States to push for an immediate end to hostilities and resumption of the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The ceasefire was terminated by Hamas on December 19, despite the stated willingness of the Israelis to extend it and the efforts of the Egyptians to negotiate an extension. Israel’s blockade was a response to continued Hamas firing of missiles at Israeli communities and other infractions, and the use of the ceasefire for building up its arsenal of longer range and more sophisticated missiles, the impact of which is now being felt in ever wider areas of Israel."


American Jewish Congress - "The American Jewish Congress today stated its support for Israel’s defensive measures in the Gaza Strip. The attacks against Hamas leadership, facilities, rocket launching sites, and weapons-smuggling tunnels have been precise and effective. No sovereign nation is required by either international law or morality to put up with attacks on its civilians as Israel has done. Any nation would act to put a stop to such attacks. Neither is a sovereign nation required to avoid the use of force by simply acceding to the demands of those who are less scrupulous."

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations - "New York, December 27, 2008. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations stands solidly with the government of Israel and its decision to defend its people against terrorism through the targeted airstrikes made on Gaza today."


Zionist Organization of America - "The ZOA firmly supports Israel's long-overdue air strikes upon the Hamas leadership, personnel and fortifications in Gaza."

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