The need for Jewish dissent grows

Lynne Segal, Guardian Comment is Free, February 5:

Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) celebrates its first year with its eyes on Gaza, demanding an end to the Israeli blockade and, on the uneven playing field of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an end to human rights abuses on both sides.

IJV was formed a year ago to raise issues of human rights generally, but especially in that part of the world where we feel our voices might have most resonance, urging a fair and peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Happily, despite inevitable opposition, we quickly gained significant support and media coverage for our stance, especially in Jewish publications around the world.

Such exposure enabled us to further our goal in launching IJV, which was to change the parameters of the debate in this conflict: prioritising the issue of human rights, paying attention to the situation of both Palestinians and Israelis in the search for peace, opposing all forms of racism. Tragically, over this same year, we have seen no serious move coming from the vastly stronger party in the conflict, the Israeli state, towards ending the multiple human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories it controls.