The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) believes it is necessary to address the growing concerns within our community regarding the activities of anti-zionist Jewish groups and their potential impact on European Jewish communities. EUJS – as a Jewish, zionist, pluralistic, inclusive and non-partisan umbrella organisation – fully recognises and respects the diversity of opinions. However, it is essential to shed light on the challenges posed by certain anti-zionist Jewish organisations when they present themselves as representatives of the voice of the Jewry, with total disregard for the national Jewish bodies democratically elected to represent the Jewish people’s interests on a public and institutional level.
Zionism is defined as the movement for self-determination and statehood of the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland, the land of Israel. It recognises a profound connection between the Jewish people and the territory that has developed throughout millennia. EUJS wants to emphasise the deep connection between the people living in the diaspora and the beating heart of the Jewish people, Israel. Recognising the State of Israel’s right to exist is a direct consequence of this link and does not and will never mean the alienation of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.
In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 voting in favour of the establishment of the State of Israel. Anti-zionism opposes the right of self-determination and statehood of the Jewish people and differs largely from legitimate criticisms of the government of Israel. In fact, anti-zionism goes beyond disapproval of Israeli policies as it is an ideology actively advocating for the dismantling of the State of Israel and denying the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. It is crucial to remember that the political choices made by a government have never challenged the existence of any other nation. Thus, the question arises: Why Israel?
Anti-zionist Jewish groups constitute a small dissonant voice within the broader Jewish community. Claiming to represent the voice of global Jewry, their divisive nature disrupts the unity that is crucial for fostering a thriving and supportive environment, causing significant chaos within our Jewish communities, without taking into account the difficulties and antisemitic incidents our communities have been facing since October 7th.
Moreover, anti-zionists are frequently instrumentalised by organisations with extreme viewpoints, such as BDS, to further their own agenda often loaded with antisemitic ideologies. Although anti-zionist Jews represent a small minority within Jewish communities, their different and accommodating thoughts are appealing to organisations willing to tokenise Jews and distort the true essence of what zionism means. This manipulation not only endangers the welfare of the Jewish people but also negatively influences the online debate, spreading misinformation and altering the public perception of reality.
This is why it is crucial to acknowledge the potential damage anti-zionist Jewish organisations bring to the image of the Jewish people. Their actions still risk perpetuating harmful stereotypes and misconceptions about the Jewish community, leading to increased prejudice and discrimination.
This call is supported and co-signed by the following 21 national Jewish student Unions:
- Jüdische österreichische Hochschüler*innen (Austria)
- Union des étudiants juifs de Belgique (Belgium)
- Union of Jewish students and Youth (Bulgaria)
- Česká unie židovské mládeže (Czechia)
- Jødisk Ungdomssammenslutning (Denmark)
- Juutalainen Opiskelijayhdistys (Finland)
- Union des étudiants juifs de France (France)
- Jüdische Studierendenunion Deutschland (Germany)
- Εβραϊκή Νεολαία Ελλάδας (Greece)
- Unione Giovani Ebrei d’Italia (Italy)
- Dutch Union of Jewish Students (The Netherlands)
- Македонска Еврејска Младин (North Macedonia)
- Jewish Youth of Portugal (Portugal)
- Russian Union of Jewish Students (Russia)
- Judiska Ungdomsförbundet i Sverige (Sweden)
- Jevrejska Omladina Srbije (Serbia)
- Slovenská únia židovskej mládeže (Slovakia)
- Federación de Jóvenes Judíos en España (Spain)
- Union of Jewish Students Geneva (Geneva, Switzerland)
- Verein jüdischer Studenten Zürich (Zurich, Switzerland)
- Union of Jewish Students (United Kingdom and Ireland)