An alternative jewish voice
Because we cannot support the daily horrors in the Middle-East;
a few organisations and a few spokesmen exert an exclusive monopoly on
the expression of French Jews;
because we all share common views on
mankind; because, in the face of the consequences of the Middle-East
conflict in France, as well as the resurgence of the extreme right
wing, and the increase of anti-Semitic incidents, we are led to
acknowledge publicly the Jewish part of our personal identity,
we have decided to express our views in a collective manner.
We all are citizens of the French Republic, but our philosophical
choices, our political beliefs, our cultural references, our
connections to religious beliefs display a wide variety of attitudes.
Descendants of many generations of men and women who have been chased,
despised, banned and persecuted through the centuries, we fight against
all forms of persecution or oppression, as many of our ancestors have
done before us.
We are sons and daughters of that French Republic which, from the
start, gave citizenship to our ancestors. We share its values.
The attitudes we have about our jewish heritage may vary, but our
memory of the genocide, our belief that it belongs to no one in
particular, and that it cannot justify any nationalistic attitude,
requires us to state our views as follows.
Some of us do have a special feeling for Israel; others do not. Some
question the very nature of the zionist project. However we all
consider that the israeli people, born under the historical conditions
created by the ruins of Hitler’s fascism, have a right to live in a
State with secure and guaranteed borders, within the framework of
United Nations resolutions. But we dispute the right of the State of
Israel, or of the French organisations which claim to represent Jews,
to speak on their behalf. We are outraged by the colonial oppression
which the Israeli government inflicts on Palestine and the Palestinian
people. We do not believe that anti-semitism can be fought while
letting the israeli people become a people of oppressors. A peaceful
future for Israel can only be achieved through a peaceful and sincere
coexistence with the Palestinian people. We support all those, in
Israel, Palestine and elsewhere, who fight courageously for peace, for
justice, for equal rights, against Mr. Sharon’s murderous policies.
We observe the rise of the Israeli extreme right wing influence among
French political forces. Many democrats (among whom there are many
jewish citizens) are victims to intimidation: they are branded as
anti-semites, merely because they criticise israeli government policy,
or because they demand that United Nations resolutions and the
international treaties of Camp David or Oslo be respected by Israel.
What is the hidden objective behind such monstrous accusations? What is
the hidden objective behind the verbal abuse and physical threats
against those, be they Jewish or not, who exercise their citizenship by
publicly condemning current Israeli policy? What is being pursued by
hijacking Judaism and giving it such a repulsive face? We accuse the
present israeli government which, under the guise of expanding Israel,
seeks to increase immigration to Israel, and is willing to live with
the consequent renaissance of anti-semitism. Anti-semitism in our times
has reached a new low by labelling nazi atrocities as merely a
”historical detail.” But it is a symmetrical misconception, and one
that feeds the very sources of negationism, that the extermination of
Jews by the Nazis is the only pure “crime against humanity.” We demand
no privilege for Jews as victims: we fight all oppressions. While the
present israeli policy cannot be described as seeking the physical
annihilation of the palestinian people, a number of us believe that,
overall, it qualifies for criminal prosecution in the International
Suicide bombings aimed at killing Israeli civilians as organised by
Palestinian terrorist groups are not only monstrous crimes: those who
plan and organise them, playing on the feelings of despair among
youthful candidates, in our view, as well as in that of many
Palestinian leaders, are actually enemies—not equivocated allies—of
Palestinian fundamental rights. We condemn Palestinian forces who
oppose the existence of the state of Israel.
Similarly, we shall never allow, under the guise of our solidarity with
the Palestinian people, the slightest collaboration with those whose
support for Palestine is in reality based on their hatred for Jews.
Our position is that:
- The Palestinian people have an inalienable right to the land which is
currently occupied by the armed forces of the most over-armed State in
- The Palestinian people have an inalienable right to build their own
State on that land, within the conditions guaranteed by the Charter of
the United Nations.
- The Palestinian people have an inalienable rights to share Jerusalem
as a capital.
- The Palestinian exiles and refugees have a right to return home or to
just compensation, under conditions to be negotiated.
All those who oppose these rights feed endless violence, war,
atrocities and hatred.
Because, during the last century, violently oppressive systems have
crumbled and fallen, we believe it is possible and necessary to
establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle-East.
In the face of the rising threats of religious extremism, chauvinism,
“communityism,” racism and anti-semitism; in the face of the
potentially murderous interference of the israeli right wing forces in
french society, we are determined that the voice of french jewish
citizens, or citizens of jewish origin, supporting the ideals of
democracy, freedom, the universality of human rights and of peoples’
rights shall be heard. And so we speak;
Pour signer : email@example.com