(February 13, 2020 / JNS) An “anti-Zionist Jewish organization” has been formed by a group of undergraduate students at Harvard University.
In a public statement posted on Facebook on Monday, the “Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace” called itself “a new organization founded in the idea that Jewish liberation is inextricably bound up with the liberation of all people.”
The group said that it will focus on Palestinian solidarity work; fighting anti-Semitism and supporting the safety of Jews and all people through solidarity; creating Jewish spaces and events outside of Hillel; and “engaging with the rich history of radical, left and anti-Zionist Jews.”
The group noted it “began as discussions in the spring of 2019 following ‘Israeli Apartheid week’ about the need for an organized anti-Zionist organization outside of Hillel for Jewish students who support Palestinian liberation—the end to Israel’s settler-colonial project of occupation, colonization, dispossession and apartheid in Palestine.”
“We build on a long history of Jewish anti-Zionism which teaches us that Jewish safety or liberation will never come at the expense of other people’s lives and land, and are committed to following the leadership of Palestinians in supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on and off Harvard’s campus.”
Though anti-Zionism, including BDS, has been deemed by many as a form of Jew-hatred, the Harvard Jewish Coalition for Peace stated it takes “anti-Semitism incredibly seriously.”
“Our focus will also go beyond Palestinian solidarity work and fighting anti-Semitism. When we say we believe that Jewish liberation is inextricably bound up with the liberation of all people, we mean it,” said the group. “We seek to organize the Jewish community and to work in solidarity with others, on and off campus, to fight against all forms and systems of oppression, including white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, ableism, capitalism, settler-colonialism and imperialism.”
The group acknowledged that it doesn’t represent the majority of the Jewish community at the university.
Instead, it seeks to “provide a space for those who resonate with this vision, have felt alienated by Hillel and the U.S. Jewish establishment’s erasure of anti-Zionist voices, and who have desired Jewish community that can openly talk about these issues.”
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