An open letter to American Jews

We are a group of Israelis currently living in the US. We are reaching out to you because we oppose the actions of the Israeli government in operation “Protective Edge.”

This does not mean we don’t recognize the threat presented by Hamas to the Israeli people. We oppose firing of weapons into civilian population and the sacrifice of civilians by the regimes of both Hamas and the Israeli government. Calling to stop the bombing of Gaza does not mean we don’t realize the impossible conditions imposed on the residents of southern Israel. Nor does it mean we don’t demand security for them. But we also recognize that their plight is consistently ignored by the Israeli government until it becomes convenient for exploitation. We have seen three major military operations in less than six years. They repeat themselves because they don't work. Yes, Hamas reserves are temporary depleted and the group is temporarily hindered. But this is not a moral price worth paying. Even if it were, killing thousands of civilians and displacing of hundreds of thousands doesn't weaken Hamas in the long run. This bloodshed only feeds the one resource it can't go without: hate. Only meaningful peace talks and an end to the ongoing occupation in the West Bank and in Gaza (a blockade is still occupation) will prevent both the next round of rockets into Israel and the next round of indiscriminate killings in Gaza.

We are reaching out to you because we want to re-examine what it means to be pro-Israel or pro-Palestine. We argue that these terms might be one and the same. We believe that supporting equal rights for both peoples is the only way to build a better Israel and a better Palestine and we want the American Jewish community to stand behind that message.

The belief that being “pro-Israel” means uncritically supporting the actions of the Israeli government and military does not help the Israeli people. The Israeli people do not benefit from being oppressors. Israeli society does not benefit from ruling over 4 million Palestinians. The Israeli soldier does not benefit from risking his or her life in wars that could have been avoided.

The Israeli people gain nothing from perpetuating the occupation. Israeli children learn nothing from being taught everybody wants to kill them. And the Israeli population does not grow stronger from rising aggression within it, from a loss of tolerance and from a surge of violent racism against the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

But maintaining the occupation is what this war is all about. Unfortunately, the regimes in Israel are becoming increasingly cynical, willing to sacrifice as many people as necessary to maintain their position of power and their control over the Palestinian people.

We believe this war could have been avoided. We don’t believe all Palestinians want to kill us. And we are happy to explain where we are coming from.

We believe that a biased media attempts to draw symmetry that does not exist. Just look at the numbers. Look at the pictures. Throwing blame at international criticism isn’t making Israel look any better. Taking action to stop human rights violation would. We obviously do not condone any form of anti-Semitism in this discourse, but we also feel that dismissing the entire discourse as anti-Semitism is not helpful to anyone.

Most of all, we believe that blood is blood, all equal and all worth the same. And we are well aware of what happens when the lives of one people are deemed to be worth less than those of others.

Israel needs your support to break out of the cycle of violence:

We encourage you to tell your community leaders to critically examine the Israeli government policies they rally behind. We urge you to support the moderate voices in Israel, forces that find themselves increasingly under attack by their own government and the Israeli media, and even physically assaulted by right winged vigilantes. We ask you to write to your congressional representatives to share your conviction that Israel can only be safe and prosperous if it stops the killing of civilians, ends the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank and guarantees freedom and equality to all of its citizens. We invite you to start a fruitful dialogue with us.

Thank you,
IFSF | Israelis For a Sustainable Future
israelisforasustainablefuture@gmail.com

SIGN THIS LETTER and we'll add you to the list.

Signed:

