JCall Launches "European Jewish Call for Reason"

Published: May 10th 2010
in News » World

Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Bernard-Henri Lévy
Pic: JCall
JCall European Parliament Conference in Brussels, Belgium
Pic: JCall

On Monday, May 3, 2010 a group of European Jews calling itself JCall met with the European Parliament to launch a petition and campaign dubbed “European Jewish Call for Reason”.


The campaign is centered on a petition that calls for the establishment of a two-state solution as the answer for peace in the State of Israel while calling Israeli occupation in the West Bank along with the pursuit of settlements in East Jerusalem “morally and politically wrong.”


JCall believes it represents European Jewish voices, particularly but not exclusively to the Jewish Diaspora who the group believes have “been silent for too long” regarding their disapproval of Israeli government policy. The European Parliament conference held in Brussels, Belgium, served as the official launch of the group’s petition, which has generated over 4,600 signatories to date over the span of approximately 10 days that the petition has been up on the JCall website.


According to an exclusive interview that Shalom Life conducted with JCall’s native English speaker, Barbara Oudiz, “The conference went very well…bus loads of people from France, from Belgium, Israeli public figures, parliamentary deputies” attended the event. Demonstrating the rise of enthusiasm and attention brought forth by JCall, Oudiz says, “The room holds450 people roughly, and it was totally full.”


Among the attendees in support of JCall were philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, representing France; and Daniel Cohn Bendit, a member of the European Parliament’s Green Party. Political ambassadors included Ali Primor, former Israeli ambassador to Germany and Elie Barnavi, former Israeli ambassador to France.


JCall believes it represents Jewish voices not currently represented in Europe that Oudiz says “do not follow systematically the policies of the Israeli government.”


The voices JCall represents are in support of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state but are in disapproval of Israel’s occupation in the West Bank, the pursuit of settlements in East Jerusalem, and believe that the answer for peace in Israel is the development of a “viable Palestinian state.” They believe the above can only be achieved with the establishment of a two-state solution.


The petition states that “systematic support of Israeli government policy is dangerous and does not serve the true interests of the state of Israel.” The petition, according to Oudiz, intends to “put pressure on European leadership and create a dialogue with the Israelis to end occupation.” The petition also states that “the survival of Israel as a Jewish democratic state depends on the creation of a viable sovereign Palestinian state.”


The controversial European group has been compared in many news reports to J Street, the American Jewish lobby group who describe themselves as “pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans” who have in the past expressed criticisms of Israeli policy. Similarly to JCall, the American-based group pushes for the establishment of a two-state solution and identifies itself as primarily but not exclusively as Jews who are in support of the State of Israel but believe that the nation’s security and existence as a democratic state relies on a Palestinian sovereign state.


Related articles: (JCall, Cohn-Bendit, Bernard-Henri Levy, Oudiz, J Street, Green Party, two state, Barnavi, proximity talks )

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