Speaking in an interview with FNA, Rabbi David Mivasair said, “Most Jewish people oppose it [annexation]; many oppose it for it is fundamentally wrong to steal other people’s land. But I think the most important thing is the suffering of Palestinian people […] Zionists have been taking lands from Palestinians, destroyed their villages, killed them; so, stopping the annexation is not really the goal, we have to go beyond that.”
Rabbi David Mivasair, an anti-Israel activist, is an active member of Independent Jewish Voices of Canada. He is active in the struggle for justice for Palestinians. He was arrested by Israeli forces for his activism in the West Bank during his four year stay in Palestine.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: How do you find Netanyahu’s recent plan to annex more Palestinian lands?
A: The annexation plan is completely immoral and illegal. Actually, it is the continuation of what Israel has been doing since the very beginning of taking Palestinian lands, getting the Palestinian people out of it and really destroying their lives. So, in a way it is nothing new. I think Netanyahu is just using the opportunity of Trump’s Administration to further entrench what Israel has been doing for over seventy years. Most Jewish people oppose it; many oppose it for it is fundamentally wrong to steal other people’s land. But I think the most important thing is the suffering of Palestinian people.
Q: How should people around the world come to know and feel the pain and agony inflicted on the Palestinians by Israeli annexation?
A: I do not think people wonder about it unless they are very naïve or they have not been paying attention. Anyone who has been paying attention over the years would expect us. People do not really ask me this kind of philosophical question why is Israel doing that? The questions we have are more pragmatic: what can we do to try to stop it? Also, it is not just stop the annexation; we have to go beyond that because Israel has occupied the West Bank, and enforced the hostile foreign military regime for more than 53 years, and before that going all the way back to before 1948. Zionists have been taking lands from Palestinians, destroyed their villages, killed them; so, stopping the annexation is not really the goal, we have to go beyond that. The people who talk to me are looking for what we can do to have any influence on the outcomes there.
Q: How can people around the world become involved in stopping the annexation plan?
A: I advise people who oppose this annexation plan to express themselves to their government and officials wherever they live. I am in Canada, and I spend part of my day communicating with my members of the parliament and with our Foreign Minister to push them for Canada to take more concrete steps; not just words. In the United States there is the same thing: there is a Jewish organization called Jewish Voice for Peace, which is pushing for Congress to affect specific concrete steps to make consequences for Israel if it goes ahead with the annexation plan. And the same thing is happening in the Western Europe and other countries. I would advise that to anyone to really go beyond words and try to get action from our governments.
So, we can see recently Netanyahu is backing down and is changing the scope of the annexation. He is doing that only because of the opposition. At the United States Congress some 190 Democratic members of the Congress signed a letter, and some 30 Senators signed another letter, as well as many Jewish organizations in the United States and other places are opposing. So, they are making a point that this opposition is effective, and we can see its effect already. That is a signal to us to just keep doing it.