JFREJ Policy on International Issues - Adopted by the Board of Directors, November 28th, 2002

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  1. JFREJ reaffirms its mission to fight racial and economic injustice in New York City.
  2. Our public activist, advocacy and educational programming will remain focused on this mission. Still, JFREJ values the growth of the Jewish left broadly speaking, as well as the diverse activist commitments of our members, and we encourage the exchange of ideas and information among them--on issues that fall inside and outside of this mission.
  3. We believe in collaborating with organizations with whom we have common cause. We abhor the "litmus test" syndrome that prevails in the organized Jewish community, and do not choose our allies based on their having cleared a set of political hurdles irrelevant to the issues on which we are making common cause.
  4. JFREJ will begin to take positions on foreign affairs in limited situations only: when the issue relates directly to our local work and taking a position facilitates that work, or when there is a clear and compelling need to present an alternative Jewish voice that is not being presented by other visible Jewish groups.

Specifically at this time, on the issues of the Israel/Palestine conflict and the war in Afghanistan, we take the following positions: JFREJ opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and supports a negotiated, just and secure peace for Israelis and Palestinians. JFREJ opposes collective punishment and attacks on civilians. We take these positions while reaffirming that JFREJ is a community of Jews with diverse political and ideologial relationships to this situation-JFREJ members are Zionists and post-Zionists, non-Zionists, anti-Zionists and those with no identification with these framings.

At the same time, we reiterate our belief in the Bundist tradition of doykayt ("hereness")-the idea that Jews, in coalition with others, should focus their struggle for universal equality and justice in the place where they live. In this spirit, JFREJ rejects the notion that as a Jewish American organization we are required to take a position on the Israel/Palestine conflict, nor do we believe that our identity or priorities as a Jewish organization should be determined by the actions of Jews in another country. We do believe that, in these instances, as residents of the United States, we have cause to speak out on matters related to our own government's foreign policies.