Saturday, August 6, 2011

Yes to the Social-Economic Revolution, No to Racism

The social-economic revolution is taking over Israel. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined so far, and many more join in every day. This popular, grassroots movement is changing the face of Israel, moving us in a direction of greater social justice.

Since this is a popular, grassroots movement, anyone can join in. That is the good news. The bad news is that some are using this protest movement to further their calls of racism and social exclusion (mostly against the Palestinians and the asylum seekers from Africa). Some people have begun using violence to oust the 'others (a few days ago a few left-wing activists tried to burn down the tents of some of the right-wing activists). This protest is not about racism or exclusion, it is about social justice for all.

As things get heated up a bit, it is more important than ever, to remember why we have all come together and continue to shake this land.

Six organizations joined together to issue the following statement, in Hebrew, Arabic and English.


חברים בארגונים קול אחר, מכון הנגב לאסטרטגיות של שלום ופיתוח, פסיכואקטיב, ידידות מעבר לגבולות, וקולות בנגב, אנחנו - אזרחים מהשורה - קוראים בקול רם וברור: 

כל ביטוי של גזענות ו/או אלימות עומד בניגוד לכל מה שהמאבק לצדק כלכלי-חברתי מייצג.

אנחנו שמחים על כך, שקבוצות ואנשים רבים מהחברה הישראלית מתאגדים יחדיו סביב מאבק חשוב זה. אך אנו מוחים בתוקף על כל ביטוי של גזענות, אלימות, הפלייה, הדרה, ביזוי ודיכוי של מגזרים וקבוצות. אלה גבולות המאבק ואלו גבולות הדמוקרטיה. גזענות ואפליה יכולים רק להעמיק את אי-הצדק הקיים .

       picture from the Arab-Jewish tent on Rothschild Blvd. in Tel-Aviv                                

أعضاء في منظَّمات صوت آخر، معهد النقب لاستراتيجيَّات السلام والتنمية، وصداقة ما بَعد الحدود، نحْن مواطنون عاديون، نصيح بصوت عالٍ وواضح:

إنّ كلّ عبارة عنصريّة و/أو عنف تناقِض المعاني المرجوَّة من النضال من أجْل العدالة الاقتصاديَّة-الاجتماعيَّة.

نحْن سعداء بسبب تكتُّل أشخاص وفئات كثيرة من سكان إسرائيل حوْل هذا النضال المهم. ولكنَّنا نحتجُّ بكلِّ شِدَّة ضدَّ كلّ أشكال العنصريَّة، العنف، التمييز، التهميش، الاحتقار وقمْع فئات ومجموعات. هذه هي حدود النضال وحدود الديمقراطيَّة. العنصريَّة والتمييز تؤدِّيان حتمًا إلى تعميق عَدم العدل الموجود.

We, members of Other Voice, Psychoactiv, the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, Friendship across Borders, Collot BaNegev, and Massad - the Social-Democratic Camp, we - ordinary people from Israeli society - say in one clear and unanimous voice:

Any expression of racism or violence is in direct contradiction to the social-economic struggle.

We are glad that so many groups and people are joining this protest movement, and are coming together in this very important struggle. However, we strongly protest any and all expressions of racism, violence, discrimination, social exclusion and oppression of sectors and groups. These are the limits of the protest moment and these are the limits of democracy. Racism and discrimination will only deepen the injustices that already exist.

                               more photos from the Jewish-Arab tent, in the heart of the Rotshcild tent city

Ha'am doresh tzedek chevrati
The people demand social justice!


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