Jews Against the Occupation—Sydney (JAO-Sydney) sends its greetings and congratulations on the occasion of your annual convention. We share with you the desire to widen the critical spaces for dissent in our own country and to promote peace and justice in regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We understand that Jewish voices from all over the world are one of the necessary means to do this. We know that the powerful oppose our efforts. Yet, we understand how important it is to raise our voices; voices which are all too often ignored or assumed not to exist.
While we live in different countries and our experiences are diverse, we share an understanding that no abuse of human rights or crime against any person or people can be justified, especially by those who would claim to take such actions in defense of Jews.
We share your goals and we send our friendship to your organisation and its members, whose activities in the heart of the most powerful country in the world demonstrate that alternatives are not only possible, but vital.
In solidarity, Jews Against the Occupation—Sydney
Dear NIMN friends,
Ebrei contro l’Occupazione (Jews Against the Occupation—Italy) was born because of what we knew of Not in My Name. The fact that a Jews were able to speak up, in the US, against Israel’s criminal policies meant we too, in Italy, could do the same thing
So we are very grateful that you continue to exist and to be active. We particularly appreciate your web site. And we wish to send you a heartfelt encouragement: “Please, continue!” Perhaps, together, organizations of Jews that say that the Israeli state, supposed to be the “state of the Jews”, does not represent them, can make a difference
In solidarity, Paola Canarutto Ebrei contro l’Occupazione
Congratulations to Not in My Name (NIMN) on your 4th annual convention!
Your dedication and perseverance are an inspiration to all grassroots activists working for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is proud to work in coalition with you and more than 200 organizations around the country to end our nation’s support for Israel’s military occupation. Through our combined efforts of grassroots organizing, consciousness-raising, contacting our media and elected representatives, we are slowly turning the tide against the status quo. Keep up the great work and together we’ll succeed! We hope to see many you at the US Campaign’s 4th annual national organizers’ conference in Atlanta next weekend.
Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
On behalf of the Chicago office of the American Friends Service Committee, I send greetings and thanks to Not in My Name members for their steadfastness and commitment to ending the Israeli occupation. It has been a pleasure to join you at demonstrations, peace walks, vigils, in public forums, and in planning and strategy meetings, as we continue to tackle the difficult issue of advocating for a just peace in Israel and Palestine. This has been a challenging year to do this work in the US with the (re)election of George Bush, ongoing war and occupation in Iraq, further erosion of civil liberties at home, and heated debates about socially responsible investment and divestment among faith communities. I hope Not in My Name will continue to be an important presence in these difficult times, not only among American Jews, but for all of us who long for a different, more just and peaceful world.
We look forward to continued collaboration and joint work in the coming year.
American Friends Service Committee
When the need for a viable and durable peace settlement to the Israeli-Palestine conflict is so desperately needed and so acutely felt, it becomes all too easy to delude oneself into thinking that dramatic progress is just around the corner, just a few months away.
It is no secret that the disengagement plan to be implemented by Sharon is a none too subtle attempt, along with the Separation barrier, to annex to Israel as much of the Occupied Palestinian Territories as possible, for as long as possible. With a politician’s candour, born of arrogance, Sharon’s advisor Dov Weisglass has proudly told the world the true intentions of the Israeli government: to send Palestinian aspirations of statehood, aspirations that are so cherished and defended by Israelis for themselves, off to the undertakers.
Even more worryingly, a dire effect of Sharon’s plans for Gaza and the West Bank has been to make almost invisible in general political discourse the problem of the Separation Barrier. Whether it is a wall or a fence, there can be no escaping the fact that the barrier is simply the frontline of Israeli State Terror for the Palestinians affected by it. It is now a year since the ICJ advisory opinion and the building of the wall has not been stopped—is barely even protested by Western governments.
At such a time, the work of groups based in civil society becomes ever more important. Pressure from Jewish peace groups such as Not In My Name then becomes doubly important in giving the lie to the idea that Sharon’s plans represent the views of Jews both inside Israel and in the rest of the world. They are also crucial in maintaining pressure on governments not to conveniently forget the issue that matter on a day to day basis for Palestinians living under Israeli military rule—more often, in fact, military repression.
Jewish peace groups are important not because Jews have a duty to be more moral than ay other section of humanity: there is no responsibility on us to intervene in Israeli-Palestinian affairs. What we do have is an opportunity; we choose to do so. The fact that we make such a choice emphasises the importance of placing our humanity before our race, religion or nationality. These words are written from London, a city where the world’s solidarity has recently been writ large and received with gratitude. Would that the same cameras and dictaphones, the same thirst for knowledge and above all the same concern for the human costs of such murders were applied to the Occupied Territories, for the benefit of both Palestinian and Israeli lives.
European Jews for a Just Peace, a network of around eighteen groups in ten European countries sends its solidarity, greetings and warm congratulations to Not In My Name on the occasion of your fourth annual convention. We wish you every success for your meeting and look forward to further contacts between our two organisations.
We are glad to have this opportunity to convey to you our profound gratitude for your continuous and courageous struggle.
We in Israel, faced with the gravest internal crisis since the foundation of our state, derive strength and encouragement from the knowledge that there are Jewish organizations like you who dare to raise their voice for peace and justice in our country.
We wish you a very successful and fruitful conference.
Uri Avnery Gush
We, New Profile, the movement that strives to demilitarize Israeli society, welcome this opportunity to voice our solidarity with the NIMN community. We congratulate and thank you for your actions to end US support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for creating a platform that creates awareness to the issues within the American Jewish communities. We recognize the enormity of the task that you have set ahead of you and appreciate it fully.
