Statement On The Situation In Israel And Palestine

Originally published by UJPFO

The recent Hamas attack against Israeli civilians has created a frightening violent escalation between Palestinians and Israelis. The loss of lives is tragic, and the United Jewish People’s Fraternal Order (UJPFO) must express our deepest condolences to all those families who have lost their loved ones in both Israel and Palestine. 

On October 7th,  armed terrorists entered southern Israel and took hundreds of innocent lives, including the elderly and children. UJPFO joins all of humanity in declaring that nothing justifies taking the lives of innocent civilians.

The horrendous actions of the group called “Hamas” cannot be viewed as representative of the Palestinian people. The UJPFO views the attacks as being conducted by individual terrorists and should not be justified under collective punishment of an entire people. That strategy of blaming an entire people for the actions of a few comes right out of fascist thinking which was used by Nazi authorities in Europe in World War II against hundreds of towns and villages. 

UJPFO condemns and opposes any and all assaults on innocent civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian. Since the attack launched on October 7th, 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the war began, mostly civilians killed in the initial Hamas assault and more than 2,000 wounded, including dozens of soldiers. Palestinians have been killed while fleeing their homes as the Israeli military has continued their daily bombings. As of October 22nd, the Palestinian Health ministry reports 4,731 Palestinians have been killed and more than 15,898 others wounded in Israeli bombardments of the besieged Gaza City ghetto and the Gaza Strip.

This violence did not start on October 7th, and has to be understood that the violence started way before. We strongly condemn the disproportionate Israeli military response on the Gaza strip, the most violent we have seen in many years on the Palestinian population which consists of 2.3 million people [50% children].

During the recent period, Israel has been controlled by the most racist, fundamentalist, far-right government in its history. It has ruthlessly escalated the military occupation over Palestinians in the name of Jewish supremacy. The violent expulsions and home demolitions of native Palestinians, the daily wanton killings, the military raids on refugee camps, the unrelenting siege of Gaza City all which are unlawful according to the United Nations Security Resolution 2334 passed in 2016 and must end immediately.

Many Israelis warned such situations would erupt if the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues their apartheid occupation policies towards Palestinians. 

UJPFO has been warning time and time again that everything was going to eventually erupt and innocent civilians on both sides were going to pay a price. And unfortunately, that is exactly what happened.

The current  right-wing, ultra-nationalist Israeli government, supports, encourages, and leads pogroms against Palestinians. Thus, Israeli society changed dramatically with the 2018 “nation-state law’ [that made Palestinians second-class citizens], and the illegal building of Jewish-only settlements on occupied territory. There was in effect, an ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians.

It was obvious that the writing was on the wall, written in the blood of both Israelis and Palestinians. Netanyahu’s concern is not with the safety of the Israeli people let alone the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, but only of his own self-interest and well being.  What better way for Netanyahu to avoid his own, current criminal investigations by the Israeli courts, and stay out of prison than to turn national attention to the current Hamas attack? The mass Israeli anti-Netanyahu protests over attacks against democracy have instantly stopped.  It’s questionable whether or not Israeli intelligence knew or had any idea of the coming Hamas attack. The objective result of the attack is that it has helped the Netanyahu government. 

For the past year, Israel has been controlled by the most racist, fundamentalist, far-right government in its history. They  have ruthlessly escalated its military occupation over Palestinians in the name of Jewish supremacy with violent expulsions and home demolitions, mass killings, military raids on refugee camps, unrelenting siege and daily humiliation, all which are unlawful and must end immediately.

Many have lost their lives in the struggle for peace. And despite these losses, a two-state solution is the only path for both nations’ people to reside next to each other.

Historically, on September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiator Mahmoud Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, commonly referred to as the “Oslo Accord.”  The Accord was agreed upon by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) agreeing with Israeli groups in negotiating for a two state solution. Unfortunately, the Oslo Accord did not happen because Prime Minister Rabin was quickly assassinated by an extreme right-wing Zionist.

The loss of Prime Minister Rabin and the efforts of the Oslo Accords were lost, but they were not a futile attempt. The forces of reaction become scared when people from both Israel and Palestine come together to fight for liberation in a peaceful coalition for a two-state solution. The UJPFO will continue to support a movement of working class solidarity between both states, through a political mass movement and coalition building that advocates for a two state solution. We must allow both Israel and Palestine freedom and independence, or else there will never be peace.

What Needs to be Done?

The UJPFO supports the world-wide call for the immediate cessation of all military activity, and the reconvening of the 2003 Geneva Accords which sets up a mutual recognition and respect of nationhood and sovereignty for both Israel and Palestine. The Accords also call for the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

UJPFO whole-heartedly supports the unanimous decision of the 2014 Security Council Resolution which declared that Israel’s settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, “have no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”, and demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities”. Thus, the international community considers the establishment of Israel settlements in Israeli-occupied territories to be illegal because they are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and they are in breach of international declarations. 

To be specific, United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 declares that the current Israeli government is in violation of the Geneva Convention declaring that “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” 

We urge the United Nations Security Council to immediately take a leading role in the areas of Gaza and the West Bank.

The UJPFO stands with the Palestinian and Israeli people in their call for a two-state solution which encompasses a period of peace and fraternity. By advocating for a two-solution with the Palestinian Authority or the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people that Hamas would no longer have a justification for its existence.

There MUST be  peace between the two states. The only way to get there is by uprooting the sources of the violence, beginning with our own government’s complicity. The U.S. government consistently enables Israeli violence and bears blame for this moment. The unchecked military funding, diplomatic cover, and billions of dollars of private money flowing from the U.S. enables and empowers Israel’s apartheid regime. The US MUST stop all its military funding to the Israeli government.

UJPFO stands with all working people, both in Israel and Palestine. 

United Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order 

Executive Board