At least 200 Jews, including peace and human rights activistis, writers and artists and others, representing themselves and a number of groups and organizations from a number of countries around the world, have signed a letter titled “We Will Not Be Celebrating”, to express their rejection to celebrating Israel’s 60th anniversary.The letter included strong statements regarding Israel’s past and current policies and acts against the Palestinian people.

“We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state founded on terrorism, massacres and the dispossession of another people from their land. We cannot celebrate the birthday of a state that even now engages in ethnic cleansing, that violates international law, that is inflicting a monstrous collective punishment on the civilian population of Gaza and that continues to deny to Palestinians their human rights and national aspirations,” the letter states.

The letter also draws a parallel between the Holocaust and the Nakba, something that Israelis and many Jews strongly refuse to accept.

“Surely it is now time to acknowledge the narrative of the other, the price paid by another people for European anti-Semitism and Hitler’s genocidal policies. As Edward Said emphasized, what the Holocaust is to the Jews, the Nakba is to the Palestinians.”

He letter has a clear indication to the right of the Palestinian people to return to their land which they were forcefully driven out of in 1948.
“Under international law and sanctioned by UN resolution 194, refugees from war have a right to return or compensation. Israel has never accepted that right. We will not be celebrating.”

At the end of their letter, the signers stress that reconciliation between the Palestinians and the Israelis is needed prior celebrating Israel. “We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East,” the letter says.