The Israeli government has declared a genocidal war on the people of Gaza. As an organization that works for a future where Palestinians and Israelis and all people live in equality and freedom, we call on all people of conscience to stop imminent genocide of Palestinians.
Jewish Voice for Peace mourns deeply for the over 1,200 Israelis killed, the families destroyed, including many of our own, and fears for the lives of Israelis taken hostage. Many are still counting the dead, looking for missing loved ones, devastated by the losses.
We wholeheartedly agree with leading Palestinian rights groups: the massacres committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians are horrific war crimes. There is no justification in international law for the indiscriminate killing of civilians or the holding of civilian hostages.
And now, horrifyingly, the Israeli and American governments are weaponizing these deaths to fuel a genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza, pledging to “open the gates of hell.” This war is a continuation of the Nakba, when in 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing violence sought refuge in Gaza. It’s a continuation of 75 years of Israeli occupation and apartheid.
Already this week, over 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed. The Israeli government has wrought complete and total devastation on Palestinians across Gaza, attacking hospitals, schools, mosques, marketplaces, and apartment buildings.
As we write, the Israeli government has shut off all electricity to Gaza. Hospitals cannot save lives, the internet will collapse, people will have no phones to communicate with the outside world, and drinking water for two million people will run out. Gaza will be plunged into darkness as Israel turns its neighborhoods to rubble. Still worse, Israel has openly stated an intention to commit mass atrocities and even genocide, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying the Israeli response will “reverberate for generations.”
And right now, the U.S. government is enabling the Israeli government’s atrocities, sending weapons, moving U.S. warships into proximity and sending U.S.-made munitions, and pledging blanket support and international cover for any actions taken by the Israeli government. Furthermore, the U.S. government officials are spreading racist, hateful, and incendiary rhetoric that will fuel mass atrocities and genocide.
The loss of Israeli lives is being used by our government to justify the rush to genocide, to provide moral cover for the immoral push for more weapons and more death. Palestinians are being dehumanized by our own government, by the media, by far too many U.S. Jewish institutions. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel is “fighting human animals” and should “act accordingly,” As Jews, we know what happens when people are called animals.
We can and we must stop this. Never again means never again — for anyone.
We call on all people of conscience to stop the imminent genocide of Palestinians. We demand our government work towards de-escalation, that it immediately stop sending weapons to the Israeli military. A future of peace and safety for all, grounded in justice, freedom and equality for all, is still the only option.