I had always been aware that there were Jews AND Israelis who have been protesting what the state of Israel has been doing but over the past few weeks I have listened to their voices and have come to appreciate their courage even more. These "insiders" are the most credible sources. They provide, in addition to the reports coming directly out of Gaza, especially those by internationals on the ground, the final confirmation that something is indeed horribly wrong. These Jewish and Israeli people have nothing, in terms of worldly benefits, to gain from being dissidents and yet they are crying out to Israel and the rest of the world. They have been demanding an end to what is going on. My greatest surprise came a few weeks ago when I learned of Israeli citizens formally ASKING the world to boycott Israel.
"As if the occupation was not enough, the brutal ongoing repression of the Palestinian population, the construction of settlements and the siege of Gaza - now comes the bombardment of the civilian population: men, women, old folks and children. Hundreds of dead, hundreds of injured, overwhelmed hospitals, and the central medicine depot of Gaza bombed. The ship Dignity of the Free Gaza movement which brought emergency medical supplies and a number of physicians was also attacked. Israel has returned to openly committing war crimes, worse than what we have seen in a long time.I have prepared a list which I present below of some of the groups which I have encountered. I expect that there are many more and I have not yet begun to compile a list of prominent Jewish and Israeli individuals who have been speaking out against the occupation.
"Israeli media do not expose their viewers to the horrors and to the voices of severe criticism of these crimes. The story told is uniform. Israeli dissidents are denounced as traitors. Public opinion including that of the Zionist left supports the Israeli policy uncritically and without reservation.
"Israel's destructive criminal policy will not cease without a massive intervention by the international community. However, except for some rather weak official condemnation, the international community is reluctant to intervene,. The United States openly supports the Israeli violence and Europe, although voicing some condemnation, is unwilling to seriously consider withdrawing the "gift" it handed Israel by upgrading its relations with the European Union...."See the entire text of message, "A Call From Within - signed by Israeli citizens".
Before you review the list here is a video, "Israeli Soldiers Refuse to Serve In Gaza" which presents a perspective which many would find surprising but which gives me and all those against the continuation of the violence, a hope that we embrace tightly. The leaders might have the power to delude and corrupt but the Great Spirit continues to speak and move from the grassroots.
Israeli academics hit back over bid to pass law that would criminalise them. Backlash over threat to outlaw supporters of boycott movement aimed at ending the continued occupation of the West Bank.
Guardian Observer | Sunday 11 July, 2010
"An academic backlash has erupted in Israel over proposed new laws, backed by the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, to criminalise a handful of Israeli professors who openly support a campaign against the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel has gained rapid international support since Israeli troops stormed a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships in May, killing nine activists. Israeli attention has focused on the small number of activists, particularly in the country's universities, who have openly supported an academic boycott of Israeli institutions." Read more...
About: "In 1989, a meeting was convened in Brussels between prominent Israeli and Palestinian women peace activists. The meeting initiated an on-going dialogue that in 1994 resulted in the establishment of The Jerusalem Link comprising two women's organizations—Bat Shalom on the Israeli side, and the Jerusalem Center for Women on the Palestinian side. The two organizations share a set of political principles, which serve as the foundation for a cooperative model of co-existence between our respective peoples.
Bat Shalom is an Israeli national feminist grassroots organization of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women working together for a genuine peace grounded in a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, respect for human rights, and an equal voice for Jewish and Arab women within Israeli society.
Bat Shalom North was formed in 1993, by Jewish and Palestinian women from the kibbutzim, moshavim, villages and towns in the region of northern Israel known as Megiddo, Nazareth and the Valleys. The group identified the need to work together toward full equality of rights between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.
We, the Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women of Bat Shalom, call upon all women to join our active struggle for peace and equality. We refuse to silently bear witness to the destruction of the hope and future of a peaceful reconciliation."
About: "B'TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.
B'Tselem in Hebrew literally means "in the image of," and is also used as a synonym for human dignity. The word is taken from Genesis 1:27 "And God created humans in his image. In the image of God did He create him." It is in this spirit that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights." Read more...
About: "Bnei Avraham is an activity based group born out of the desperate situation in the city of Hebron. The group has been active for more then a year now and is composed of Israeli activists from various backgrounds. Our main focus is on-the-ground joint Palestinian-Israeli activity in the city of Hebron, Targeted to disturbing the occupation, disrupting the segregation and apartheid regime, creating a basis for understanding and cooperation among all the members." Read more...
Coalition of Women for Peace
About: "The Coalition of Women for Peace brings together independent women and 10 feminist peace organizations who work relentlessly for peace and justice. Founded in November 2000, after the outbreak of the Second Intifada, the Coalition today is a leading voice in the peace movement.
The Coalition is committed to the struggle to end the occupation; to the full involvement of women in peace negotiations; to an end to the excessive militarization of Israeli society; to equality, inclusion, and justice for Palestinian citizens of Israel; to equality and social justice for all inhabitants of Israel.
