European Jews Sign Letter Critical of Israel

Published: May 2nd 2010
in News » World

Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Pic: wikimedia commons

Over 3,000 European Jews, among them well known intellectuals, put their names on a petition that is critical of Israel's direction on settlements, stating that systematic support of the Israeli government does not help the Israeli people.


Those who affixed their names to the petition include Bernard-Henri Levy and Alain Finkielkraut, both French philosophers, and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leaders of the Green Party in the EU parliament.


Those behind the letter, which is entitled “European Jewish Call For Reason”, compare themselves to J Street, the progressive pro-Israel lobby group that has sprung up in the US. They will state their goals during a news conference at the EU parliament on Monday in Brussels.


Calling themselves JCall (, their objective is “to allow the opinions of European Jews, who have been silent for too long, to be expressed publicly and to allow a Jewish voice to be heard that is both committed to the state of Israel and critical of the current choices of its government.”


The signatories are largely from France, where most of the media attention to the letter has come from. The Jewish community there has been in a fierce debate over the contents of the petition, with the president of the country’s major Jewish group, CRIF, refusing to sign it because of its wording.


The petition argues that Israel faces existential threats, stating that the “the danger also lies in the occupation and the continuing pursuit of settlements in the West Bank and in the Arab districts of East Jerusalem. These policies are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable delegitimization process that Israel currently faces abroad.”


JCall aims to create a European non-partisan movement that is “the voice of reason to be heard by all.” The group wants to ensure the survival of Israel and a Jewish and democratic state.


“While the final decision belongs to the sovereign people of Israel, our commitment to Israel as Jews of the Diaspora obliges us to work towards reaching a just solution. Systematic support of Israeli government policy is dangerous and does not serve the true interests of the state of Israel,” states the letter.

Related articles: (European Jews, Israeli policies, settlements, East Jerusalem, Netanyahu, J Street)

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