June 14, 2019 by IJV
Since the launch of Independent Jewish Voices in 2007, the prospects for peace between Israel and Palestine have progressively diminished while the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate. In this atmosphere, Independent Jewish Voices believes it to be essential to reaffirm its overriding commitment human rights for all and respect for international law in Palestine / Israel. To this end, over the past few years we have taken a number of important initiatives. In 2015 we hosted the International Conference ‘Equal Rights for All’ which brought together Palestinians and Israelis in dialogue. In 2017 we produced the film ‘100 Years After Balfour’, which is freely available on YouTube and offers a range of cogent and critical Jewish perspectives on the Balfour Declaration and its legacy through to the present. As debates over boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns in relation to Israel have intensified, we have become active in defending the right of supporters of these campaigns to put forward their arguments without harassment. While we continue to be neutral on the question of academic and cultural boycotts, we have now decided to support targeted strategies of divestment from companies that are complicit with the Israeli Occupation. We aim to offer active support to religious and other organizations that are exploring or implementing ‘responsible investment’ policies that ensure that they do not in any way profit from the Occupation, and have often faced intimidatory accusations of antisemitism for doing so.
Above all we remain committed to creating a space of intellectual and political dissent where Jewish voices critical of the ongoing injustice of the situation in the Middle East, in the context of renewed and increasing attempts to silence us, find the confidence to speak out. In an environment of increasingly accelerated, compressed, and often shrill public debate, IJV aims to offer more considered and thoughtful contributions, and to build alliances and engage with activist groups for whom engagement and input from our progressive Jewish perspective is of particular value.