- Former steering committee member of the now-defunct Jews for a Just Peace
A singer/songwriter based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Stephen Aberle was a steering committee member of the now-defunct Jews For a Just Peace (JFJP), an organization that viewed Israel as an oppressor nation guilty of subjecting the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to many forms of cruelty and abuse.
In March 2002 Aberle said that while “Israel has the right to exist and endure,” “the Palestinian people” likewise “have the right to live in peace and security and to establish their own viable independent state in the whole of the West Bank and Gaza Strip should they so wish.” “The most urgent obstacle to peace,” he elaborated, “has been and remains Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the consequent oppression of the Palestinians.” “Occupation is violence,” declared Aberle, “and this occupation must end before there can be any hope of a true and lasting peace.”
Aberle steadfastly supports the Palestinian people’s “Right of Return” to Israel.
In October 2006 Aberle spent a week participating in a study tour of the West Bank, coordinated by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); the tour placed heavy emphasis on Israel’s alleged abuses against the Palestinian people.
In July 2007 Aberle spent two weeks in the West Bank town of Anata, helping fellow ICAHD volunteers rebuild two Palestinian homes that had been demolished by Israeli authorities who suspected that the structures were being used to promote terrorism.
Aberle is a devoted admirer of history professor Ilan Pappe, an Israeli Marxist who claims that the Jewish founders of Israel perpetrated ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian residents of that region in 1948. Aberle characterizes Pappe’s writings as “meticulously researched” and says that they have had a “profound impact” on him.
Since the dissolution of JFJP, Aberle has continued to ally himself with other anti-Israel groups and causes. For example, he signed a “Jews for Palestinian Right of Return” statement charging that Israel’s creation in 1948 was a “Nakba (Catastrophe)” that featured a massive “terror campaign” culminating in the “erasure and occupation of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages”; that “the Zionist regime [today] officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial”; that Israel continues its “relentless ethnic cleansing” and is in essence “a state whose very existence depends on structural denial of Palestinian rights”; and that the Palestinian Right of Return “is affirmed in U.N. Resolution 194.” As of January 2013, fellow signers of this statement included such notables as Medea Benjamin, Max Blumenthal, Lenni Brenner, Jeff Halper, the late Jennifer Loewenstein, Barbara Lubin, and Ilan Pappe.