In addition to supporting the work of its member organizations, the Coalition carries out its own activities – mass rallies, campaigns and educational activity. It runs outreach and advocacy programs within Israeli society, and activities which involve solidarity and cooperation with Palestinian women in the occupied territories.
The Coalition has a broad international reach. It is networked with peace organizations in over 200 cities around the world, and members of the Coalition frequently represent the Israeli peace movement in international forums. On several occasions, demonstrations held in Israel have been supported by (or inspired) solidarity actions in over 150 locations worldwide, many of which were covered extensively in the media."
Courage To Refuse
About: "Courage to Refuse was founded following the publication of The Combatants Letter in 2002, by a group of 50 combat officers and soldiers. The initiators of the letter, Captain David Zonshein and Lieutenant Yaniv Itzkovits, officers in an elite unit, have served for four years in compulsory service, and another eight years as reserve soldiers, including long periods of active combat both in Lebanon and in the occupied territories.
During their reserve service in Gaza, in the midst of the second Intifada, the two realised that the missions confided to them as commanders in the IDF had in fact nothing to do with the defence of the State of Israel, but were rather intended to expand the colonies at the price of oppressing the local Palestinian population. Many of the commands issued to them were, in fact, harmful to the strategic interests of Israel." Read more...
The Geneva Initiative
About: In addition to presenting a detailed blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the GI aims to bring that moment of peace closer, by showing the way and preparing public opinion and leadership to be accepting of the real compromises required to solve the conflict.
The Geneva Initiative NGOs educate and campaign, both locally and internationally, that it is in the best interest of Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate directly in order to reach a realistic, dignified, and sustainable 2-state solution in which both peoples can build a brighter future, as is embodied in the model Geneva Accord." Read more...
About: "Hadash is a left-wing political party in Israel. Hadash defines itself as a 'Jewish-Arab Party'. Most of its voters and leaders are Israeli Arab citizens of Israel. It has three legislators in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset. The party supports evacuation of all Israeli settlements, a complete withdrawal by Israel from all territories occupied as a result of the 1967 Six-day War, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in those territories. It also supports the right of return or compensation for Palestinian refugees. In addition to issues of peace and security, Hadash is also known for being active on social and environmental issues. 
Hadash defines itself as a non-Zionist party, originally in keeping with Marxist opposition to nationalism. It calls for recognition of Palestinian Arabs as a national minority within Israel. " Read more...
Israeli Anarchists Against The Wall
About: "It is the duty of Israeli citizens to resist immoral policies and actions carried out in our name. We believe that it is possible to do more than demonstrate inside Israel or participate in humanitarian relief actions. Israeli apartheid and occupation isn't going to end by itself - it will end when it becomes ungovernable and unmanageable. It is time to physically oppose the bulldozers, the army and the occupation." Read more...
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
About: "ICAHD is a non-violent, direct-action group originally established to oppose and resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. As our activists gained direct knowledge of the brutalities of the Occupation, we expanded our resistance activities to other areas - land expropriation, settlement expansion, by-pass road construction, policies of "closure" and "separation," the wholesale uprooting of fruit and olive trees and more. The fierce repression of Palestinian efforts to "shake off" the Occupation following the latest Intifada has only added urgency to our efforts.
As a direct-action group, ICAHD is comprised of members of many Israeli peace and human rights organizations. All of our work in the Occupied Territories is closely coordinated with local Palestinian organizations.
Since its founding, ICAHD's activities have extended to three interrelated spheres: resistance and protest actions in the Occupied Territories; efforts to bring the reality of the Occupation to Israeli society; and mobilizing the international community for a just peace."
Jews Against The Occupation: A Jewish Voice of Opposition to the War on Palestinians
About: Jews Against the Occupation is an organization of progressive, secular and religious Jews of all ages throughout the New York City area advocating peace through justice for Palestine and Israel. Our points of unity are as follows:
NO OCCUPATION IN OUR NAME
We as American Jews reject the Israeli government assertion that it is "necessary" to subjugate Palestinians for the sake of keeping Jews safe. We assert that security can only come from mutual respect, and that the occupation of Palestine is only worsening the position of Jews in the Middle East and around the world.
RESTORE HUMAN & CIVIL RIGHTS
The Israeli military fires bone-crushing rubber bullets and live ammunition at unarmed Palestinian civilians engaged in peaceful protest, failing to distinguish between peaceful and violent resistance. The Israeli government has been demolishing Palestinian houses and crops in the Occupied Territories, while allowing Jewish settlers -- many of them American -- to illegally occupy the same land.
END U.S. AID TO ISRAEL
The U.S. government provides more aid to Israel than to any other country—the vast majority of this is for military purposes. Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have propped up the occupation and fueled the Israeli government’s war machine (as well as disguising the occupation’s true cost). This aid must end.