  1. Tal Linzen
  2. Tamar Glezerman
  3. Tamar Ettun
  4. Ella Gilboa
  5. Noa Yachot
  6. Ziv Schneider
  7. Ira Eduardovna
  8. Itamar Kastner
  9. Adi Puterman
  10. Tom Pnini
  11. Sefi Keini
  12. Ami Dar
  13. Or Zubalsky
  14. Noa Egozi
  15. Alona Weiss
  16. Gil Talmi
  17. Lisa Goldman
  18. Shelly Oria
  19. Nurit Shaul
  20. Avital Burg
  21. Ayelet Ben-Yishai
  22. Roey Gafter
  23. Tomer Lahav
  24. Oren Lahav
  25. Or Tregger
  26. Danielle Pickering
  27. Lior Zaltzman
  28. Noga Shefi
  29. Robi Michael
  30. Gad Marcus
  31. Tamar Samir
  32. Amit Shilo
  33. Ariella Sidelsky
  34. Navit Keren
  35. Liana Nigri Moszkowicz
  36. Rachel Cristy
  37. Abraham Gutman
  38. Talya Swissa
  39. Hagar Sadan
  40. Ruth Patir
  41. Tali Herskowitz
  42. Joshua Saltzman
  43. Shir Alon
  44. Asaf Koren
  45. Peli Grietzer
  46. Liora Schocken
  47. Shifra Rubin
  48. Shira Inbar
  49. Jacqueline Gutman
  50. Misha Shulman
  51. Sonya Fix
  52. Ayala Levin
  53. Ariana Jacob
  54. Megan Lynd Meier
  55. Rebecca Heidenberg
  56. Eitan Isaacson
  57. Daniel Soskolne
  58. Naomi Fry
  59. Ronit Shaham
  60. Sonya Hinich
  61. Irene Tucker
  62. Laura Harrison
  63. Anat Goldman
  64. Eyal Yerushalmi
  65. Ido Mizrahy
  66. Daniel Koren
  67. Libby Lenkinski
  68. Tzvia Thier
  69. Jennifer Ifil-Ryan
  70. Romm Lewkowicz
  71. Danny Cohen
  72. David Bragin
  73. Maayan Strauss
  74. Sharone Vendriger
  75. Lisa Kronberg
  76. Allan Lichtenstein
  77. Oded Na'aman
  78. Leonor Zwack
  79. Gal Flam
  80. Muriel Weinstein
  81. Gilat Miller
  82. Ayelet Gottlieb
  83. Yonatan Kretzmer
  84. Dan Israeli
  85. Tamara Gayer
  86. Franny Silverman
  87. Tirtza Even
  88. Amelia Hollander Ames
  89. Tamar Matza
  90. Virginia Bryant
  91. Yael Artzy
  92. Michal Arbilly
  93. Michael Attias
  94. Miryam Ginsburg
  95. Amanda Miller
  96. Theo Rabinowitz
  97. Dan Lippel
  98. Uri Grodzinski
  99. Kathleen Baum
  100. Tal Zubalsky
  101. Thomas Kovachevich
  102. Yaakov Shechter
  103. Gili Levy
  104. Hope Alexander
  105. Carol Mayo Jenkins
  106. Maynard Monrow
  107. Ilse Hadda
  108. Adam Versenyi
  109. Sara Frucht
  110. Marc Pilisuk
  111. Mor Mendel
  112. Tobey M. Wiebe
  113. Izhar Patkin
  114. Caroly Oppenheim
  115. Marion I. Lipshutz
  116. Alma Har'el
  117. Karine Labonne
  118. Gourd Nathalie
  119. Illan Gonen
  120. Gili Getz
  121. Rylan Scherer
  122. Tamar Matza
  123. Netanel Hanadari
  124. Amy Ilias
  125. Rami Heled
  126. Marcel Beer Kremnitzer
  127. Barat Ellman
  128. Rachel Rosenbluth
  129. Tova Stabin
  130. Naftali Kaminski
  131. Shachar Pinsker
  132. Sarah Rosenberg
  133. Carrie Stanziola
  134. Guy Shaham
  135. Nir Bitton
  136. Jamie Sherman
  137. Oren Frank
  138. Danya Cohen
  139. Tessa Wilson
  140. Leona Strassberg Steiner
  141. Yonathan Goldtzvik
  142. Barbara Ann Schmutzler
  143. Rachel Fuerst
  144. Andrea Cohen-Kiener
  145. Nitzan Lebovic
  146. Ken Barnett
  147. Elizabeth Hollander
  148. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox
  149. Nurit Budinsky
  150. Amy Ilias
  151. Beverly Rosen
  152. David Eden
  153. Orian Zakai
  154. Noa Dolberg
  155. Assaf Oron
  156. Aaron Back
  157. Amos Elmaliah
  158. Marcia Freedman
  159. Ronit Muszkatblit
  160. Harvey Stein