New Profile draws on the strengths of communities such as NIMN. We thank you for your convictions and for your ongoing support.
Yesh Gvul (and I) once again sending our warmest greetings and hope for success to NIMN at your annual convention.
Our task is not an easy one. The world (i.e, the mainstream press and politicians) are trying to sell us the spin that Sharon’s so-called disengagement plan is “a step towards peace.”
The facts on the ground are different. Under the cover of the “disengagement,” the separation fence continues to be constructed, exacerbating land grabs from Palestinians and tightening their restriction.
Sharon’s plan is one of separation/apartheid—cutting off Palestinians from Israelis and the West Bank from the Gaza Strip.
No one will listen to us now, but when the dust settles we will have to say clearly to anyone willing to listen: The Occupation Continues.
Good Luck to us all.
NIMN received the following greetings of solidarity, which were sent to our Annual Convention held on July 18, 2004
Dear NIMN friends,
It’s a great honor for us to send our greetings to all of you in the NIMN convention.
As ones who are struggling for peace in Israel-Palestine, we know how hard and frustrating it is to stand on our side (the right side…).
Having demonstrated with you on a cold winter day in Chicago last March, only to be shouted at by right wing demonstrators (they’re quite similar to ours…), we know how difficult it is to keep struggling when everything is so violent and brutal around you.
Strange enough, standing there with you, members of NIMN, although thousands of miles from Israel—we felt at home.
Through all the noise, the lies and the disinformation produced by these brainwashed demonstrators and by most of the media (yours and ours), it is quite hard to hear our greetings. But, today, it is important for us to stop for a moment. It is important for us that you will all hear our loud “thank you.”
We, the members of the ‘Courage to Refuse’ would like to express how significant your work is for us; how important for us to know that we have such friends in the US.
Your voice is heard clearly as far as Tel Aviv, and we’re proud to be part of it. Keep up the good work,
David Zonsheine & Chen Alon
Courage to Refuse.
European Jews for a Just Peace (EJJP) is very happy to hear that Not in My Name (NIMM) is organizing its 3rd Annual Convention in support of a lasting and just Peace between Palestinians and Israelis. We would like to give you our moral support for this conference and the work you are doing.
EJJP itself has held its 3rd Annual Convention a month ago, in Paris. We are looking forward to cooperate with other groups around the world in the near future.
Only the combined and lasting strenuous efforts by all critical Jewish groups and individuals around the world can make a difference. We are very happy and feel greatly encouraged that in the Chicago region NIMN is working on that. We on our side will do whatever we can in our respective European countries to reach the same goal of a just and lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestine conflict and to influence European politics in that respect. It is reassuring and heart-warming to know that you do the same towards your government. We are looking forward to strengthening our ties in the near future. We will take initiatives to reach that end. Keep courage too, and head for our common goals!
In solidarity Shalom, Salaam
Daniela Fariba Vorburger
For the Executive Committee of EJJP European Jews for a Just Peace
Dear NIMN colleagues,
As fellow pariahs, who are willing to take stances that are not within the consensus, simply because our conscience does not allow us to do it, we wish you many more years of sticking it to the establishment. Who better than the refuseniks understands (or should understand) the meaning of being beyond the pale. Supporting human rights is unpopular. Michael Moore may be applauded, but most of us are either:
So keep it up. If you’re lucky in the future you may get commended for what you did. Probably when we’re dead. Dead human rights activists like dead artists are very commendable. It’s just that the live ones are a pain in the ass.
So as long as their are walls and barriers, torture, bombings (by indecent people regardless of religion, sex, race or nationality); etc. There’ll be a real need for those who state “Not in My Name” and for those who shout “Yesh Gvul.”
So thank you for your unreserved support for Yesh Gvul and the refuseniks. And keep on being a pain in the ass to all those who don’t.
The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation congratulates Not in My Name on its 3rd Annual Conference. We’re very thankful for the tremendous work that you are doing to end US support for Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian people. We’re glad that Not in My Name continues to be an active member organization in our coalition which now comprises more than 135 organizations. Every effort is so important and together we are building a solid, national grassroots movement to change US policy to support human rights and international law. Keep up the great work!
Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
Greeting from Jeff Halper and the entire Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions,
As an integral part of their strategy of silencing and coopting, the Israeli government and the organized American Jewish community knowingly and cynically use our names—indeed, the very fact of our Jewishness—to promote policies that violate everything we and our tradition stand for. The demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes, the imprisoning of an entire people behind ghetto walls built by Jews, the transforming of Zionism into an exclusivist racist doctrine, the trampling of human and civil rights for which Jews have fought for generations—all this is “sold” to the world as an intentional mish-mash of “Israeli/Jewish,” implicating us all.
“Not In My Name” is a powerful cry of disconnection.
To the Israeli government: You are not oppressing others in my name;
To the organized Jewish community: You have not been elected to represent me, and you are certainly not allowed to betray the values of Judaism and of the Jewish commitment to human rights in the U.S. and elsewhere in my name;
To the American government and your representatives in Congress: You are not representing us or being our “friends and supporters” when you support the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, occupation and apartheid.
Jewry—and particularly U.S. Jewry—stands for principles and values that, tragically, are diametrically opposed to those advocated by the Israeli government. We stand in solidarity with the people of Israel in their quest for peace and security, but we refuse to be enemies with the Palestinians. And we refuse to be complicit in violations of human rights and in policies of domination such as those followed by the Israeli government.
NOT IN OUR NAME!
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitio