A large group of left-wing Palestinian and Israeli parties, unions and civil society groups has issued an unprecedented joint statement in support of the Israeli struggle for social justice. The group demands unity in the struggle against occupation and racism.
For the first time since the launch of J14 movement, and perhaps for the first time in regional history, official Palestinian parties and NGOs are showing their support for an Israeli civilian struggle for social justice and against capitalism. Alongside their general statement of support, signatories mentioned the influence Arab revolutions have had on the Israeli movement, and stressed the importance they see in the ground-breaking widespread cooperation between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.
In addition, the signatories call upon J14 to connect their struggle with the one against the illegal settlements and the occupation, and to stop the Israeli government’s from attempting to sideline the struggle in the face of “outside security threats” such as the upcoming vote on recognition of Palestinian statehood at the UN on 20 September.
“We understand that one of the primary reasons for the social and economic distress of citizens in Israel, in addition to the capitalist economic policies, is the continuation of the occupation and excessive security budgets, which Israel’s government seeks to justify as needed for defending the security of the settlements on the one hand and the state borders on the other,” reads a part of the joint statement. “We therefore believe that an end to the occupation and establishment of a fair and just peace are essential for a life of peace and welfare. We welcome the participation and integration of the Palestinian population in Israel in the social protest. This is an important opportunity to present before various groups within Israeli society the grievances of the Palestinians and the injustices caused them, so that these groups can assume responsibility and take part in the struggle against the marginalizing policies and ongoing discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel, to putting an end to confiscation of lands, instating full equality, and ending the occupation of the Palestinian lands that were occupied in 1967.”
Beyond these messages of support, the statement reaffirms the signatories’ commitment both to the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to gain UN recognition for a Palestinian state, and to the joint popular struggle against the occupation. Yet another notion on the agenda is the message of solidarity with all peoples of the region who are currently fighting for freedom and independence from totalitarian regimes.
Signatories of this unique statement include two out of three Palestinian Left parties – the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian People’s Party (but not the larger Popular Front) – as well as the Israeli Knesset faction of Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash), comprised of The Israeli Communist Party and Tarabut-Hitabrut. Other signatories include the joint Israeli-Palestinian Alternative Information Centre, and the Palestinian Progressive Workers’ Union, Farmers’ Unions, Union of Palestinian Women, and others. Many of these groups were part of the First Hebron Convention for Cooperation between Israeli-Palestinian Left, which took place in May 2011.
Click here to read the full text of the new joint statement.