  161. Beth Liberman
  162. Alice Gross
  163. Barak Zemer
  164. Lynn Fux
  165. Eric Levitz
  166. Lital Levy
  167. Michael Vocino
  168. Anne Wangh
  169. Mario Leme
  170. David Wolf
  171. Jana Soin
  172. Sharon Wolf
  173. Menucha K. Silverman
  174. Amy Alpert
  175. Menachem Elimelech
  176. Beryl Minkle
  177. Stephen Heller
  178. Gady Costeff
  179. Yael Shomroni
  180. Zohar Tirosh-Polk
  181. Erica Sigmon
  182. Noam Perry
  183. Aryeh Cohen
  184. Bernice Lott
  185. Dorit Eliyahu
  186. Daniel Kaufman
  187. Yael Shomroni
  188. Tamara E. Cohen
  189. Tamir Sorek
  190. Rachel Shkedy
  191. David Landau
  192. Daniel Klein
  193. Emma Lee
  194. Neta Weil
  195. Evelyn Ophir
  196. Andreea Cohen
  197. Pamela Blau
  198. Nadia Ebeid
  199. Dalit Rinat
  200. Shahar Klein
  201. Yael Dresdner
  202. Sheera Talpaz
  203. Naomi Shiffman
  204. Yael Stiles
  205. Marvin Engel
  206. Linda Glick
  207. Susan Miller
  208. Rachel Edelman
  209. Michal Eskenazi
  210. Nachshon Peleg
  211. Warren Woodge
  212. Yifat Susskind
  213. Alan Feigenberg
  214. David L. Mandel
  215. Ruth Tsoffar
  216. Dina Afek
  217. Atalia Omer
  218. Naomi Azriel
  219. Aileen Sander
  220. Hillel Damron
  221. Gary Yarus
  222. Hila Ratzabi
  223. Marganit Weinberger
  224. Fred Werner
  225. William Klemstein
  226. Janet Parsons
  227. Iris kaminski
  228. Marc Etlin
  229. Caryn Aviv
  230. Dale Perkins
  231. Danny Wool
  232. Yoav Litvin
  233. Moshe Adler
  234. Adee Heiman
  235. Marc Snir
  236. Stephane MAHON
  237. Shlomit yerushalmi
  238. Shirah Hecht
  239. Nelle Fastman Pingree
  240. Lorrie Hall
  241. Pamela Sporn
  242. Margo Lee Sherman
  243. Electa Arenal
  244. Rona Merrill
  245. Sarah Sills
  246. David Bragin
  247. tami gold
  248. Julia Shpirt
  249. Irene Siegel
  250. rosalie hoffman
  251. Naomi Allen
  252. Candace Graff
  253. Tibby Brooks
  254. Max Newman-Plotnick
  255. Laurie Reinhart
  256. Arielle Tayar
  257. Deborah Kapell
  258. Susan Braverman
  259. Navva Milliken
  260. Lea Pipman
  261. Yakov Pipman
  262. Adi Mahalel
  263. Yoni Lebowitsch
  264. Abdul Mesarwi
  265. Sarah Sills
  266. Liz Benard
  267. Lauren Harris
  268. Judith Jones
  269. Samira Chahbi
  270. Angelo Salanitri
  271. Samar Ammar
  272. John McCann
  273. Jerry Weil
  274. Leigh shamir
  275. Jordan Moss
  276. Michal Koch
  277. Wendi Rivka Leah Goldstein
  278. Sengul tunakan
  279. Ai Lotus Ngau
  280. Andy Yu
  281. zaman kazmi
  282. Zainul Patel
  283. Fizza Butt
  284. Tzvia Thier
  285. Said Samaan
  286. Shira "Yonah" EtShalom
  287. Laura Mahalel
  288. Ronnie Olesker
  289. Jennifer Gwirtz
  290. AL Esh
  291. Larry Beckreck
  292. Fiona Aitken
  293. Kyle Thompson
  294. Meshulam plaves
  295. Nagwa Idriss
  296. Zeina Abdallah
  297. Dana Bellwether
  298. Bat-Ami Bar On
  299. Ada Burko
  300. Andrew Horn
  301. Galia Barkol
  302. Ada Burko
  303. Zachary Klein
  304. Hans Donker
  305. Atid Kimelman
  306. Laura Mahalel
  307. Salameh Wajih
  308. Jeff Kipilman
  309. Noy Hadar
  310. Howard Cohen
  311. Robert Holgate
  312. Ron Gabriel Dor
  313. Morit Gaifman
  314. Ramon Greenberg
  315. Stan Potter
  316. Noga Wizansky
  317. Esty Dinur
  318. Viviane Ghali
  319. Favert-Saada Jeanne
  320. Marcia Golub-Miller