STOP ECONOMIC ATTACKS ON PALESTINE
The Israeli government has attacked the Palestinian economy by: closing Palestinian banks; imposing extreme taxes on business; withdrawing operating licenses; destroying industrial equipment; bulldozing farmland and banning fishing; restricting workers' movement; controlling the export of Palestinian goods; closing the borders of the Occupied Territories; and refusing to fund infrastructure like water and electricity -- even in Arab villages within Israel.
LET PALESTINIANS RETURN HOME
Thousands of Palestinians were driven out of their houses and off of their farms during and after the creation of Israel. They must be allowed to return to their homeland.
ANTI-SEMITISM VS. CRITIQUES OF ISRAEL
Jews Against the Occupation stands firmly against anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms. We see our historical struggle against anti- Semitism--a cornerstone of European white supremacist ideology--as inherently linked to all struggles against oppression. We therefore stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom.
Judaism is a cultural and religious identity, which must not be equated with Zionism, a political movement. Criticism of the state of Israel, its policies, or the idea of a Jewish state does not by itself constitute anti-Semitism. Dismissing critics of Israel or of Zionism as "anti-Semitic" is a means of stifling debate and masking the impact of the occupation."
About: MachsomWatch, in existence since 2001, is an organisation of peace activist Israeli women against the Israeli Occupation of the territories and the systematic repression of the Palestinian nation. We call for Palestinian freedom of movement within their own territory and for an end to the Occupation that destroys Palestinian society and inflicts grievous harm on Israeli society.
About: "The Occupation Magazine was established in October 2004 by a group of Israeli anti-occupation activists who were disturbed by the growing discrepancy between the grim reality which they observed in the Occupied Territories , and the way in which it was (and is) reported in the main stream media. The ongoing colonization policy in the Occupied Territories is being misrepresented by the Israeli and US media as "fight against terror" and a "struggle for Israel's existence / security". This is while in reality, the colonization policies promote terror, and endanger the future of both nations in this country.
The aim of this website is to provide information and commentary on the ongoing developments in the Occupied Territories in Hebrew and English. The Editors of the Occupation Magazine represent a range of opinions as to the optimal solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, we are united in the belief that a viable solution must be based on the unconditional end to the Israeli military occupation, and on principles of equality, justice and mutual respect."
One Voice Movement
About: The OneVoice Movement is an international mainstream grassroots movement with over 640,000 signatories in roughly equal numbers both in Israel and in Palestine, and 1,800 highly-trained youth leaders. It aims to amplify the voice of the overwhelming but heretofore silent majority of moderates who wish for peace and prosperity, empowering them to demand accountability from elected representatives and work toward a two-state solution guaranteeing an end to occupation and violence, and a viable, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel.
The Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum
About: "The "Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGOs Forum" is a dynamic, yet formal infrastructure, promoting ongoing cooperation and interaction between active Palestinian and Israeli Peace NGOs. Forum members work together to influence decision making and public opinion, support the peace process and reconciliation efforts by mobilizing civil society and greater populations of the region." Read more...
About: It is, as far as we know, a world precedent that bereaved families, victims from both sides, embark on a joint reconciliation mission while the conflict is still active.
Consisting of several hundreds of bereaved families, half Palestinian and half Israeli, The Families Forum has played a crucial role since its inception in 1995, in spearheading a reconciliation process between Israelis and Palestinians. The Forum members have all lost immediate family members due to the violence in the region.
About: "Peace Now is the largest extra-parliamentary movement in Israel, the country’s oldest peace movement and the only peace group to have a broad public base. The movement was founded in 1978 during the Israeli-Egyptian peace talks. At a moment when these talks appeared to be collapsing, a group of 348 reserve officers and soldiers from Israeli army combat units published an open letter to the Prime Minister of Israel calling upon the government to make sure this opportunity for peace was not lost. Tens of thousands of Israelis sent in support for the letter, and the movement was born."
True Torah: Jews Against Zionism
About: "The relatively new concept of Zionism began only about one hundred years ago and since that time Torah-true Jewry has steadfastly opposed the Zionist ideology. This struggle is rooted in two convictions:
1. Zionism, by advocating a political and military end to the Jewish exile, denies the very essence of our Diaspora existence. We are in exile by Divine Decree and may emerge from exile solely via Divine Redemption. All human efforts to alter a metaphysical reality are doomed to end in failure and bloodshed. History has clearly borne out this teaching.
2. Zionism has not only denied our fundamental belief in Heavenly Redemption it has also created a pseudo-Judaism which views the essence of our identity to be a secular nationalism. Accordingly, Zionism and the Israeli state have consistently endeavored, via persuasion and coercion, to replace a Divine and Torah centered understanding of our people hood with an armed materialism."