The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

A Message to our Community

As the situation continues to unfold across Israel/Palestine, we are thinking of you all in our community and our friends, family, co-workers, and partners on the ground. We are grieving the hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis who have been killed and our hearts are breaking for everyone living in fear for their safety – including our own friends and family.

Israelis are scared and heartbroken as they are experiencing horrifying attacks against their communities of a type and scale that they have never lived through before. Tragically, we can not say the same for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. For them, the violence of Israel’s occupation and brutal siege – in which Palestinians are killed, imprisoned, and denied their basic human rights – is an everyday reality that generations have suffered.

As Israelis grieve and search for loved ones, Palestinians are facing continued settler violence and lockdowns from the military. Many are not able to leave to harvest fields, check on relatives, or collect essentials. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza live in an open air prison without freedom of movement and have nowhere to seek refuge as Israel bombs the area in collective punishment.

No one deserves this and none of this was inevitable. The root cause of this violence is Israel’s decades-long oppression and displacement of Palestinians. For years, Israel has sought to normalize this reality, but there is nothing normal about this violence of dehumanization and subjugation.

Israel has only been able to further its control over Palestinian life and its annexation of Palestinian land under a system of apartheid made possible by the complicity of governments around the world and unconditional military support from the US.

Amid the many horrific images and stories we are seeing, hearing, and living, one thing is clear – peace will not come until the occupation ends and Palestinians are free. True safety is only possible when we act in solidarity with one another. Now more than ever, it is our responsibility as Jewish activists from around the world to continue resisting, shoulder to shoulder with our Palestinian and Israeli partners, for a just future where everyone lives with freedom and dignity.

There are a multitude of ways to support and show up for peace and justice in this moment. To stay informed, we recommend you follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts and plug in to the work of our movement partners who are organizing Jewish communities to take action, like IfNotNow, Jewish Voice for Peace, Na’amod, Independent Jewish Voices, and others. We will continue to be in touch about ways to connect with and support the work of CJNV and our partners as things develop.

With love and solidarity,
Chase, Clare, Daniel, Dina, Oriel, and Scout

(CJNV Staff)

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