Voices for Justice in Palestine (VJP) formed in 2020. We are an intentional merger of two predecessor organizations – the Coalition for Peace with Justice (CPWJ), 2005-2020, and the Abrahamic Initiative on the Middle East (AIME), 2006-2020. Each of these local organizations have been strongly committed to a just and lasting peace in Palestine/Israel, working on parallel tracks offering educational programs, public forums, legislative advocacy, bus ad campaigns, scholarship trips to Palestine/Israel, and a sustained media presence through letters to the editor and op-eds.
CPWJ and AIME collaborated with numerous social justice partners such as Jewish Voice for Peace, Black Lives Matter, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia, and Demilitarize! Durham2Palestine. In 2020, after Rev. J. Mark Davidson, co-founder of AIME, became the Executive Director of CPWJ, the Steering Committee of AIME and the Board of Directors of CPWJ decided to merge the two organizations into one new organization, adopt a new name (Voices for Justice in Palestine), renew our shared mission, and redouble our efforts.
Our Intersectional Vision
Voices for Justice in Palestine (VJP) is an intersectional human rights organization working for freedom and equality for Palestinians. Dr. King said that we are all “tied together inextricably in a single garment of destiny.” He reminded us repeatedly that “a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Nelson Mandela said that “none of us are free until the Palestinians are free.” We understand that the “Domination System” has waged a Hundred Year War on the Palestinian people. The opening salvo was imperial superpower England issuing the Balfour Declaration (1917), which handed over to the Zionists the homeland of the Palestinian people without even consulting them. With the indispensable patronage of the United States, Israel has intensified its domination of the Palestinians to the present day.
The current oppressive reality is characterized by “slow-drip genocide” in Gaza, racial-ethnic apartheid within Israel, and a brutal military occupation in the West Bank. In July, the Netanyahu government, working hand-in-glove with the Trump administration, is planning an illegal, extremely destabilizing, annexation of large swaths of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.
The same “Domination System” waged a 400 Year War against black and indigenous communities through enslavement of Africans and genocide of the Native Americans, the two faces of our country’s original sin of white supremacy. From White Citizens Councils and slave patrols, to Jim Crow segregation and Klan lynchings, to institutionalized racial inequities, routine police brutality, and mass incarceration, the oppression has continued unabated.
We know that injustice is systemic and interlocking. Inevitably, the struggle for freedom and equality confronts the immense power of the “Domination System” both in Palestine and here at home. The work for freedom and justice is interconnected, based on shared struggle, solidarity, and mutual support. Our particular focus on Palestine is part of a larger international struggle for freedom, peace, and equality.