The annual Jewish Federation of North America General Assembly (the GA) is taking place right now in Tel Aviv. It’s theme – “We Need To Talk” – addresses the Israel-Diaspora relationship, promoting conversation between Diaspora and Israeli Jews over growing disparities in the way these communities relate to Jewish identity and the current political moment.
The conference touches important topics like “Social Cohesion in Israel,” “Religious Pluralism,” and others. Unfortunately, the glaring crisis of Israeli Occupation, and the North American Jewish community’s support of it, is missing from the program.
As a “collective unequivocally opposed to the Occupation and committed to building the Diaspora angle of resistance,” All That’s Left (ATL), together with the IfNotNow (INN) movement, is demonstrating outside GA conference halls in an echo of the conference’s theme, intent on moving the Occupation to the center of the Israel-Diaspora discussion where it belongs.
Members of ATL and INN are greeting GA attendees with signs stating that “We Need to Talk,” and initiating conversation about the consequences of Israeli Occupation, and what we should all be doing to oppose it.
The sign that reads: “Federations don’t want you to read this booklet,” exposes GA organizers for prohibiting the distribution of Occupation 101 pamphlets, published by human rights organizations T’ruah and Breaking the Silence, among many other organizations’ materials in attendees’ “welcome bags.” Read more about this here. We are happily distributing this important pamphlet.
Attendees are also taking leaflets that point, on one side, to the recent If Not Now Report detailing “5 ways that the American Jewish establishment supports the Occupation” and, on the other side, to three recent headlines concerning Israeli policy. More information is available below:
Khan Al Ahmar and demolitions of Palestinian villages
Israeli authorities have been preparing to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al Ahmar, to forcible displace the community to a garbage dump in East Jerusalem. Palestinian, Israeli, and Diaspora Jewish Activists continue to non-violently resist Israel’s efforts to depopulate Palestinian communities in Area C, a practice that is illegal under international law.
- More about Khan Al Ahmar from +972 Mag: “Everything Your Need to Know About Khan Al Akhmar”
- More about the systematic depopulation of Palestinians in Area C from B’tselem: Expel and Exploit
Federation-funded blacklisting, and silencing of dissent
Israel’s detention of activists, and reliance on Federation-funded blacklist sites like Canary Mission, reveals the worrying extent of efforts to stifle free speech and dissent. From the prolonged detention of Palestinian-American Hebrew University student, Lara Al-Qasem, to the ongoing interrogation of Jewish activists, those critical of the current status quo are increasingly unwelcomed.
- More on the federations involvement in Canary Mission from Haaretz
- More on the role of Canary Mission in Israel’s border security from i24 News
- How the detention of Lara Al Qasem and other activists exposes Israel’s campaign to police free speech and suppress critics from the Washington Post
Gaza and Israel’s Crippling Blockade
Life in Gaza is defined by severe water shortages, extended blackouts, 40% unemployment, and limited economic opportunities. Israel’s extreme closure system has brought Gaza to the brink of collapse. The effects of which are felt by Palestinians, as well as Israelis. Residents of Gaza are hostages to regimes that fail to prioritize the humanitarian crisis.
- More on life under Gaza’s extreme closure system from Gisha
- More on the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza from UN OCHA
- More on Israeli activism (in photos) in solidarity with the Great March of Return in Gaza from +972 Mag and Activestills.
- More on the context behind recent wave of protests in Gaza from Gisha
Many other issues of concern – that will not be discussed at the GA – include the recent decision to merge the US Consulate to the Palestinian Territories with the Embassy in Jerusalem, recognition of the Nakba, the scandal around the state-sanctioned kidnapping and assimilation of Yemini children, child incarceration and military courts, settler violence in the Jordan Valley and South Hebron hills, and more…
All are invited to be in touch with ATL by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook with questions about our work alongside Palestinian and Israeli activists, to bring an end to the Occupation.
Thank you for visiting our page. We look forward to seeing you soon, out in the field.
– Members of All That’s Left Collective