This year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been at the center of conversations in the Jewish community.
We, as progressive Jewish students, have been both observing and participating in this conversation. Some of us have been open and vocal about our stances on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while others have been reluctant or uncomfortable to share our beliefs within the community.
While we are proud to acknowledge that UCLA’s Jewish community has come far in creating a forum for open and honest dialogue surrounding the conflict, we feel that a strong progressive Jewish voice is still lacking on our campus. We know that such a voice exists, but thus far it has not been given an adequate outlet in the mainstream conversation on campus. The purpose of this statement is to make this voice heard.
We issue this statement not only to express ourselves regarding the conflict, but also to ensure that our Jewish community remains as vibrant and pluralistic as we know it is:
- We believe that both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples have the right to self-determination within the land of Israel/Palestine.
- We strongly condemn all human rights violations against innocent civilians within this conflict.
These human rights violations include, but are not limited to:
- Israeli policies of military occupation, expansion of West Bank settlements, failure to take action against settler and soldier violence, demolition of Palestinian property, unequal distribution of resources, and policies that restrict Palestinian movement.
- Violence by Palestinian groups, which includes actions such as rocket attacks, suicide bombings, stone throwing, and kidnappings.
We recognize the difficulty of acknowledging the occupation because of a fear that it will lead to the delegitimization of Israel; however we believe that this is an issue that should be discussed openly within the Jewish community, rather than being pushed aside.
These condemnations are not intended to imply that the Israeli and Palestinian governments do not have the right to make policies and take actions that are necessary to maintain the safety and security of their citizens. Rather, this statement seeks to condemn those policies and actions that infringe on the rights of innocent civilians and cause unnecessary suffering.
We make these statements as concerned Jewish students who hold the State of Israel near to our hearts and seek to see a more peaceful, democratic state. Our deeply held Jewish values of social justice and Tikkun Olam demand that we acknowledge and work to prevent the pain and suffering arising from this conflict.
We, the undersigned, invite our community to engage in further dialogue about these statements and the nuances of the conflict.
**The opinions of the undersigned Jewish students do not represent those of their affiliated organizations**
Yvonne Winer, Class of 2016, Hillel Campus Engagement Initiative Intern
Nirit Hinkis, Class of 2014
Ashton Rosin, Class of 2014
Avinoam Baral, Class of 2015, Hillel Campus Engagement Initative Intern, 2012-2013
Amanda Sass, Class of 2014
Gil Bar-Or, Class of 2017, Co-Chair of J Street U at UCLA
Maia Ferdman, Class of 2015
Andrew Howard, Class of 2015
Aurelia Friedman, Class of 2016
Dor Carpel, Class of 2014
Joseph Blatt, Class of 2014, Former Hillel Campus Engagement Initiative Intern and Advisor
Julie Lanctot, Class of 2016
Ori Benoni, Class of 2015
Ava Abuchaei, Class of 2016
Jacob Goldberg, Class of 2014
Edwin Eshaghzadeh, Class of 2014, President of ImpactLA
Hadar Dor, Class of 2014, Sigma Eta Pi, LA Hacks, Bruin Entrepreneurs
Sarah Segal, Class of 2015
Benjamin Wolch, Class of 2017
Ryland Lu, Class of 2014
Miri Gold, Class of 2014
Jacob Manheim, Class of 2015, Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA
Gabriel Levine, Class of 2014, Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA, UCLADivest
Aleksandra Liberman, Class of 2015
Brian Raub, Class of 2014
Michael DeLand, Class of 2014
Daniel Silberman, Class of 2016
Camila Lacques, Class of 2014
Hannah Axelrad, Class of 2016, Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA
Alex Goldstein, Class of 2015, Jewish Voice for Peace at UCLA
Daniel Schwartz, Class of 2014
Daniel Leventhal, Class of 2017
Gal Daskal, Class of 2015
<b>Jewish students from other Southern California universities who wish to to support this statement and demand a stronger progressive Jewish voice on their campuses:</b>
Maya Fried, USC Class of 2015, President Emeritus of SC Students for Israel
Tomer Lipski, USC Class of 2016
Oren Hinkis, UCSD Class of 2016
Andrew Farkash, UCSB Class of 2015, Jewish Voice for Peace at UCSB
Asher Levy, USC Class of 2016, J Street U at USC
Nathan Lacy, UCSD Class of 2015, Keshet, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity
Sage Lachman, Claremont Colleges (Pitzer) Class of 2016, Southwest Regional Co-Chair of J Street U and President of J Street U Claremont Colleges
Benjamin Taitz, CSUF Class of 2014, Former Vice-President of Hillel at CSUF
Orren Arad-Neeman, Claremont Colleges (Pomona) Class of 2016, National Accessibility Co-Chair of J Street U and Vice-President of J Street U Claremont Colleges
Emily Gabriella Sommer, USC Class of 2015
Matthew Readdick, UCI Class of 2015, Hillel at UCI, Anteaters for Israel, Chabad
Dror Sapir, Saddleback College Class of 2017
Dan Rais, USC Class of 2015, J Street U USC Co-Chair
Alyssa Wolk, UCI Class of 2015
Maayan Lev, Occidental College Class of 2017