On January 5, Ali Abunimah’s Electronic Intifada reposted a January 1, 2013 petition launched by Jews for the Palestinian Right of Return.

The text accompanying the petition is profoundly moving. It also makes the following important points:

1. As a result of systematic ethnic cleansing, seventy percent of Palestinians live in exile, the world’s largest refugee population.

2. When the state of Israel was formed in 1948, over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly disposed from their homes, after which the new Israeli government launched a systematic terror campaign forcing tens of thousands of others to flee Palestine.

3. The 1967 war, funded by the US, in which Israel occupied and colonized the remainder of historic Palestine.

4. Liberation, for all colonized peoples, means reversing dispossession, i.e. allowing them to return to their homeland. This right is affirmed in UN Resolution 194

5. Many progressives, even those who criticize Israel’s 1967 occupation, claim that the Palestinian right of return is “unrealistic” because it would end the Jewish majority on which Israel’s “Jewish state” is based. In doing so, they are defending a state whose very existence depends on structural denial of Palestinian rights.

It ends with the following declaration: “As Jews of conscience, we call on all supporters of social justice to stand up for Palestinian Right of Return and a democratic state throughout historic Palestine — “From the River to the Sea” — with equal rights for all.”

Non-Jews and non-Jewish organizations are also encouraged to sign the petition here

photo credit: samdaq (AT) hotmail via photopin cc