During the violence of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, young Jews angered by the overwhelmingly hawkish response of American Jewish institutions came together under the banner of IfNotNow to demonstrate their resistance through the beauty of Jewish ritual. Moved to act by moral anguish and inspired by Hillel’s three questions, they organized Mourner’s Kaddish actions in nearly a dozen cities across the country and lamented the loss of both Israeli and Palestinian life. They had three demands: Stop the War on Gaza, End the Occupation, and Freedom and Dignity for All.
The demand for American Jewish institutions to end their support for the Occupation has only grown more urgent and clear since that summer. While the out-of-touch establishment claims to speak for our community, we know that American Jewry is eager for change.
We are building a vibrant and inclusive movement within the American Jewish community, across generations and organizational affiliations. This movement is open to any who seek to shift the American Jewish public away from the status quo that upholds the Occupation. As a movement, we understand the Occupation as the military rule over Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. We also know that the discrimination and displacement inside Israel's 1948 borders are connected to its rule in those Occupied Territories. This system of violence deprives all Palestinians of civil, political, and economic rights.
Our logo, inspired by the burning bush, symbolizes our generation’s call to leadership in the Jewish community. Just as Moses was commanded to return to Egypt and fight for the liberation of his people, we too feel called to take responsibility for the future of our community. We know the liberation of our Jewish community is bound up in the liberation of all people, particularly those in Israel and Palestine. The bush burns bright but is not consumed – the fire is not a mechanism of destruction, but rather a force of inspiration and transformation.
We will be the generation that ends our community’s support for the occupation. Will you join us?