Hundreds gather at Monument Circle in 2021 to demand an end to United States aid to Israel and supporting Palestinian resistance. Photo: Liberation.
Jewish Voice for Peace – Indiana, Students for Justice in Palestine – Butler University, Indy 10-BLM, Showing Up for Racial Justice – Indianapolis, PSL-Indianapolis, ANSWER Indiana, and the Hampton Institute express our thanks for Representative André Carson’s principled opposition to the ongoing brutal military occupation in Palestine. The Israeli government controls the lives of all people between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, but Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are not permitted to vote and are denied all other rights of citizenship. And within the Green Line, Jewish citizens have more rights than non-Jewish citizens. The Indianapolis JCRC may not think this qualifies as apartheid, but Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, and others certainly do.
Congressman Carson voted against a right-wing resolution designed to intimidate and silence members of Congress from speaking out for Palestinian rights. The resolution attempts to deny the reality that Palestinians have lived and known for decades, as well as the findings of the overwhelming majority of the human rights community: Israel is a racist and apartheid state. Furthermore, the resolution dangerously conflates criticism of Israel with antisemitism, making a mockery of the real struggle against all forms of bigotry and hate.
Congressman Carson thus took a stand for Palestinian rights, for the Jewish community, and for a foreign policy rooted in human rights for all people, without exception. He demonstrates unwavering courage and commitment to political equality and against occupation. Since Rep. Carson was elected to office in 2007, he has sought to engage with all sectors of central Indiana’s Jewish communities. He knows that we are diverse. No one organization or Jewish religious leader speaks for all Jews. Congressman Carson listens to all of us. Yet he is met with unceasing attacks.
The Indianapolis JCRC’s attempt to condemn Rep. Carson falls flat. First, it erroneously claims to represent the entirety of the Indianapolis Jewish community: it manifestly does not. There are a wide range of opinions on Israel within the Jewish community and a rapidly growing number of Jews who do not support the state of Israel or its current government. And the ranks of Jews of conscience continue to grow. But above all, the JCRC betrays Jewish values in defense of the indefensible. We know exactly where ethnonationalism leads and the cost apartheid imposes. The JCRC should too. Conflating Judaism with support for the State of Israel denigrates Judaism. We know firsthand that Congressman Carson does not dismiss the views, safety, or fundamental rights of his Jewish constituents. His actions and votes are consistent with his progressive values and are in step with the current views of Democratic voters. Soon, more and more Democratic voters will demand the same of their representatives. At long last.
At a time when Israel has one of its most right-wing, anti-democratic governments ever; when it attempts to abolish the only check on the government by displacing the traditional role of judicial review; as Palestinians face increased violence and ongoing displacement and dispossession, Jewish Voice for Peace-Indiana and the undersigned groups are proud and grateful to have a representative in Congress who squarely condemns apartheid and supports democracy. Constituents of Congressman Carson can send their thanks here.
About Jewish Voice for Peace – Indiana: we are the Indiana chapter of a national network of over 200,000 people who oppose anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East. You can find more information here.
Jewish Voice for Peace – Indiana
Students for Justice in Palestine – Butler University
Indy10 Black Lives Matter
Showing Up for Racial Justice – Indianapolis
Party for Socialism and Liberation – Indianapolis