More often than not we adopt the thoughts and ideologies of the community in which we were brought up. More often than not we follow the ideas of the masses, rather than developing individualistic thought. However, we’ve seen a level of this admirable independent thought amongst Jews in Israel.
Before we get into that, it’s crucial to distinguish between Judaism, Zionism, and Israelis, as they in no way necessitate each other. Zionism is derived from Zion, and it is based on the belief of the ‘promised land’ of Israel. Judaism is an abrahamic religion. And being Israeli is in simplest terms a nationality. An Israeli need not be a Zionist, a Jew need not be an Israeli, and a Zionist need not be a Jew. Now, many Jews, Israeli-based and elsewhere, are in favour of a Palestinian state and freedom for the Palestinians.
And it is these exact people, who adopt independent thought, who think for themselves, irrespective of what they are told to think. For these reasons, we give you 10 Israel-based Jewish movements supporting Palestinian rights and their accompanied freedom.
Jewish Voice For Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace is a “left-wing activist organization in the United States that supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel”. With around 333K followers on Instagram, they have been quite effective in showing that religion is never a reason to justify injustice. Their posts are constantly refining certain ill-established concepts and educating others to help enable the freedom of Palestine.
Bat Shalom is an “Israeli national feminist grassroots organization of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women” working together to retain freedom for Palestinians. By focusing on not just the freedom of oppressed Palestinians, but other disadvantaged entities too, such as women, Bat Shalom distinguishes itself from the rest.
Gush Shalom is an “Israeli peace activism group founded and led by former Irgun and Knesset member and journalist Uri Avnery in 1993”. It’s also special in the way that there is no hierarchy, and all members are equal activists.
IfNotNow is an “American Jewish progressive activist group opposing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip”. Their tweet “our only safety is solidarity with Palestinians”, is the ultimate epitome of how each and every individual should approach the oppression of Palestinians.
This organization focuses on ensuring that human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are given to all members of society. It’s Jerusalem-based and it documents human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Another feminist-based organization is Aisha, an “independent Palestinian women organization working to achieve gender integration through economic empowerment and psychosocial support to marginalized groups in the Gaza Strip”.
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
ICAHD is a non-violent, direct-action group. Like the rest, its works are dedicated to ending the occupation of Palestinian territories and helping them achieve their peace.
Also known as Checkpoint Watch, Machsom Watch is a group of Israeli women who “monitor and document the conduct of soldiers and policemen at checkpoints in the West Bank”.
This is an awareness based group, aiming to educate everyone on the Palestinian Nakba.
Rabbis For Human Rights
Rabbis for Human Rights is an Israeli human rights organization that describes itself as “the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights”. This is a beautiful example of how Jews are working on using religion the way it is supposed to be used, in sync with human rights and peace, rather than out of it.