We, Israeli citizens, oppose the actions of the Israeli government and declare our commitment to act against them. We refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish-supremacist regime, and call upon the international community to immediately intervene in defense of the Palestinian people and the implementation of their inalienable rights.
As individuals who come from a settler society and belong to the side of the oppressor, following years of attempting to shift public opinion in Israel in order to change the foundations of the current regime, we have long come to the conclusion that as with apartheid South Africa, it would be impossible to effect the needed change to the nature of the regime without external intervention.
Israel can only maintain its regime of colonisation, apartheid and occupation of the Palestinian people through international complicity. Israeli atrocities against Palestiinians take place under the shade of Impunity it is granted by the international communiy, and as long as the international and the European establishment maintain institutional ties with Israel, it is unlikely to be held accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people.
The current opportunities in Amsterdam and Barcelona to end a cooperation agreement and twinning with the city of Tel Aviv, at the heels of yet another atrocious Israeli war on Gaza, is of the utmost importance. Things are changing. More and more people are speaking out against Israeli apartheid. It is now your turn.
Every so often, Israel commits yet another massacre against the population of Gaza, who already endure daily violence by the 14-year-old brutal siege imposed on approximately two million people. In recent weeks the Israeli government has up-scaled its attempts to seize Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem and house Jewish settlers in them with the aim of completing the Judaization of the city that began in 1967. Palestinians in historic Palestine face over 65 laws that automatically discriminate against them for not being Jewish. Over 8 million Palestinians are not allowed to return to their lands and homes. Israel holds over 5.300 political prisoners in the Westbank, where Palestinians live under military occupation.
Tel Aviv is the axis of Israeli apartheid. Not only does it represent Israeli apartheid against all the Palestinian people, but it is directly responsible of carrying out the Zionist project: stealing Palestinian land and expelling Palestinians from it. At least five Palestinian villages were destroyed in 1948 to build the settlement of Tel Aviv and about 95% of Yaffa’s residents were ethnically cleansed. Even today, Palestinians in Yaffa are under attack, faced by an ongoing campaign of expulsion, with more than 300 pending eviction orders against Palestinian families in the city.
We call on all European institutions - and particularly the Amsterdam and Barcelona city councils - to end their relations with the city council of Tel Aviv, to end their complicity with Israeli apartheid, and stand side by side with the Palestinian people.
Just like South Africa's apartheid regime, Israel's apartheid will have supporters to the bitter end. History will not remember them kindly when Palestine is free. Femke Halsema and Ada Colau, please choose to stand on the right side of history and end complicity with Israeli apartheid.