SAN FRANCISCO, March 2, 2004 — A coalition of Jewish and Israeli groups- including Jewish Voice for Peace, The Tikkun Community and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions -has issued the following statement demanding the resignation of Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim and Likud Knesset Member Yehiel Hazan in response to racist remarks made last week (see 2/25/04 Ha’aretz)
As Jews conscious of the history of anti-Semitism and the ideas and rhetoric that have fueled it over the centuries, we deplore the recent racist public statements by Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim and Likud Knesset Member Yehiel Hazan and call for their immediate resignations.
Speaking at a memorial for the victims of a Palestinian attack that took place 26 years ago, Mr. Boim said: “What is it about Islam as a whole and the Palestinians in particular? Is it some form of cultural deprivation? Is it some genetic defect? There is something that defies explanation in this continued murderousness.”
MK Hazan subsequently stated “He’s right. It’s been a known fact for many years that the Arabs slaughter and murder Jews, without any connection to land. It’s imprinted in their blood. It’s something genetic. I haven’t done research, but there’s no possibility of explaining it differently. You can’t believe an Arab, even one who’s 40 years in his grave.”
We would like to remind Mr. Boim, Mr. Hazan and any who support such statements as these, that all violence against civilians is abhorrent, and that Palestinians and Israelis both face such atrocities; that acting out of feelings of fear, rage and hatred are the real enemies common to Jews and Arabs alike; that the language of hate is the fuel for the fires of violence. We declare that the best way to move toward ending the suffering of all the peoples of the Middle East is to end the 36-year old Israeli occupation and to join with a free Palestinian people in confronting all of those who would endanger the lives of innocents, whether Jewish or Arab, in militant groups or in government positions.
Most of all, as Jews, we recognize this kind of thinking as that which has been used against our people so many times in the past. As Jews, we cannot stand by and allow such views to be a part of Jewish leadership on any level, in any part of the world. We call on Jews in Israel and around the world to raise a collective cry which demands that those who express such views not be tolerated in leadership positions in any part of a global Jewish community. The ideas expressed by Mr. Boim and Mr. Hazan are no different from those that have been expressed about Jews time and again. Of all peoples, we cannot and will not tolerate such reckless hate.
We demand the immediate removal from office of Deputy Defense Minister Boim and the resignation of MK Hazan.
JEWISH VOICE FOR PEACE
THE TIKKUN COMMUNITY
JEWS FOR PEACE IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL (WASHINGTON, DC)
BALTIMORE JEWS FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE (BALTIMORE, MD)
JEWISH VOICE AGAINST THE OCCUPATION (SEATTLE, WA)
TZEDEK (BERKELEY, CA)
KOLOT TZEDEK (TUSCON, AZ)
WOMEN IN BLACK (TUSCON, AZ)
PHILADELPHIA JEWISH PEACE NETWORK (PHILADELPHIA, PA)
VISIONS OF PEACE WITH JUSTICE IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE (BOSTON, MA)
ISRAELI COMMITTEE AGAINST HOUSE DEMOLITIONS (ISRAEL)
Contact: Mitchell Plitnick, Jewish Voice for Peace, 510-465-1777 (office) 510-484-6472 (cell)