Silence, we kill: We speak out as Jews of France to refuse that this genocide is carried out in our name

Silence, we kill: We speak out as Jews of France to refuse that this genocide is carried out in our name

“We fight animals and we act accordingly. »
Yoav Galant, Minister of Defense

“The whole nation (Palestinian) is responsible. »
Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel

These declarations from the highest political authorities of the Israeli state regarding the ongoing military offensive in Gaza leave no doubt about their genocidal intentions.

As we write, 2,808 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including more than 1,000 children, by massive Israeli bombings.

In the space of a week, around 6,000 bombs were launched there by the Israeli army, almost as many as by the United States during Afghanistan’s deadliest year. The total blockade implemented by the Israeli army around Gaza deprives its inhabitants of water, electricity and food, condemning tens of thousands of them to death.

The impossible evacuation ordered by the Israeli authorities, the intensification of bombings and the announcement of an imminent ground offensive portend a humanitarian disaster and a probable crime against humanity. This punitive violence is announced, tolerated, permitted and even supported by the international community.

Israeli bombings are deliberately aimed at causing as much damage as possible, in line with military doctrine developed by former Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, a member of the emergency cabinet formed by Netanyahu to lead the operations. There is no distinction between the civilian and the armed combatant. Two days ago, on the Salah-Al Deen road, the Israeli army struck a convoy of civilians fleeing Gaza City, killing at least 70 people, mainly women and children.

What’s more, international observers like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch warn about the use white phosphorus, prohibited by the law of war, and some cases are already well documented.

The shock caused by the atrocities committed last weekend by Palestinian fighters has left Israeli society in such a state of astonishment that very few voices are raised to denounce the war crimes and the genocidal policy of their government. The latter enjoys significant support in civil society, including among sectors mobilized against him on the issue of judicial reform.

Decades of colonization and occupation have deeply rooted in the collective consciousness the dehumanization of Palestinians, legitimizing the inhuman and barbaric treatment inflicted on them.

For his part, the French government, by defending Israel’s “right to defend itself”, provided support for an Israeli offensive which everyone already knew would mainly target Palestinian civilians.

Taking it a step further, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has ordered the systematic banning of demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people and is working to repress any expression of solidarity. Verbalizations, arrests, dissolution procedures, all means available to the police and judicial apparatus are used.

In Strasbourg, among the 13 demonstrators arrested on October 13, were two historic activists of the solidarity movement, members of the French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP). Journalists are also targeted, like journalist Taha Bouhafs, arrested with his press card in his hand while covering the rally. These arrests are political. The violation of the basic right to demonstrate constitutes a denial of democracy which is part of the strengthening of the most authoritarian and illiberal tendencies of the State under the macronie.

In order to justify its repressive policy, the French government uses as a pretext the need to fight against anti-Semitism. Under this fallacious pretext, which is based on Israeli propaganda conflating Jews and Zionists, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, he creates the conditions for the evil he claims to fight. Prohibiting the legitimate expression of solidarity with a people whose ethnic cleansing is taking place live before our eyes, while associating this ban with the fight against anti-Semitism, opens the way to all the slippages and all the confusions.

We denounce with the greatest firmness this irresponsible policy which, far from moving towards appeasement in France, attacks the democratic right to demonstrate by blaming the Jews. To prohibit anger and solidarity from being expressed legally and within the framework of the movement in support of the Palestinian anti-colonial struggle is to take the risk that they will be expressed with even more confusion and excesses. It is Israeli crimes, and not their denunciation, that fuel anti-Semitism.

As Jews, we reaffirm that the pain currently felt by the Jews of France and the Israelis following the Hamas massacres cannot justify ethnic cleansing in Gaza.

We refuse to allow genocide to be carried out in our name.

We call on all organizations, associations and personalities claiming to be part of the universal struggle for justice, dignity and equality to close ranks. Faced with the worst that is brewing in Palestine, faced with authoritarianism and racism in France, our responsibility is immense.

We demand:

The release of arrested activists and demonstrators
– The right to demonstrate in solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people
– The immediate cessation of Israeli bombings and the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces
– Lifting the blockade and siege of Gaza
– Negotiations for the release of hostages and political prisoners
– International sanctions against the Israeli state

Decolonial Jewish Collective