We are heartbroken over the immense and continuing loss of life in Israel and Palestine. Many in our community have family, friends and loved ones– both Israeli and Palestinian – who are on the ground right now and continue to be impacted by recent events.
As a Jewish social justice organization, the Boston Workers Circle unequivocally condemns the horrifying massacres committed by Hamas’ forces on Israeli civilians this past weekend. We are with all of those impacted in their grief, anguish and fear. As a Jewish social justice organization, we also unequivocally condemn the 56 year-long illegal occupation of the West Bank and the 16 years-long blockade of Gaza. Neither type of crime justifies the other. The events of this week reinforce that there is no such thing as safety for some unless there is safety for everyone.
The October 7th attack has generated Israeli retaliation, resulting in further bloodshed and tragic loss of civilian life. The Israeli government has pledged to continue to escalate this violence, often in language that shows a readiness to violate international law and inflict massive collective harm on an entire civilian population. This includes the recent call to evacuate over one million people from northern Gaza in 24 hours. This is a chilling announcement that we fear serves as the prelude to even further mass death and suffering.
We are dismayed that far more in the US government have expressed unqualified support for these actions by the Israeli government than have urged international efforts to de-escalate the deadly violence, with its catastrophic civilian losses on both sides. In addition, this staunch support of any measures Israel chooses to take, no matter what, has all but replaced former expressions of acknowledgment of and concern for Palestinian lives.
Even in the midst of our immense grief over the lives of Israelis and Palestinians lost this week, we remain committed to our vision of a political solution based in justice and equality for Israelis and Palestinians. We reject a path forward characterized by the pursuit of vengeance, and we strongly urge the Biden Administration not to offer yet more military aid to Israel in support of one. This is a moment that calls for abandoning the failed policies of the past, and instead, seeking new approaches to bring justice, equality and peace to both Israeli Jews and Palestinians. As Americans we call upon our government to do all it can to:
- Prevent the imminent Israeli ground incursion into Gaza.
- Allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.
- Secure the release of the reported 150 Israeli civilians taken hostage into Gaza.
- Secure the release of Palestinian civilian political prisoners held in Israeli prisons, including the 1,264 administrative detainees being held indefinitely without facing trial or any charges.
- Lift the siege of Gaza.
- End all bombing attacks on Gaza from the IDF.
- End all rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.
- Work with urgency to ensure that all people in Israel and Palestine can live with safety and dignity in full legal and political equality, the absence of which is the primary source of the hatred, violence, injustice and brutal crimes that we have witnessed for too long, and fear the unimaginable worsening of in the coming weeks.
In the coming days, as overwhelming and painful events continue to unfold, let us keep our grieving hearts open to one another. Let us stand together in true solidarity as we continue to fight for a just, safe future for everyone in Palestine, Israel, and all over the world. Even in this painful moment, we will not give up on our vision of a besere velt, a better world.
Read more about Boston Workers Circle’s Israel/Palestine Principles here.