Achvat Amim: We Will Not Be Silenced By The Jewish Agency

Two weeks ago, MASA Israel officially withdrew their support of Achvat Amim, an educational and volunteer program that engages young adults with the complex realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This decision was made based on false allegations brought up by the extreme right wing NGO, Ad Kan. In response to these events and in the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, we, the current cohort of Achvat Amim, wanted to share our collective resolutions for the coming year:

We resolve to work towards tzedek (justice)

At the core of Achvat Amim is the belief that all people have the right to self determination in the place they call home. Fueled by the values of compassion and love, we strive to live out the Jewish ideal of loving thy neighbor. We know that our neighbor’s liberation is just as important as our own, and that all of our experiences of oppression are tied together.

We resolve to be resilient

We will not be told how to express our Zionism, our Judaism, or our sense of urgency to bring about liberation for all people. Driven by our values, we will continue to work, simply because we know it to be good.

We resolve to not only tolerate our differences, but celebrate them

Our strength lies within our diversity of identity, thought, and experience. We know each of us possess beautiful and profound complexities, and that when we break out of the dichotomies of Jew and non Jew, Israeli and Palestinian, religious and secular, we open up a world of opportunity for growth and understanding.

We resolve to bring others into the movement

A 24 foot tall concrete barrier seeks to divide us; to hide truth from us. And yet, sitting in Hebrew class we can see the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in the Kidron Valley below. Fighting for the rights of people — who are quite literally our neighbors — should not be condemned for being “political.” Going forward, we urge all of our communities to join our movement for peace, as there is room for all under the tent of solidarity and freedom.

Achvat Amim is a volunteer program in Jerusalem for young adults that directly engages with the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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