No 817 Posted by fw, July 25, 2013
Before getting to Maya’s story, here’s a brief tale of my own to explain why I, a non-Jew, am an ardent supporter of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).
In February of this year I posted a story about TV Ontario’s shelving of a much-celebrated British television serial, The Promise, about the 1940’s British Mandate of Palestine and its present-day aftermath. Although I contacted three organizations about TVO’s withdrawal of the series — two Canadian pro-Palestinian organizations and one US-based media voice for the Palestinian cause — none bothered to respond much less acknowledge receipt of my email.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), on the other hand, did respond with a comment on its MuzzleWatch website, which remains accessible here: British Mandate mini-series The Promise not showing in Ontario.
Turning now to Maya’s story, today I received the following email from Maya Wind, which I am taking the liberty to repost here. I encourage all those who support “equality and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis, together” to support the work of the Jewish Voice for Peace.
Here’s Maya’s email —
My name is Maya Wind.
I am 23, and I am an Israeli conscientious objector. In 2008, along with nine other high school seniors, I helped form a group named the ‘Shministim.’
On the date of our draft, each of us was sent to military prison for our refusal to serve in an army that violated the human rights of Palestinians. I spent several months in military prison and in detention until my release in March 2009.
Refusing military service turned into one of the most challenging journeys I ever embarked on. I was going against everything I had been brought up into. I was raised to believe that the ultimate way to give back to my society was by enlisting, and that only through violence could the Jewish people hope to survive.
In prison I received hundreds of letters of support for my refusal, and learned that there is a larger global movement working for equality and justice for all Palestinians and Israelis, together.
And honestly, Jewish Voice for Peace was the foundation of that global network.
JVP’s support made us visible to thousands and thousands of people. They shared not simply our stories, but the reasons behind our choices. They broadcast not just what was happening to us, but what was happening to Palestinians who are made to suffer under far worse conditions for their resistance. They helped people see what we were doing, and also what they could do to take a stand for justice and equality.
Since I moved to New York, I’ve gotten to see JVP’s work in person. And I can tell you that the battle is incredibly important in the US, where it is difficult even just to begin an honest conversation about what is happening in Israel and Palestine – especially in Jewish communities.
I feel like in JVP I am seeing a piece of the future, of what the world can, and will, be like one day – where we face those challenges openly, and work to resolve them.
I am proud to be a member of an organization that is doing so much to create opportunities for Jews in the United States, along with our allies, to really act on our principles.