The fight against racism commands us to be part of all fights against racism, so as to ensure the wellbeing of each and everyone, and eliminate hatred wherever it comes from. As Jewish students, it is of primary importance that we take a firm antiracist stance that prevents divisions created by a fight of each community for its own and strive for unity between antiracist movements.
Racism is a phenomenon that is skyrocketing all across Europe and the world. The upheaval caused by the killing of George Floyd in the USA brought the reality of racism back to the forefront of international discussion and was an enlightenment for many. It is unequivocal that a passive approach is no longer acceptable and we have to use the influence we have as student unions and Jews to actively stand against racism in all its forms within and outside the Jewish community. As the EU’s Anti-racist Action plan 2020-2025 states: “Discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin is prohibited in the European Union (EU). Yet such discrimination persists in our society. It is not enough to be against racism. We have to be active against it”.
The European Union of Jewish Students believes:
1. Racism is the symptom of a fundamentally unequal society. It stems from the domination dynamics built upon European colonialism.
2. Racism comes in different forms such as anti-black racism, antisemitism, anti-Muslim and against other minorities. Overt expressions of individual racism and racial discrimination are the most obvious. But other, less explicit forms of racism and racial discrimination, based on unconscious bias, can be equally damaging.
3. Racism can also be combined with other grounds of discrimination and hatred, including, but not limited to, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability. The importance of an intersectional approach is thus paramount. As the EU’s Equality Strategist states: ” Intersectional analysis aims to reveal multiple identities, exposing the different types of intersectional and multiple discrimination and disadvantage that occur as a consequence of the combination of identities and the intersection of gender with other grounds.”
4. The Jewish community is a racially and culturally diverse community and it should be celebrated and taught as such. As racialized people, Jews experience racism. Furthermore, Jews of colour can be discriminated against on two or more grounds as they have an additional intersecting layer.
a. The privileges associated with Whiteness include power, influence, money, property, education, dominance, participation, being heard and having a voice, cliques and networks, and positions inherited over generations. The mistaken consideration of Jews as “white people” can sometimes actually result in the confirmation of antisemitic stereotypes such as the excessive influence of Jews in business, politics and the media.
5. Not enough academic research has been conducted in progressive spheres regarding antisemitism and its connections with racism as well as the ways to combat it.
6. The objective of anti-racism as described above is to strive for equality for all racialized minorities including Jews and to address all kinds of systemic oppression.
The European Union of Jewish Students resolves:
1. To uplift and amplify the voices of racialized people when fighting for their cause as they are the first ones to be targeted.
a. EUJS resolves to put forward and to take into account the experience and opinions of Jews of colour in its organization in order to have a more complete and diverse representation of the Jewish people.
b. EUJS resolves to encourage political and associative initiatives promoting equality.
2. To do everything in its power to implement policies and actions in order to address all forms of racism such as anti-black racism, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma and against other racialized minorities; as well as racism within the Jewish community.
3. To educate its members on the matters of racism in all of its configurations.
a. EUJS resolves to raise awareness amongst its board and its member unions on the importance of anti-racism and the multidimensional aspect of discrimination.
b. EUJS resolves to provide to those who wish so, in addition to education, the tools necessary to take an active stance against racism.
c. EUJS resolves to fight and not give ground or space to discrimination in between Jews no matter their ethnic background and Jewish heritage.
4. To encourage academic research connecting antisemitism to racism and thus push anti-racist spaces to take into account antisemitism.
a. EUJS resolves to encourage data collection regarding the diverse experiences of discrimination and antisemitism.