JVP Statement on Idle No More movement
Jewish Voice for Peace affirms its support for the Canadian indigenous rights movement known as Idle No More. In November, Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation began a 42-day hunger strike in response to legislation threatening First Nations' treaties and rights to natural resources. In the months since, Idle No More has become a global solidarity movement affirming indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, with hundreds of rallies around the world. Idle No More has shed light on shared struggles against colonialism, including the Palestinian struggle. In December, Palestinian activists released a statement of solidarity, committing to honor the leadership of women and youth and to "stand with all liberation movements challenging colonialism and imperialism around the world."
As American Jews, we recognize that our escape from oppression reinforced the theft of indigenous lands, both in Palestine and in the Americas. Today, we still benefit from colonial privileges: as diaspora Jews we may immigrate to Israel at any time, while Palestinian refugees are denied entry. Instead of surviving through the oppression of others, we seek to unite with colonized and oppressed peoples in demanding sovereignty for all indigenous peoples. We call on the governments of the United States, Canada and Israel to recognize the suffering inflicted by ongoing annexation of indigenous land, knowing that justice for colonized people means a safer, more sustainable world for all.
NOTE: Our original post included a reference to oppression of only those Jews who hail from Europe, which ignored the histories of the many Jewish communities of non-European descent, such as Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) and Sephardic (Spanish) Jews. Our original statement, now corrected, fell short of our commitment to be inclusive of people from all backgrounds, and we are grateful that our error was identified by supporters who patiently hold us accountable to our values and vision.