Prince Street Station
P.O. Box 494
New York, NY
Phone :(212) 539-6683 / (347) 573-0773 URL: Website
Anti-Israel Jewish organization
Seeks the end of American aid to Israel
Jews Against the Occupation (JATO) describes itself as “an organization of progressive, secular, and religious Jews of all ages throughout the New York City area advocating peace through justice for Palestine and Israel." Its “points of unity” include the following:
No Occupation in Our Name: “We … reject the Israeli government assertion that it is ‘necessary’ to subjugate Palestinians for the sake of keeping Jews safe. We assert that security can only come from mutual respect, and that the occupation of Palestine is only worsening the position of Jews in the Middle East and around the world.”
Restore Human and Civil Rights: “The Israeli military fires bone-crushing rubber bullets and live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian civilians engaged in peaceful protest, failing to distinguish between peaceful and violent resistance. The Israeli government has been demolishing Palestinian houses and crops in the Occupied Territories, while allowing Jewish settlers -- many of them American -- to illegally occupy the same land.”
End U.S. Aid to Israel: “The U.S. government provides more aid to Israel than to any other country -- the vast majority of this is for military purposes. Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have propped up the occupation and fueled the Israeli government’s war machine … This aid must end.”
Stop Economic Attacks on Palestine: “The Israeli government has attacked the Palestinian economy by: closing Palestinian banks; imposing extreme taxes on business; withdrawing operating licenses; destroying industrial equipment; bulldozing farmland and banning fishing; restricting workers' movement; controlling the export of Palestinian goods; closing the borders of the Occupied Territories; and refusing to fund infrastructure like water and electricity -- even in Arab villages within Israel.”
Let Palestinians Return Home: “Thousands of Palestinians were driven out of their houses and off of their farms during and after the creation of Israel. They must be allowed to return to their homeland.” In JATO’s calculus, the "right of return" should not be restricted only to the surviving Palestinians who were among the 725,000 Arabs who actually fled the slivers of the British Mandate when the 1948 war broke out, but should be extended to all their descendants as well. Thus JATO places the number of potential returnees at 5 million.
According to JATO, “Judaism is a cultural and religious identity which must not be equated with Zionism, a political movement. Criticism of the state of Israel, its policies, or the idea of a Jewish state does not by itself constitute anti-Semitism."
JATO makes no mention, anywhere in its literature, of Palestinian terrorism against Israel. Nor does it express concern that terrorism may be a potential impediment to the establishment of a Palestinian state or to the feasibility of a “right of return.”
To summarize its positions and demands, JATO has composed the following petition, addressed jointly to the Israeli government and to "international public opinion":
"We, concerned Jews from around the world, continue to view with horror the consequences of military repression and economic blockade of the Palestinians by Israel. Israel and the Palestinians are not equal partners in a peace process. Israel is a nation state equipped with an army and highly sophisticated weaponry; the Palestinians are a dispossessed people, living under Israeli military, political and economic control ... We support the co-existence, on equal terms, of Palestinians, Israelis, and all other peoples of the region and call for an end to Israeli aggression and oppression. We urge Israel to uphold the human rights of Palestinians by: immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal from all of the territories taken by force and occupied in 1967; recognition of the Palestinian right to national self-determination, to return and to compensation ...; redistribution of resources and a massive program of international aid to rehabilitate Palestinian communities."