London Indymedia

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Michael Kalmanovitz | 10.10.2008 00:17 | Anti-racism | Palestine | Social Struggles | London

For the past two years IJAN has been building a network to support Palestinian resistance, and to work with and seed new Jewish anti-Zionist organizing. We intend to contribute to a growing international voice that challenges Zionism and its claim to speak on behalf of Jews worldwide; and to contribute to the movement to defeat US-backed Israeli imperialism, occupation and ethnic cleansing.

L to r: Michael Kalmanovitz, Selma James, Professor Moshé Machover
L to r: Michael Kalmanovitz, Selma James, Professor Moshé Machover

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Press report:
UK launch of the Founding Charter of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

On Thursday morning, 2 October, with great enthusiasm, people from many backgrounds met for the press launch of the Founding Charter of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in Kentish Town, London.

Chair Selma James, one of the international co-ordinators of IJAN, explained that the Charter represents a network of Jewish people who are adamant that “Zionism and the state of Israel do not speak in our name.”

She said: “Zionists have tried to censor Palestinian and all other resistance to Zionism, including the long Jewish tradition of struggles for liberation and against exploitation and oppression. IJAN makes it clear that resistance exists and has grown, and that as a network of Jewish people, we take our direction from the Palestinian struggle.”

To much applause Ms James said the Charter would also be launched in continental Europe – France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland – as well as Canada, India, Israel, Latin America, Morocco, and a number of cities in the US. “Our job is to make visible opposition to Zionism everywhere in the world.”

Michael Kalmanovitz (IJAN) said that “We believe that Palestinian people must have the Right of Return given the deliberate, planned ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionists over the last 60 years.” And “We totally oppose the idea that Israel is a Jewish homeland”.

IJAN unequivocally supports the call by Palestinian people for boycott, divestment & sanctions of Israel, known as BDS. There were actions last week called by the Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign and by JBIG, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods.

Mr Kalmanovitz said we have been able to build on the work of Matzpen and the Mizrahi Black Panther Party; and currently the Shministim – Israeli teenagers who have refused en masse to be conscripted into the army. “IJAN is part of a worldwide anti-war, anti-racist movement.”

Professor Emeritus Moshé Machover was a co-founder of Matzpen, the socialist organization in Israel, which from its beginning in 1962 was comprised of both Palestinian Arabs and Jews who were citizens of Israel. Their analysis of Israel was that it was “a colonizing project and a settler state . . . structurally allied to imperialist domination of the whole region”.

Professor Machover said that “people are intimidated by the accusation that if you criticize Israel you are branded as anti-Semitic.” He said that in fact there has been “Zionist collusion with most anti-Semitic regimes since the very beginning” and that he would go further: “the accusation itself is anti-Semitic because it saddles all Jews with the criminal responsibility for what Israel is doing.”

He said that IJAN is vital because it can help “break this false propaganda and encourage people to mobilise and exert external force to help the internal struggle in Israel and Palestine and the whole of the Middle East region.”

A lively Q&A followed with very positive contributions from people involved in Black, asylum, and anti-rape organisations. In response to a question from the Peace Strike campaigners based in Parliament Square, the speakers clarified that the first Jewish people imprisoned and worse in the concentration camps were anti-Nazi activists from the working class movement, and that Jewish people were not led like lambs to slaughter as the Zionists, in their anti-Semitism, would have us believe.

Finally it was announced that there will be a public launch of the IJAN Charter on Friday, 24 October at the Trinity United Reformed Church in Camden, London NW1 7-9.30pm where anti-Zionists will take the next steps in the campaign for BDS. The Charter spells out its aim: ‘to help widen [the] cracks [in Zionism], until the wall comes down and Israel is as isolated as was apartheid South Africa.’

Michael Kalmanovitz
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Display the following 3 comments

  1. Anti-Jewish Jews, if you ask me — imstillhere
  2. @imstillhere — viral
  3. shooting in foot, ready, aim, fire! — Shlomo


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