IJV Basis of Unity
We are a group of Jews in Canada who share a commitment to social justice and the universal applicability of human rights. We see ourselves as part of the international movement in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. We come together in the belief that opinion within the Jewish population of this country is not reflected by those organizations that claim to represent Canadian Jewish communities.
We further believe that individuals and groups within all communities should feel free to express their views on any issue of public concern without incurring accusations of disloyalty. Therefore, we are resolved to promote the expression of alternative Jewish voices, particularly in respect of the grave situation in the Middle East, which threatens the future of Palestinians and Israelis as well as the stability of the whole region. We are guided by the following principles:
1. Human rights are universal and indivisible and should be upheld without exception in Israel as well as in Palestine.
2. Palestinians and Israelis alike have the right to peaceful and secure lives.
3. Peace and stability require the willingness of all parties to the conflict to comply with international law.
4. There is no justification for any form of racism, including anti-Semitism, anti-Arab racism or Islamophobia, in any circumstance.
5. The battle against anti-Semitism is vital and is undermined whenever opposition to Israeli government policies is automatically branded as anti-Semitic.
These principles are violated by the fact that an occupying power is being allowed to trample the human rights of an occupied people. Palestinian inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, living under Israeli occupation and military blockade, face appalling living conditions, with desperately little hope for the future. At the same time, Palestinian citizens of Israel are subjected to a range of discriminatory laws and regulations and are consequently unable to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as Israeli Jews. This institutionalized discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel has led increasing numbers of people around the world to identify Israel as an apartheid state. It is imperative and urgent that independent Jewish voices find a coherent and consistent way of asserting themselves on these and other issues of concern. We hereby reclaim the tradition of Jewish support for universal freedoms, human rights and social justice. The lessons we have learned from our own history compel us to speak out. We therefore commit ourselves to make public our views on a continuing basis and invite other concerned Jews to join and support us.
Given the ongoing history of Israeli intransigence on these matters, IJV believes that it is necessary to generate political and economic pressure on the State of Israel to compel it to comply with international law by
a. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
b. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
c. Respecting, protecting and promoting the right of Palestinian refugees to exercise their inalienable right of return as stipulated in United Nations Resolution 194.*
* United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 was passed on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The resolution deals with the situation in the region after the majority of the Palestinian Arab population was driven from Israel-controlled areas. Article 11 of Resolution 194 reads:
… that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.