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Press release May, 30th 2010

Four weeks after having launched our appeal, more then 6 000 persons have already signed it. The media coverage it has received in many countries, from Turkey to Canada, from Tunisia to the United States, and of course in most of European countries and in Israel, shows the interest it aroused. This week-end, this interest by the medias culminated with the front page and the three pages that the daily Liberation devoted to us. The article exposes rather fairly our approach, although the short cut of its title could lead to think that we attack Israel, and not its government, as it is the case.

Rapidly, JCall has become a reference, to the point where the first question asked to Benjamin Netanyahu in the interview given to Le Figaro, during his visit in France this week, concerned what he thought of our appeal. It has to be noted that, in his answer, the Israeli Prime Minister did not question European Jews’ legitimacy to take position on Israeli policies, what he said was only that « we erred ». This openness to debate, which exists within Israeli society, does not seem to be shared on this side of the Mediterranean Sea, considering the numerous attacks against us and the attempts of hijacking our brand name. These attempts will have legal consequences. These reactions toward us measure the fear that part of Israeli Right and its supporters here feel of seeing a development of a criticism against Israeli policies initiated by Jewish figures who cannot be suspected of hostility toward Israel.

As for us, we shall go on looking for debate with all our opponents, because we are convinced that it is necessary, and even in accordance with the spirit of Zionism to which we are attached. One of Zionism’s great benefits is to have allowed Jews to become again the subjects of their own History. If one cannot doubt that the national dimension of that newly found identity cannot express itself but in Israel, one cannot doubt either that Jewish citizens from other countries, who identify with this State, may and must take their share in a debate on the future of this country, which will have consequences for them too.

This controversy about the nature of the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora is not new, it has always existed since the State has been created. Let us only bear in mind the exchanges, sometimes difficult, between Nahum Goldman, ex-chairman of the World Jewish Congress and David Ben Gurion.

Besides, the right to interfere into this debate has been recognized by a number of Israeli figures who are signing during these days a text supporting JCall. Let us note, too, that those who question this right never expressed themselves when Jewish voices in the Diaspora supported Israeli government’s policy, as it has been again the case with Elie Wiesel on Jerusalem.

As we committed ourselves, we shall continue our action and expand toward other European countries. The echo our appeal has aroused beyond the Atlantic Ocean, with the launching in support of JCall of a petition « For the sake of Zion » [1] initiated by a number of personalities, among them rabbis, writers and important members of the American Jewish community, which we relayed in our press review, proves that our action does express a signicative part of the Diaspora.

Our website will be upgraded in order to reflect JCall expansion. In its new version, you willl find :

• A translation of our appeal into other languages • A selection of texts written by personalities, expressing the reasons that led them to support us • The Brussels conference on May 3rd , when JCall has been launched (date which became the « JCall Day », will be available online, as a press review about this event

Waiting for future developments which will be communicated to you later, we call upon you to go on and make our appeal signed.

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