WE MUST CHOOSE TO BE PARTNERS
If we want to build a future here in the region without fear, a future comprised of security, freedom, and peace, we must create a true Arab-Jewish partnership here, not one of words only, but of action. This is not only the right thing to do, but the just thing to do as well.
Today, it is of the utmost importance for us say unequivocally the all harm to innocent people is completely illegitimate. The scenes that we have witnessed throughout the various parts of the country, the harming of civilians, synagogues, and property, and the gangs of people organizing with the aim of “taking revenge”, threatening, and harming people - are illegitimate. We must not accept or tolerate violence committed by Jews against Arabs, nor of Arabs against Jews. We have seen this before, we already know. Any situation in which any of us, Arab or Jewish, fear for our lives at home or in the streets, is unbearable, and we must not allow ourselves to be dragged there.
Over the past decade we have seen time and time again a number of demagogues who have built up their power base, influence, wealth, and political movements around separating us, dividing us, and attempting to conquer. The time has come for us to say no. Benjamin Netanyahu, and the ministers within his government, as well as Betzael Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, have done and continue to do everything in their power to increase the fire and tension that we now see. Even now, at the height of this horrid tension, they are trying to increase the power of the flames, without caring about the lives that will be lost and the high price this will inflict upon us all. The bombings in Gaza, the violent escalations in Jerusalem, what we are seeing in Lod, all of this could have been avoided. None of these horrible events were destined to be. They all severely impair and disfigure the possibility of all of us here living together a full and fulfilling life with security.
Therefore, this present moment is a test for the vast majority of Arabs and Jews who ant to live here together in peace, security, and equality - we must choose to stand together.
In recent weeks we have seen the Israeli Police conduct severe acts of violence under the direction of the Government. This is the same government and police force that have been ignoring the rampage of organized crime groups in Arab society for years and abandoned the personal security due to these communities. Instead of sending police officers to beat and harass Arab citizens, it is necessary for the Government to utilize the police force to communicate with the leadership of the Arab public and create and implement plans to combat violence, crime, sexual assault, and the proliferation of illegal weapons.
These are difficult days that we find ourselves in. At the same time, however, days like these should not distract us from our vision of living together in security, peace, and equality. On the contrary, days such as these should emphasize just how very much this vision is worth fighting for. There is a vast majority of Arabs and Jews in this country who believe in this, and this majority must make its voice heard. Together, we will build a place for all of us.
Standing Together is the grassroots people's movement in Israel. We organize Jews and Arabs, localy and nationally, around campaigns for peace, equality, and social justice, in order to build power and transform Israeli society.
We organize a wide range of people from across the country around pressing issues that affect us all. We recognize the interconnectedness between struggles including the growing social and economic disparities in Israeli society, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories, attacks on democratic freedoms, and the hardships faced by minorities such as Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, the LGBTQ community, women, and immigrants. Our analysis spans across issues: we know that we cannot address one of these challenges without solving the others.