Israel’s Worldwide Role in Repression:

Maintaining and expanding an exclusive Jewish state in Palestine requires on-going ethnic cleansing and military repression of Palestinians and military dominance in the region. Through the ongoing colonization of Palestine and the accompanying atrocities, Israel has developed great expertise in repression, and exporting these tools and methods on an industrial scale has become crucial to Israeli economic and political power.

Since the founding of the state, Israel has collaborated with many of the most repressive regimes and forces on all continents. Israel played and/or plays a role in arming and training the apartheid regimes of Southern Africa, colonial and neo-colonial regimes in the Middle East, dictators in Central and South America and police forces in the United States.

 

Our movements across the globe – in solidarity with Palestine, against war, poverty, colonialism, imperialism, repression and an unjust globalized economy, and for more equitable societies – need to be aware of the very real ways the State of Israel contributes to the violence and repression targeting us.

IJAN works to expose Israel’s role in repression, not only of Palestinians, but through its military and homeland security exports, all over the world.


Researched, written, and edited by members of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, this pamphlet focuses on the role of Israel’s government, its military, and related corporations and organizations in a global industry of violence and repression. The states most involved with this industry profit from perpetual war and occupation across the globe while maintaining vastly unequal societies of their own.

 

We are concerned about the tendency to denounce any criticism of Israel’s Zionist policies as antisemitic. This is a trivialization of anti semitism, which makes it more difficult to understand, which is counterproductive, and which makes it harder to fight against. Anti-semitism must be pursued, just as any other type of racism.

We understand anti-semitism as a form of discrimination, violence or stereotypes of Jewish people for the mere fact of being Jewish. Anti-semitism has historically expressed itself in structural inequality, expulsion and genocide, the most well-known example being the Nazi genocide in Europe.

Israeli people are the citizens of Israel, most of them Jewish, whether secular or religious. They hold a wide variety of political views, including anti-zionism, and also many different religious identities.

The state of Israel was created under the Zionist ideology, based on exclusive nationalism and settler colonialism. It was promoted by the colonial powers of the time, and led to the expulsion of half of the Palestinian population in 1947 (750,000 people), as Israel was founded. The descendants of these refugees still live in exile or in other parts of the country. Israel has countless laws that discriminate against the non-Jewish population, who are mostly Palestinian. This is a clear example of segregation or apartheid, the term used in South Africa.

This is why Jews in JUNTS, IJAN and other organizations are against Zionism, which is the root of Israel’s racist and colonial policies. Therefore, being anti-zionist is being anti-racist. To criticize Israel is a democratic right, the same as it is to criticize any other state.

To fight against anti-semitism is also to condemn how imprecise or deceitful definitions of anti-semitism have a negative impact on movements for justice. These arbitrary, superficial definitions are often used to defend Israel’s policies while creating Islamophobic discourse around the world.

The campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is an anti-racist, non-violent campaign launched in 2005 and led by Palestinian civil society. The campaign calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and its institutions, and against companies which profit from the occupation and colonization of Palestine. This is a call to international civil society that will continue until three demands, which are based on international law, are met: the return of lands occupied in 1967 and the destruction of the Wall; guarantee of the right of return for refugees; and ensuring equal rights for Palestinians who live in Israel. BDS is a non-violent tool which we fully support and we actively participate in.

Accusing those who promote respect for human rights of anti-semitism is counterproductive and trivializes real anti-semitism. In the light of the rise of extreme rightwing political parties and movements in Europe and United States, we should be concerned about this.

This is why the signatory organizations will not be complicit in the instrumentalization and manipulation Israel makes of some Jewish communities around the world in order to justify systematic colonial policies and illegal occupation.

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