Jewish Voice for Peace stands in solidarity with the community of Ferguson, Missouri
In the days since the murder of Michael Brown, a young, unarmed African-American man who was shot and killed by a police officer, the eyes of the world have turned to the city of Ferguson. The community has risen up in the face of brutal repression to protest the racism and injustice African-American communities throughout the US face from centuries-old, systematic, and increasingly militarized police violence.
We have been moved to witness powerful expressions of solidarity from Palestinians in Gaza to African-Americans in Ferguson and back again. We recognize that the devaluing of African-American lives built into the fabric of US government and society is mirrored in Israel’s unequal treatment of Palestinians. We know that at the root of Israel’s assault on Gaza this summer is a belief that Palestinian lives do not matter. We should neither have to say that Palestinian lives matter or that Black lives matter. But we do. They do.
It’s also not surprising to see the similarity in the tactics and technologies of repression against those who are rising up nonviolently in both places. It cannot escape our notice that police officials, including recent leaders in St. Louis, have received military training from the Israeli Defense Forces. And that companies like G4S and Elbit Systems profit from the surveillance, incarceration, forced racial segregation, and physical violence in Israel and the US alike. While we recognize those connections, we must stay rooted in the specificity and history of each place, even as it is critical to our organizing to understand the global structures that enable them both.
We believe another way is both necessary and possible. As Jews, many of us white, we commit ourselves to continue the work of resisting and reshaping the structural inequalities that exist within American cities, in Israel/Palestine, and in the rest of the world, and to do so heeding the call of those who suffer the consequences of inequality every day.