Home News Japanese American civil rights group pushes for ceasefire in Gaza

Japanese American civil rights group pushes for ceasefire in Gaza


The Japanese American Citizens League, one of the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights groups, called on Thursday for a negotiated ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas, after months of what young members said the group had Responsibility advocates for this right and puts pressure on it. For Palestinians.

The group’s leaders and some older members were reluctant to take a stance on the war, in part because of the alliance’s longstanding ties to prominent Jewish civil rights organizations in the United States. In the 1970s, the American Jewish Committee was the first national organization to support Japanese Americans’ fight for reparations for their incarceration during World War II.

But young members of Japanese-American organizations say Palestinians are suffering human rights violations and their organization has long stood up for these victims.

In a statement on Thursday, the coalition noted the conflict had resulted in an “alarming” death toll among Palestinians and Israelis, as well as the ongoing huge humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The group said that as an organization “committed not only to protecting Japanese Americans, but also to protecting the civil liberties of all individuals who suffer injustice and bigotry,” “we must condemn these egregious human rights violations.”

Rather than calling for an unconditional ceasefire, the group said it hoped Israel and Hamas would reach an agreement and urged President Joe Biden to move forward with such talks.

The rift within the alliance is another example of how the Israel-Hamas war is dividing cultural, academic and political institutions beyond the Middle East, and not just between groups with direct ties to the region. As with many organizations, divisions within the league are largely along generational lines.

In its ceasefire statement, the group did not address one of the young activists’ main demands: to cut ties with Jewish organizations they label “Zionist.” David Inoue, the league’s executive director, said in an interview Thursday that the league was not considering that option.

“This is not the way we work together,” Mr. Inoue said. “I think it’s inherently unfair to ask that of anyone.”

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